Council makes changes to Design Review Board

The Port Orchard City Council is looking to change the make-up of the city’s Design Review Board for a second time.

The idea for the board was conceived during the drafting of the Downtown Overlay District. It would be comprised of a number of community residents and development professionals to look at the design of buildings going into the city’s core.

The previous council, which then included Robert Geiger, Rita DiIenno and Rick Wyatt, suggested a seven-person board with a majority of residents over professionals.

Tuesday evening, however, the council decided to shrink the group, with an option to assign more members to the board later.

The council will approve an ordinance next Tuesday, allowing Mayor Lary Coppola to appoint five people to the board.

Members of the board will include three residents living within the city or within the city’s urban growth area, and two professionals who either live or own a business within city limits.

“We want to open it up to people who are qualified even if they don’t necessarily live in the city,” Coppola said. “We just felt before it was a little too restrictive.”

If the city annexes and grows, Coppola could appoint two more members to the board.

The mayor noted that the city has already received applications for developments in the downtown core, which are on hold until a review board is appointed.

In other City Council business:

• The council further discussed the Tremont Corridor. Safety officials have noted that roundabouts could cause slowdowns and confusion for emergency response vehicles, and recommended a controlled light.

Coppola explained at the meeting that he would have an attorney represent him in an appeal filed before taking over as mayor.

Coppola’s own property at Tremont and Pottery would be significantly affected by a roundabout.

Councilman Fred Chang noted that the council is aware of the impact on the mayor’s property, which houses The Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal.

“It’s hard to separate them,” Chang said. “I think it’s hard to separate how he feels about the roundabout and his property is right there.”

Chang said that the decision ultimately falls to the council.

• The council is considering changing systems for the staff’s personal digital assistants (PDAs). Various staff members use different systems, which limits the type of security programming the city uses.

“Once everybody is on the same platform, then we can buy whatever software we need for security,” Coppola said.

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