City seeks input on Comprehensive Plan

POULSBO — Poulsbo citizens have another chance to provide input on the city’s Comprehensive Plan, as the city solicits comments on amendments to the plan scheduled for adoption this fall.

The city council approved a docket of amendments Wednesday, giving a green light to 11 changes which will likely evolve over the coming months.

“This is really just the first step,” Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson said.

The Comprehensive Plan is a guideline for Poulsbo’s future growth.

Originally written in 1994, it was re-approved by city leaders late last year after a nearly three-year update process. It is often amended each year.

Current amendments include two site-specific zoning adjustments, one which would adjust zoning at the new city hall site and another which would identify 55 acres at the northeast corner of State Route 305 and Highway 307 as a master plan overlay. That designation would make way for big picture development planning at the site. The amendment was proposed by Michigan real estate building and management company Edward Rose & Sons, which is currently in negotiations to buy the land for a mixed-use apartment project.

Other amendments to the Comprehensive Plan include changes to the city’s 20-year project plan, new policies to the amendment process and various text revisions.

Residents, property owners and stakeholders will have an opportunity to review and comment on the amendments through a public participation plan also approved by the city council Wednesday night. Its schedule includes public hearings in September and October. The amendments are scheduled for adoption in November.

City officials are also seeking participation from neighboring jurisdictions, federal and state agencies and tribes.

Property owners within 300 feet of site-specific amendments will be notified by the city.

Unlike an overall update, amendment approval is typically a much swifter process, said associate planner Edie Berghoff.

Prompted by area development, the city began an overall update to its Comprehensive Plan in 2007. The plan was written in accordance with the Washington Growth Management Act, which aims to coordinate growth.

During the update the city offered a course on local planning, held community conversations and released questionnaires.

Three Kitsap County residents, each of whom reside just outside current Poulsbo city limits, have appealed the 2009 version of the plan. They say the update process lacked sufficient public participation and attention toward environmental and critical areas. The city has spent more than $20,000 fighting the appeal so far.

The plan is nearly 300 pages long, plus appendices. A public participation plan is required by the state in the amendment process.

Amendments will be posted for public review on the city’s website, < href="" title="Poulsbo"> The document will also be available for review at City Hall. A public hearing with the planning commission will be held Sept. 7, and a public hearing before the city council will be held Oct. 13.

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