North Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

Fall 2018

Celebrating Kingston’s newest park

Commissioner Gelder was happy to be a part of the ribbon-cutting celebration August 15 for the Port of Kingston’s new Kiwanis Park, adjacent to the ferry tollbooths. The park is a model for multi-organization cooperation, with the Port, Kitsap County, Washington State, the Kitsap Community Foundation and the Kingston Kiwanis Club working together for a new public space for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Kingston's Kiwanis Park
Commissioner Gelder, right, watches as Port of Kingston Commissioner Mary McClure cuts the ribbon on the new park in Kingston. Joining them (left to right) are Port Commissioner Steve Heacock, State Representative Sherry Appleton, Kitsap Community Foundation President and CEO Kol Medina and Port Commissioner Laura Gronnvoll.

Kingston fast-ferry service coming soon


Work continues on the M/V Finest, Kitsap Transit’s newest passenger-only ferry. The exterior work is complete and she is now in the water while Nichols Brothers Boat Builders completes interior renovations and alignment of major systems.

Kitsap Transit anticipates delivery in late September or early October then will complete sea trials and training of the new Kingston crew.

Meanwhile, Kitsap Transit is finalizing other details to ensure a successful launch of the Kingston service:

  • Approval from King County for the proposed landing schedule at Colman Dock in downtown Seattle;
  • Completion of the landing float refurbishment at the Kingston dock;
  • Planning for new dial-a-ride bus service, see map below, to get riders to the ferry terminal;
  • Planning bus routes to serve the ferry schedule;
  • Agreement with the Washington State Department of Transportation to give priority access for Kitsap Transit buses at the Kingston Ferry Terminal

Stay tuned for updates and a start date! In the meantime, you can check out performance indicators for Bremerton fast-ferry service. As of last month, over 300,000 people have taken trips on the Bremerton fast ferry.


Upcoming Walk & Talks with Commissioner Gelder

walk and talk

Anyone looking for a chance to talk about county issues with Commissioner Gelder is welcome to join him on his monthly Walk & Talk on the first Saturday of each month. There is no event in October, but in November, he’ll begin from his Kingston office, in December at the Poulsbo Coffee Oasis, and in January, at the Bainbridge Island Senior Center. If you have complaints, ideas, or compliments to discuss – or just want to chat – he would love to see you. The walks start at 9:30 a.m.

  • November 3 – Kingston Office – 26076 Illinois Ave
  • December 1 – Poulsbo Coffee Oasis – 780 NE Iverson Street
  • January 5 – Bainbridge Island Senior Center – 370 Brien Drive SE

North Kitsap highway projects

Although progress can often seem slow, Kitsap County is working with the Washington State Department of Transportation to fix some of the traffic choke points on North Kitsap highways.

State Route 305
The project team is actively planning safety and congestion improvement projects along the State Route 305, collecting data, surveying the corridor, and preparing preliminary design concepts. Meetings were held with the cities of Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island, the Suquamish Tribe, and neighborhood groups from the Agatewood and Adas Woods areas to help refine project design elements.

In September, the project team will work on the environmental screening of the suite of projects within the SR 305 corridor, which examine potential impacts to:

  • Streams and other water bodies and fish passages
  • Wetlands
  • Listed species
  • Critical and sensitive areas
  • Hazardous materials or past contamination
  • Archaeological or cultural resources
  • Parks and recreation facilities
  • Adjacent sensitive receptors

The Johnson Road roundabout project is anticipated to be the first project launched with construction beginning in late 2019. Check out the WSDOT project page here. 

State Route 104
Kitsap County has executed a contract and an interlocal agreement with WSDOT to begin preliminary engineering for a realignment of Highway 104. The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) gave Kitsap County $740,000, and WSDOT is contributing $116,000. Rather than routing ferry traffic to the dock via Main Street, the realignment will route the traffic to NE 1st Street. The project will include sidewalks, toll booth relocation, stormwater, street lights and other amenities, as well as additional lanes to handle traffic to and from the ferries.  While the design work begins on the realignment, there is also an effort underway to improve signage for ferry travelers and to create a holding lot on county and state property at the corner of Highway 104 and Lindvog. The state capital budget allocated $500,000 for traffic improvements in Kingston. The Transportation committee of the Kingston Citizens Advisory Council is working on a list of recommendations to improve signage and communications for ferry travelers.  For more information on the project or to sign up for updates, visit the WSDOT project page here.

State Route 307
Over the summer, new turn lanes were installed on State Route 307 (Bond Road) at Foss and Pugh roads to help prevent collisions on the corridor and keep traffic moving while drivers attempt left turns at those intersections. Hopefully, those of you that are frequent travelers on Bond Road are noticing improvements.

Master Gardeners earn Commissioner’s Ribbon at Kitsap County Fair

Commissioner's Ribbon

Master Gardener Chuck Reiber accepts the special Commissioner’s Award at the Kitsap County Fair last month for the Washington State University Kitsap Extension’s Heritage Learning Garden that is located on the fairgrounds. The WSU Master Gardeners maintain the heritage garden as an education exhibit showing different ways to plant and grow vegetables at home. The garden uses organic practices, and the Master Gardeners contribute hundreds of volunteer hours to maintain it.

Opportunities to serve on county advisory groups for North Kitsap residents

Volunteer Wordle

If you’re looking to for ways to give back to your community and have a voice in funding and policy decisions and resources made available to citizens, please consider applying to serve on one of our county advisory groups. Some current opportunities for North Kitsap residents include:

  • Council for Human Rights This group promotes the equitable treatment of all citizens and works to reduce prejudice through education, resources, referrals and advocacy. The group also organizes the annual Kitsap County Conference for Human Rights and other forums throughout the year.
  • Commission on Children and Youth (youth representative needed) This commission advises County Commissioners and residents on the needs of children, youth and families, and advocates for an environment that fosters healthy, self-sufficient, responsible and productive children, youth and families.
  • Non-Motorized Facilities Citizens Advisory Committee This committee advises County Commissioners and public works staff on matters related to non-motorized transportation, such as trails and bicycle facilities.
  • Suquamish Citizens Advisory Committee The SCAC provides a forum for community discussion, communicates between county government, the Suquamish Tribe and residents, and helps to coordinate improvements for the Suquamish community.

If you are interested in applying, visit the Volunteer Services website or contact Rebecca Pirtle at (360)337-4650 or

VIBE Coworks

VIBE Coworks preview

As one of the founding members of VIBE Coworks, Commissioner Gelder was invited on a tour to preview the new VIBE space recently. VIBE Coworks, located at 19225 8th Avenue NE, Suite 201, in Poulsbo, opened their state of the art coworking space on September 24. Memberships start at $30 for one day a month in the space, up to $415/month for your own dedicated desk. On the first Friday of each month, anyone who would like to try out the offices can work there for free. For more information about this unique work site, visit

Kingston zoning update

Kingston UVC map

For several months, the Kitsap County Department of Community Development (DCD) has been working with property owners, business owners and community members in Kingston to refine regulations in the Urban Village Center (UVC) zone (pink area on map). The workgroup has been hard at work aligning the rules for developing in downtown Kingston with the vision developed by residents and adopted in the Kingston Subarea Plan.

It turns out that some of the regulations that apply to this downtown zone create barriers to development that would help achieve the vision, including:

  • Suburban parking requirements.
  • Conflicting design standards.
  • A requirement that every new development include spaces for both residences and businesses.
  • Prohibitions on some types of businesses and residential structures that you might assume should be allowed in downtown Kingston.

The Workgroup’s recommendations are coming out in two parts.  The first part has already been released as part of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan amendments – the Board of County Commissioners will be taking public comment on these changes in October with adoption scheduled in December.  The second part will include additional changes to Kitsap County Code and will be released for public comment in November with final adoption in Spring 2019.

For more information, contact Peter Best or Liz Williams in DCD at (360) 337-5777 or

Clear Creek and Schold Farm

Trail Closed

Clear Creek and the trails and recreation activities that it offers are a huge asset to the citizens and wildlife in north and central Kitsap. However, it comes with challenges as well. Homeless encampments have popped up in the area and beaver activity, flooding, vandalism and hazardous trees require continual attention. County staff and other agencies react to the different issues as they arise rather than addressing them through a proactive strategy. Now, County Commissioners have requested that such a strategy be developed for properties along the Clear Creek Trail that will include:

  • Sustainable and long-term property improvements and management;
  • Improving hydrologic connectivity, water quality and habitat function within the Clear Creek basin;
  • Creating a credited wetland mitigation banking mechanism to provide private financing dollars as leverage to fund capital improvement projects and maintenance; and
  • Improving existing open space and passive recreational areas and evaluating relocation options for existing trails away from sensitive habitat and areas prone to flooding.

A local consultant was hired to assist in developing this improvement strategy, proposed scope of work and estimated implementation costs. The plan is anticipated to be submitted to the Washington State Department of Ecology in 2020 for recognition as a wetland mitigation site.

For more information on this project, contact Angie Silva in the Commissioners’ Office at (360)337-7080,

Ridgetop Boulevard construction update

Ridgetop Construction Update

Ridgetop Boulevard construction is progressing as planned. Most of the stormwater work on the east side of the roadway is done. The Silverdale Water District installed water and reclaimed water mains that are currently being tested and should be up and running soon. Contractors are concentrating on completing curbs, gutters, paving and the sidewalk on the east side of the road. When complete, traffic will be moved to the east side of the road while improvements are completed on the west side. Thank you for your patience while traffic is disrupted for the project! For more information, visit the project page or contact Gunnar Fridriksson at (360) 337-5777,

Salish Sea Expeditions featured in Commissioner Gelder’s “Commissioner’s Corner”

Salish Sea Expeditions logo

Commissioner Gelder’s most recent “Commissioner’s Corner,” featuring Salish Sea Expeditions, is now available for viewing. This half-hour television program was produced by Bremerton Kitsap Access Television and aired on the local public access television station. Salish Sea Expeditions is a nonprofit group creating unique learning excursions for kids, coupling marine science with sailing adventures. This episode can be viewed at