Horse and cow, but no automobiles

After hearing from residents fed up with constant overflow parking at the nearby Horse and Cow pub, the Kitsap County Commissioners approved a no-parking zone for a section of Northlake Way on Monday, April 15.

Twenty-five Northlake Way neighbors signed a petition in February requesting a no-parking zone and citing safety hazards.

“This road was never intended for parking,” said County Commissioner Tim Botkin, holding up a thick file on the parking problem.

“This problem needs to be cured immediately,” Commissioner Chris Endresen said.

The no-parking zone will run along Northlake Way between Chico Way and and the Star Valley Grocery, including the triangle intersection of Northlake and the Seabeck Highway, along with Seabeck Highway between the railroad tracks and the triangle.

Kitsap County traffic safety inspector Dusty Wiley said no-parking signs could be installed by the end of the week.

Neighbors attending the commissioners meeting audibly sighed their relief after the commissioners approved the no-parking zone.

“This is a public safety issue,” said Patrick Pardee, a Northlake neighbor. “It is an issue of safety of both body and property.”

Neighbors said the parking, noise and traffic problems have been worsening since October. Some area residents complained of rowdy behavior outside the busy pub.

Cars have been spotted parked partially in traffic and blocking driveways. The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department has responded to dozens of complaints about the bar over the last six months.

The establishment used to be known as the Boondocks, neighbors said, and was known for its family atmosphere and hamburger menu.

A drainage field was installed on the property before it reopened as the Horse and Cow, eliminating much of the on-site parking. Pub patrons have taken to parking on nearby streets.

For some, it has literally interfered with lives.

Brothers Larry and Steve Eyler said two ambulances and a fire truck had difficulty negotiating Northlake Way, which was cramped with parked cars and pedestrian traffic, one Friday night in February.

Their father, who had a history of respiratory problems, had called 911 for emergency medical help.

Adding to the confusion that night, a law enforcement had parked his patrol car in front of the elder Eyler’s residence while issuing a drunk driving ticket.

The ambulances couldn’t find Eyler’s driveway at first. The delay pushed back the arrival of paramedics by four and a half minutes.

“They couldn’t revive him,” said Larry Eyler. “Four and a half minutes. Who’s to say?”

The Eylers, along with the other neighbors, hope to continue working with the county on other problems caused by the pub.

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