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Subarea plan edicts continue to frustrate the KCAC

KINGSTON — After celebrating a big victory in working with Kitsap County last month, members of the Kingston Citizens Advisory Council changed their tune Wednesday, voicing frustration over a communication breakdown between the two groups. The concern was raised in response to a Monday hearing addressing the Kingston Sub-Area plan the KCAC was not informed about.

Kitsap County Department of Community Development land use planner Angie Silva was present at the group’s meeting, to give an update on the Kingston Urban Growth Area, as well as some of the solutions the county has proposed after the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board questioned the UGA again in April. When she mentioned the Sept. 10 public hearing, KCAC members bristled at being out of the loop.

“With all due respect, the hearing is in one week,” said KCAC member Walt Elliott. “I don’t think we’ll have enough time to prepare. It’s a real problem between the county and the public if no one knows about a public hearing.”

Silva assured KCAC members the county took all necessary and legal steps to alert the public, namely publishing the hearing in the Legal Notices section of local newspapers.

But Elliott, KCAC members David Hildebrand, Annie Humiston and others, felt it was insufficient notice to alert the public. Many of the council’s members have worked on the Kingston UGA and Sub-Area Plan for a number of years.

Elliott then made a motion to request the hearing be postponed and an extension from the hearings board on turning in the documentation be granted. He also moved the county provide additional notice and information to the public.

“I support the motion 110 percent,” Hildebrand said. “A lot of people in this room helped over the last seven years with this plan, I don’t know, I don’t think any of them knew about this hearing.”

The hearing will focus on work county officials have done on portions of the plan rejected by the hearings board. The board originally sent several issues — namely the use of sewers, updated land analyses, further examination of how proposed expansions will fit into the plan and estimates of needs and costs in terms of utilities — back to the county in August 2006, and then sent the sewer problem back again in April. The board requested further clarification on how sewers would reach newly developed areas in the Kingston UGA.

Silva said the county has until Sept. 17 to turn in the new documents laying out how the problems will be addressed, hence the need for a hearing Monday.

“I think you ought to pass the motion and come to the hearing on Monday if you can,” said Kitsap County Commissioner Steve Bauer, who was in attendance at the meeting. “I agree you ought to be informed of events going on. It’s my understanding there were proper steps taken to alert the public... I think from my perspective and understanding, this really didn’t change the plan, it was just laying out specifics. But that doesn’t mean when things happen, we shouldn’t come to you.”

The KCAC passed Elliott’s motion unanimously. There hasn’t been an announcement made by the county as to whether or not an extension has been granted by the hearings board.

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