by MATTHEW NASH
Citizens spent two days defining and mapping out Sequim’s finer and lesser qualities as part of Sequim 120, the city’s Comprehensive Plan update.
Chris Hugo, director of community development, said 50 people attended sessions on March 10-11 at the Sequim Transit Center, with one of the five sessions cancelled on Sunday morning.
“We were happy with the enthusiasm and quality of the participation,” Hugo said. “People were enthusiastic about community values and what kind of community Sequim could be in 20 years and represented by in the vision statement.”
Hugo said one of the reasons for the sessions was to seek out the community’s perception of the city’s current vision statement.
Some of the citizens’ priorities, Hugo said, were to preserve open space, continue to value neighborhoods and accommodate many modes of transportation.
The event included mapping daily trips within the city and perceptions of the community, a discussion on transportation in the city, a word cloud activity on verbalizing a definition of Sequim and a pulse pad survey of 53 questions.
Participants answered questions on topics such as growth expectations and management, traffic congestion and ease of travel, sidewalks, the role of families in the community and defining Sequim.
Mayor Ken Hays opened the first session, saying growth and community are at odds and he sees the process as the first critical step toward the community becoming proactive with development.
Liisa Fagerlund, a member of the city’s parks and recreation board, said the event was simple and a quick way to get a cross-section of the community’s opinions.
“It was a good way to get information without causing an argument,” Fagerlund said.
She and others appreciated the instant polling results shown from each question.
Fagerlund said one of her goals is to see Sequim become more bike-friendly and bike-related transportation questions showed people appear to have an understanding of the need for bicycles.
“Even if (people only) drive, they thought it was good to have bike traffic,” Fagerlund said.
In the transportation discussion, she also shared that the Olympic Discovery Trail needs better signage.
Randy Radock said he participated because he’s concerned about how things are going to be developed in the city.
“There were a lot of things neglected that this city government is now playing catch-up,” Radock said. “Not that the past city government didn’t have the opportunity.”
Christiane Johnson said she attended to give input and see what the process was all about.
She liked Hugo’s slide show comparing different cities’ development.
Hugo said that the development options didn’t have to be for everybody and are up to the individual’s lifestyle choices.
The next step for Sequim 120 includes drafting a new vision statement for the planning commission and then sending it to the city council for approval.
Hugo said from there the city staff and comprehensive plan steering committee will work on growth alternatives in accordance with the statement.
The visioning exercises are available at the city’s website www.sequimwa.gov under the “Sequim 120 Comprehensive Plan update” link on the left side.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.