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Keyport plans include limited urban sprawl

KEYPORT — The combined efforts of Kitsap County and Keyport residents are about to pay off, as the newest draft of a plan to steer the town’s growth is ready for approval.

The Kitsap County Department of Community Development released the Keyport Community Plan, which determines a vision for the town’s future growth, land use, housing, transportation, capital facilities and utilities needs. A public hearing on the plan has been set for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Kitsap County Administration Building.

If approved by the Kitsap County Board of County Commissioners, the plan will designate Keyport as a rural village with historical boundaries, preventing urban sprawl. Keyport would be characterized as a Limited Area of More Intense Rural Development (LAMIRD) with infill residential, commercial, retail and recreational structures specified in the Washington State Growth Management Act.

“We were initially trying to go for that,” Keyport Community Club president-elect Milt Meeds said of the town’s potential LAMIRD status. “It makes sense. It’s the ideal way to go.”

Outlined in the plan is the idea that citizens prefer future business expansion only for small operations that serve the community’s needs. The plan also lays out intentions for zoning changes designed to re-establish appropriate historical commercial areas, development patterns that establish lot sizes and improvements to the existing transportation infrastructure. Expansion of sewer lines, upgraded storm drainage systems and higher-quality of street lighting are also included.

Possible impacts to critical aquifer recharge areas, air quality and frequently flooded areas are addressed in the plan, as are proposed improvements to the port, including a widening and resurfacing of the boat ramp, the addition of a breakwater pier, more transient slips, a fuel station and a water taxi or sea plane to accommodate increasing tourism. Tidal and wave energy generation infrastructure and wireless Internet are potential options.

The plan also presents an artistic vision for Keyport, including suggestions for more art galleries and studios, public art, art events and art classes, all designed to improve the city’s aesthetic and economic state.

“We’re pretty well grown up,” Meeds said. “We’re pretty well developed already. As a small community, we want things about the way they are.”

The plan also promotes Low Impact Development stormwater practices such as rain gardens and permeable sidewalks along with low water usage fixtures and low energy usage lighting for all street lighting, port lighting and public property lighting as methods of sustainability for the city.

The Keyport community plan can be found at http://www.kitsapgov.com/dcd/community_plan/subareas/keyport. The Kitsap County Administration Building is located at 619 Division Street in Port Orchard.

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