WINSLOW HOTEL HEARING: Staff preps for big crowd

It’s hearing day for the Winslow Hotel project, and the last chance for the public to comment on the controversial proposal before it is left in the hands of the city’s hearing examiner for a decision.

The hearing is set for 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 23.

A capacity crowd is expected to attend the hearing, which will be held in council chambers at Bainbridge Island City Hall.

City staff were busily preparing for the hearing after city hall opened Thursday.

As preparations continue, the chance for members of the public to save a seat in council chambers in advance for the six-hour session is limited.

Access to council chambers has been blocked until 9:30 a.m.; signs have been posted on the doors and two chairs have been pulled in front of the doors to keep people out.

With a standing-room-only audience expected, the Bainbridge Island fire marshal will attend to make sure the venue is not overcrowded and to ensure safety, according to the city.

City staff is expecting parking to be an issue. Staff has contacted the adjacent Island Fitness, which shares a parking lot with city hall, in advance of the hearing to talk about visitors to the hearing who may try to park in Island Fitness’ portion of the lot.

Parking for city staff is adjacent to city hall, but employees have been warned that if they leave during the day, they may return to find their parking spot occupied.

In the days leading up to Thursday’s hearing, opponents of the hotel project have been rallying islanders to descend on city hall at 9 a.m. for a pre-hearing demonstration.

City staff are expected to do a walk-through of council chambers in the next hour in preparation for the hearing.

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