VIII. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT

INTRODUCTION

Economic development does not take place in isolation. It is closely linked with virtually all aspects of community life, and is an essential element of a sustainable community. Because of this fundamental relationship, it is wise to consider what economic development is expected to accomplish.

The term "economic development" is not synonymous with growth. That is, rapid population growth can occur without corresponding economic development. While Port Townsend and Jefferson County have, as a whole, experienced rapid population growth during the past 20 years, our economic base has not expanded at the same level. Economic development usually means the strengthening of an economy by providing more jobs and producing more revenue within the community, including tax revenues for local governments. Over the long term, our economy needs to be balanced and diverse enough to absorb inevitable market changes and business fluctuations. A diverse economy also provides a wider variety of job opportunities suited to all skill levels in the work force.

A primary goal of the Community Direction Statement (see Chapter HI of this Plan) is to provide more "family- wage" jobs. Providing better jobs and more economic opportunities should improve the community's ability to guarantee affordable housing to all, by raising incomes rather than having to rely on cutting the quality of housing. The result of successful economic growth is to strengthen the community's tax and employment base. A strengthened tax base enables the community to support a higher quality of life for its residents by improving public services and amenities (e.g., police and fire protection, roads, schools, libraries, parks, open space, utilities, etc.).

Ideally, economic development in Port Townsend should balance economic vitality with stability, environmental protection, and preservation of our small town atmosphere. How does this translate more specifically? The answers should come from ourselves, from our own community vision. Do we want to expand our economic base? If so, what kind of diversity do we want? What are the natural resources or other features of our community that we can build on to accomplish economic development? What would be the best jobs for our residents in terms of their compatibility with our small town atmosphere?

The purpose of this Economic Development Element is to provide guidance for maintaining, enhancing and creating economic activity within Port Townsend which is consistent with the Community Direction Statement contained in Chapter HI of this Plan.

Relationship to the Growth Management Act

An economic development element is not required for comprehensive plans developed under the Growth Management Act (GMA). However, good growth management planning should factor economic considerations. Future land uses should be closely tied to a city's economic strategy. Accordingly, this Comprehensive Plan must be closely linked and integrated with an economic strategy to guide, promote, and attract economic development appropriate for Port Townsend. Additionally, the GMA provides some direction for incorporating economic development considerations into the Comprehensive Plan. Among the 13 planning goals contained within the GMA, one pertains specifically to economic development: "Encourage economic development throughout the state that is consistent with adopted comprehensive plans, promotes economic opportunity/or all citizens of this slate, especially for unemployed and disadvantaged persons, and encourages growth in areas experiencing insufficient economic growth, all within the capacities of the state's natural resources, public services, and public facilities." (Chapter 36.70A. 020(5) RCW).

The GMA also contains goals which apply to permits and natural resource industries. These goals relate closely to a community's economic vitality: "Applications for both state and local government permits should be processed in a timely and fair manner to ensure predictability." (Chapter 36.70A.020(7) RCW). "Maintain and enhance natural resource-based industries." (Chapter 36.70A. 020(8) RCW).

The Procedural Criteria for Adopting Comprehensive Plans and Development Regulations (Chapter 365-195 WAC) were developed by the state to assist local jurisdictions in implementing the GMA. The Procedural Criteria recommend inclusion of an economic development element within the comprehensive plan. The Procedural Criteria also recommend that local jurisdictions include provisions addressing the procedures for processing development applications in a timely, fair, and predictable manner.

o    

The economic development element must also be consistent with the County-Wide Planning Policy for Jefferson County, specifically. Policy #7, "County-Wide Economic Development and Employment." (Chapter 36.70A.210 RCW). The applicable sections of that policy are summarized below:

o    

The private sector should be primarily responsible for creating economic opportunity in Jefferson County. The responsibility of local government is to assure that economic development activities are carried out in a manner that is consistent with defined community and environmental values. In order to ensure such consistency, the comprehensive plan should clearly identify these values so that economic opportunities will not be lost due to confusion or unreliability of process.

o    

The comprehensive plan should give particular attention to the needs of nonservice sector businesses and industries as a strategy for increasing the wage earning potential within the community.

o    

An economic development element should be prepared and included within the City's comprehensive plan. The element should be coordinated with the capital facilities, land use and utilities elements of the comprehensive plan.

o    

The Port Townsend UGA should be viewed as a regional service and retail center.

o    

Certain industries, due to their size or type of operation, or due to their dependence on the local resource base, should not be located within the boundaries of the Port Townsend UGA.

o    

The Port of Port Townsend's legislative authority should be used as a tool to implement industry and trade strategies, including the promotion of employment opportunities, the consolidation and parceling of property, and the development of infrastructure to meet the needs of industry consistent with the comprehensive plan and implementing regulations.

Summary of the Major Economic Development Issues Facing Port Townsend

The challenge of this element is to achieve the economic development goals outlined in the Community Direction Statement (see Chapter III of this Plan), in a way which maintains and enhances Port Townsend's special character and small town atmosphere. Major economic development issues facing Port Townsend include:

1.    What is Port Townsend's economic image?

2.    Why is economic diversity important?

3.    What role should the marine trades play m our economic future?

4.    Is there enough commercial and manufacturing land designated to meet the community's economic objectives?

5.    In the future, what criteria should be used to identify commercial and manufacturing lands?

6.    What steps can local government take to add greater certainty to the land use permitting process, ensuring that projects which conform to the plan will be allowed?

7.    Have sufficient capital facilities and services been provided to maintain existing economic activities and attract new businesses, entrepreneurs and manufacturing to the area?

8.    What transportation network improvements are necessary to promote economic activities?

9.    What utilities will be necessary to promote and support economic activities within the community?

10.    Is the community providing the right mix of housing to support its economic objectives?

11.    How can the community find a balance between environmental quality and economic growth?

12.    How will the future urban growth area boundaries affect the economic health of the City? Specifically, what role should the Glen Cove area play in the City's economic future?

13.    Does Port Townsend have a good location?

14.    What sectors of the economy should Port Townsend target for further development? Should the City try to attract new economic sectors?

15.    How does education relate to economic development in Port Townsend?

16.    Should the City actively seek to attract a four year college to Port Townsend?

17.    Given the relatively high number of seniors in our population, should providing quality health care be an economic priority?

18.    What role do the City's historic resources play in economic development and how can these resources be managed in a manner that protects the resource, while maintaining Port Townsend's quality of life and economic development potential?

The goals, policies and implementation steps of this element will address these issues and guide future economic development in Port Townsend.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT GOALS & POLICIES

The following goals, policies, and implementation strategy have their foundation in the Port Townsend 2020 Report, the Community Direction Statement contained in Chapter III of this Plan, and many hours of citizen workgroup discussion and deliberation.

Economic Development - Generally

Goal 1: To foster a balanced, diversified and sustainable local economy that contributes to Port Townsend's high quality of life, through the protection and enhancement of the community’s natural, historical, and cultural amenities, and the improvement of the financial well-being of its residents.

Policy 1.1.    Cooperate with the Department of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce, and the Main Street Project to promote economic health and diversity for Port Townsend and the County as a whole.

Policy 1.2.    Coordinate with Jefferson County, the Port of Port Townsend, the Peninsula Development Authority, and the Department of Community Trade and Economic Development to ensure that economic development strategies are carried out consistently.

Policy 1.3.    Ensure consistency between the economic development strategy of this element and the goals and policies of the other elements of this Plan.

Policy 1.4.    Maintain and enhance Port Townsend's natural, historical and cultural amenities in order to assist in attracting new businesses, retaining existing ones, and promoting economic vitality.

Policy 1.5.    Consider public-private partnerships and/or the formation of a public development authority (PDA) as a means to bolster development/redevelopment that serves the residents of and visitors to Port Townsend. [Ord. No. 3075, § 3.4, (June 18, 2012)].

Training & Education

Goal 2: To recognize the value of education as an important economic development tool and to train the workforce to develop skills for new technologies and family-wage jobs.

Policy 2.1.    Seek to expand programs of Peninsula College, Magnet Career Center, Western Washington University Long Distance Learning, Washington State University Cooperative Extension, and attract or found new institutions sufficient to provide local access to comprehensive vocational training and certification programs.

Policy 2.2.    Encourage the Port Townsend School District to attain the highest standards of academic and vocational excellence to ensure that graduates are well prepared for the workplace.

Policy 2.3.    Actively work to establish a four year college or other educational institution in Port Townsend:

2.3.1    Ensure that decisions regarding capital facilities improvements (e.g., transportation network improvements) factor consideration of potential college campus sites.

2.3.2    Consider providing tax incentives to attract a private four year college.

2.3.3    Communicate and coordinate with the Port Townsend School District and other relevant public entities when identifying potential campus sites for acquisition.

Marine Trades

Goal 3: To strengthen the marine trades economy while protecting the natural environment and balancing public use of shoreline areas.

Policy 3.1.    When revising the Port Townsend Municipal Code (PTMC) to implement this Plan, maintain and enhance Port Townsend's character as a working waterfront town by allowing marine-related commerce and industry in specified shoreline areas.

Policy 3.2.    Assist the Port in the development and implementation of master plans for Port properties that are consistent with the Growth Management Act and the Shoreline Master Program.

Policy 3.3.    Plan and design shoreline open spaces that are compatible with marine-related industrial and commercial uses of shoreline areas.

Policy 3.4.    Promote the skill, motivation and availability of Port Townsend's marine trades workforce as a regional resource of major importance to the City's economic future.

Policy 3.5.    Encourage governmental and civilian agencies to work with local firms to identify and transfer technology which can increase marine trades competitiveness.

Policy 3.6.    Encourage the creation of marine trades jobs that are dependent upon traditional skills, construction techniques, and materials, such as: sail and canvas accessory manufacture; spar and rigging construction; marine-oriented carpentry; construction of wooden boats; blacksmithing; and block-making and casting.

3.6.1    Support educational and vocational training efforts aimed at enhancing traditional marine trades skills, including mentorship and apprenticeship programs.

3.6.2    Work with the Port of Port Townsend to promote traditional marine trades enterprises on Port owned lands at both the Boat Haven and Point Hudson.

Policy 3.7.    Encourage development of a Northwest Maritime Center. [Ord. No. 2670, §1.13 (December 7, 1998)].

Diversified Manufacturing & Small Business

Goal 4: To support current commercial and manufacturing enterprises, and encourage the formation of small businesses and the relocation to Port Townsend of small scale locally managed businesses as a vital part of Port Townsend's economy.

Policy 4.1.    Assist in the identification and recruitment of new businesses appropriate to Port Townsend's resources and community vision as described in Chapter 01 of this Plan.

Policy 4.2.    Encourage industries to form consortia for the purposes of joint marketing, production and other operations improvement, and joint approaches to regulatory compliance.

Policy 4.3.    Attract employers who use a wide range of job skills to create employment opportunities for all Port Townsend residents.

Policy 4.4.    Encourage businesses to invest in modernization and environmentally sound technology.

Policy 4.5.    Encourage the exportation of local goods and services throughout the global economy.

Policy 4.6.    Promote the location, retention and expansion of small and medium sized businesses which access their markets and suppliers through telecommunications and available shipping.

Policy 4.7.    Encourage the location or relocation of small scale clean industry (e.g., high technology and other light manufacturing, subscription fulfillment, catalogue sales, consulting, etc.) which has minimal impact on environmental quality.

Policy 4.8.    Encourage the formation and expansion of cottage industries and light manufacturing.

Policy 4.9.    Encourage the development of a diversity of local businesses which serve the needs of residents and visitors.

Community Retail

Goal 5: To enhance and attract small and medium sized retail businesses which serve the community's needs for goods and services.

Policy 5.1.    Promote development of retail uses which serve local needs and diversify the selection of conveniently located goods and services.

Policy 5.2.    Plan and provide capital improvements in the Gateway Corridor to attract new businesses and entrepreneurs, enhance existing businesses, and serve the retail needs of the community.

Policy 5.3.    Promote the redevelopment efforts of Gateway Corridor land owners by helping to assemble parcels and design buildings which meet the retail needs of the community.

Policy 5.4.    Work with the Economic Development Council (EDC) and local retail business owners to strengthen and expand Port Townsend's retail base, capitalizing on opportunities to decrease retail sales leakage to neighboring communities.

Tourism

Goal 6: To maintain and enhance year round opportunities for sustainable tourism in a manner which recognizes and preserves Port Townsend's unique historic heritage, culture, recreational amenities, and natural setting.

Policy 6.1.    Encourage a balanced mix of visitor serving uses to complement the natural, cultural and historical amenities of Port Townsend.

Policy 6.2.    Develop and explore Port Townsend's potential for enhanced facilities, services and events that will appeal to residents and visitors year round.

Policy 6.5.    Work with a broad spectrum of the community to create public-private partnerships to develop year round visitor potential.

Policy 6.4.    Develop strategies to maximize sustainable tourism opportunities to help maintain existing industries and quality of life.

Policy 6.5.    Develop and implement a Comprehensive Cultural Tourism Plan.

Commercial Historic District Revitalization

Goal 7: To strengthen, preserve and enhance Port Townsend's Commercial Historic District as an active and economically viable place to shop, conduct business and government, live, and enjoy cultural events.

Policy 7.1.    Maintain public areas and ensure a safe environment to increase the use of the Commercial Historic District.

Policy 7.2.    Maintain and enhance the pedestrian oriented character of the Commercial Historic District.

Policy 7.3.    Encourage the rehabilitation, renovation, and adaptive reuse of upper floors of historic buildings (e.g., for artist studios, permanent housing, and office space) which will contribute to the vitality of the area.

Policy 7.4.    Create gateways and entrances into the Commercial Historic District through the use of enhanced plantings/street trees, and street furniture.

Policy 7.5.    Encourage development in the Commercial Historic District that harmonizes with and contributes to Port Townsend's small town atmosphere. Businesses in the district should provide services, goods, entertainment, and community gathering places for Port Townsend residents and visitors.

Policy 7.6.    Encourage the retention of existing businesses in the Commercial Historic District.

Policy 7.7.    Ensure that Commercial Historic District public improvements accomplish the following objectives: encourage pedestrian movement through the district and into shops and businesses; and support, rather than overshadow downtown functions.

Policy 7.8.    In cooperation with downtown business owners and the Main Street Program, develop a parking management strategy to encourage turnover of customer spaces and to encourage long-term parking in areas outside the Downtown

    Commercial District (e.g. use of the Haines Street Park & Ride Lot and free downtown shuttle for employee parking).

Policy 7.9:    Work with the Main Street Program to coordinate training and educational opportunities tailored for Commercial Historic District retailers (e.g., customer service/host training; understanding the market; diversifying the mix; and window and retail display).

Telecommunications

Goal 8: To provide Port Townsend with state of the art telecommunications infrastructure for business, education, public affairs and consumer uses.

Policy 8.1:    Encourage local utilities to install telecommunications infrastructure, especially high-capacity fiber optic cable.

Policy 8.2:    Offer incentives to encourage the establishment of "tele-work" stations in mixed use centers.

Policy 8.3:    Maintain up to date information regarding the infrastructure that businesses will need in the changing work place of the future.

Commercial & Manufacturing Zoning

Goal 9: To provide an adequate amount of appropriately zoned land to support commercial and manufacturing development.

Policy 9.1:    When revising the Port Townsend Municipal Code (PTMC) to implement this Plan, identify the types of commercial and manufacturing uses that are consistent with community values, estimate the demand for those types of uses, and scab the amount of commercial and manufacturing land available to projected demand and need.

Policy 9.2:    Cooperate with Jefferson County to ensure that high intensity commercial and nonresource-related industrial activities are concentrated within urban growth areas (UGAs) where adequate public facilities and services exist, or will be provided at the time of development.

Policy 9.3:    Consistent with county-wide planning policy #7.4, establish, through an Inter-local Agreement with Jefferson County, a process for reviewing applications and siting criteria for Major Industrial Developments (MID) as defined by RCW 36.70A.365.

Policy 9.4:    Expand existing commercial and manufacturing zones only after assessing and mitigating adverse environmental impacts.

Policy 9.5:    Encourage the infill of existing commercial and manufacturing zones before considering the expansion or creation of new zones.

Policy 9.6:    Provide effective separation of conflicting land uses through buffering, setbacks, zone uses allowed, and transition zones.

Policy 9.7:    Achieve a greater balance between housing and employment opportunities.

Policy 9.8:    Assure that implementing regulations permit cottage industries within residential areas, consistent with the character of the surrounding neighborhood.

Policy 9.9:    Promote development of planned office, business and industrial parks, while conserving unique physical features of the land and maintaining compatibility with other land uses in the surrounding area.

Policy 9.10:    Encourage neighborhood mixed use centers where small scale commercial development (e.g., professional services offices, restaurants, or retail stores) may occur in residential neighborhoods, consistent with the goals and policies of the Land Use Element of this Plan. [Ord. No. 2825, § 3.3, (January 6, 2003); Ord. No. 2783, § 2.1, (November 19, 2001)].

Public Facilities & Services

Goal 10: To provide adequate public facilities and responsive and efficient public services, in order to attract and support commercial and manufacturing development.

Policy 10.1:    Update infrastructure plans and regulations on a regular basis.

Policy 10.2:    In cooperation with business interests, work to make available necessary infrastructure funding.

Permit Processing/Regulatory Reform

Goal 11: To ensure responsive and efficient permit processing.

Policy 11.1:    Develop and maintain implementing regulations which ensure that development applications are processed in a timely, fair, and predictable manner.

Policy 11.2:    Establish and maintain a master use permit or consolidated permit process that allows an applicant to apply for all needed approvals at once, and for the simultaneous processing of all aspects of project approval.

Policy 11.3:    Design and implement a permit processing system that coordinates the efforts of overlapping jurisdictions (i.e., federal, state, local) in order to avoid duplicative reviews and unnecessary time delays.

Policy 11.4:    Develop and maintain a permit data management system that is coordinated with other City departments and Jefferson County (i.e., Assessor's Office).

Policy 11.5:    Maintain license and permit fees and processes which give preferential rates and expedited processing to activities furthering the goals of this Plan.

Policy 11.6:    Balance the need to process permits in a timely fashion, while at the same time ensuring that regulations intended to protect and enhance the natural environment are regularly revised and systematically enforced.

AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR PORT TOWNSEND

The Strategy

Introduction

Traditionally, local governments have played a significant, though limited role in shaping how local economies perform. Regional, national and global economies have had a much greater impact on the local economy than economic development plans and policies adopted by local jurisdictions. When local government has been involved, its leadership in promoting economic development has usually been limited to several key areas, including:

o    

Land use (i.e., zoning development standards, permit processing);

o    

Public facility and infrastructure investments (e.g., utilities, transportation improvements, public safety, parks, visitor amenities, etc.); and

o    

Marketing cooperation and coordination with other entities (e.g., Jefferson County, Port of Port Townsend, Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council (EDC), citizens and property owners, businesses, etc.).

Like these earlier efforts, the City's economic development strategy' also focusses on these key areas:

o    

Policies have been incorporated which ensure that Port Townsend will have an adequate supply of appropriately zoned land to support future commercial and manufacturing development.

o    

Direction has been included which will help to guide the City in streamlining its permit processing system to provide more timely, fair and predictable permit processing. When implemented, these measures will help to ensure that the City will not miss opportunities for economic development due to delay or uncertainty of process.

o    

Additionally, policies have been included which will help to ensure that appropriate public services and facilities are in place to attract and support economic development.

o    

Finally, policies have been included which foster cooperation and coordination with entities ranging from the Port of Port Townsend, Jefferson County and the EDC, to the State Department of Community Trade and Economic Development. These provisions ensure that government agencies and other entities will work together to develop and implement consistent strategies which promote the economic health and diversity of the area.

In addition to emphasizing these traditional components of an economic development strategy, the City's approach seeks to clearly articulate a course of action which will help to improve the job skills available in the workforce, bolster several sectors of our local economy, and improve our telecommunications infrastructure. The strategy seeks to maximize our potential for future economic growth in a manner which is consistent with community and environmental values. Major areas of emphasis within the strategy include:

o    

Training/Education;

o    

Marine Trades;

o    

Diversified Manufacturing and Small Business (e.g., small scale "clean" industry);

o    

Tourism (which capitalizes on opportunities for year round cultural and educational visitation);

o    

Retail Trades (including a Commercial Historic District revitalization component); and

o    

Telecommunications Infrastructure.

The key ingredients of the strategy are discussed in more detail below.

[Note: The City Council acknowledges and appreciates the efforts of the Citizen Workgroup and the Planning Commission in prioritizing these implementation steps. Nevertheless, the Council believes that priorities for these steps should be established during the 1997 Budget process in light of the City's limited financial and staff resources.]

Training/Education

Building and diversifying our economic base must begin with support for the survival and expansion of local small business. It is as important to prevent businesses from going out of business as it is to attract new businesses. The new cannot replace what has been the backbone of our economy, but it can enhance our economic base. How can we retain existing business and industry while setting the stage for sustainable future growth? The unifying principle of the strategy lies in improving the skills available in our labor force.

Port Townsend possesses many highly educated individuals. Nevertheless, many possess job skills which are not directly relevant to the economic sectors we wish to encourage. To address this situation, the strategy envisions a three step scheme for improving workforce skills.

The first step involves maintaining and expanding the capacity to provide rapid turn around training for workers. This should be accomplished by obtaining additional funding for the Economic Development Council (EDC) or the Jefferson Education Foundation to revitalize the Magnet Center or launch similar training facilities. The mission of the Magnet Center should be specific: to provide short course vocational and certification training programs to enhance competence of employees in the marine trades and retail sales sectors.

The second step requires working with Peninsula Community College to develop a local engineering/ manufacturing capability. To facilitate this, the City, through a citizen advisory committee, should work with Peninsula College to identify curricula and degree programs which promote Port Townsend's economic vision. Examples of possible degree programs include two year Associate's Degrees in engineering and natural resource management.

The final step involves City purchase and lease of suitable land (e.g., Department of Natural Resources land adjacent to the City limits) for a training/education campus. For example the EDC, under contract with the City, would lease sites for a diversity of entities and institutions such as the Magnet Center, Peninsula College, Western Washington University Long Distance Learning, and Washington State University Cooperative Extension. In time, the campus might also serve as the location for technologically sophisticated and environmentally friendly incubator industries, and could grow into a Washington branch campus or an independent four year college.

Implementation:

1.    Promote vocational training and educational opportunities which strengthen and increase the skills available in the workforce.

2.    Involve the Port Townsend School District in key discussions (e.g., a "manufacturer's roundtable", discussed below) which relate to the economic development of the City in order to facilitate a better understanding of the skills needed in the local job market.

3.    Obtain immediate funding for the Jefferson Education Foundation or the EDC to continue the Magnet Center.

4.    Work with Peninsula College to develop a local engineering/manufacturing capability: Provide direction to Peninsula College regarding what programs would facilitate the community's vision (e.g., Associate's Degrees in engineering and natural resource management).

5.    Work with the Department of Natural Resources to purchase and lease land suitable for a technical training/education campus (note: a diversity of institutions such as the Magnet Center, Peninsula College and Washington Long Distance Learning could establish facilities on campus).

6.    In conjunction with the establishment of a technical training/education center, examine the feasibility of attracting an on campus research station to Port Townsend.

7.    Facilitate a formal process involving all Jefferson County School Districts, EDC, Chamber, Main Street. Washington State University Cooperative Extension, Western Washington University, Peninsula College, and the University of Washington to determine what opportunities and obstacles exist to attracting a quality four year college to Port Townsend.

8.    Enlist the EDC to work with the Education Foundation in recruiting a four year educational institution to Port Townsend.

9.    Under the Mayor of Port Townsend's signature, send letters to the Deans of Instruction of all four year public and private colleges and universities in Washington State apprising them of Port Townsend's desire to attract a four year institution of higher education within the next 9 years.

10.    Sponsor a twice yearly Mayor's Workshop on "Future Prospects for Higher Education in Port Townsend" designed to attract Deans of Instruction to town and maintain an ongoing dialogue with candidate institutions.

11.    Designate a member of the Building and Community Development Department as the City's official "Education Liaison" for the college recruitment effort.

12.    Develop and maintain updated college recruitment information to provide to candidate institutions and the local news media.

13.    Work with Main Street, the Chamber of Commerce, EDC and other local entities to ensure that informational and recruitment publications emphasize Port Townsend as the "City that supports culture and education on the Olympic Peninsula."

14.    Research, identify, and offer appropriate incentives for businesses that provide "in-house" training and education to bolster employee skills.

Marine Trades

The Community Direction Statement of this Plan (see Chapter III) describes the community we wish Port Townsend to become in the next 20 years. The statement makes clear that marine-related commerce and industry and maintenance of the "working waterfront" character of the City are central to the community's vision.

The potential for expansion of the marine trades sector of our local economy is considerable. The largest obstacles to growth of this industrial sector include: a lack of appropriately located and zoned vacant land; and a lack of Port infrastructure to service larger and increased numbers of boats. As long ago as 1985, the Economic Development Council's (EDC) economic development strategy indicated that added moorage, water side work space, large capacity lifts and haulout facilities and port area improvements were necessary to allow expansion. Completion of the 200 ton enhanced haul-out facility will go a long way towards alleviating existing infrastructure needs.

The City should play a key role in encouraging the marine trades economy. One important step the City should take is to plan and zone to promote marine-related commerce and industry in specific shoreline areas. Equally important is the City's role in cooperating with the Port to develop and implement master plans for Port properties which are consistent and coordinated with City plans and programs. Finally, the City should take a leadership role in promoting the skills available in Port Townsend's marine trades workforce.

Implementation:

1.    Work with the Port of Port Townsend to develop the infrastructure (e.g., the enhanced haul-out facility) necessary to facilitate the growth of the marine trades economy.

2.    Work with the Port of Port Townsend in exploring options to ensure alternative transient moorage facilities.

3.    Work with the Port of Port Townsend to obtain "pass through" grant funding to finance stormwater management planning and facility improvements on Port owned lands.

4.    Encourage and assist the Port in developing a master plan for the Boat Haven properties.

5.    Assist the Port in the development and implementation of master plans for Port properties that are consistent with the Growth Management Act and the Shoreline Master Program. [Ord. No. 2945, § 1.6, (April 16, 2007)].

6.    Enhance the Magnet Career Center's efforts to provide vocational training which expands the skills available in the marine trades workforce.

7.    Encourage the Port to work with the Indian Island Naval Detachment to organize and establish a yearly marine "trades show" which borrows upon the technical expertise of the federal government to build and enhance the job skills available in the marine trades workforce.

8.    Cooperate with the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding to organize and promote seminars, workshops and trade exhibitions designed to attract wide attendance while showcasing Port Townsend's quality marine trades industry.

Diversified Manufacturing & Small Business

The economic development strategy envisions Port Townsend as the center of eastern Jefferson County's economy and employment, with a diversity of commercial and industrial activities thriving and providing employment opportunities for residents. The strategy also envisions that cottage based industries and low impact light manufacturing will have a strong presence in the community.

Small manufacturers and emerging technologies deserve special attention in the City's strategy for two principle reasons. First, small manufacturers are able to more rapidly respond to changes in the market place. Economic diversity can be strengthened if we have a variety of small companies doing different things, rather than one large company doing one thing. Second, small scale diversified manufacturing has a tremendous potential to generate additional employment opportunities (note: statistics indicate that for every one manufacturing job created, five more jobs are created in support services and other manufacturing).

For these reasons, the City's strategy seeks to assist in the identification and recruitment of small scale "clean" industry and cottage based industries which are appropriate to Port Townsend's resources and vision. The

strategy also describes the City's role as "facilitator" in encouraging industries to pursue joint marketing opportunities which could lead to exportation of local goods and services throughout the global economy.

Implementation:

1.    Designate and zone a sufficient amount of land to support small scale "clean" manufacturing.

2.    Ensure that the 6 year Capital Facilities Plan targets areas designated for small scale "clean" manufacturing for necessary infra structure improvements.

3.    Research, identify and offer development incentives for new businesses and business expansions which are appropriate to Port Townsend's resources and vision.

4.    Establish a "quick response" team comprised of key officials and staff members who are available to meet with, and provide guidance to, prospective business developers.

5.    Contract with the Economic Development Council (EDC) to develop and make available to prospective businesses vital economic development information regarding the City, including, but not limited to; economic base; capital infrastructure; City permitting processes; and specific sectors desired by the City.

6.    Organize and facilitate a manufacturer's roundtable to identify and pursue joint marketing opportunities, and to examine the possibilities for increased foreign trade.

7.    Review, and if necessary, amend existing zoning regulations to allow compatible home based businesses and cottage industries in residential areas.

8.    Develop a listing of all available sources of funding for economic development efforts.

Community Retail

The City's economic development strategy recognizes the fact that service industries, including retailing, are the fastest growing sector of the U.S. economy. In Jefferson County, about 26% of all jobs are in either the wholesale or retail trades. While these jobs may not have a "spin off" effects that manufacturing jobs have, they nevertheless provide many meaningful employment opportunities, fulfill community shopping needs, and boost local government revenues.

The Community Direction Statement (see Chapter HI of this Plan) and the City's economic development strategy both recognize the importance of retail trades to our local economy and quality of life. The community vision places special emphasis on building the strength and vitality of existing businesses, and minimizing retail sales leakage to neighboring jurisdictions.

One significant role local government can play in promoting community retail trades lies in providing and maintaining public infrastructure and improvements in commercial districts throughout town. In this regard, the City's strategy should place special emphasis on implementation of the recommendations of the Port Townsend Gateway Development Plan. This Plan is in reality a comprehensive public improvements plan which could aid in improving the quality of the physical link between public and private spaces in the commercial districts along the Sims Way/Water Street corridor from the Ferry Terminal to the City limits.

Implementation:

1.    Carry out the capital improvements recommendations contained in the Port Townsend Gateway Development Plan.

2.    In conjunction with the EDC, study local market conditions, identify areas for additional retail opportunities, and work with business owners and entrepreneurs to create strategies that build on those opportunities.

3.    Help existing businesses find better ways to meet their customer's needs and expand to meet market opportunities.

Tourism

The City's strategy focusses on managing and integrating tourism into the economy while safeguarding the unique qualities which bring residents and visitors to Port Townsend in the first place.

Many residents feel that peak season tourist volumes in Port Townsend are at or near the saturation point. Additionally, surveys indicate that preservation of the heritage, culture and environment of Port Townsend is critical to the community. Accordingly, the focus of the strategy is maintaining and enhancing sustainable year round opportunities for visitation. Reducing the "seasonality" of the tourist industry could reduce the fluctuation in income, employment and tax revenues in the retail and service sectors. Additionally, reducing seasonality could diminish impacts to the environment, downtown parking demands, and overall conflicts between residents and visitors.

Implementation:

1.    Provide adequate funding to the Tourism Advisory Group to promote off-season cultural and educational visitation to Port Townsend.

2.    Enlist the assistance of the Chamber of Commerce, Main Street and Economic Development Council (EDC) in researching and identifying small businesses, organizations and associations which hold off- season educational meetings and corporate retreats.

3.    Examine the feasibility of establishing and funding a maritime museum.

4.    Contract with the Main Street Program or the Chamber of Commerce to provide ongoing customer service training for retail and service sector businesses.

5.    Obtain adequate funding for the Visitor Information Center.

6.    Assist the Main Street Program and the Chamber of Commerce in developing a targeted marketing program which clearly defines the tourist market, establishes strategies for reaching target markets, and communicates when and how best to come for maximum enjoyment of the area.

7.    Improve and expand signage, both directional and interpretive, throughout the City.

8.    Work with the Main Street Program, the Chamber of Commerce and the EDC to develop a mechanism for the collection and continuous maintenance of target market information.

Commercial Historic District Revitalitation

Port Townsend's plan for revitalization of the Commercial Historic District identifies three important areas of involvement for City government.

First, the City's plan should ensure the provision and maintenance of appropriate public improvements in the Commercial Historic District. The quality of the physical link between public and private spaces is crucial to the proper functioning of the Commercial Historic District - and its businesses. Public improvements should help create an inviting environment for shoppers, with clearly marked streets, convenient shopping places, well-lit sidewalks and good pathways between parking areas and stores. Public improvements should provide basic infrastructure and services in a manner that is visually compatible with the nature of the functions they support. In order to implement the Commercial Historic District revitalization policies of this element, the City should develop a comprehensive public improvements program which is tailored to the specific needs of the district while reinforcing private projects.

Second, the City's plan should provide adequate parking and parking management to meet the needs of customers, merchants, employees, visitors and residents. It should be regulated to encourage turnover of customer spaces and to discourage abuse by long-term parkers. In order to ensure well designed, maintained and managed parking in the Commercial Historic District, the City should develop a parking management strategy. The parking management strategy should take into account not only the numbers and locations of parking spaces, but also methods of enforcement - the incentives and disincentives that can be used to encourage parking in certain areas.

Finally, the City should provide assistance to the Main Street Program in strengthening the Commercial Historic District's existing economic base and gradually expanding it. The City, in conjunction with the Main Street Program, should work to enhance diverse resident and visitor-based commercial activities and community events in the downtown.

Implementation:

1.    In cooperation with the Main Street Program and merchants, develop a comprehensive public improvements program for the Commercial Historic District which is tailored to the specific needs of the area while reinforcing private projects. The program should:

a.    Help to develop public/private partnerships to improve the pedestrian environment:

b.    Promote the use of pedestrian visible signage in the Commercial Historic District; and

c.    Ensure that Commercial Historic District public improvements are adequately maintained in order to create a pleasant environment.

2.    In cooperation with the Main Street Program and merchants, develop a Commercial Historic District parking management strategy. In developing the program the City should:

a.    Examine incentive based programs, coupled with education, to reverse resistance to using more remote parking areas; and

b.    Consider a variety of parking control alternatives, including: parking meters; chalking tires; cash boxes; and parking permits.

3.    In conjunction with the Main Street Program, the City should work to strengthen the Commercial Historic District's existing economic base and gradually expand it. Activities which should be pursued through the Main Street Program include:

a.    Studying local market conditions, identifying areas of opportunity and designating strategies to build on those opportunities;

b.    Helping existing businesses find better ways to meet their customer's needs and expand to meet market opportunities;

c.    Recruit new businesses to complement the district's retail and service mix and boost overall market effectiveness;

d.    Find new or better uses for under-used or vacant downtown buildings; and

e.    Seminars and short courses offered to merchants regarding: customer service/host training; understanding the market; diversifying the mix; and window and retail display.

4.    Coordinate with the Main Street Program to maintain an organizational structure which is efficient and effective in promoting the Commercial Historic District. Activities which should be pursued through the Main Street Program include:

a.    Promoting events which enliven the Commercial Historic District; and

b.    Maintaining an ongoing planning and action program involving the business community of the Commercial Historic District. [Ord. No. 2825, § 3.3, (January 6, 2003)].

Telecommunications

The City's strategy pays special attention to upgrading telecommunications infrastructure to promote home based personal and professional service businesses. The City, in cooperation with the Economic Development Council (EDC) should play an important role in researching and identifying aspects of the City's infrastructure which must be upgraded in order to make our community "tele-friendly" for the many "footloose" businesses moving to our area. It is anticipated that implementation of this strategy will result in the installation of high capacity fiber optic cable in our area, and the establishment of "tele-work" stations complete with FAX machines, copiers, and computers in Port Townsend's mixed use centers. One day, we might think of such stations the same way we think of bus stops today!

Implementation:

1.    Task the EDC to research and prepare periodic reports identifying those aspects of the City's telecommunications infrastructure which require improvement in order to facilitate economic development.

2.    Contact telecommunications utility providers in an effort to "fast track" the provision of high capacity fiber optic cable to the Port Townsend area.

3.    Complete renegotiation of the City's current cable franchise.

Measuring Our Success

Without concrete targets it is difficult to monitor the success of an economic development strategy once implemented. The overall goal of the strategy is to foster a net increase of at least 680 "family-wage" jobs within five years of adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, and 2,700 "family-wage" jobs by the end of the 20 year planning horizon. "Family wage" jobs can be described as those which pay a wage or salary which allows

an individual or family to purchase a home within Port Townsend, feed and clothe a family, pay for medical care, take a vacation, save for retirement, and send the kids to college (hopefully here in Port Townsend!). This target assumes that the Port Townsend Paper Mill does not close, and that Admiral Marine Works does not choose to consolidate its operations in Port Angeles.

To meet these employment targets, a healthy business climate needs to be nurtured in Port Townsend. This can be done by building on Port Townsend's economic development potentials, and overcoming its constraints. Positive momentum must be started. The community must see the possibilities, believe that the strategy is possible, and believe that the approach will enhance the viability and character of the community.