Parking mess not settled just yet

The disposition of two parking lots that could open up as many as 74 new parking spaces in the vicinity of the Kitsap County Courthouse was still in doubt as of Monday because the city of Port Orchard claimed the county had not yet fulfilled certain requirements.

The county feels it has done everything the city requested and plans to answer the city’s questions immediately.

“We’re just trying to work with the city on this and get the lots open,” said Carolyn Siems, administrative services supervisor for the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

On Monday, Port Orchard Public Works Director Maher Abed sent the county a letter outlining five items that needed attention before final permits were issued. Upon receiving the letter, County Project Manager Karen Ross itemized the list and stated the county had met the requirements.

The only exception was a requirement for cedar planters and the configuration of 10-inch draining gaps. Ross said the gaps were not included on the original permit request, and Port Orchard Planning Director Joanne Long-Woods verbally approved the use of concrete planters.

The parking dispute has gone on for a year, and has caused an acute shortage since the new administration building’s construction is proceeding on a site once home to more than 90 short-term spaces.

Abed would not speculate on how long it would take for the county to meet the requirements, but thought it would probably take a few days.

As of Monday, Ross was preparing to answer the letter in writing, addressing each point directly.

It is likely the lots will be open by next Monday, to prepare for the extra traffic generated by the regular county commissioners’ meeting.

When issued, the permit is temporary — for 180 days or when the new building opens, whichever comes first. The main difference between temporary and permanent, according to Long-Woods, is the installation of storm drains.

County Spokesperson Lisa Holmer said it would pursue the permanent permits, but would most likely wait until the city published its overlay plans for the area.

Holmer said the lot at Division and Sidney, with up to 18 spaces, would be restricted to two hours.

The up-to-56-space Taylor Street lot behind the courthouse would be open to employees and visitors for the entire day.

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