The Poulsbo Beat

News, insight and conversation about Poulsbo.

Poulsbo’s SMP approved (updated)

February 25th, 2013 at 5:23 pm by Michelle Beahm
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The City of Poulsbo received approval of its Shoreline Management Program plan from the Department of Ecology Feb. 13, Mayor Becky Erickson announced. The city submitted the plan for approval in May.

The plan takes effect tomorrow, Feb. 28, and state law allows 60 days for an appeal to be filed with the Growth Management Hearings Board.

The city last updated the SMP in 1976. The rules apply to new development, substantial redevelopment and land-use changes proposed within the shoreline area. City planner Keri Weaver said the shoreline buffer, at 125 feet, is now the same as the city’s Critical Areas Ordinance, which was updated and adopted in 2008.

Zoning code wraps up Wednesday

January 28th, 2013 at 9:40 am by Michelle Beahm
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POULSBO — If you were wondering about changes to the city’s Zoning Code Ordinance, but haven’t made it to a council meeting, the city now has a workshop summery on the website.

After several council workshops since September, following three years of research and revision by planning staff and the Planning Commission, the proposed zoning code is nearing the end of its review.

The council delved into five topics during their last two workshops, Jan. 9 and 16: off-street parking, street signage, tree retention, temporary transitory accommodations and wireless communication.

If development is proposed in the city’s commercial zone — new construction, an additional 1,501 square feet to an existing building, or adding a residential unit to an existing building — new parking spots will be required.

Some council members were concerned about inhibiting new development in the downtown core, where space is already limited, and the council discussed allowing a fee in lieu of additional parking. However, Planning Director Barry Berezowski pointed out that a consolidate structure would move parking from downtown’s most valuable land.

Under signage, the council discussed regulating sandwich board signs. The code proposes allowing two signs per business. Councilman David Musgrove suggested finding out how many sandwich board signs are currently around town and where are they, so the code can regulate “sign pollution.”

Significant tree retention was an important subject to the council, but the proposed code puts more responsibility of tree retention in developer’s hands. The proposed rule states developers must retain clusters of exiting trees for new construction in all zones, but especially in the area east of 10th Avenue, between Lincoln Road and Forest Rock Lane — instead of clear-cutting, and then planting new trees, developers must keep clusters of trees and build around them.

The city does not regulate current tree retention on private property, unless the trees are in a critical area. Mayor Becky Erickson said trees act as a primary source for stormwater management and can prevent low-land flooding.

The updated code must reflect a new state law that allows religious organizations to offer temporary transient accommodations — sometimes called tent cities — to the homeless. Erickson said she does not support tent cities, because “It is not the proper way to deal with homelessness.” The temporary transitory accommodations are allowed under a 180-day permit, and the city can only regulate them for public health and safety.

The council also addressed wireless communications, which directly affects the Kitsap Public Utility District’s pilot project of providing wireless internet to the public at no charge. The zoning code gives location priorities for where antennae and equipment: first on an existing KPUD facility, second on existing power structures (power poles), third in commercial districts, and fourth in residential districts, when there is a significant gap in service or coverage.

To see the changes of the proposed zoning code update, read the Workshop Response and Recommendations Document, found at The entire draft Code Enforcement Ordinance can also be found at the website, under City Council Review and named September 2012 Planning Commission Recommended Draft Zoning Ordinance.

The council will hold the first of its wrap-up workshops Jan. 30 and will continue to Feb. 6 if needed. The public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27. All meetings are in Council Chambers at City Hall, 200 NE Moe St., at 7 p.m.



Economic vitality, street maintenance among City Council’s goals for 2013

December 21st, 2012 at 12:01 pm by Michelle Beahm
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POULSBO — Poulsbo City Council members agreed on four goals for 2013 at their Dec. 19 meeting. Some goals are a continuation of past goals, updated with what has been accomplished so far.

— Old City Hall property: Implement best use and maximize value.
Objectives include analyzing marketing of the property with the adjacent King Olav parking lot, to maximize opportunity; and initiate feasibility studies.

The council will measure progress by having a feasibility report completed, reconfiguring the properties for marketability, and selling the property.

Progress so far includes hiring a real estate agent (2010), property appraisal (2010), and an option agreement with Lorig & Associates (2012).

— Viking Avenue revitalization
Objectives include a Lindvig Bridge beautification project, possible relocation of Farmers Market to Viking Avenue, supporting adaptive re-use of existing buildings, leveraging Regal Cinema’s presence, and branding Viking Avenue.

The council will measure progress by increasing community and business interest and activity, redeveloping a partnership with private-sector businesses, and creating a brand.

Progress so far includes the Viking statue as a gateway, business interest group involvement, and new private sector investment.

— Develop neighborhood street maintenance program
Objectives include determining parameters and priorities and establishing a funding source.

The council will measure progress by allocating funding and developing a timeline plan.

Progress so far includes street inventories with a plan development.

— Increase downtown economic vitality
Objectives include improving downtown parking; possible fees in lieu of parking; marketing with the Port of Poulsbo, Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association, Visitors and Convention Bureau, and volunteers; explore the night time economy; and explore downtown appeal for younger residents.

The council will measure progress by increasing ability to find parking, adding events, improved publicity and coordination, increased sales tax revenue to local businesses, and an increase in customers and visitors in the evening.

Election in Kitsap: incumbents stay in

November 6th, 2012 at 9:40 pm by Michelle Beahm
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The results — unofficially — are in.

Kitsap County had a 50 percent registered voter turnout as of 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Here is a breakdown of how Kitsap voters put their pens to the ballots on local, state and national issues.

State Senator, Dist. 23:
— Christine Rolfes 63.9 percent
— Bret Treadwell 35.8 percent

State Representative, Dist. 23 Position 1:
— Sherry Appleton 60.3 percent
— Tony Stephens 39.5 percent

State Representative, Dist. 26 Position 2:
— Drew Hansen 59.4 percent
— James Olsen 40.3 percent

County Commissioner, Dist. 1:
— Robert Gelder 55.1 percent
— Chris Tibbs 44.6 percent

County Commissioner, Dist. 2:
— Linda Simpson 47.2 percent
— Charlotte Garrido 52.4 percent

Superior Court Judge, Department 7:
— Jennifer Forbes 66.4 percent
— Karen Klein 32.9 percent

U.S. President:
— Barack Obama/Joe Biden 54 percent
— Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan 43.4 percent

U.S. Senator:
— Maria Cantwell 58.3 percent
— Michael Baumgartner 41.4 percent

U.S. Representative, Dist. 6:
— Derek Kilmer 57.5 percent
— Bill Driscoll 42.2 percent

U.S. Representative, Dist. 1:
— John Koster 42.7 percent
— Suzan DelBene 57 percent

— Jay Inslee 49.9 percent
— Rob McKenna 49.7 percent

(Statewide, Inslee led 51 percent over McKenna 48 percent)

Lt. Governor:
— Brad Owen 55.2 percent
— Bill Finkbeiner 44.5 percent

Secretary of State:
— Kim Wyman 50.4 percent
— Kathleen Drew 49.3 percent

Attorney General:
— Bob Ferguson 52.8 percent
— Reagan Dunn 46.9 percent

Initiative 1185 (tax and fee increases imposed by state government):
— Yes 64.3 percent
— No 35.6 percent

Initiative 1240 – charter schools:
— Yes 52.1 percent
— No 47.8 percent

Referendum 74 – marriage equality:
— Approve 52.8 percent
— Reject 47.11 percent

Initiative 502 – license and regulate marijuana:
— Yes 56 percent
— No 44 percent

Senate Joint Resolution 8221:
— Approved 64.5 percent
— Rejected 35.4 percent

Senate Joint Resolution 8223:
— Approve 43 percent
— Reject 56.9 percent

Advisory Vote 1 (SB 6635):
— Repeal 58.5 percent
— Maintain 41.5 percent

Advisory Vote 1 (SB 2590):
— Repeal 57.2 percent
— Maintain 42.7 percent

There are 3.8 million registered voters in the state of Washington. There are still an estimated 427,300 ballots to be processed by hand as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Poulsbo Port chooses new lawyer

November 5th, 2012 at 3:16 pm by Michelle Beahm
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The Port of Poulsbo Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Nov. 1 to retain the Chmelik, Sitkin and Davis law firm of Bellingham as legal advisers. Frank Chmelik was one of five lawyers that sent in a letter of interest when the port commissioners advertised for their need of a legal expert, said Commissioner Stephen Swann.

The law firm specializes in representing municipal governments, including ports.

The port allocated $40,000 for legal services in their 2013 budget, nearly double from their 2012 budget. Port Manager Kirk Stickels said the port is still challenging the city’s Shoreline Management Program, which was submitted to the state Department of Ecology in May. The services needed to review and propose changes to the SMP are why the commissioners projected a higher cost for legal services in the near future.

Girl Scouts earn award for parks video

October 22nd, 2012 at 10:14 am by Michelle Beahm
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Ever wonder about Poulsbo’s parks and what recreation classes are offered? Poulsbo’s Girl Scouts don’t want you to wonder anymore.

Girl Scout Troop 42062 earned their Silver Award after producing a video about the city’s Parks and Recreation department, and presenting the video to the City Council Oct. 17.

Martha Rabura, a freshman at Kingston High School; Madison Gale, a freshman at West Sound Academy; Annika Maule, a freshman at North Kitsap High School; and Kalena Ackerman-Clemons, a freshman at Kingston High School shot a video highlighting Poulsbo’s parks, and an overview of the classes and events through the recreation programs.

Each girl put in more than 50 hours, which began in September. Annika said she liked working with the other girls, and Martha and Kalena said they enjoyed learning how to film and produce a digital project.

To earn the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, the scouts must complete three community service projects. The girls earned their Bronze Award by making blankets for local children and homeless youth in need, in 2009. Their Gold Award will be an individual service project.

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson presented the four girls with certificates of appreciation at the council meeting. The video can be seen at the Parks and Recreation website, at

From right, Kalena Ackerman-Clemons, Annika Maule, Martha Rabura and Madison Gale, with Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson. The Girl Scouts earned their Silver Award with a video they produced about Poulsbo Parks and Recreation department, available on the city’s website.

Shoreline plan open for comments

October 4th, 2012 at 4:19 pm by Michelle Beahm
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Residents who still have questions or comments about Poulsbo’s Shoreline Master Program — a plan that regulates development along four miles of Liberty Bay and local wetlands and creeks — have one last chance.

The city submitted its updated plan to the Department of Ecology in July. Ecology opened its comment period Sept. 24. Comments are being accepted until Oct. 26 at 5 p.m.

Comments can be submitted to Joe Burcar via email at; or to Department of Ecology, Northwest Regional Office, c/o Joe Burcar, 3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue, Wash., 98008.

Poulsbo Port budget up for review

September 10th, 2012 at 3:30 pm by Michelle Beahm
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The Port of Poulsbo is currently taking comments on their 2013 budget.

Staff presented the draft budget to commissioners at their last meeting, Sept. 6. The draft is available for review at the port’s main office at the Port of Poulsbo dock, 18809 Front St.

Public comments will also be taken at a public hearing, scheduled during the next commissioner meeting, Sept. 20, in the port’s multipurpose room on E dock, 7 p.m. The commission is set to “fix” and adopt the budget at the end of the hearing, according to Carol Tripp, staff accountant.

At the Sept. 6 meeting, the commission also discussed their hosting of the 14th annual Classic Yacht Association visit Sept. 21-23, where 32 boats will be in attendance.

Shoreline plan comments open late September

August 22nd, 2012 at 11:18 am by Michelle Beahm
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Joe Burcar, shoreline planner with the Department of Ecology, said he has received Poulsbo’s Shoreline Management Program plan and is reviewing the document to make sure it is complete. He said the public comment period, to be submitted to Ecology, will probably be open in late September or early October.

Review the city’s submitted plan at

Lessons learned during Suquamish 5K

August 21st, 2012 at 4:39 pm by Michelle Beahm
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I did not train for my latest 5K.

I knew the Chief Seattle Days route would be a bit tough — I come from the relatively shallow fields of Iowa, where the hills are gradual, while you folks in the Northwest have to contend with sharp inclines that were jolted up from the sea. Every hill I huffed and puffed my way up soon sent me downhill, which killed my poor, unpracticed shins.

But I was joined by a lot of smiles, and even a Golden Retriever puppy, on a slightly overcast Sunday, Aug. 19. Volunteers cheered us on at every turn and at the two water stations — although I had my music on too loud to actually hear their words (I need a good beat to run to or I turn into jelly).

The North Kitsap and Bainbridge Island communities are flush with “Fun Runs” for many charities, organizations and events. I have run in my fair share since moving here a year ago. But I enjoyed my Suquamish run the most. As the run organizer pointed out, this was also a cultural run.

I passed by Chief Seattle’s grave, the new museum and Old Man House Park — which I hadn’t been to yet — and through the different neighborhoods of downtown Suquamish. There were houses that look jumbled together, as every generation added a layer and looked to be shared by many family members, as well as newer-looking homes that tried to capture as much view of the water as possible. Neighbors came out of their homes to join in the cheering or begin their own walk down to the House of Awakened Culture to join the festivities. I was just running a measly 3.1 miles, but from the cheers of Suquamish residents, you’d think I was at the tail end of my first marathon. Did I look that out of breath?

I sped up at the last bit of the run, which took us right along the vendor booths — thanks, Suquamish, of course I want to buy all those crafts, and oh yeah, an Indian taco. I finished, trying to hide my red face from the photographer, and stretched while I watched the rest come in. One woman received one of the loudest cheers as she sped up at the last turn, a determined but gleeful look on her face as she finished with arms in the air.

I won’t tell you my time, but rest assured, I did not finish in the top 10. But when the last two people crossed the finish line, one pushing a jogging stroller, the “fun” part of the run became apparent. Water was passed out generously, as well as oranges, bananas and donuts. The top five men and women runners were presented with prizes, and the first place runner received a special blanket. I was pretty psyched for my T-shirt and participation ribbon.

This was only the second year Suquamish hosted an official fun run — in years past, avid runners would just kind of take off and time themselves. Teresa Barron, the grants specialist at the Suquamish Tribe and 5K volunteer coordinator, said because Chairman Leonard Forsman is such an avid runner, they organized the first official Chief Seattle Days 5K and Elder Walk last year, to about 30 participants. This year 52 people ran, jogged and walked.

Fun runs are excellent community activities to be a part of. You get your exercise, meet new people, see new sites (or at least from a different, slower perspective), and contribute to a good cause. The Chief Seattle Days run entry fee benefitted the Suquamish Youth Center, which provides activities and homework help to kids age 10-19. The center offers sports like basketball and softball, and a prevention group that raises awareness about the dangers of tobacco, domestic violence and teen pregnancy. The center also teaches the Tribal traditions such as cedar and wool weaving, beading, and Tribal history. Many of the youth involved also participate in the Chief Seattle Days and Pow Wow Renewal royalty pageants.

The run contributed $680 to the youth center for healthy ventures.

So, as I learned more about the Suquamish community during my run, I also learned not to underestimate these Washington hills.

See more photos of Chief Seattle Days, taken by Suquamish spokeswoman April Leigh, at

Chief Seattle Days 5K Fun Run and Walk
1 James Wilson, 16 19:02
2 Nicholas Thibault, 17 20:41
3 Joe Wilson, 14 21:51
4 Lars Larson 22:23
5 Tyler Billings, 15 22:38

1 Rose Catah 23:18
2 Caitlin Murray 24:37
3 Sande Watson 25:40
4 Karen Dorsey 27:02
5 Lisa Rey Thomas 27:47 (last year overall winner)

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About Michelle Beahm

Michelle Beahm covers the Poulsbo and North Kitsap beat for the North Kitsap Herald. Check the Poulsbo Beat for information about events around the city. Have a news tip, email

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