Land-use in Rural Kitsap

by Bryann Grimley Kitsap Sun

Rural residents will be asked what they want to see in their neighborhoods.

The Kitsap County planning department has scheduled three meetings to give people a chance to discuss proposed changes to rural programs and regulations. The meetings will also let people talk with planners and officials and weigh in on how Kitsap’s rural areas should be developed.

“We have a lot going on in the rural areas right now,” said Katrina Knutson, senior planner for the county. “We’re looking at the current inventory of rural Kitsap County.  What’s out there right now?  What business do we have?  What uses?  And are citizens OK with that?”

The first task is defining what rural means to Kitsap residents.  Another issue to be looked at is how much business activity is appropriate in rural Kitsap, and what business and services people in rural Kitsap need.

“What type of uses aren’t out there that you need to serve yourself and the rural areas?” Knutson said.  “Obviously you don’t want to put in a strip mall or anything like that, but there are rural uses that need to be served like (agriculture) uses, farm uses and things like that.”

Portions of the county comprehensive plan that focus on commercial and industrial uses in rural areas will be updated as a result of this planning effort.  The last comp plan update focused on urban areas, and as a result general regulations were adopted for the rural areas, Knutson said.

Other rural issues like rural code development, the rural wooded incentive program and limited areas of more intensive rural development will be discussed.

“The public comments will help shape the decision on all the projects we have coming forward,” Knutson said.  “It’s the first time since 2006 that we’ve been out in the public like this and I think it’s really important for people to get involved.”

Representatives from the county’s Food and Farm Policy Council, county planers and county commissioners will attend the meetings.  Federal Census staff will be there and in North Kitsap a representative from Olympic Property Group will discuss the proposed North Kitsap Legacy Partnership.
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