Bremerton Shoreline Master Program will restrict residential remodeling.

There is a significant portion of Bremerton’s shoreline residential properties that were built over fifty years ago; most are small by today’s standards and limited by urban lot size. The Bremerton Planning Commission is considering a Shoreline Master Program regulation that will have a significant economic impact if not revised. This issue is remodeling and rebuilding.

While the ability to rebuild a house destroyed by natural disaster within a year is minimally impacted, The City places burdens on the owner who wants to perform a significant remodel. If the projected remodel will cost more than 75% of the assessed value of the structure, the owner will be required to bring the house up to current codes including new buffers and setbacks. Factored into the calculation of  the 75 % assessment value  “all repair and maintenance work conducted within a five (5) year period on the structure shall be included in the calculation.”

Rebuilding in the same footprint will no longer be an option, and the foundation will have to be moved to conform. In many cases for a severely run down house, rebuilding will not be a feasible option. It is counter to the best economic interests of the community to severely restrict some of the city’s most attractive property.

Property buyers will go to a areas that are more accommodating, Shoreline property values and associated taxbase will be depressed.  If shoreline property values are depressed the taxes on the upland properties will necessarily rise to make up the difference.

Let your opinions be known,
the Planning Commission hearing is Tues May 29 at 5:30.

20.16.670 Nonconforming Structures:

(b) Expansion: A nonconforming structure may be enlarged or extended provided the enlargement complies with the applicable setback; height, lot coverage, and other site development requirements of the Shoreline Master Program and the Zoning Code provided such work does not restore the structure from substantial destruction.

20.16.640 Definitions:

Substantial Destruction: For the purpose of this chapter, “substantial destruction” means the repair or replacement of a building or structure which exceeds one of the following:

(1) Seventy five percent (75%) of the assessed value of the structure as determined by the Kitsap County Assessor.


One response to “Bremerton Shoreline Master Program will restrict residential remodeling.

  1. It should be amended to say that:

    iIn the event that property so designated by the County Assessor or staff that the assessed evaluation on BOTH the lot and its improvements shall be reduced accordingly for three years prior to said action for ever thereafter.

    And in the event that the property owner appeals the Assessor’s determination and wins in court(s) up to SCOTUS, the Assessor shall pay all owner’s legal and professional cost and offer to purchase said property at its former assessment then clear the property and convert and maintain it as public recreational space unless such action was reviewed and approved by the County Commissioners in a public hearing and vote.

    See the SCOTUS decisions against the Carolina and California Coastal Commissions other rulings in similar matters of regulatory takings.

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