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Participate in public hearing on Rose project | Editorial
The Poulsbo Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing June 23, 6 p.m., at City Hall on Edward Rose & Sons’ proposed neighborhood at 305 and Bond Road.
Your participation and input are very important. The Planning Commission will review this proposal, consider public testimony and make a recommendation to the City Council. If approved, this project could boost Poulsbo’s population by 15 percent.
The city Planning Department has determined that the neighborhood will not have a “probable significant adverse impact on the environment.”
The site is zoned medium-density residential, or five to 10 dwelling units per acre. The site is about 55 acres; that’s a maximum of 550 dwelling units. But Edward Rose proposes 540 moderate-income family apartments and 160 moderate-income senior and senior-care apartments – a total of 700 -- as well as 12,975 square feet of commercial development. Because Rose proposes building this as a master-planned development, the company can apply for increased density at the site.
As stated in an earlier editorial, the Herald believes the project is too intense for that area and for the environment.
Currently, the acreage is forested in alder, cedar, dogwood, fir, hemlock, holly, maple, Pacific willow, and pine. Dogfish Creek, a salmon-bearing stream, flows here. There are two other streams and a significant wetland here, and the acreage floods seasonally. The acreage is habitat for salmon, songbirds, crows, deer, rabbits and squirrels.
Plans call for buffers and setbacks to protect the streams and wetland, as well as infiltration areas and pervious surfaces so surface water can filter before it reaches other waters, including Liberty Bay. But some 39 percent of the overall acreage would be covered with impervious surfaces. An engineering report states that increased surface water runoff could carry pollutants and impact water quality within the wetlands. It says mitigation measures would minimize that pollution, but it doesn’t say it would eliminate it. The report states that impervious surfaces would affect groundwater recharge of the wetland, which means less water in the wetland and in Dogfish Creek. In addition, an access road would be developed through a wetland adjacent to Bond Road.
Traffic analyses forecast that the project will generate 420 new morning peak-hour car trips at SR 305 and Bond, 436 new afternoon peak-hour car trips, and 4,696 daily trips at buildout in 2016. Level of service at nine area intersections, including two to be developed, currently get grades of C, D, and F; the new site access on Bond Road gets an F, with projected delays of 98.2 to 153.3 seconds per car.
The intensity of this development doesn’t make sense when there are areas of the city with curbs, gutters and sidewalks installed, waiting to be developed, as well as other areas begging to be redeveloped. The city should steer private investment in those directions, through zoning and incentives and other means within its authority.
We encourage the owners of the Rose property to come up with a development that is less intense and lays lighter on the land.