KINGSTON — Any appeal to requested changes to the Buccaneer Field use permit will have to be very specific to be taken into consideration.
“An appeal has to be based on the [county] code,” said Jeff Rowe, deputy director of the Kitsap County Department of Community Development. “Folks can’t just not like kids …”
A proposed use permit for Buc Field was submitted July 3 by Dave Dyess, the North Kitsap School District director of facility maintenance and capital programs. The county deemed the proposed permit complete July 9. The permit is now under review.
If approved by the county, the permit would allow Buc Field to be used for games and allow a press box to be built near the field. District administration discovered the field was not permitted for games when a building permit for the press box was submitted in 2012.
The county has a 20-day window to review the proposed use permit. After review, there is a 14-day appeal process, according to Dyess.
Dyess could not say whether there will be an appeal. However, the perspective of the county is Kingston High School is eventually going to be a fully developed school, with fields that can be used for games, he said.
It’s not uncommon for the public to protest development in their communities, Rowe said. In the past, the county has received appeals based on opinion alone. For example, someone appealing a daycare simply did not like children, Rowe said. Rowe reiterated an appeal has to be based on code, not public opinion.
If an appeal did go through, Superintendent Patty Page said it could take several years to resolve.
A public hearing was held June 13 prior for residents living near the school to provide input on the issue. The district was required to notify residents living within 400 feet of the school grounds of the hearing, county senior planner Jeff Smith said in a previous interview with the Herald. Smith, of the county Department of Community Development, estimated there are 20-30 residents who live within that perimeter.
The field was contested by neighbors when Kingston High School was proposed. Though the neighbors lost the fight against a field being developed, the district’s use agreement allows the field to be used only for practice. The conditional use permit allowed the construction of Kingston High School and its athletic fields consistent with the Urban Restricted and Urban Residential designation of the Comprehensive Plan and zone classifications of Kitsap County. That includes regulations on such things as traffic, lighting, noise, and other impacts near residents.
If the use permit is approved, Rowe said there may be conditions to that approval. What those conditions could be are unknown.
Initial work on press box moves forward
The North Kitsap School Board gave a head nod July 11 to have Dyess move forward with planning a press box at Buccaneer Field.
The press box is expected to cost about $60,000. The district has $30,000 budgeted to the project, with the rest up to the Kingston High School Athletic Boosters and other partners.
Blueprints have been made, but the district will have those plans altered so the project is more cost efficient. The most recent blueprints cost $8,200.
Electricity is another factor, as the only source of power is on the opposite end of the land adjacent to the field.
The money for the press box was included in the last two budgets — $15,000 in each — as line items.
Though no formal vote was made, board president Dan Weedin said the board made a “verbal commitment” to have a press box built.
Superintendent Page said a commitment was made to the Kingston community for a press box.
Board director Scott Henden wants to see the district “move on it immediately,” because the district is already a year late on the building.
Board director Tom Anderson wants to table the issue for about a year. The district has more pressing budget problems, he said.
Board director Bill Webb agreed a commitment was made, but wants to make sure the school will have a field to play games on before a $60,000 building is approved. Following that comment, Weedin agreed with Webb.
A press box’s use is intended for more than sports reporters, KHS Athletic Boosters president Hope Lash said. For example, the building would be used by a game announcer. Lash said Deane Draper, the announcer for the past few years, sits under a large umbrella on stormy nights. The announcer’s booth is located at the top of the bleachers.
Lash agreed that the board did make a commitment to build the press box. She said boosters were promised the it would be erected this summer. Lash believes the press box and permit will happen this summer.