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Sparks literally fly at Planning Commission meeting

The Bremerton Planning Commission held their monthly meeting Oct. 23 and listened to proposals from Alan Hart of VIA Architecture on the city’s new subarea plan for downtown and Mike Mecham, Bremerton City Engineer, on the proposed non-motorized transportation system for the entire city.

Geoffrey Wentlandt, senior planner for the city of Bremerton, said that the plan is for Bremerton to become the metropolitan area of west Puget Sound, and downtown Bremerton will experience the most expansive growth.

The subarea plan for downtown is being designed to emphasize the downtown area and the connections between it and the surrounding parks, Hart said. He added that the goal is to link historic Bremerton with the new areas and to be a sustainable plan for the future. The designs were also formulated to take advantage of the views and vantage points of the city.

About 20 people showed up to the workshop but very few had questions for the architects of either plan. The planning commission did have a few questions of both individuals, but they were mostly limited to wording in their proposals.

Bill Mosiman, vice chair of the Planning Commission, asked Hart to clarify the language used in the subarea proposal and Commissioner Linda Streissguth was curious about the fact that the building height was to be set as unlimited.

“Making the height unlimited is more provocative and will bring more interest from developers,” Hart said.

Once Hart had answered the few questions proposed to him, Mecham took to the podium. He began to show some slides from a PowerPoint presentation when suddenly a spark of electricity shot from a panel in the floor. It was nothing major, apparently just a short, but it took Mecham by surprise and he took a few seconds to remember where he was in the presentation.

The non-motorized transportation plan is to add bike and walking paths throughout the city. Mecham said that the plan also calls for eight foot wide sidewalks.

“Like the ones in front of the condos on Washington Street,” said Mecham.

One concerned citizen asked Mecham and the commission if the plans included a walking path for Marine Drive. This area has a large population of elderly persons and the she estimated that 50 or more people walk that area daily.

Councilwoman Diane Robinson also asked Mecham to assure her that areas in her district were being addressed as well.

Mecham explained that the plans did include Marine Drive and that her concerns were being addressed.

As there were no more questions or comments being made, Mosiman adjourned the meeting.

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