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Public to discuss preventing Kingston sprawl

BREMERTON — The public will have one last chance to provide its input on the future of several Kingston properties before the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners and the Kitsap Planning Commission next week.

The county will hold its first public hearing for the 2004 amendments to the county’s comprehensive plan at 6:30 p.m. June 29 in The President’s Hall at the Kitsap Fairgrounds.

The joint hearing will help serve several purposes, explained Kitsap County Department of Community Development planning manager Laura Dittmer.

“It should help citizens with their frustration with the process, so everybody can hear it all at once,” she said.

Regarding the North End, staff from DCD will make their official recommendations to the two boards on zoning issues for George’s Corner and two private properties. All three of these plans were deferred from last year’s public hearings for the 2003 amendments.

Tuesday night will be final time that written and oral testimony will be accepted for the plans.

Last year, the decision to designate George’s Corner as a Limited Area of More Intensive Rural Development (LAMIRD) was deferred to this year so the DCD staff could gather more public input from neighboring landowners and interested parties.

A LAMIRD is a rural area that has historically developed at higher densities than currently allowed or that has existing mixed-use facilities that were established in rural areas before 1990, as outlined in the state’s Growth Management Act. The goal of the LAMIRD is to establish a boundary to prevent further growth in existing rural areas.

“By drawing a LAMIRD, we can prevent the year-by-year spot rezones,” said DCD planner Stephanie Pawlawski, referring to the site-specific requests the county receives annually for private property rezone designations.

To gather more public input, a George’s Corner Boundary Advisory group was created this past spring. The group of citizens recommended that the LAMIRD should consist of 73 acres of land, including the existing parcels within the George’s Corner shopping complex, the Kountry Korners gas station area and the Frontier Bank property, plus an additional 34 acres owned by residents Peter Sing, Lonnie Fall and Richard Bjarnson.

However, the DCD staff recommended the LAMIRD only include the existing properties and 7 acres of Bjarnson’s land on the northwest corner of the four-way intersection.

“We have what (the staff) believes is legally defensible,” Dittmer said.

In 2003, Bjarnson had requested that 13.5 acres be separately rezoned from Rural Residential to Neighborhood Commercial. This year, he requested that 7.2 acres be rezoned and included within the George’s Corner LAMIRD boundary.

Pawlawski said his property size was reduced “to further protect the critical areas,” because of the wetlands on the property.

The third property under question is the rezoning of 5.74 acres that includes the Reliable Storage facility on Highway 104, just west of Lindvog area, owned by Poulsbo resident Jean Sherrard.

Sherrard requested the property be rezoned from Urban Medium to Urban High residential, which allows for development of 19-24 dwelling units per acre. He believes the change in designations would reflect the current use of his property as Urban High is the only residential designation that allows mini-storage facilities.

DCD staff recommends approval of the request.

The Board of Commissioners will issue its final decisions of the land rezones later this year.

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