Poulsbo permits increase

POULSBO — Even though Olhava has yet to kick into high gear, the planning department has already seen a dramatic increase in both the number of permits and permitting fees collected this year.

The boost primarily stems from pre-applications that were filed in the fall and winter.

“In the past, it has been cyclical where we’ll see commercial activity take off one year and then slow down and residential activity take off and commercial activity will slow down a bit,” said Planning Director Barry Berezowsky.

However, this year the city has seen more activity in both sectors than in the past, which is a notable change from the last six or seven years, Berezowsky said.

“There hasn’t been much from Olhava but once the Olhava site gets to the point of being ready for development, we’re going to see a dramatic increase in activity from that area,” he explained.

While Wal-Mart and The Home Depot are already under construction, the city already has several applications awaiting final short plat approval and, until they get the OK, additional applications in that area are being put on hold, Associate Planner Linda Mueller said.

Once short platting is approved, which will probably be in September, the department expects a large number of applications from Olhava to be submitted for approval, Mueller explained.

In June, the number of pre-applications doubled from three in June 2004 to six this year. The department also processed three site plan reviews and one final plat in addition to several other planning permits.

The increased number of permits brought in $12,700 more in revenue last month compared to last June’s $1,000 total. For the year, the department has issued 31 more permits and has brought in $37,100 in additional revenue over 2004.

However, the approaching storm of development in Olhava is not the only potential source for permitting increases, Berezowsky pointed out.

“The city has annexed a lot of land recently and most of the people who are doing so are doing it because they’re interested in development,” he explained.

The recent annexations, which total more than 700 acres, will eventually be developed and create another significant increase in permitting activity, Berezowsky said.

“Eventually it should slow down, but we’re not sure when,” he said.

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