Gibraltar Says No to Incorporation Idea

Bruce Hill’s proposal for the Town of Gibraltar to pursue incorporating part of the municipality into a village received little support at a Dec. 4 town meeting. 

Hill said he believes that the desires of the more rural residents of the town are different from the desires of those who live and work in the downtown area that’s generally considered to be Fish Creek.

“I believe we could solve some of this frustration that we see in the town if we change the way we’re governed,” Hill said. 

State statutes govern what constitutes a village, town or city, primarily by population density. Incorporating into a village requires a minimum population of 150 residents and must begin with a petition by residents.

Hill said the community has grown too complex to be run by a part-time town chair, and that incorporating would give the village power to control its own land use and zoning. For several years, the town has been embroiled in controversy over missteps regarding the beach-expansion project, new parking lot, highway resurfacing, power lines and a failed bid to purchase land to expand its park. 

The board voted 5-0 not to pursue incorporation. 

The board also voted to officially end consideration of the Redmann property, voting 5-0 to terminate its option to purchase it. 

During the hard-to-define public-comment period (in Gibraltar, attendees may speak up at any time during board proceedings), several residents accused the board of trying to sneak in incorporation to enable it to purchase the Redmann property against the wishes of town voters. 

“I’m really upset with the board right now, putting this on the agenda after the vote on the Redmann property,” said former board member Brian Hackbarth. 

Mitch Heinrichs, a Spring Road homeowner, directed his ire at Chair Dick Skare. 

“I’m just so disappointed in not only our board, but with you, Dick,” he said. “We voted on this. I think everyone hoped that this was the end of it. We appointed you people to watch out for our money.”

The subsequent proceedings of the town meeting showed that those concerns were unfounded, but the wording of the agenda items – without additional information in an agenda packet – made it difficult to discern why the items were on the agenda. 

Bike Markings Arriving on Shore Road

Sharrow in Seattle, WA. Courtesy of

They’re not much, but the first on-road bike markings are arriving on Shore Road at the entrance to Peninsula State Park. 

Two bike-rental businesses are located at the entrance to the park, but the town has no on-street markings to guide cyclists or provide bike lanes on town or park roads. Rachel Stollenwork of Edge of Park Bike Rentals said it’s a safety concern, especially with a sidewalk being added along Shore Road. 

“Having a marking on the road marking that this lane is a multi-use lane will help people be informed that they don’t have to ride on the sidewalk, and it might make drivers more aware and slow down traffic,” she said. 

Supervisor Steve Sohns said the markings are a benefit to cyclists and drivers. 

“I think it’s good both ways,” he said. “It’s good for cars to remind them that [cyclists] are there.”

The town voted to mark lanes with sharrows, a lane marking that reminds drivers that cyclists are users of the road, in both lanes of Shore Road entering the park. 

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