Noll Road development putting plans in motion

 - File photo
— image credit: File photo

POULSBO — The first of what could be many Noll Road development permit applications has come through the city’s system, and is now up for public review. It is catching the attention especially of those who have fought to keep the Noll Road area as pristine a patch of nature as possible.

An application filed for the Mountain Aire Planned Residential Development, a Capstone Homes project represented to the city by Team4 Engineering, was completed Aug. 1. When finished, the 29.78-acre property will hold 144 lots, ranging from 3,010 to 6,979 square feet in size, and approximately seven acres of open space. Of its 144 lots, 114 are planned for single-family residences, while the rest are slated as duplex parcels.

The Mountain Aire development application comes as no surprise to city workers, who expected an increase in permit requests since long-standing city building moratoriums were officially lifted July 18. Along with a Languanet plat application, which has not yet been completed, Mountain Aire is just one of two Noll Road area plans in the initial review stage.

City associate planner Keri Weaver said there are two other Noll Road developments of which she is aware that are in the pre-application process. Between the four developments, Weaver said there are 275-300 lots planned for the Noll Road area.

“It’s not that much,” she said of the applications coming in. “I’m actually surprised.”

Mark Kuhlman of Team4 Engineering said though Mountain Aire was initially held up by the city-wide emergency moratoriums, which were implemented in September 2006, not many changes have been made since the new critical areas ordinance was put in place.

“We’ve complied with the new (Planned Residential Development guidelines) and Critical Areas Ordinance,” he said. “The original application looks very similar.”

Kuhlman said the development offers a mixture of housing types and styles, and meets the city’s open space requirements.

“I’m very sensitive to the way the people feel that the neighborhood is changing over night,” he said. “There’s still a lot of activity in this neighborhood.”

He said while not many applications have come through since the moratoriums were lifted, he knows plans are in the works, and hopes that concerned citizens attend planning commission meetings to offer their input.

Noll Road Association president Becky Erickson, who has met with Kuhlman regarding the project, said she plans on keeping a close eye on the Mountain Aire development.

“I have reviewed the plans,” she said. “I do have some concerns.”

She said the development’s average lot size is 4,700 square feet, which is small compared to the standard 7,500 square feet. She said the Noll Road Association expects the development to meet the needs of the existing neighborhood, but trusts a win-win situation can be created.

“I’m realizing that there’s going to be a lot of work. I am not backing down in this,” she said. “I know that we’re going to be able to come to some compromise.”

The project still requires several additional permits from the city, and possibly the state, and is subject to a State Environmental Policy Act review. The permit application documents can be viewed at the Planning Department at Poulsbo City Hall. Comments will be taken through Aug. 20. A planning commission meeting is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 9, and the project will then go before the Hearing Examiner Oct. 19.

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