Silverdale Farmer's Market thrown a curveball

The Tuesday farmer’s market in front of the WestCoast Silverdale Hotel ran afoul of an inspector from the Kitsap County Department of Community Development last week.

Depending on who you listen to, inspector Steve Mount overreached and threatened to close the market down if they didn’t get a conditional use permit.

But others say Mount was only doing his job in trying to bring the market into compliance.

The result? The market’s manager Monica Phillips has been busy since last week bringing together reams of information for county officials, so the market can remain open until late September in front of the hotel every Tuesday.

“I understand his concerns,” said Phillips on Monday. “We want to be in compliance.”

Darryl Piercy, assistant planner for the DCD, said the county has no intention of closing the market down.

“In this case we have something on a properly that probably everybody is in approval of,” Piercy said June 19 when the matter was first brought before the Central Kitsap Community Council. “Our intention would be to keep the Farmer’s Market Open.”

Piercy said Mount was only doing his job when he approached the WestCoast Silverdale Hotel about the market.

He did not talk with manager Kevin Wojcik who was busy at the time, but left a list of things the hotel needed to do to get the market in compliance.

“I was taken by surprise,” said Wojcik. “It seemed a little excessive.”

But Piercy said Mount’s job is singular.

“They go into the field with the intent of getting people in compliance,” said Piercy. “We are generally very flexible on those kinds of issues.”

Piercy said the county was concerned about safety and traffic concerns linked to the farmer’s market.

“It creates traffic and it is not a usual business associated with a hotel,” Piercy said.

Meanwhile, Phillips has been busy addressing many items since Mount inspected the market.

She will show the county where the market’s signage is, provide detailed maps, show how emergency vehicles can get in and out of the market, where the bathroooms are, how any food handlers have obtained permits, how chairs have been set up for elderly people and myriad other details.

“We even have weights on the tents in case the winds come up,” Phillips said. “We do a lot to ward off any insurance hazards.”

Phillips is an exhibitor herself at the market, showing pickled vegetables, jams and jellies.

In the end, the problem may be solved with a simple conditional use permit obtained for a nominal sum from the county.

“If we have to pay the $100 we will,” Phillips said. “It will be a lot cheaper than having to move.”

Phillips said some of the exhibitors “would kick in the $100 themselves.”

Phillips said the market has 36 exhibitors, up from 28 last year.

The market is four years old, having previously been located at Silverdale’s Waterfront Park and the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. This is the second year in the hotel parking lot.

“If we need to jump through hoops, we’ll do that,” Phillips said. “I wish they would be consistent. They weren’t doing this with us at the Fairgrounds.”

Piercy said the county must be consistent in granting conditional use permits which might run the gamut of dog shows, car shows, picnics and micro-beer shows.

“The codes do not judge things on their merits,” he said. “Our intent is not to inhibit anyone. I don’t believe we have set any deadline for shutting them down.”

The conditional use permit will be good for one year.

“We will try and make it as straightforward as possible,” Piercy said.

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