Waypoint park gets environmental OK from Bainbridge city hall

The Waypoint has received a nod of approval from city officials.

Katherine Cook, director of planning for Bainbridge Island, signed off on the environmental analysis for the gateway park project at the corner of Winslow Way and Highway 305.

"It's the first step in getting to the permit," said Bruce Weiland of the Citizens Park Task Force, the group behind the park project.

The approval means the park project will not need a time-consuming or costly environmental impact statement under the state's Environmental Policy Act.

"It allows us to go forward," said Jim Chapel of the Citizens Park Task Force. "We are going full steam ahead."

The state Department of Ecology will weigh in next on the city's environmental analysis. If Ecology gives a thumbs up, then the city will move forward on a permit for the project.

At that point, the permit could be appealed, which would set the project back a few months, but officials with the Citizens Park Task Force don't expect such a delay.

"We view an appeal as frivolous," Weiland said. "Without an appeal we have every reason to believe we can hit the ground running."

The park group's proposal includes the construction of a pedestrian trail, landscaping, installation of benches, signage and a wall, and a possible educational kiosk for visitors to the island.

The kiosk, or "directory" as the park group refers to it, is one aspect that the park group is excited about.

"It will have a picture of the whole island and show all its various parts," Chapel said. "It will talk about the boat building and the early explorers to the island."

The park group expects to start construction of the park in September.


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