Kingston UGA plan hits another hurdle

KINGSTON — Just when the Kitsap Planning Commission was expecting to take a big stride toward adopting the Kingston Sub-area Plan, the group’s members and residents this week ran into an unexpected hurdle.

The commission held a public hearing on April 8 and took testimony concerning the preferred alternative for restructuring Kingston’s Urban Growth Area boundaries.

The alternative includes land within the current UGA, plus property west of the boundary that includes Kingston Junior High, the new Kingston High School site and county land.

Darryl Piercy, interim director for Department of Community Development, announced that the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council will be releasing its projected population allocations for the county later this year. The numbers are expected to show growth through 2025 instead of through 2017, as currently allocated.

The preferred alternative was designed on the projection of 3,000 additional residents through 2017.

Piercy suggested that the planning commission consider holding off its UGA recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners until the official numbers are released later this year.

“We would like the planning commission to move forward and make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners, but also consider a long-term population projection,” he said. “We don’t want to have to come back and amend it.”

If the commission chooses to consider the new numbers, Kingston’s sub-area plan would not be adopted until 2004, rather than this year. If the group chooses to move forward with the existing plan, there would be a chance that the UGA would have to be redesigned again next year, Piercy said.

“We should make a good, long-term effort to get this done for once and for all,” said resident Bill Arness, noting that chances for growth are greater now due to renewed discussions about Kingston passenger-only ferries.

Sonny Woodward, a member of the steering committee in the early 1990s who helped develop the current alternative, urged the commission to consider the future carefully.

“I would love to see a decision made as soon as possible, but it behooves

the planning commission to look at the next decision,” Woodward said. “We waited 12 years for Whitehorse, 10 for Apple Tree Point... A few more months on this project wouldn’t be a big deal.”

Zoltan Szigethy, executive director of the Kitsap Regional Economic Development Council, said while the county is growing at the rate of 1 percent a year, more growth is expected in North Kitsap due to passenger-only ferries, the quality of North Kitsap schools and increasing upgrades to business technology in the area.

“If we’re going to have population changes, then we need to take this into account and take time on it,” Szigethy said. “Take these points into consideration with some credibility.”

Another proposed change in the plan deals with rezoning Kingston’s downtown for more flexible housing and commercial development.

Shannon Bauman, a planner with the DCD, presented the zoning changes and said they were based on activity taking place in South Kitsap that may also be applicable to Kingston’s core area.

The plan proposes that downtown be rezoned to create an Urban Village Center, Bauman said, noting that the alteration would allow for more varied types of residential and small-scale commercial properties, versus primarily residential and limited commercial. The area affected would include land surrounding Kola Kole Park to the intersection of Washington and Third Street.

Written comments on the plan will be taken until April 29, and will be followed by a planning commission workshop on May 6 in Silverdale to discuss public comments.

Comments can be sent to DCD by mail to Kitsap County Department of Community Development, 614 Division St. MS-36, Port Orchard, WA 98366-4682, emailed to Concerned residents can also call Bauman at (360) 337-5761.

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