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Commissioners approve Kingston design standards
"KINGSTON - The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners gave the go ahead for Kingston to use its own set of design standards including those for roadways, parking, walkways, landscaping, signage and lighting. I think it's fantastic, really well done, Kitsap County commissioner Chris Endresen said of the plan. No changes were made to the document before commissioners approved it Dec. 4. The great thing about it is that Kingston did it on their own, she said. The plan took about three years and more than a dozen revisions to complete said Robert Fellers, who served as chairman for the committee that developed the standards. The standards themselves came in part from a 1993 Kingston Community Design Study. The standards seek to create a uniform appearance and pedestrian-friendly downtown area. The area is divided into three sections - The Old Town/ Waterfront District, Village Green District, and the Lindvog Commercial District. Under the plan, any existing structures that do not meet the standards are exempt. New businesses or additions/remodels of existing businesses would have to conform to the standards as part of the county's approval process. We don't think the standards are too strict, Fellers said. He said the standards try balance the views of the pro development and no development factions in the community. We felt we needed to strike a compromise for an orderly growth, Fellers said. The design standards, which were approved by the Kingston Citizens' Advisory Committee in June, address items including lighting, landscaping, and signage. The 57-page document seeks to ensure that design of new businesses is aligned with what Kingston residents want their community to look like. New businesses will be required to provide pedestrian-friendly areas in front of the building, if it does not sit directly next to the roadway. These areas can include fountains, furniture, and artwork to provide a safe, comforting and aesthetically pleasing, place. All new buildings in the Old Town/Waterfront area would be required to have pedestrian weather protection that's at least three feet wide for at least 80 percent of the front of the building. The plan also calls for architectural designs to have an Old Town feel similar to the Kingston Hotel. Facades that face a street or park should feature some of the following to create an old maritime town feel: steepened roof lines, gables, front porches, corner trim and window detail. "