The major hurdle for a professional soccer stadium that’s been
proposed in Poulsbo is a familiar one to this North Kitsap town –
Sports editor Chuck Stark wrote last week about Robin Waite’s plans for a 6,000-seat pro
soccer venue in Poulsbo, possibly for the Seattle Sounders.
Naturally the perspectives of a city reporter and sports
reporter differ somewhat, so I wanted to get at least a little
deeper into these grafs from his story:
‘He hopes to begin work on the stadium, to be constructed on a
12-acre parcel of land on Urdahl Road, no later than August. And
there’s still a lot of hurdles he must clear with the City of
Poulsbo before that happens. The property currently has no sewage
or power. And parking figures to be a major issue for a stadium
with a planned 6,000-seat capacity.
Waite owns the land, which sits across from The Zone Sportsplex,
an indoor sports facility. But once the stadium is configured, he
estimates that he will only have room for about 250 parking spots
Once he gets a rendition of the stadium — he’s hired
Tacoma-based Bruce Dees and Associates to build it — Waite said he
hopes to meet with nearby businesses and Olympic College to see if
he can use some of their parking on game nights.’
I called Poulsbo’s planning director, Barry Berezowsky, who
confirmed that Waite has filed a pre-application for the stadium. A
pre-ap is the first step developers take with city planners, and
it’s a bit more informal than the official application process –
which triggers public notices, permitting processes and involves
the city council.
On Friday, Waite met with Berezowsky to discuss a plan to work
with nearby property owners to build a sewer lift-station.
“I think the biggest issue we’re going to face is the parking
issue,” Berezowsky said.
He estimated 2,000 to 3,000 parking spaces would be needed, and
as you see in Chuck’s story, Waite thought about 250 would fit on
Given that games would be 14 Sundays per year, it’s likely that
Waite could arrange with places like as-yet undeveloped business
park space at Olhava (which wouldn’t likely be used on Sundays) to
shuttle people to the stadium.
It could work the other way during the week, using the stadium
parking as a park and ride for commuters.
But Berezowsky said the issue of where the cars park isn’t as
important as what the effects on the area are when people are
coming to and departing games.
For the city, it will be a unique process – the code allows for
sports stadiums there, but doesn’t specify exactly what’s allowed
or prohibited. (Simply because the code isn’t so specific that it
would spell out if you have a 6,000-seat stadium, do
“You don’t see soccer stadiums of any size going up in the
area,” Berezowsky said, adding that it’s probably a
once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for a planner to deal with a project
“It’s the biggest darn sports facility being proposed in Kitsap
County since NASCAR, so it is a big deal for us.”
So for the planners reviewing the project, it’s a process of
applying the code pragmatically, while also keeping in mind that it
must protect the public’s interest.
What about potential noise? The effects of all those cars coming
and going on Sunday afternoons and evenings? What other uses will
occur? Concerts? What about environmental impacts?
Berezowsky surmised that a formal application within a month
would fit within Waite’s schedule of beginning this summer.
According to Chuck’s story, if the stadium isn’t ready by 2009,
the team could play somewhere else – like North Kitsap High
I haven’t had a chance to check with officials there on whether
that’s viable. If any NKSD officials would like to weigh in on
that, feel free to comment below.