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Encourage grading under existing rules | In Our Opinion
Poulsbo’s city code puts restrictions on grading and clearing of property proposed for development, in order to preserve trees and habitat. The idea is to discourage the wholesale clearing of property to be developed.
Mayor Becky Erickson said the Mountain Aire subdivision was approved under older rules, and therefore didn’t have to conform to newer grading and clearing rules. The result: The clearcut that graced the front page of the July 25 North Kitsap Herald.
Erickson told the Herald this week that the City Council will consider tougher grading and clearing regulations in 2015. In the meantime, she’d like the City Council to approve a proclamation encouraging potential developers to follow the grading and clearing rules currently on the books, even if their projects are vested under the older, more lenient rules.
Trees contribute to the natural beauty of the landscape. They contribute to healthier neighborhoods and improved property values. They provide habitat. They slow stormwater flows and prevent erosion. The wholesale removal of trees is unfortunate, unnecessary and a waste.
The mayor should propose, and the City Council should approve, a proclamation that reiterates the importance the city puts on its natural landscape, and encourages developers to follow the grading and clearing rules currently on the books.