Help shape the future of our city, water quality | In Our Opinion

Meetings related to the City of Poulsbo’s Shoreline Master Program update were lightly attended. And that’s too bad, because the Shoreline Master Program regulates development on our shorelines, as well as water-oriented uses. The update was the subject of more than two years of work, and your input could have influenced the final plan – as well as protect what you feel is important regarding shorelines and shoreline uses.

Likewise on two upcoming issues. We urge residents to participate and help shape how our communities develop, as well as how we protect our water quality.

The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners is revisiting the county’s urban growth areas – those areas designated by the county and its cities under the Growth Management Act “within which urban growth shall be encouraged, and outside of which growth can occur only if it is not urban in nature.”

According to state law, each urban growth area, or UGA, in a county should include enough land to accommodate the state Office of Financial Management’s 20-year population projection allocated for that UGA. Within the UGA, a city and/or county is to designate sufficient open space, provide urban services, and permit development at urban densities.  Urban development and provision of urban services, such as water and sewer, should not generally occur outside of urban growth areas.

The idea behind this is to centralize growth, prevent sprawl and protect our open spaces. Kitsap is required to review and evaluate its UGAs every five years, and identify reasonable measures to ensure development occurs as planned under the Growth Management Act.

Public workshops are scheduled Jan. 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds Eagle’s Nest, 1200 NW Fairgrounds Road, Bremerton; and on Jan. 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m., in the Kitsap County Administration Building, Commissioners Chambers, 619 Division St., Port Orchard.

Two of the urban growth areas that will be addressed in these workshops in Kingston and Silverdale. For more information, contact Eric Baker at ebaker@co.kitsap.wa.us or (360) 337-4495, or Angie Silva at asilva@co.kitsap.wa.us or at (360) 337-4841.

On Jan 26, 1 p.m., in the Council Chambers at Poulsbo City Hall, officials from the state Department of Ecology will meet with city officials to discuss Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL.

TMDL is a regulatory term in the U.S. Clean Water Act describing a value of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive while still meeting water quality standards.

This is a discussion that will likely lead, ultimately, to determining the maximum pollution limits that can be received in Liberty Bay. This could include identification of sources of pollutants, and magnitude of sources; determination of natural pollutant load, and load from human activities; establishment of water quality targets; and a watershed management strategy to attain established targets.

Establishing maximum pollution limits that can be received in Liberty Bay would be good for the health of our local environment, but it could affect our neighborhoods, how we develop them and how we live in them. We urge residents to participate in this meeting.


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