Kitsap Alliance challenges county-wide planning policies.

To Mayors, Matthes, Erickson, Lester and Lent,

Each of the Cities with membership in the KRCC are required to ratify the Ordinance (attached) passed by Kitsap County on November 14, 2011 adopting the Amendments to the County-wide Planning Policies. As I understand the rules the Cities have 90 days in which to take that action. According to my calculations the 90 days is up on or about February 14, 2012.

Perhaps the Cities have endorsed the County’s ordinance already. If not this e-mail will serve the advisory purpose to inform each of you that Jack Hamilton and I have filed a “Petition For Review” with the Growth Management Hearings Board in Tumwater. We did so last Friday January 13, 2012.

It may or may not be known, but Jack Hamilton and I are the only ones who took the time and trouble to review in detail all of the proposed amendments to the County-wide Planning Policies. Our collective comments challenged the efficacy of nearly every single proposed amendment. We did so for a variety of reasons not the least of which is the concern we have for the attempt of the County to embrace without critical thought the Puget Sound Regional Councils’ Vision 2040 and Transportation 2040 Plans. We also found to our dismay that many of the proposed policies included “buzz words” and ill-defined concepts that neither constitute sound policy making or plan guidance that could actually be implemented.

Unfortunately, we could not challenge the lunacy of many of the proposed policy amendments in our “Petition For Review,” but we could appeal on the basis of lack of citizen participation. Aside from meeting some mandatiory public hearing advertising requirements, there was virtually no attempt made by either KRCC or Kitsap County to involve the citizens of the County in the draft or at least consideration of these policy amendments. Clearly as pointed out in our “Petition For Review,” the requirements of the Growth Management Act for citizen participation have not been met. Remember, Jack Hamilton and myself are the only two individuals in the County of 245,000 people who commented on or in any other way were involved in the construct or review of these policy amendments. That fact alone is indicative of a failure on the part of KRCC and the County to include citizens in the construct and review of policy amendments that have far reaching implications on the life and economy of Kitsap County

Neither Jack nor I know what the sentiment of the Cities might be to endorse or not the ordinance Kitsap County adopted. Also we do not know whether or not it will be necessary to file an amended appeal once the Cities take action regarding the endorsement of the County’s Ordinance 476-2011. None-the-less, we are persuaded that if the Cities of Kitsap County do ratify the County’s Ordinance we will file an amended appeal.

When I testified on the County’s Ordinance proposal last September (when their hearing was held to invite testimony) I did advise the County Commissioners in orally and in writing that they had not met the Growth Management Acts requirements for citizen participation. I cited the same sections of GMA in my September letter (written on behalf of Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners) that are referenced in our “Petition For Review.

Hopefully, the Cities will take a second look at these amendments and the ordinance adopted by the County before taking action. Regardless, each of you now has a copy of both the County’s Ordinance 476-2011 and the “Petition For Review” that Jack and I have filed.

Respectfully,

William M. Palmer, President, KITSAP ALLIANCE of Property Owners

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