Successful Public Input Session

Thanks to all who attended the Public Input Session last night.  You all shared some wonderful ideas and JohnPaul Jones and Colleen Thorpe, our architects, returned to their offices with great raw material.  As JohnPaul reported at the session, they will take your input  and the design parameters we have for the site and put together some proposals for the parcel.  We expect to have a second public session in mid April where the community can view some potential designs and make additional comments and suggestions before we propose a final design to the City, Kitsap Transit and the Metro Park District.

Thanks for attending and keep the comments and suggestions coming.

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14 thoughts on “Successful Public Input Session

  1. Larry Koss says:

    To BI City Council and Planning Department [edited]

    Dear Council

    I have personally viewed the seepage from the Unocal site into the creek which feeds into Eagle Harbor and Puget Sound. There are a number of places that this seepage is clearly visible flowing from the embankment into the creek within rock throwing distance of Eagle Harbor. There are also blackish areas in which the ground clearly seems disturbed that I have since been told are found by the county to contain “black oil.”

    I certainly support and acknowledge efforts of a citizen’s task force to place a park on the site. I have difficulty, however, with; (a) the task force’s underlying intention (i.e., seeming to be principally self-invested to financially benefit the Gateway), and (b) to rush headlong into park construction without first ensuring it’s contamination is remedied. These raise serious and justified concern with regard to the effort’s “integrity” and overall commitment to this community.

    It also stands in sharp contrast to a present initiative to ban plastic bags on island. BI likes to pride itself on being “green”, yet a local, county and Seattle headline that might run, “BI Builds Park Atop Hazardous Waste Site” would likely be NOT GOOD for our precious image … or real estate appeal.

    We can do much better here. A great step forward in that direction would be to witness the council “doing the right thing” via its vote for a clean “clean park.”

    Sincerely

    LKoss

  2. M. Keenan says:

    If you are witnessing a “sheen” or release to surface water you should report this to Ecology’s Environmental Report Tracking System (ERTS) 425 649-7229 and the Bainbridge CIty Council at council@bainbridgewa.gov so it can be referred for follow up.

  3. Joanne Onorato Horticulture Sustainable design Wetlands Management 17 years on Bainbridge 3 kids 1 bike commuting husband 1 cat Lots of friends who share my vision says:

    Joanne Onorato Horticulture Sustainable design Wetlands Management 17 years on Bainbridge 3 kids 1 bike commuting husband 1 cat Lots of friends who share my vision says:
    February 28, 2012 at 4:08 am
    I agree with Melanie. I am not alone. The site is clearly TOXIC. I have conducted my own research with fellow concerned citizens. There is clealry seepage at the base of the ravine. You can see the irredescent sheen and smell gasoline when the tide is out. As Melanie has stated the Department of Ecology has it on a shortlist of most toxic sites in Washington State giving it a 2 out of 5 (1 being the most serious concern ). True the Dept of Ecology does not list any further test results since 2008 and has it listed as a site they plan to work on…BUT there is nothing better than to bring the site into the public eye to give it the attention it needs to get things rolling. Historically it is proven Ecology and the Public will respond when attention and fact be made a focus of concern.
    I could not imagine on an island with Scientists, Environmentalists, Engineers,Geologists,Hydrologists,Plant Pathologists, Horticulturists,with Sustainability groups, Land Trusts, Wildlife Protectionists,a population professing to “grow local -buy local” and “go green” “organic” “friends of the Farm” Sound Food” organizations like Islandwood and businesses like Teregrin(Pioneers of eco friendly Bamboo flooring) that the population would be complacent about having a Park on top of a Toxic Dump site.
    John PaulJones talks about raising $300,000.00 to beautify this”eyesore” that’a a big figure for some indiganous plants art work and a massive volunteer crew.
    I support the efforts of the Citizen Park Group, I support our Downtown, Our Art Museum, our foot and cycle commuters coming home to an asthetically pleasing welcome.
    Lets do it right. Lets continue to raise awareness so we can continue to lead the way into a clean tomorrow. Lets be valiant and true stewards of our Island home . LETS CLEAN IT UP FIRST AND FOREMOST. I want to see the Citizen Park Commitee Raise their funds and their support to do what it takes as outlined in Melanies plan above.
    With all of us WORKING TOGETHER what a force we can be! WE are not talking about an area as big as the creosote site…lets bring back the ecosystem to function with the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees, with clean water and clean air!☺☀♡

  4. Rose Defawe says:

    If more attention is brought to this site, they might just CLEAN IT UP!

    I suggest that as many people as possible call Ecology at (425)-649-7000 or email Ecology at tsac461@ecy.wa.gov and swin461@ecy.wa.gov these are local contacts for problems in Kitsap County. Report it, make a fuss, that is when things happen!

  5. rdefawe says:

    I agree Joanne! I welcome the park, but am very concerned about the gasoline seeping into the ravine and subsequently Puget Sound! YES, I SAW THE SEEP TOO!!! There is an obvious sheen, it wasn’t hard to find! And to think it may have been seeping into Puget Sound for 20 Years or more!!! It is a shame with so many species struggling with threatened or endangered status in Puget Sound.

    I’ve been a resident of Bainbridge for the past 6 years and went to the meeting because I was interested in the history of the contamination on this corner. Over the years, I had suspected contamination here, because of the fence, and when I first moved here, could see some metal drums in the lot. However, I never heard a word about it from any local meetings or the newspaper, so I assumed for the most part, that the contamination had been taken care of. I regret now, never doing a little internet research on the site.

    I am an environmental scientist, working in various specialties for the past 18 years. However about 10 years working as a hydrologist and with remediation of contaminated sites. So when I went to the meeting about the park, It was mentioned that in a few wells, there was actually floating product in the well. So when I heard this, I knew that the site had not been cleaned up completely, because when there is floating product, there are definitely more measures that can be taken to remove it. Then I also went up the Ravine to easily find the SEEP!

    Of couse everyone would love a park on this corner. It would look so much nicer and make us feel more proud of our little town. But It is on Ecology’s cleanup list.

    ****So hypothetically, if we all volunteer to make a nice and pretty park, WHEN is Ecology going to come here to potentially tear our work apart to take care of this contamination???? *******

    If there is free product, that means the wells can simply be used to pump out some of the contamination (that is just a start). But the soil below remains saturated with gasoline, so more measures would then be taken. There could potentially be a pump installed there with a treatment system or a large separation tank. I would suspect any digging would take place lower in the ravine to intercept the seep. There is a chance though that they could dig deeper on the top of the hill, where the park is to be placed. And of course, the area would be fenced off during all of this.

    I think more research needs to be done before we break ground on a park. Did anyone call Ecology??? The city is a partial owner, they should know more about cleanup plans. At this point, I think a few phone call needs to be made.

    It’s just too bad people have just ignored this site for years.

    Rose Defawe

  6. Larry Koss says:

    Brilliant and so well-stated, Joanne. Thank you!

  7. Larry Koss says:

    I was sitting at the same table with the Keenans. In all candor, while inspired by the creativity of the public, I found myself concerned by what felt like deliberate efforts to constrict the dialogue (akin to divide and conquer strategies).

    When directed to tables for group discussions, after opening remarks of our assigned facilitator, a prominent BI growth proponent adamantly asserted out the gate that we were there to talk about “design” NOT site safety, cleanup, etc. Surprised, I sought correction noting its publicity as a public comment meeting. I was also surprised by the arrival soon after of Debbie Lester and Bruce Weiland sitting beside Melanie and myself respectively.

    After our return to a full group, a question was asked about ensuring the site is clean. I was surprised then that Bruce did NOT speak to what the Keenans had just shared at the table w/re to having just completed a $200K grant application to test and ensure a clean site, rather replied that Aspect consulting will survey the site over the next two months. (Alas, previous results from Aspect consulting have been absent of appropriate sampling and reporting thereby failing to protect the city from taking ownership of two hazardous waste sites. Too, a sizable number of permits are required before testing, thus rendering the “two month” claim invalid.)

    I left the meeting believing this Task Force is not interested in addressing existing contamination as “foundation” for any design, rather “beautification” to complete funding for the Gateway and its art museum. Indeed, I envisioned headlines upon completion to the effect of “Green BI installs park over a hazardous waste site!”

    In sum, I am dismayed by the priorities, “spin”, and less-than-truthful approach once again taken to serve privileged interests versus honestly serve the well-being of this community as a whole. To hear Bruce tell the Council that the public will be walking on trails and sitting on benches (i.e., not sitting on the surface), that the surface is safe given the contamination is 12+ feet down (NOT fact given absence of testing), and/or in a hurried fashion that the task force will cooperate with necessary cleanup efforts (when obvious he doesn’t want to talk about it), combine to leave me feeling this initiative is less than complete in scope and intentionally disingenuous on the part of some.

    It is my hope that the wonderful group of 40 participants will urge leaders of this initiative to do the “right thing” when it comes to ensuring the site is clean and safe before applying the creativity they so heartfully offered this past Thursday.

    • Larry Koss says:

      Two items I need to correct here. First, I was in error thinking that Malcolm and Melanie share they same last name. Malcolm’s is Gander while Melanie’s is Keenan. Second, w/re to testing the site, it seems permits are not required on the front end to test, yet will certainly be required to build.

  8. BruceWeiland says:

    Dear Fellow Islanders:

    With some 40 people present at Thursday’s park design workshop, during
    which there was a vibrant and free-flowing exchange of ideas over a period
    of two hours, I am frankly mystified by Melanie’s characterization of the
    event. Please feel free to give me a call if any of you would like to know
    what actually occurred at Thursday’s meeting (including the fact that
    Melanie and Malcolm each had more speaking time than anyone else at the
    small-group table we shared).

    In a nutshell, the event was a huge success and a wonderful example of
    islanders getting involved in their community. We look forward to coming
    back before the Council to share the results in the next couple of months.

    Call me if you want to hear more details. Thanks.

    Bruce Weiland

    =============================
    Bruce P. Weiland
    151 Finch Place SW, Suite A
    Bainbridge Isl., Washington 98110
    206-842-1611
    bpweiland@comcast.net

  9. Carol Westover says:

    I would like to see a stroll garden on the corner, in a natural style that would have an Asian esthetic. Small trees, dwarf conifers and rock, broadleaf evergreens like rhododendron and Viburnum davidii, ornamental grasses and possibly heaths and heathers. If berry bearing shrubs are included they should be used to interface with existing vegetation along the ravine. Birds + berries=mess. I would also like to see plants selected for high winter and fall interest in terms of color, texture or form. Backlit grasses.

    The paving should be permeable, with perhaps two entries along 305 and one along Winslow Way. I would also design low berms in the areas adjacent to the sidewalk to establish a sense of separation and enclosure but not so high that views in/out are impaired, for safety reasons.

    A fabulous piece of kinetic art would really make a statement and bring movement if that could be arranged. As long as we are dreaming, dream big. To that end, I would really love to limit signage and not use the park as a community bulletin board. A lovely little slice of garden to welcome us home and greet visitors on arrival.

    • kimberlygawlik says:

      Carol,

      Thanks for your comments. We have forwarded them on to JohnPaul and Colleen.

    • maryann Kirkby says:

      Would like to see an art approach to pathway design
      Also a place for 3 dimensional art change out
      And plenty of GREEN as in plantings

      Maryann Kirkby

  10. M. Keenan says:

    The not so public process for public input for the Unocal Site

    Having sat at a table last night with 7 other people, 3 of whom operated simultaneously as facilitators made it difficult at best to freely express any reasonable opinion related to the Unocal site or provide park input.

    Coupled with the stated agenda to censor any concerns or ideas related to the known documented contamination associated with the Unocal site (listed as a hazardous waste site, ranked 2 out of 5, with 1 being the highest risk to human health and the environment), made it very difficult for even the most ardent of participants to compete with two of the leaders of the self appointed park group, Mayor Debbie Lester, and Bruce Weiland. Sorry, no real opportunity to get to know the original facilitator, a Rotarian friend of Jim Chapel.

    It was hard to provide input with one interrupting you after asking you a question because they did not like your answer, another stating we are not talking about that tonight, and the 3rd crowding your personal space to say it is time for someone else to speak.

    Rather obnoxious, and highly unethical experience for a so-called open public process for public land.

    Nothing like a special few Bainbridge Islanders forcing themselves and their agenda on others to get their way even if it means side stepping the law and being disrespectful of fellow citizens who came to express their rightful valid concerns about public land.

    If you have previously expressed differing opinions from the self appointed Park Group you were obviously teamed with several facilitators. Nonsense.

    Instead I will submit my comments in writing (additional 3 page document) below.

    Respectfully,
    Melanie Keenan
    Parent, Professional Geologist and Hydrogeologist, Artist and Master Gardener.

    Comments for park designs at the Unocal Site Hazardous Waste Site February 17, 2012

    A fundamental principal of successful design whether that be landscaping or art is predicated on a basic connection and relationship with the materials and land you are working with.

    To side step the obvious overriding issues with the site, THE UNOCAL HAZARDOUS WASTE SITE, will impede the outcome of even the most talented experienced landscape architect, and render a less than satisfactory outcome.

    Yes folks, this is a hazardous waste site. There is a reason it has been fenced off for years and is listed on Ecology’s Hazardous Sites List with a ranking of 2.

    Remaining ignorant about this site and just sticking a park sign in only benefits a hand full of investors or related Island Gateway Developers, at great expense to the citizens of Bainbridge Island.

    Continuing to hide the obvious from the public and state otherwise is reprehensible. I liken this to a teenager 8 months gone trying to tell the adults in her life that she is only a little pregnant.

    What proof do we have to say the site is clean enough when the agencies with jurisdiction overseeing the enforcement of handling of toxic materials documents otherwise?

    How can we say the contamination is only at depth when there is a data gap and sampling results above reporting levels for existing surface materials?

    What are we hiding when we refuse to do 12 basic surface samples to demonstrate that the site is fit for a park? Why not determine these basic conditions with actual testing results? This will provide for more possibilities in park design and insure a successful outcome.

    As a responsible body of intelligent people setting precedent for our future generations, let us sample the site and do work recommended by Ecology, implement the obvious first steps to a common sense approach to designing a park on a known Hazardous Waste Site.
    1. Characterize and define the site to rule out contamination that is dangerous to human health and the environment, and isolate areas that need to be addressed, by sampling the surface and wells, and pumping out the free product that remains after its discovery 20 years ago.

    2. Develop a remedial cleanup action with the approval of Ecology based on these sampling results coupled with existing reporting and past efforts to clean the site. Malcolm Gander, professional Geologist and Hydrogeologist, and myself after extensive research and communications with the Department of Ecology have put together a draft application for $200,000.00 worth of funding from the DOE to help offset the necessary costs of step one and two. Coupled with the Park Group funding this is a prime candidate for very successful endeavor.

    3. Then finalize designs for a park taking into consideration testing results and remediation requirements so the park can accommodate necessary cleanup features besides just the 13 wells, along with geographic parameters of the property.
    .
    a. Design to accommodate for necessary remediation features to clean the site, example, possible breakaway fencing to isolate wells that need sampling and pumping. Make way for a few other wells. This will help determine possible locations for paths and design features.
    b. Slope stability issues associated with the Ravine. Do we do a few tests to determine before hand how close to the edge park features can safely extend, and how do you incorporate required safety considerations associated with a 70’ drop? Especially since extensive disturbance of soils from excavation and removal on the site has occurred in recent years.
    c. Work with Kitsap Transit and City Engineer to determine the amount of land slated for road widening documented in the property deed, and determine the future boundary. Thus design the park taking this future major alteration into consideration so as not to disturb mature plantings later on. Design placement of vegetation to help buffer the park from nearby road traffic now and into the future even with the planned expansion of the adjacent roadbed.
    d. Truly honor and welcome citizens and visitors to the Island with an honest approach to making a Hazardous Waste site a park.

    4. Now for the opportunity to set aside my geologic/engineering hard hat, and don my artistic beret. After we as a community responsibly take care of essential business associated with Hazardous Waste we can freely consider the aesthetic components of park design.
    a. Have a community contest to solicit local talent and draw the community together for locally commissioned art for the park.
    b. Incorporate and repeat existing natural features and vegetation of the Ravine and surrounding area into the park to expand the feel of the actual smaller useable space.
    c. Use natural material such as wood from local downed trees designed into park benches or signs by local craftsman for people friendly components to the park.
    d. By addressing the contamination you can provide for the excellent suggestion of a wildlife habitat from another citizen. Especially if you honestly address the seeps in the ravine down gradient of existing wells with documented contamination, revitalizing the Winslow Creek below which is part of the site and a shoreline, tidal zone feature.

    There is great potential for a future park at this public site, but only if you truly honor all citizen input in a truly open public process, and properly address the obvious issues of the Hazardous Waste in accordance with State Law. I look forward to a better process from my elected officials and fellow Islanders.

    • Joanne Onorato Horticulture Sustainable design Wetlands Management 17 years on Bainbridge 3 kids 1 bike commuting husband 1 cat Lots of friends who share my vision says:

      I agree with Melanie. I am not alone. The site is clearly TOXIC. I have conducted my own research with fellow concerned citizens. There is clealry seepage at the base of the ravine. You can see the irredescent sheen and smell gasoline when the tide is out. As Melanie has stated the Department of Ecology has it on a shortlist of most toxic sites in Washington State giving it a 2 out of 5 (1 being the most serious concern ). True the Dept of Ecology does not list any further test results since 2008 and has it listed as a site they plan to work on…BUT there is nothing better than to bring the site into the public eye to give it the attention it needs to get things rolling. Historically it is proven Ecology and the Public will respond when attention and fact be made a focus of concern.
      I could not imagine on an island with Scientists, Environmentalists, Engineers,Geologists,Hydrologists,Plant Pathologists, Horticulturists,with Sustainability groups, Land Trusts, Wildlife Protectionists,a population professing to “grow local -buy local” and “go green” “organic” “friends of the Farm” Sound Food” organizations like Islandwood and businesses like Teregrin(Pioneers of eco friendly Bamboo flooring) that the population would be complacent about having a Park on top of a Toxic Dump site.
      John PaulJones talks about raising $300,000.00 to beautify this”eyesore” that’a a big figure for some indiganous plants art work and a massive volunteer crew.
      I support the efforts of the Citizen Park Group, I support our Downtown, Our Art Museum, our foot and cycle commuters coming home to an asthetically pleasing welcome.
      Lets do it right. Lets continue to raise awareness so we can continue to lead the way into a clean tomorrow. Lets be valiant and true stewards of our Island home . LETS CLEAN IT UP FIRST AND FOREMOST. I want to see the Citizen Park Commitee Raise their funds and their support to do what it takes as outlined in Melanies plan above.
      With all of us WORKING TOGETHER what a force we can be! WE are not talking about an area as big as the creosote site…lets bring back the ecosystem to function with the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees, with clean water and clean air!☺☀♡

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