Neighbors make peace over access road

Since we’re neighbors let’s be friends.

What started out like the Hatfields and McCoy’s ended up more like John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance.”

It started a few months back when Tyler Hannon wanted to build his family a home and get access to the site using his neighbors’ road.

They didn’t want that because the road is environmentally sensitive, and then didn’t want anyone else using it.

The Bainbridge Island City Council didn’t like that, so it was willing to step in and buy the road to give Hannon access. Seems like even though the neighbors had been maintaining the road it still really was legally owned by Kitsap County.

One of the neighbors, Bob Scales, already had contacted the county to put in a bid to buy the road.

All of that resulted in a lot of bad blood between all of those involved.

However, at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, just when they were going to discuss bringing in a mediator, Scales called the council during the Public Comment period to announce an agreement had been made.

It put a smile on all of the councilmembers faces.

Joe Deets and Kirsten Hytopoulos said how proud they were that the neighbors were able to come to an agreement. Deets applauded the group for coming together, and Hytopoulos said she was impressed that through collaboration they were able to overcome that bad blood.

During public comments, Scales said the agreement was signed by all the neighbors and Hammond. It had all come together in the previous two days, and was sent to councilmembers just prior to the start of their meeting.

In a nutshell, Scales said Hannon gets the access he wanted to his property. The neighbors also get what they wanted, which was to ensure all of the trees were protected, along with other environmental mitigation. It will also “save taxpayer dollars,” he said, in that the city will now not need to buy the road from the county.

Hammond also called and thanked the council for listening to his concerns about building his family home. “We’re excited to be moving forward” after signing the agreement with his neighbors, he said.