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Downtown sub-area plan nears approval

While much has been done to revitalize downtown Bremerton, the overall plan for the area has yet to be approved by the Bremerton City Council.

However, that is expected to change before the end of the year as the public is invited to provide its input on the plan before it becomes the guiding document for downtown Bremerton for generations to come.

The city’s Planning Commission will host a public workshop at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the main meeting chambers of the Norm Dicks Government Center to discuss that sub-area plan as well as the city’s non-motorized transportation plan.

“I think we have to have a good overall plan, so there is a balance between developers and the interest of people who live there,” said Councilwoman Wendy Priest, who represents the area.

Some of the historic buildings in the area like the Sinclair Building need to be preserved, even if that means adding density to other properties in the sub-area plan, Priest said.

When the plan was first discussed, residents were promised an opportunity to provide input on the various aspects of it before it came to the council, she said.

“Things are moving so quickly I want to make sure they have their input,” Priest said.

Among the ideas included in the plan are several zones, which are one and two family residential zone, multi-family residential zone, pedestrian-oriented mixed use zone, a livable downtown core zone, downtown waterfront zone and western harbor employment district.

The height limit in the one and two family residential zone will be 30 feet and the idea is to increase housing choices by allowing twice the units per acre, but in the same form and height as existing housing.

The height limits in the proposed multi-family zone-Highland district will be up to 80 feet with a three-story maximum, but the idea is to preserve the scale and density of Highland Street by transferring the density to adjacent lots on Washington and Pleasant avenues.

The pedestrian-oriented mixed use zone features the potential for 65-feet tall residential buildings and 75-feet commercial buildings with an emphasis on corner treatments and architectural expression.

When it comes to the downtown core, the idea is to create a walkable, livable downtown with a mixture of uses and also create an accessible downtown waterfront open space that connects to the public boardwalk and marina.

Under the proposal building heights could be between 160 and 240 feet using the existing bonus program in the downtown area.

The idea behind the western harbor employment district is to build a synergistic relationship between the city and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, which includes the development of continuing education facilities, artist and artisan studio spaces and office supportive uses.

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