County OKs Buc Field for games

The Kingston Buccaneers football, soccer and track and field teams can continue to use the field for home competition following an Aug. 21 decision by the Kitsap County Department of Community Development. - File photo
The Kingston Buccaneers football, soccer and track and field teams can continue to use the field for home competition following an Aug. 21 decision by the Kitsap County Department of Community Development.
— image credit: File photo

KINGSTON — The Kingston Buccaneers are cleared to play sports on their home field.

The Kitsap County Department of Community Development approved revisions to the field's use permit Aug, 21. The decision comes two-and-a-half weeks before the first pre-season game of the year, Sept. 6, with Bucs varsity football team scheduled to play Squalicum.

"We are fired up to be playing at home, on our home turf," football head coach Todd Harder said.

North Kitsap School District officials learned last school year that the field was permitted only for practices, not games, when they applied for building permit for a press box. At a June 13 public hearing, the only concern expressed about continuing to allow games at the field came from Stillwaters Environmental Center director Naomi Maasberg; she said an environmental review should be done before a decision is made, because she was concerned about the impact on nearby habitat.

With the decision, the county also approved a press box/announcer booth for the field. The county is waiting for the district to apply for a building permit, said Jeff Smith, the senior planner for the county's community development department.

"The proposed revision to the land use with the addition of the press box for the high school athletic field falls within the threshold of the previous analysis for [the environmental impact study," the revision to the field permit reads. The county's decision can be appealed by residents living near the school's property. Appeals, however, must specifically address the concerns with the impact study and county code. Appeals must be filed with the Department of Community Development by the end of the Sept. 6 business day.

If the decision is appealed, the high school can continue hosting games through the appeal process, said Patrick Olsen, the North Kitsap School District’s athletic director.

There are conditions to the revision of the field's use permit. A vegetative management plan must be written to prevent the establishment of and/or the spread of naturalized vegetation, invasive species and noxious weeds. And the PA system volume must be controlled to prevent excessive noise. The school is also required to designate staff members or volunteers to coordinate parking  and keep the public from parking in no-parking zones. Parking is not allowed on NE West Kingston Road. Smith said vehicles should also not be parked anywhere that could impact stormwater runoff.

There are 318 parking spaces. If overflow parking is necessary, Smith the public can use the Kingston Middle School parking lot.

The school must also comply with all Kitsap Public Health District regulations, including a sufficient number of portable toilets for large crowds.

The revision also includes all other conditions included in the Hearing Examiner's decision for the original permit for Kingston High School, issued in 2004. This includes maintaining trails throughout the school property and the trail connecting to Barber Cutoff Road to meet standards and provide access in all weather conditions.

Though the fall sports season isn't far off, Olsen said he "trusted the process."

"We dotted out i's and crossed out t's," he said.

Harder said the football coaching staff wasn't too worried either, especially because the decision was so far out of their control. The team was ready to play anywhere. Still, it’s better to have a home field, he said.

"It's just nicer," Harder said. "A home game is just that — a home game."



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