Ordinances breeze through second readings

After drawing public attention just a week earlier, two proposed land vacations, a land use amendment and a motorized scooter ordinance breezed through the Bremerton City Council on Wednesday night at City Hall, 239 Fourth Street.

All four ordinances were unanimously approved by Council members after much public discussion during their first readings.

“Scooters are really all we’re regulating because of a ruling by the state patrol,” said City Attorney Roger Lubovich.

The state patrol has ruled that any two-wheeled vehicle that resembles a motorcycle is considered an unlicensed vehicle and is prohibited from streets, Lubovich said.

“Everything that isn’t a scooter will be treated like an unlicensed vehicle,” Lubovich said.

As part of the initial enforcement effort, the police department will conduct a public information campaign through its public information officer, said Council President Daren Nygren.

“Like the states have unfunded mandates that get passed to cities, we need to be aware that the police department is being asked to enforce more when it’s already stretched,” Nygren said.

Councilman Mike Shepherd echoed Nygren’s assessment and asked that Council receive a report on the success of the department’s efforts in the future.

The land vacation to Olympic College for its parking lot received several complaints from neighbors a week earlier, but city engineer Michael Meacham said a meeting with the neighbors removed the confusion about the issue.

“We managed to answer all of the neighbors questions and appreciated OC providing a room for us to meet,” Meacham said.

Councilman Mike Shepherd, who represents the neighborhood, said the main issues were the location and direction of the proposed vacation.

“We did discover that storm drains were removed or covered during construction, which has caused run-off issues,” Shepherd said.

Meacham said the preliminary indications are that the parking lot are the cause of the drainage problem, and that the city will work with OC to resolve the issues once the research is completed.

The Council also gave its final approval to a land vacation to Kitsap Transit on Coontz Street and amended the city’s critical land use enforcement code during Wednesday night’s meeting.

The Council will conduct its next business meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 3 at City Hall, 239 Fourth Street.

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