Properties donated to Poulsbo; 1 will add to Fish Park

At its meeting last week, the Poulsbo City Council approved two donations of property – one that will add onto Fish Park and the other for a park near Walmart.

The city was contacted by Julie O’Neill who was interested in donating 1.32 acres to be incorporated into Fish Park, making it about 44 acres. Documents state the lot borders the north end of Fish Park along Highway 305 and has never been developed. The parcel will provide for the first full connection from Lindvig Way to the highway.

O’Neill placed a few conditions on the donation, which consist of the property being operated as a park in perpetuity and that a bench is installed and maintained on the property memorializing her husband, Dr. Robert O’Neill.

The other property donation was provided by Edwards Group LLC, which contacted the city about a 9.21-acre lot near the intersection of Finn Hill Road and Olhava Way that has never been developed. Johnson Creek runs through the property, and the parcel will provide opportunities for trail connections in the area of College Marketplace and other outdoor recreational uses, documents say. The Edwards Group’s only condition was that the property be named Catherine Edwards Park.

Also during the meeting, the council passed the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan. Poulsbo updates its PROS Plan every six years as required by the state Recreation and Conservation Office to maintain eligibility for federal and state grants, documents read.

The plan is also meeting Growth Management Act requirements by identifying parks and open space goals and policies, including demand and needs analysis based on the city’s assigned population allocation, and identifying future parkland acquisition and park development improvements that will be included in the Capital Facilities Plan.

Visions, goals and policies include:Continue to develop and enhance active and passive parks, recreation programs and facilities that benefit residents of all ages, incomes and physical abilities.

Create a hybrid system of on-street facilities, off-street links and shared-use paths to create a continuous and complete network for pedestrians and bicyclists that connect neighborhoods, commercial areas, schools, transit facilities, parks and open spaces, and the waterfront.

Provide enhanced opportunities for indoor and outdoor recreation activities and team sports in Poulsbo parks and recreational facilities.

The need for park and recreation land can be estimated using a ratio of acreage to a standard unit of population, such as 10 acres of parkland per 1,000 population or three acres of athletic fields per 1,000 residents. These ratios can be used to express Level of Service standards for parks and recreation facilities in Poulsbo, per documents.

The planned LOS standards are: Neighborhood Park (2 acres per 1,000 population); Community Park (3.5 acres per 1,000); Regional Park (1.5 acres per 1,000); Open Space Park (6 acres per 1,000); Trails (.73 acres per 1,000); and Overall Citywide LOS (13.73 acres per 1,000).

The council also passed an ordinance relating to possession of controlled substances. The law amends Poulsbo code to match state law and is based on the state Supreme Court decision in State vs. Blake, which designates the knowing possession of controlled substances and the unlawful possession of a legend drug as criminal misdemeanors.

“It’s to the effect of removing felony charges for possession of controlled substances and moving those into misdemeanors. It is a requirement for us to adopt in order to enact the rest of the requirements for the city and the police department, which is to defer arrests to a prosecutor who then defers those and goes into the state system,” Poulsbo police chief Ron Harding explained, adding there needs to be three deferrals before charges can be recommended at a more serious level.

“This is another catch-22,” Councilmember David Musgrove said. “I think it’s going the wrong direction in general. It’s another one of those where you have to do it or you can’t move forward.”

Mayor Becky Erickson said: “This one kind of sticks in my craw a little bit, too, but it’s state law. Until they adjust the state law, we have to adopt it into our ordinance. I hope they fix it pretty soon.”