City council OKs design review board

The Port Orchard City Council approved Mayor Lary Coppola’s five selections for the Design Review Board on Tuesday evening.

Coppola appointed five after council revised a previous decision to establish a seven-person 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.

Coppola appointed residents Dana Harmon, Susan Wooley and Heather Cole, and professionals Jonathan Wilson and Paul Nuchims.

The group will oversee design proposals for developments within the Downtown Overlay District and make recommendations to the City Council.

Cole, who is working to turn her house into a bed-and-breakfast, said she hopes to keep downtown consistent and attractive, but does not have any specific design goals.

“I don’t really have an idea per se as too the look for downtown,” she said. “I really want to see what the individual owners come up with ... I’m just not sure what that’s going to look like, but definitely going for that common look throughout the downtown.”

Although she is serving on the board as a resident, she definitely has an eye for design, and is looking forward to downtown’s future, especially the possibility of public amenities provided by developers.

“There’s so many possibilities,” she said. “It’s going to be really exciting to see what we can do down there.”

Nuchims is serving on one of the professional positions, himself an artist and operator of the Manchester Gallery, located on Bay Street, but previously located in downtown Manchester.

He is a retired art professor with a doctorate in arts from Carnegie Mellon University.

“I have been involved in the arts and design field for a long time,” he said.

Like Cole, he sees the role as more oversight and sticking by the Downtown Overlay District, rather than pushing any specific design ideas.

“I do not have preconceived notions,” Nuchims said. “I told the mayor I would have an open mind and help make decisions that would be best for the long term future of Port Orchard.”

The board was conceived by last year’s city council, which included Rob Putaansuu, Carolyn Powers, Fred Chang, Bob Geiger, Rita DiIenno, Rick Wyatt and John Clauson.

Its role is established in the Downtown Overlay District, which outlines height and design requirements for developments along Bay Street and the surrounding area.

Specifically, the ordinance allows developers to build up to 39 feet, or 55 feet with a conditional-use permit, on the south side of Bay Street, and 27 feet, or 39 feet with a conditional-use permit, throughout the rest of the district.

The Planning Commission is working on developing similar regulations for the “wings” of downtown, which includes the areas East and West of the city’s downtown core.

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