Kingston UGA plan finally moves on

KINGSTON — If the Kingston Urban Growth Area working group gets its way, there will be an additional 336 acres of land added to the community’s UGA boundaries by next year.

But after a year of research and work, members can only cross their fingers as they pass their recommendation to the Kitsap Planning Commission, which will next study Kingston’s UGA. The Kitsap County Commissioners will have the final say on how much the boundary expands.

The working group made its initial recommendation Wednesday night on how much the community’s urban growth area boundary should be extended.

For the past year, the group, made up of nearly a dozen community members, has been studying how much the UGA boundary should grow to accommodate future growth. Members have been using resources such as the recently completed Urban Land Capacity Analysis and the county’s projected population allocation numbers for Kingston through 2025. The idea is to expand the UGA just enough to allow for expected population increase.

Nine applications, totaling approximately 400 acres, were submitted to the group to be considered for acceptance into the UGA. At its Sept. 21 meeting, the group recommended that the 305-acre Arborwood parcel be added. If approved by the county commissioners, under the new zoning of Urban Cluster Residential, the property owner would be allowed to construct a maximum of 765 single family homes on the property, bringing in an estimated 1,912 residents.

The meeting Wednesday night was to decide if the remaining eight proposed parcels should be included or not as well.

The owner of the smallest property, .21 acres in size, was merely asking for a rezoning from Urban Low (five-nine dwelling units per acre) to Urban Medium (10-18 dwelling units per acre). The request is to allow for future condominium development, according to the application. The property is located at the south end of the Kingsview Loop neighborhood and is owned by Ralph Robinson.

An additional 10.37 acres, split between two properties and owned by Alfredo Claro, was recommended to be included. It is located just south of the Madura Drive neighborhood, off South Kingston Road.

The third property recommended to be included totals 20 acres and is located on the southwest corner of 272nd and Lindvog roads, adjacent to the Kingston Meadows development. It is owned by Al White and Michael Lueck and was previously presented to the county for rezoning during the county’s comprehensive planning process in 2004.

Between the three properties, totaling to 31 acres, plus Arborwood, there would be a maximum of 965 dwelling units allowed for approximately 2,300 new residents.

Several properties were considered for inclusion under the Urban Restricted land use designation, however, the group felt that the county had not established the measures necessary to protect the environment and natural resources, said county Department of Community Development senior planner Albert Williams. Choosing additional property was supposed to be based on how the UGA plan was currently working but the group felt it hadn’t been, Williams explained.

“Anything that had an environmental issue didn’t make it in,” Williams said.

One of those issues included a 43-acre parcel owned by the Arness family, which includes the South Kingston Estuary. The Arnesses believe that by having it in the UGA and zoned Urban Restricted, which would allow only 11 dwelling units to be constructed, it would help protect it.

The group thought otherwise.

Putting a parcel with such sensitive environment within the UGA to protect is not protecting it, said member Betsy Cooper, as the slough is a significant part of Kingston.

“To have the water degraded by putting it in the UGA is not worth it,” she said.

Member Doug Woodside added that the expensive cost of installing public utilities for just 11 units wouldn’t be worth it, either.

Another 15 acres, owned by Robert Smiley, located on West Kingston Road, just across from the Kingston Junior High, was also denied by the group. The majority felt it was not appropriate at this time to allow it to be included in the UGA, given its distance from the downtown urban core, but, as growth continues, it could be considered in the future.

Four 2.55-acre parcels, adjacent to the south end of the White/Lueck property, owned by brothers Brian and Glenn Rotsten, were denied acceptance, primarily for their location on an environmentally sensitive area.

The group will review the drafted recommendation Nov. 16 before sending it to the planning commission.

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