Climate resiliency considered in Port Angeles

Second reading set for June 21

PORT ANGELES — The City of Port Angeles hopes to incorporate a Climate Resiliency Plan, which addresses a range of issues from greenhouse gasses to food insecurity, into its 2022 comprehensive plan amendment.

“As an appendix to the comprehensive plan, it would serve as an aspirational document that may be used to inform implementation efforts with stakeholders, the capital facilities plan and integration in the periodic update of the comprehensive plan in 2025,” said Emma Bolin, interim director of Community and Economic Development.

The first reading and public hearing were Tuesday during the City Councils’ regular meeting.

A second reading and public hearing are planned for June 21, when the plan is expected to be considered for adoption. The public can submit comments to City Clerk Kari Martinez-Bailey at [email protected]

The public can participate in the meeting virtually through WebX https://cityofpa.webex.com/cityofpa/onstage/g.php?MTID=ec2d0d5f267fe9daa7ccdabc1c8526d15

Amendments to the comprehensive plan must be adopted by June 30.

Details of the plan can be found on the city website at https://www.cityofpa.us/1010/Climate-Resiliency-Plan

“This plan represents a multi-year initiative collaboration with the Climate Action Volunteer Group, Cascadia Consulting, and our Planning Commission, ” Bolin said.

The plan includes several tasks, such as the completion of a greenhouse gas inventory measuring both government and community-wide emissions as well as a multi-criteria analysis process.

“The multi-criteria analysis is meant to be a tool for the city to use in decision-making as well as a demonstration of its commitment to a carbon-neutral 2030,” Bolin said.

The plan is broken down into five sections: Community Health and Well-being, Ecosystem Health, Transportation, Buildings and Energy, and Consumption and Waste.

Each section includes goals that focus on the broad interests of that section, city progress in that section, and community-wide progress in that section. Each section offers two strategies with actions that would determine success.

There are 70 actions in all, but Cascadia Consulting, using the multi-criteria analysis tool, Cascadia Consulting analyzed and evaluated 40 of the actions.

Cascadia Consulting was hired in November 2020 to do this work.

Port Angeles resident Bob Vreeland encouraged everyone to read the draft of the climate plan and listed some of his favorite actions.

“Action number two, food security supporting the local agriculture and farmers markets. Number four assesses climate mitigations and impact with a forecast every five years. Action number nine, the city budget request for a full-time resiliency plan coordinator and yearly climate report card including high school students in the work,” Vreeland said.

City Planning Commission member Ben Stanley urged the council to approve the plan, but also urged members to tighten it.

“Many of us on the planning commission would love to narrow the focus of this plan,” he said.

”I consider the plan as is to basically be a menu of options to select from and I think we recognize that we cannot take action on all of them currently with current levels of funding,” he added.

“But I think we would all like to work to present a more narrow and focused list of recommendations in conjunction with the cost-benefit analysis that we mentioned to get realistic at how we can implement these things,” Stanley said.

Council member Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin noted that this is something the council has been working on for many years.

“We’ve wanted to do this planning for several years, and during that time we were dealing with staff shortages on our leadership team and Nathan ( West) said ‘wait’ because we want to make sure this is a plan we can implement and not just something we do to check a box and have it sit on a shelf,” Schromen-Wawrin said.

”So that has been a commitment from our staff and this council and the challenge of course is making it real.”

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Reporter Ken Park can be reached at [email protected].

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