Reconsideration of appeal against Poulsbo's Comprehensive Plan denied by hearings board

POULSBO — A Washington Growth Management hearings board denied a motion to reconsider an appeal against Poulsbo's 2009 Comprehensive Plan on Tuesday, according to Poulsbo Planning Director Barry Berezowsky.

The board previously dismissed all 38 issues filed against the plan in August.

Appellants argued the city didn't adequately incorporate public opinion and failed to correctly plan for the city's growth during a lengthy update that began in 2007. Their original appeal was filed in February.

Appellants also contended the city isn't protecting the environment and has inflated land capacity calculations, making its current Urban Growth Area, a county designation slated for future development, more than large enough to accommodate urban expansion.

The board found some validity to the complaint against the city’s public participation process, which wasn’t fully designed during the early stages of the update. The board didn't take action on the issue, however, because it would have forced the city to start the entire project over.

Before the denial was issued Berezowsky said he "highly doubted" the board would reconsider the appeal.

It is estimated the city spent between $50,000 and $60,000 in legal costs defending the plan, which won a Vision 2040 Award from the Puget Sound Regional Council earlier this year.

Petitioners included Jan Wold, Carlotta Cellucci, Kitsap Citizens for Responsible Government and Molly and John Lee. Kitsap Citizens for Responsible Government subsequently withdrew from the case.

The denial was news to Wold Tuesday afternoon, and she said once she and other petitioners have read the statement issued they would discuss how to proceed.

Check back as updates become available.

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