Sims Way project ideas are presented

Final decision could be made Sept. 12

PORT TOWNSEND — Port Townsend residents got a chance to view design concepts developed by a stakeholder group for the Sims Gateway and Boat Yard Expansion Project at an open house.

The project presented Saturday is a collaboration between the City of Port Townsend, the Jefferson County Public Utility District and the Port of Port Townsend, and it has sparked an organized effort to fight the possible removal of about 150 Lombardy poplars.

A decision on the final design for the project could happen on Sept. 12, when the Port Townsend City Council, the PUD and port commissioners meet to possibly vote on a recommendation from the Parks, Recreation, Trees and Trails Advisory Board.

The Parks, Recreation, Trees and Trails Advisory Board will meet Aug. 23 at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall to discuss and vote on the design concepts developed by the stakeholder group

Representatives from the city, port, PUD, the stakeholder group and SCJ Alliance and MacLeod Reckord, which provided design services for the project, were on hand at Saturday’s open house to answer questions and explain the different concepts illustrated on presentation boards displayed around a room at the Port Townsend Community Center at 620 Tyler St.

People were encouraged to give their feedback with Sharpies on large, white easel pads which quickly filled up with comments that often resembled hand-written Twitter feeds alternately agreeing or disagreeing with previous writers.

The project is part of the city’s Gateway Development Plan dating back to 1993.

The plan set out to define priorities, design guidelines and make recommendations for growth and development of the Sims Way poplar-lined corridor.

The project calls for removal of the poplars so the port can expand the size of the boat yard on its northern border, and because they are a safety hazard to PUD powerlines overhead, according to authorities.

The stakeholders developed a number of alternatives for the project that ranged from no poplars removed to most of them removed.

Teri Mielke, who has lived in Port Townsend since 1973, said after speaking with Steve King, the city public works director, he felt much better about the project and was inclined to approve of it.

“My major concern was the sequence of what they were doing,” Mielke said. “I feel better that they’re not taking all the trees out at once because I enjoy those trees. I also understand wanting to protect the power lines.”

Adrianne Harun said she thought the city, PUD and port did not do a good job in involving the public in the development process and that the plan to remove the poplars took people by surprise when they learned about it last fall.

“They made a decision and it needs more engagement with the community,” said Harun, who has live in Port Townsend for 41 years.

“I’m not absolutely against it, but why are they doing this now? Potholes and housing should be the city’s priorities.”

David Goldman of the Gateway Poplar Alliance, which is opposed to the removal of the poplars, pointed out that the city’s Gateway Development Plan actually called for maintaining the poplars, not cutting them down.

If the city, PUD and port wanted to change that directive, Goldman said, “We need to revisit the plan and get public input like they did in 1993.”

The project stakeholders will review and consider feedback from the open house and then forward their preference to Parks Advisory Board, which will in turn make its recommendation for the Sept. 12 meeting.

For information about the Sims Gateway and Boat Yard Expansion Project and images of the design concepts, go to https://tinyurl.com/c7mds2sr.

________

Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached by email at [email protected]

More in News

Electrical power out west of Lake Crescent

Fault is on BPA transmission line

Crab crew member Jacob Brown of Port Angeles pulls cooked crab from a boiler on Thursday in preparation for the opening of the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival on the Port Angeles waterfront. The three-day festival begins today and runs through Sunday. For more information, see Page A6. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Prepping for crab

Crab crew member Jacob Brown of Port Angeles pulls cooked crab from… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, right, visits the jetty renovation project at Point Hudson with Port of Port Townsend Executive Director Eron Berg. Half of the funds for the $14.1 million project came from a $7 million Economic Development Administration grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Cantwell is Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula Daily News)
Sen. Maria Cantwell visits Port of Port Townsend’s jetty project

Replacement received $7M in federal EDA funding

In this image provided by Portland General Electric, windmills and solar panels line a renewable energy facility in Lexington, Ore., on May 24, 2022. The facility combines solar power, wind power and massive batteries to store the energy generated there. The Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facilities was commissioned Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, and is the first utility-scale plant of its kind in North America. (Sarah Hamaker/Portland General Electric via The Associated Press)
Wind-solar-battery ‘hybrid’ plant first in U.S.

Project commissioned in small Oregon town

Broken wreckage of the cabin cruiser Eudora is hoisted by helicopter from the beach on Ediz Hook in Port Angeles on Wednesday as a crew hired by the state Department of Natural Resources gathers pieces of the shipwrecked vessel. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Boat salvaged from beach

Natural Resources department plans to finish work today

Lorna Smith.
Eleanor Stopps Award presented

Environmentalist Lorna Smith honored for decades of efforts

Most Read