News

Bond Rd. eyesore is now parked in legal system

POULSBO — While the number of cars, recreational vehicles and boats has been growing on the infamous corner of Stottlemeyer and Bond roads as of late, Kitsap County has been trying to decrease that tally via the legal system.

Property owner Bill Arness of Kingston said he doesn’t see anything wrong with vehicles parking on his parcel but county officials claim storing vehicles on the property violates zoning codes.

The county prosecuting attorney’s office and Arness’ lawyer are hoping to come to a resolution by the end of the month to avoid having to go to court, said the county’s lead code enforcement officer Steve Mount.

The land in question is part of a 12.86-acre parcel owned by Arness and is zoned rural residential. Arness said he purchased the property about a decade ago with no intentions of doing anything with it.

However, since last October, trucks, boats, recreational vehicles and cars of all types have been parked and listed for sale on the property west of Bond Road and have been creating concern among residents.

Complaints about the parked vehicles ranged from statements that the lot was becoming an eyesore and it was not an appropriate place to sell cars to traffic problems created when motorists slow down to look at the vehicles on site.

The county contacted Arness in November 2003 because “(the property) is being used as a place to store or sell vehicles without land use approval,” Mount said.

Arness also was told about the nature of the complaints and how the use of the land violated county zoning codes.

“He made it clear that he wasn’t encouraging the activity but we also agreed he wasn’t taking any active steps to discourage it either by restricting access,” Mount said, noting he asked that Arness contact the vehicles’ owners to retrieve them and prohibit access to the property by putting up a cable gate.

Mount said Arness agreed to consider the recommendation and the county gave him a time frame in which to complete this task. While the number of cars dwindled in the following months, the county still received more complaints.

Mount spoke with Arness again in March 2004 about why the access to the lot was still not restricted. Arness replied he wanted the violation in writing so he could discuss it with his attorney.

In April, a letter was sent to Arness explaining the violation — the property was zoned rural residential and auto sales were not permitted under this zoning. Arness was given another timeline to have the vehicles removed and secure the property access.

However, on April 21, after the county noticed more vehicles were parked there and Arness was not making any attempts to stop the activity, violation citations were issued.

Arness didn’t have much to say about the legal proceedings or about the complaints that were submitted.

“It’s not hurting anything,” he said of why he allows cars to park on the corner lot. “They just park there. I never give them authority to do that but I never told anybody they couldn’t do that.”

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