Those who don’t live in or around Port Orchard may wonder what’s all the hoofla with the city’s proposed waterfront pedestrian-bike pathway.
The city of Port Orchard and the Port of Bremerton have been negotiating on where and if the proposed path will cut through a waterfront park owned by the port. A compromise suggested by City Councilman Jerry Childs and Port Commissioner Roger Zabinsky appears to be a workable compromise on what has been a prickly issue. Port commissioners and city council members will walk the route at 5 p.m. Feb. 15.
Another issue between the city and the port is downtown parking. An earlier impasse appears to be breached with a proposal now on the table to have the city relinquish 32 spaces it controls near the Port Orchard Marina to the port. In exchange, the port would give up control of 31 spaces next to the park the city wants for paid parking. About 10 spaces along the water next to the park would be city controlled for park users. The time limit there would be two hours.
The discussion of the pathway and parking is part of a larger, comprehensive plan for the waterfront area that the port and the city are working on.
To fully appreciate the history of mild to moderate contention between the city and the port on these and other erstwhile points of contention, one needs to look at a map of the waterfront showing each entity’s interest in the various properties. In short, it’s complicated.
The map, below, was created by the port and shows the patchwork of ownership and interests that forms the basis of the relationship between the city and the port.
As you’ll see, the port owns or leases most of the properties. The city and port recently reached an agreement to have the port lease the Water Street dock — another bone of contention, now calmed.
Kitsap Transit is a third entity that owns and leases properties near the foot ferry dock, and just to further complicate matters, Kitsap Regional Library’s Port Orchard operations are housed in a city-owned building, also near the foot ferry.
Here’s the map: