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City of Poulsbo September E-Newsletter

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Planning and Economic Development Department Update

M is for Moratorium:

The Olhava Master Plan was submitted to the City of Poulsbo in 1995 and includes the area where the existing Wal Mart, Home Depot and Olympic College are currently located. The property consists of approximately 215 acres in total and was originally divided by State Highway 3 into a northern 174 acres and a southern 41-acre parcel. The master plan was approved to support 840,000 square feet of commercial, 325,000 square feet of business park, 50,000 square feet of the college, a community park and 70 single family homes and 420 medium density dwelling units. The vision was for this to be completed in phases over a period of 10 years.

Since its adoption, the majority of the residential units have been constructed, the college has been built (but not to the approved full build out), about half of the commercial has been built and the City recently received its first application to exceed the amount of allotted business park square footage. Further, the City Council is diligently working to determine the best use of the park site (commonly known as the PERC) and Olympic College (with Western Washington University) has indicated its plans to expand.

The City is in the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan, due December 31, 2024. This periodic update includes a new requirement for the City to not only plan for but also to accommodate housing at all income levels. This new requirement has prompted the City to consider adding housing options throughout the City. Olhava may be an ideal space to increase residential capacity.

This culmination of activity prompted the City Council to pass an emergency Ordinance No. 2023-11 approving a 12-month development moratorium for vacant undeveloped property zoned Commercial (C-4) and Business Park (BP) within the Olhava Master Plan (OMP) (as shown on map below) on August 9, 2023. From and after the effective date of the ordinance, the City shall not accept new building permit applications and new land use applications for the development of vacant undeveloped property zoned C-4 or BP in the Olhava Master Plan and shall not process or approve any pending applications or issue any permits that are not vested under applicable law, except those that received an approved land use permit from the City at the date of adoption of the moratorium.

Pursuant to RCW 35A.63.220 and RCW 36.70A.390, the City Council shall hold a Public Hearing at a City Council meeting within 60 days of adoption. The Public Hearing will be held on September 20, 2023, at approximately 5:15 p.m.

Included in the adoption of the moratorium is a 12-month work plan. In the upcoming year, the Planning Department will be engaging the property owners, public, commission and council to determine which zoning code changes would best support Poulsbo’s future. 

Engineering Department Update

3rd Avenue Improvements Project: The City has selected a design consultant to begin the design of 3rd Avenue improvements. The survey and design will begin in September 2023. The 3rd Avenue Improvements project will reconstruct the existing roadway and install water and sanitary sewer utilities. This project will include a new sidewalk, designated parking stalls, stormwater collection, and a new 8-foot pedestrian/bike lane between Hostmark Street and Moe Street. Once the design gets underway, there will be coordination and outreach with local residents and businesses.

Alasund Meadows Gravity – Noll Road Sewer Extension Project: This project extends gravity sewer up Noll Road between Poulsbo Meadows development to the Alasund Meadows lift station. Design began in May 2023, and the project contract was awarded in August to Rodarte Construction in the amount of $823,666.22. Construction is scheduled to begin in September/October 2023. 

Building Department Update

Building Activities. The Building Department issued 62 new permits in July, for a total valuation of $29,907,196.18. Of those permits issued, 32 were for new single-family residences.

New Water/Sewer Connection Fees went into effect on August 1, 2023. Please visit our website for the updated fee schedule. https://cityofpoulsbo.com/building-department.

Note from the Mayor's Office

Opportunity to Join Puget Sound Regional Council’s Equity Advisory Committee: Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) is actively recruiting for the 2024 Cohort of our Equity Advisory Committee (EAC), which helps guide PSRC’s racial equity work and have yet to receive an application from a Kitsap resident.


We’re looking for residents and staff from governmental and community-based organizations that have a clear understanding of the barriers being faced by communities of color and other marginalized residents in your neighborhoods.


A key strength of the EAC, and PSRC as a whole, is the diverse coalition of voices we are able to bring together from across our region. Our membership includes experienced leaders from King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. We invite members of organizations living in Kitsap to advocate on behalf of the communities we serve in Kitsap County.


The EAC helped create the Legacy of Structural Racism Interactive Report, Equity Planning Resources, and Equity Impact Assessment Tool


EAC members who are not compensated by their employers or another organization for their participation, will be paid $125 per meeting for their time and insights.


Applicants can click here to find more details on the committee, answers to frequently asked questions, an application, and more. Interested parties should submit a complete application by September 18.


Feel free to contact Charles Patton, Program Manager, Equity Policy and Initiatives, at cpatton@psrc.org for more details.

Finance Department Reminders

Seasonal Averaging for Sewer Billing. The sewer portion of your utility bill is based on the metered water used. The City recognizes for residential accounts there may be summer irrigation not flowing into the City’s sewer system, so it takes the winter (November to May) monthly average of water usage and applies this “seasonal averaging” when calculating the sewer portion of your bill from June to October each year. Please remember that you are still billed for all actual water usage.

** MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Seasonal averaging watering began around Memorial Day & end around October 9th. **

Utility Billing Auto-Payment. The City offers auto-pay as an option to pay your utility bill. Have your payment automatically deducted from your bank account on the 20th of every month. Click here for additional details and an application. If you’d like an application mailed to you, please contact the Finance Department at (360) 394-9881.

Community Book Reading Event

The City of Poulsbo and partners are sponsoring a Community Book Reading, culminating in a discussion and celebration event set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 21 at City Hall. The book selected for the community reading is “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” by Isabel Wilkerson. The book is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a New York Times Bestseller. Wilkerson is also the author of the award-winning novel, “The Warmth of Other Suns.”

Please visit this link to learn more about this Community Book Reading Event: https://cityofpoulsbo.com/city-council-community-book-reading/


The Poulsbo Garden Club is pleased to have the wonderful and well-known mushroom specialist Tom Cameron as our guest speaker at our Saturday, September 9th meeting. It is FREE and open to the public. Feel join us at 9:30a.m. for a brief meeting or join us at 10:30a.m. as Tom Cameron of the Kitsap Mycological Society presents all things about mushrooms. The meeting will be at 20295 Little Valley Road in the meeting room of the Faith Episcopal Church, just across and diagonal from the Poulsbo Town and Country Market. 

Please bring any mushrooms from your yards and local environment you would like identified. The best containers to use for transport are the little cardboard or plastic trays that takeout food comes in. Please, no plastic bags. Try to harvest the entire mushroom or clump bottom to top and try to keep them clean. 

For more information, please contact us at poulsbogardenclub@gmail.com

Everyone is welcome!

The Judge's Corner.

The Scariest Saying.

                 by Jeff Tolman

I was getting to the punchline of a story that usually gets good reviews. It has interesting facts and a plot twist at the end that more-often-than-not evokes a good laugh from the listener. As my monologue continued, I noticed my listener's lips were involuntarily moving along with mine, saying the words in synch, knowing the end of the story, courteous enough to act as if they didn't. 

Horrified, I was, as the vignette ended, and a friendly chuckle was received. 

How embarrassing and scary. As I age, I have come to believe the scariest saying in the English language is “How is it that I can remember every detail of the story, but not who I have told it to?” 

We have all had the experience as speaker and listener. 

Each of us has a quiver of tales that ingratiate us with new friends and old, unique experiences and odd turns of events that are enjoyed by those with whom we share. 

Recently I read a book about elected officials discussing the difficulty with remembering names of so many folks they meet on the campaign trail. One elected official's wife recalled seeing a familiar face at a rally, knowing she should remember the person, A big donor? Part of the staff? A local volunteer? Then, she remembered, waved, and said to the person "Hi, Mom!" Funny stuff. A good story. Such is true about story listeners, too.

 Unfortunately, the quiver size for different people's stories varies greatly. I have friends who seems to have an unlimited bag of funny and interesting stories to share - on almost any topic. They are dynamic, invigorating, great to spend time with. 

At the same time there are folks who have had about three experiences in their whole lives to share and have to fit them into any topic. 

The singular highlight of one acquaintance's life appears to be his attendance at The Pendleton Roundup in the 1970's. In his mental file of stories to tell, the index card is labeled "1 of 1." No matter what question is asked, or topic is being discussed, Pendleton will be involved. 

"Joe, will you pass the salt?" 

"Salt...boy, that reminds me of Pendleton. The Roundup. 1974. Though I concede it is 400 miles from any ocean, there was something in the air that seemed salty...." 

 Or "Joe, have you seem Jim recently? He looked down-in-the-dumps when I saw him last week." 

 "I know a little bit about down-in-the-dumps. It was in Pendleton. The cowboy from Dufus, Texas had just been bucked off of the great bull 'Wish-I'd-been-a-dog.' What a monster that bull was. One of the greats. But that cowboy was as down as anyone I've ever seen. No, I haven't seen Jim in months." 


Why can't I recall who I have told my ten best stories to? Yet remember all the details of each vignette? 

A pal and I used to play a version of "Name That Tune." Those of you old enough will remember that the contestants would bet on how many musical notes they'd need to name a tune. "I can name that tune in five notes." "I can name that tune in four notes." And when the lowest "bet" was made, the piano player would play that number of notes and the contestant would try and name the musical piece. A friend and I played a related game to get an acquaintance to tell a particular, known story with the fewest statements of our own. For example, I’ll get "a story about Jerry's experience locked in the car... in one sentence." 

Go for it. For lunch.

Me: “I have a heckava time with these keyless locks.”

Jerry: "Don't I know it. When I was a kid I got locked in the car when Mom picked me up at school. She got talking to   the teacher and before we knew it..." I won lunch. Jerry, like all of us, had no idea we could tell the story verbatim.

I had a client opine that he was married to the greatest wife on the planet. “Big words,” I said. “Tell me why you say that.”

“After 41 years together,” he started, ”she still acts like it is the first time she has heard my stories.” Quite a spouse, she is.


The good news is that some stories are timeless. I have heard tales from friends and relatives multiple times and still enjoy.  Maybe the answer isn’t to quit telling tales. Perhaps the answer is to get to the punchline as quickly as possible when the listener's mouth is telling the story in synch with yours.  

                           Copyright Jeff Tolman 2023. All rights reserved.

Parks and Recreation Department Update

Job Openings

The City of Poulsbo is currently hiring. Click here to learn more details about open positions!