Comp plan amendments sail through city council

POULSBO — The relocation of athletic fields in the Olhava development headlined the seven 2005 comprehensive plan amendments approved by the city council Wednesday night.

Instead of being located on the east side of the Olympic College campus, the two fields will be on the north side of The Home Depot.

“The request has been made to accommodate the city parks director’s request to relocate the fields from Planning Area 6 to Planning Area 9 to allow for tournament-sized soccer fields,” Associate Planner Karla Boughton told the council.

Planning Area 6 runs along the northeast corner of the development and Planning Area 9 encompasses the area directly behind The Home Depot north to the Olympic College campus.

With the land use designation change to Planning Area 9, which was originally multi-family residential, Planning Area 6 will need to be rezoned as multi-family residential to compensate for the land reallocation.

With the swap approved, an amendment will have to be made to the Olhava Master Plan, Boughton said.

“The city is gaining 80 parking spaces plus room for restrooms and sidewalks, which it didn’t have at the other site,” Olhava Associates President Mark Zenger told the council.

The number of parking spaces increases from 32, which were available in Planning Area 6, to 112, which will be available at the new location, Zenger said.

“This is a tremendous gain for the city,” Councilman Dale Rudolph said. “Bigger fields are nice but bigger parking is really nice.”

The proposed change also creates an improved buffer between the commercial development in Olhava and single-family residential area to the west, he said.

Councilman Mike Regis added that the relocation of the fields serves as a good tie in as recreational facilities for students at Olympic College as well as the rest of the city.

The council also approved the rezoning of residential property on Front Street owned by Bill Austin from residential to commercial.

“I think it should read commercial all the way down Front Street and the topography has changed,” Austin said in requesting the council approve the change, which was denied in 1999. “I have absolutely no immediate plans to do anything.”

After unanimously approving all of the 2005 comprehensive plan amendments, the city gained 14 acres of residential low zoning and gave up 14 acres of residential medium zoning. It also gained 5.1 acres of commercial zoning and lost 5.36 acres of light industrial zoning.

“Light industrial versus commercial, it’s about jobs and a little bit less light industrial is not a big deal,” Rudolph said.

However, the loss of 14 acres of residential medium zoning could create issues in the future, he warned.

“The loss of 14 acres isn’t much but it’s going to make it a little bit harder to meet our projected growth goals,” Rudolph said.

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