City Council approves updated development code

POULSBO — With comments from only two residents — both urging the Poulsbo City Council to approve the draft zoning code’s new provisions — the council approved the zoning code Feb. 27.

The council had a few last-minute discussions and agreed on one amendment. Councilwoman Connie Lord said she was still uncomfortable with restricting advertisement “sandwich board” signs to one per business — there is no restriction currently — and asked for at least two per business.

After further discussion, the limit remains one sign per business, but the council agreed to allow an appeal process for businesses to present their case to the planning director if they want an additional sign.

The zoning code was last updated significantly in 2003. It will take effect five days after its formal approval is published, which Planning Director Barry Berezowski estimates will be at the end of March.

Planning consultant Karla Boughton gave an overview of the major changes in the new zoning code: 
— It divides the city into four business districts, representative of their commercial interest: Downtown, College Marketplace, Viking Avenue and the 305 Corridor.
— It provides more detailed architectural and design standards for the city’s commercial districts.
— There are development incentives specific to the Viking Avenue commercial district to encourage development there.
— It protects significant trees on properties being developed. The rules require that 25 percent of the significant trees be kept on the property, but are flexible on where trees are kept. The city only regulates current tree retention on private property located in critical areas.
— The code gives location priorities for antennae and other wireless communication equipment. This directly affects the Kitsap Public Utility District, which has a pilot project to provide wireless Internet to the public at no charge.
— The council put off adding in regulation regarding medical or recreational marijuana facilities until the state Liquor Control Board has finalized its rules regarding I-502, which legalized small amounts of recreational marijuana for those aged 21 and older.


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