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Old 01-04-2007, 06:18 PM
 
Location: california
4 posts, read 48,288 times
Reputation: 14

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I've lived in northern california for the last 20 yrs and have decided to move to the Olympic Penninsula in March 2007. I have a few relatives scattered between Port Townsend and Sequim and have been trying to decide on which place to settle in. Im married and have 5 kids, I've been a dispatcher and customer service manager for the last 10 yrs or so and am not worried about finding work. My husband is a computer geek and jack of all trades so that doesnt worry me too much either. The kids are 17, 13, 11, 7, and 2 and in to various things like basketball and guitar. Which is the better choice?? I've been reading the threads on this forum and its all been very interesting but Im running out of time ....Please help me decide!!
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
454 posts, read 781,709 times
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Personally I like Port Townsend. The area is very historic and beautiful, it does get you closer to Seattle in general so the drive is better. You will probably like both areas, so I guess much may depend on the housing situation - cost size and style.
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:39 AM
 
295 posts, read 610,038 times
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Port Townsend certainly has more cultural activities, historic architecture, is in a more scenic location, and has more parks in and near the city. PT has an annual music and jazz festival, wooden boat festival, film festival, etc. The political atmosphere is more liberal and progressive than Sequim.

However, there is a big premium on the cost of housing, particularly on those within walking/biking distance of downtown or of Fort Warden state park. Part of the reason is inherent in the limited geography, part of it is land use and growth policies. If you go further out (into PT's recently annexed urban growth area to the west, or south towards Port Hadlock or Chimacum, and away from the shore), that premium decreases, but it's still present for any location within commuting distance. (But, if you're coming with typical CA home equity, this might not be an issue.)

The PT school system has below average test scores and higher than average dropout rates for many years, but high school test scores jumped up last year.

Sequim is growing more rapidly, has lower housing costs, and a larger and more affordable selection of available homes. Property taxes and utilities are a bit lower. The school system is consistantly above average by all measures. There is more shopping available in Sequim, both local and "big box" stores. Sequim has an annual Lavender festival and an Irrigation Festival (like a mini-county fair). Sequim has a nice Aquatic Center with indoor swimming pool. Olympic National Park and Forest are more accessible from Sequim.

Both towns have weekend farmer's markets and local theater groups. Both attract retirees and those interested in changing their careers; the average age in Sequim is 56, Port Townsend 44, WA and US 36 (2003 data). Teenagers in both towns complain "there isn't much to do" (but that may be a good thing?).

Unemployment in both PT (4.1%) and Sequim (4.6%, Nov 2006) are at 16-year lows. Part of the reason is the shortage of rentals and affordable, entry-level housing. Both have seen consistant job growth since the 2002 recession.

I think it's fair to say that PT is a more interesting place, while Sequim has better schools and is less expensive. Don't worry, they are both good places, you can't go wrong, and you're fortunate to have this choice!
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Old 01-05-2007, 12:59 PM
 
Location: california
4 posts, read 48,288 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks for taking the time to answer me and help me out

Unfortunately, we arent coming to town with a large bundle of cash from the sale of our overpriced home in California, ohhh how I WISH! Actually we're just a hard working family looking for a place to raise our kids and put down some roots and eventually buy some property and build a place to live out the rest of our days.

Sequim really holds no appeal for me mostly because it is larger, more city like retirement oriented and Republican I mean that in the nicest way possible .. honestly lol
Im not a tree hugging liberal but I am a bit opinionated and am not a big fan of government, corporations and large business.

My dilema is purely a family oriented one... does Port Townsend or Port Angeles have the most to offer my children in terms of activities and a decent education? Which community is more likely to be the one my kids can become involved in, because I plan on staying for life.

I understand that Port Townsend is closing their middle school and it has the only community pool available in town for the kids. Then today I was reading the Port Angeles website and it looks like they are closing a middle school and elementary school also .. this makes me nervous
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Old 01-06-2007, 02:30 AM
 
295 posts, read 610,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditzymoi View Post
...My dilema is purely a family oriented one... does Port Townsend or Port Angeles have the most to offer my children in terms of activities and a decent education? Which community is more likely to be the one my kids can become involved in, because I plan on staying for life.

I understand that Port Townsend is closing their middle school and it has the only community pool available in town for the kids. Then today I was reading the Port Angeles website and it looks like they are closing a middle school and elementary school also .. this makes me nervous
First, sorry that I was confused over whether you were considering Sequim or Port Angeles vs Port Townsend.

Port Angeles has a wider range of more affordable housing, and lower median house prices, than Sequim and certainly than PT. So it has a wider range of incomes, as well. PA does have higher city utility costs and property tax rates, but this is balanced by lower assessed values. PA is larger than Sequim, so has more activities for kids. But neither PA nor Sequim can offer the cultural activities of PT.

Politically, PA is slightly conservative; Sequim a bit more so, but it is the "West End" of Clallam Co. (Forks etc) that is as conservative as eastern WA. PA voting records are mixed, with a slight Republican majority. There is politics, but the town isn't strongly polarized, relative to most places. In contrast, PT is strongly Democratic (although the remainder of Jefferson Co. is not).

In general, the school test scores and dropout rates for PA are near state averages (Sequim is above, PT below the average). PA seems to do an adequate job of preparing motivated students, who take all the available scholastic courses, for college; an adequate but not superior job. By that I mean that the PA HS grads I've met who enter college typically have a big adjustment to make (from being "A students" to merely average freshmen, who realize they don't have the academic preparation that Bellevue, Pullman, or other top districts in the state provide. Most of them survive, but frankly not all do.)

PA also has the small but growing Peninsula (Junior) College for the less academically motivated students to repeat the HS classes they need for university entrance, or pursue a limited range of 2-year vocational degrees.

The school closures result from reduced enrollments (due to the graduation of the "baby boom echo" cohort), and are a choice between increased needs for maintenance on older buildings vs. better support for programs. So the choice is three schools each 2/3 full vs. two full schools. Consolidation reduces maintenance and administrative costs. So I don't view this as alarming, just sensible.

In contrast, Sequim is growing, so the schools are newer, more attractive and growing, and an additional elementary school is planned.

PA and Sequim have indoor community swimming pools. PA recently voted down a referendum to build a big new pool, but this will likely come up again. Sequim's has monthly membership fees, but kids in swim team or PE get in free in limited hours. I don't know about the PT pool situation.

Least important, but often mentioned, is the appearance of the town. PA's east entrance along Hwy 101 is not appealing, especially the 2 miles outside of city limits. Downtown isn't vibrant. But around it is a nice community with an improving economy in a gorgeous location, so don't be put off by a first impression.

PA is a good place to raise a family. Again, I don't think you can "go wrong" by choosing any of these three towns, so hope you don't stress too much about the decision. Best wishes.

Last edited by RodFarlee; 01-06-2007 at 02:47 AM..
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:15 AM
 
Location: california
4 posts, read 48,288 times
Reputation: 14
Thumbs up thanks

I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions After a lot of discussion and reading and looking at pictures (and sleepless nights) we decided that Port Angeles is where we will land.
Port Townsend looks fantastic too but it is right up the road and perfect for day trips to visit family and take in some of its culture.
Hopefully being in Port Angeles will give us a little extra $$ so we can scout out that perfect piece of property to build our dream house

Thanks again
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Old 01-07-2007, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Port Angeles
52 posts, read 331,642 times
Reputation: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ditzymoi View Post
... we decided that Port Angeles is where we will land.

Welcome to Port Angeles
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:51 PM
 
Location: california
4 posts, read 48,288 times
Reputation: 14
Thank you psprague

We're very excited and looking for a place to rent and checkin out the jobs online ... wish us luck!
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Old 01-10-2007, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Port Angeles
52 posts, read 331,642 times
Reputation: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ditzymoi View Post
Thank you psprague

We're very excited and looking for a place to rent and checkin out the jobs online ... wish us luck!
Good Luck on both!

I work as a software engineer but not locally.

Do you watch the online classifieds?
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Old 01-17-2007, 08:22 PM
 
49 posts, read 236,281 times
Reputation: 35
Thumbs up Welcome

hey i would jsut like to say welcome to port angeles.

many things to do here, you just have to find them. there are a lot of festivals throughout the year also.

port angeles is growing, not nearly as fast as sequim; but, new busnesses are expected to the east side of town after the new walmart and sewer system are built.

also, port angeles high school offers one of the widest range of classes in western washington. some classes include: 5 different world languages, variety of art classes (pottery, stained glass, drawing, etc.), NJROTC (Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps), wood shop, machine shop, auto technology, collision repair, architecture, computer classes, Dance, and a variety of business and career classes.
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