PORT TOWNSEND – Residents of Port Townsend will have the opportunity to view proposed designs for the tree-lined walkway into town at an open house on Saturday.
The open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Port Townsend Community Center at 620 Tyler St.
The Citizen Stakeholder Committee and Sims Gateway and Boat Yard Expansion Project Team will incorporate feedback from the Open House into their final recommendation to the City Parks Board on August 23.
The City Council, Harbor Commission and Jefferson County Utility District Commission will then consider the recommendations at a special joint meeting in September to make a final decision on the design concept.
For the past four months, the nine-member Citizen Stakeholder Committee has met bi-monthly with representatives from the City of Port Townsend, Port of Port Townsend, and Jefferson County Utility District , as well as with project consultants.
They have favorite and alternate design concepts for the section of Sims Way that runs between Kah Tai Lagoon in the north and Boat Haven in the south.
Some of the preferred design concepts that will be showcased include tree removal locations and replanting concepts, provision of pedestrian walkways, development and maintenance of curbs and buffer zones, and fencing. and setbacks.
Design concepts that the Citizen Stakeholder Committee did not favor will also be presented, including no shipyard expansion and no power line burial, and partial shipyard expansion with burial.
The most contentious element of the project is the plan to cut down around 150 Lombardy poplars in order to build a pedestrian cycle path, bury power lines and expand the shipyard. The trees create a safety hazard by arcing high voltage power lines, officials said.
The Gateway Poplar Alliance, a local group opposed to the removal of poplars, has organized awareness and fundraising campaigns, such as an Adopt-a-Poplar program, to keep the poplars along Sims Way.
The goal of the Sims Gateway and Boat Yard Expansion project is to improve public safety, increase economic opportunity for the maritime trades community, and restore and enhance native ecosystems along Sims Way as it passes. between the marina and the Kah Tai lagoon, officials said. .