News Roundup - Next week’s for fire safety/CAO may sit for a while

Next week’s for fire safety

Though the push for greater fire safety is ongoing, firefighters are urging renewed focus for islanders as National Fire Prevention Week begins next week.

Events to that end will be staged throughout the county, including one on Bainbridge Island.

Island preschoolers are invited to the Madison Avenue fire station for a fire safety presentation at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 10.

The week will be capped by the annual Pancake Breakfast and fire truck rides from 8 a.m. to noon on Oct. 13.

This year’s prevention week theme is “Practice Your Fire Escape Plan.”

To emphasize the importance of working smoke alarms combined with a practice fire escape plan, county fire agencies are partnering with schools and firefighters in a contest.

Interested teachers will be provided with escape planning grids and directions. Kids and their families will then work together to plan and practice their escape.

Each student who participates will receive a small gift, and the classroom with the highest percentage of completed plans wins an ice cream party with firefighters.

For more information about events or fire escape planning, call the fire department at 842-7686.

CAO may sit for a while

Changes to the city’s controversial slopes ordinance that would slacken development restrictions in geologically hazardous areas appear to have hit another snag.

The item was docketed for a slot at the Sep. 26 council meeting, but other matters left too little time for discussion.

It was then tentatively slated to go before council at next week’s meeting, but only for 20 minutes, according to Council Chair Chris Snow.

“We have a lot on our plate right now,” he said. “It’s pretty clear we couldn’t have a useful conversation in that amount of time.”

So, according to Snow and recent email correspondence between councilors, the item may not make the council’s agenda for some time.

Problems arose last year after revisions were made to the geologically hazardous section of the city’s Critical Areas Ordinance.

Some maintain that the changes – the biggest being the addition of a variance requirement for developments in geologically hazardous areas – are vital to protecting the safety of residents who live near slopes.

Others have complained that the variance requirement has backfired by resulting in delays to planned remodels that can’t meet current code.

– Chad Schuster

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