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County shoreline rules change, public hearings next week

Kitsap residents will have two opportunities to participate in the county's Shoreline Management Master Program update.

The League of Women Voters is hosting SMP planner Dave Greetham for a Q&A open house April 18, from 10 a.m. - noon, at the Eagles Nest, 1200 Fairgrounds Road NW, Bremerton.

The county is also hosting the first of its official open houses on April 19, 6-8 p.m., at the North Kitsap Fire & Rescue firehouse, 26642 Miller Bay Road NE, Kingston.

The SMP is a comprehensive plan that includes policies and regulations for the use and development of the shoreline. Kitsap County possesses over 225 miles of saltwater, stream and lakefront shorelines which support numerous and diverse environmental, economic, and recreational uses.

Kitsap County is required to update its SMP by 2012; it was last updated in 1999. Since 2009 has been working with a citizen task force, state resource agencies and tribes to revise the SMP to be current with state law. The SMP update is funded by the Washington Department of Ecology which ultimately approves the updated SMP after local adoption. As part of the on-going public process to review the proposed updates, County planners are hosting a series of Open Houses to inform the public of key aspects of the update. Details for the next session are shown below.

At both meetings, Greetham will present plans presented so far over a two-year span, with maps of designated shoreline environmental areas and regulations for each.

The county is also hosting hearings and open houses in the next few months. The first hearing is May 1, 5 p.m., in the Kitsap Board of County Commissioners Chambers at the county's administration building, in Port Orchard.

The second local Planning Commission hearing is May 7, 5 p.m. at the Poulsbo City Council Chambers.

Information on the SMP update, including FAQ sheets, is available at Kitsap County’s dedicated SMP website: www.kitsapshoreline.org.

Formal hearings before the Board of County Commissioners are planned for later this summer or early fall.

For more information contact Dave Greetham at (360) 337-5777 or Patty Charnas at (360) 337-4558.

 

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