Rose master plan: Fanciful wishes or realistic objections?
June 15, 2011 · Updated 7:08 AM
Your recent editorials about the proposed Rose project have so far encouraged only one letter agreeing with you (“Rose project in the wrong place," page A7, June 10). Let’s examine some reality-based reasons for opposing this huge development, in its current form. Altered tactics are needed for next Thursday’s public hearing by the Poulsbo Planning Commission, 6 p.m., City Hall.
Unfortunately, that time conflicts with the contentious North Kitsap School District’s 2011-12 budget hearing; thus I foresee ultimate approval by the Planning Commission, unless they hear more than fanciful wishes about transferring this multi-million development to an urbanized part of Poulsbo: North Viking Way. In the case of Mr. Smaus of Kingston, his wistful wish to extend Fish Park a half-mile “up the hill” through several occupied homes just isn’t going to happen!
Edward Rose & Sons is a multi-faceted realty corporation and a very large Midwestern developer-manager of apartment complexes. Googling their name tells you a lot about them.
The Rose corporation has spent sizable sums on research, engineering and land options for this site, the NW corner of SR 305 and Bond Road. Their master plan is 8 inches high and weighs several pounds! No ordinary citizen, such as Mr. Smaus or I, or even a small paper can mount an effective opposition to such a juggernaut -- but maybe many of us citizens together can.
I contend that the Rose “team” includes lawyers and engineering firms, to either build this 700-unit complex on that 55-acre site (unless the city can find a legal reason to deny it), or nowhere else in Kitsap. Would they reasonably have advanced this far without expectations of city approval? The city’s planning department has already given them a finding of “non-significant impact” on the environment! Rumors are that the City Council wants this project.
The main problem with the Rose master plan is that it is just too aggressive in size and scope: 700 new housing units, with 540 multi-family units, is larger than the Olhava plan of 1997 in that dimension. Poulsbo has gone from 7,005 people in 2004 to 9,200 now, an increase of 30 percent in just seven years. Adding 1,250 more in one place would increase population by another 15 percent the next five. It’s not just that more people impact the environment; it’s putting so many adjacent to our two busiest highways that strikes me as dangerous. The WSDOT engineer’s letter highlights the tricky left-in/left-out access on Bond between Bernt and Big Valley roads, where Bond would all be three-laned, the middle lane a combination acceleration and left turn lane! Sound safe to you?
-- Editor's note: Linda Emily also submitted a letter to the editor in opposition to the project, "Do we really need more concrete," May 9.