Opinion

Rose could be a model project, but work remains | Editorial

Edward Rose & Sons’ neighborhood development at State Route 305 and Bond Road is significant because it is being developed as a master plan. New rules related to buffers, setbacks and stormwater handling will be employed. The developer will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in impact fees and will make road and traffic improvements.

We are pleased to see buffers and setbacks in place to minimize the impacts of development on creeks and wetlands. And we are pleased to see the developer moved a road entrance east, away from a section of Dogfish Creek.

Residents must understand a property owner has the right to develop his or her property in accordance with zoning regulations that are in place at the time. But residents did have some legitimate concerns about the scope of the development.

The 55-acre property was zoned medium residential, or 10 units per acre. The City Council rezoned 9 acres commercial; 46 remained medium residential. Because the developer went through the master plan process, the project was eligible for a density bonus, or more units per acre.

The developer will build 540 apartments, 160 senior care apartments, and a to-be-determined number of apartments above stores in the commercial area. That’s more than 700 units. While the senior care apartments and above-store apartments don’t count toward the total density allocation because they are in a commercial zone, they are still apartments occupied by people who use resources, generate visitors, drive vehicles and contribute to local traffic.

The neighborhood is designed, through the use of trails, bike routes and a shared use path, to connect to Viking Way. But that connection still depends on successful negotiation with the county for an easement across the Poulsbo Recycling Center property. Otherwise, pedestrians will have to walk a half-mile north on Vetter Road to Viking Way, then loop south to get to shopping and other Viking Way amenities. Or walk on State Route 305. We hope a pedestrian crossing can be made at Bond Road and Little Valley Road, to facilitate safe pedestrian access to the 10th Avenue/Poulsbo Village area.

And Vetter Road residents are legitimately concerned that, as of this point, their one-lane rural road is the only access for construction equipment. That concern must be resolved and a suitable solution found.

Like any neighborhood development, this project is complex. Giving due credit, it’s clear that city planners worked with the developer to preserve buffers, critical areas and open space, and ensure amenities are developed that will contribute to the local quality of life. If this neighborhood is developed as proposed, it could become a model for village neighborhood development and open space preservation.

(If you have questions regarding this project, contact the Planning Department at 394-9882; or Mayor Becky Erickson at 394-9880. You can visit with the mayor in person during her Saturday office hours between 9 a.m. to noon in her second-floor City Hall office.)

— What’s your opinion? Write Editor, North Kitsap Herald, P.O. Box 278, Poulsbo, WA. 98370. Or email rwalker@northkitsapherald.com.

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