In this 36-minute podcast, BCB interviews the proponents of the four proposals for the use of the City’s 14-acre Suzuki property in Winslow, and we hear an overview of the property, the zoning and our Comprehensive Plan priorities from the City’s Interim Planning Director Joe Tovar.
The City purchased the 14-acre Winslow property more than 15 years ago to potentially serve as a location for a police building and court. Now that the City has determined that the Suzuki neighborhood is too residential and too close to several schools to be well-suited for a police building, the City proposes to sell the property to help raise funds for public projects such as police and court buildings elsewhere.
In 2014, our City Council invited proposals that it could judge for both community priorities and purchase price. Four proposals emerged from four sets of partnering organizations – a combination of local nonprofits, a County housing agency, and local property investers, architects and designers.
On the timeline of this podcast, you’ll hear:
0:25 Joe Tovar: COBI’s Interim Planning Director: Overview of Suzuki property
5:15 Introduction to the four proposals
6:10 John Rose of Olympic Property Group, Jonathan Davis of Davis Studio Architecture + Design, and Rick Skelton (co-founder Boys & Girls Club of Bainbridge). 52 homes, of which 15 would be affordable, with open space, farm garden (based on discussions with the local Friends of the Farms nonprofit) and a site for a Boys & Girls Club within walking distance of schools. Offering $2.4 million to the City’s public funds. They will hold a public meeting on February 18th at 7pm at the Grange. Suzuki Farm proposal.
13:15 Mark Blatter of nonprofit Housing Resources Bainbridge (HRB) and Stuart Grogan of the County’s public agency called Housing Kitsap. Partnering architects would be Pyatok Architecture, and Wenzlau Architects of Bainbridge. Sustainability consulting by O’Brien and Co. 45% of site would have 75 homes of which 60 would be affordable, with the remainder being open space with the existing pond and a site for a child care center and perhaps a community gardening site. Offering $2.4 million to the City’s public funds. New Brooklyn Glen proposal.
19:55 Bob Guyt, an architect with Blue Architecture + Interiors of Bremerton, partnering with Housing Kitsap and AKA Investors. About 25% of the site would have 60 clustered homes of which all would be affordable, emphasizing net-zero green-built homes, shareable zip cars and minimal space for car parking. There would be a community center and interpretive center. The remainder would be undisturbed open space and pond. Offering $2.6 million to the City’s public funds. Proposal. There is an inadvertent error in Bob’s remarks: This proposal does not have the most affordable housing; it is tied with HRB’s 60 affordable units.
27:35 Tom Swolgaard, one of 5 commissioners of the BI Parks & Recreation District, which responded to a citizen request to propose to use the land for park and/or recreation uses, which would be determined by a subsequent public process (similar to the current public process for the Park District’s 23-acre Sakai property). This proposal would call for a transfer of the property at no charge to the Parks District, rather than a payment to the City’s public funds. Proposal.
32:02 Joe Tovar, COBI Planning Director, with a 4-minute wrap-up and summary of priorities of the City Comprehensive Plan that potentially apply to this project. He also summarizes next steps for the Council and public.
The next public comment opportunity on the Suzuki property will be the open City Council meeting starting at 7pm on Tuesday evening February 23rd, with up to two hours available for public comment on the Suzuki proposals.
Credits: BCB host, audio editor and social media publisher: Barry Peters.