The Poulsbo City Council will continue to allow restaurants and bars to use public right of ways for seating such as parking spaces to comply with COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.
At its meeting last week, the council approved extending the so-called Summer Fair program through 2022.
Earlier in the meeting, the council also voted to establish a Transportation Benefit District with the implementation of a $20 car-tab fee for vehicles registered in the city to increase funding for neighborhood street improvements.
Some of the businesses utilizing the Summer Fair program include Western Red Brewing, Burrata Bistro, State 42 Wines, Slippery Pig Brewery and Green Light Diner.
“I think the Summer Fair eateries program has been a tremendous success for our city,” Councilmember Gary McVey said. “I think it’s saved a number of bars and restaurants, and perhaps other businesses that have been able to utilize these spaces. It’s added vibrancy to our city. It’s provided revenue to our city.”
Requirements and costs for businesses to renew include: minimum usage required; permit fee payment — with COVID consideration; Where does the funding go?; and steps to continue permit.
Now that the council has extended the program, city inspection will be conducted and updated permit applications will be provided to existing streateries.
The businesses will either reissue their permit or have its use of right of way expired at the end of this year.
“Effective immediately, we will start reaching out to the business owners, and we will come up with an individual plan for each of them,” senior engineering technician Anthony Burgess told the council. “We want them to either reapply or commit to removing their structures by the end of the year. We will have a grace period of thirty days for any modifications or additions to their structures.”
Other council news
Regarding the formation of the TBD, finance director Deb Booher said at a previous council meeting that there are minimal, if any, grants eligible for neighborhood streets as they’re not an “arterial that meets the requirement in order for it to be funded.”
So the council approved the car tab fee.
The Neighborhood Streets Program is $150,000 per year, and the car tabs would add an additional $90,000 per year totaling $240,000.
The car-tab fee could potentially be increased to $40 after two years and $50 two years after that. Poulsbo was the last jurisdiction in Kitsap County to form a TBD.
Now that it’s formed, notification will be provided to Department of Revenue, and funds will not be collected for six months and will be based on its regulations of date and implementation.
Also at the meeting, the council passed a Housing Action Plan, which will guide the city when planning for present and future housing needs and will be instrumental when drafting the state-mandated 2024 Comprehensive Plan update and zoning amendments, the ordinance reads.
Poulsbo was awarded a $40,000 grant from the Department of Commerce to complete a HAP.
The funds were authorized as part of House Bill 1923 to increase residential building in Washington communities.
The HAP identifies strategies Poulsbo may implement to support housing opportunities for residents at all income levels.
Providing a sufficient supply of both market-rate and income-qualified affordable housing also supports stability, vibrant neighborhoods and economic vitality, documents say.
“This is just a menu of items and any changes to the code or rezones or anything related to the action items would go through a review process by Planning Commission, the public and then City Council,” senior planner Nicole Coleman said.
Councilmember David Musgrove said: “It’s nice to know in effect that this is a working document moving forward; that it’s moldable and adaptable. We’re getting the basic framework in there that we can then juggle things around as they best fit.”
For details on the HAP, go to cityofpoulsbo.com/housingactionplan.
• For minimum usage, businesses will be required to post hours of operation, confirm availability to the public during non-business hours, and must be staffed during hours of operation and be both aesthetically and structurally maintained.
• For permit fee framework, leasehold excise tax is a requirement by DOR charge for private use of public right of ways. Council documents also state fees should be balanced and the proposed fee would be deposited into the general fund.
• The proposed permit fee is a flat fee to cover staff time for permit administration and inspection (three hours for review/inspection equals $225). Also, the monthly fee for sidewalks, parking stalls or both will be separate (sidewalk equals $10/month; parking stall/hatched area equals $25/stall/month; usage of parking stall would cover cost of sidewalk). The application fee plus the monthly fee multiplied by the number of months on the app equals the total permit fee (for example, two stalls for 12 months equals $825 permit fee).
• Use restrictions include: Business can utilize streetscapes if structures are built per requirements of the permit; winter use would be limited to covered structures; Streatery shall be staffed during business hours; streatery shall be maintained and presentable at all times; Able to sustain weather and damage repaired in a timely fashion).
• The minimum requirements consist of: All structures must be built with platform for at grade transition to sidewalk; Provide barrier on each end of structure, fence, plants, barrier, etc.; Reflective posts on all corners; Provide minimum lane edge separation (Must maintain a 10-foot minimum lane width; Minimum 1-foot separation from lane edge to fence; Existing structures must accommodate this standard or be removed); Design of structure must be able to withstand seasonal weather or be removed.