State panel will rule on whether Poulsbo violated rights with trails plan

POULSBO — The Growth Management Hearings Board will decide in March whether Poulsbo violated private property rights when the City Council passed a long-range bike lanes and trails plan.

The residents filed a petition with the board in September, alleging the city failed to follow Growth Management Act rules when it adopted its annual comprehensive plan amendments, which added language to accommodate a future trails plan. The petitioners allege the city failed to properly consider private property rights including taking discriminatory and arbitrary actions, failed to provide adequate notice for public participation during the planning process and the city failed to provide protection measures for area fish and wildlife.

On Monday, Hagwell, Wold and Lee reiterated their concerns about the Urban Paths of Poulsbo, a document worked on from 2008 to 2010 that recommends adding 13 miles of bike and walking trails connecting neighborhoods, commercial areas, schools and more within city limits, over the next 20 years.

A committee made up of Councilwoman Linda Berry-Maraist and 19 other residents worked to prioritize bike lanes and trails areas, in addition to developing a conceptual map that draws lines of where the trails might be located. Bike lanes and trails run in front of and through Hagwell’s 5.2-acre property. The retired teacher is concerned the trail will bring “unsavory characters throughout the day.”

Haney said the conceptual map was not drawn in such great detail that landowners would be able to tell where the trails were. “(All) she has to do (is) say no, I don’t want a trail,” Haney said in response to Hagwell’s desires to opt out of trail construction, emphasizing the city’s commitment to working with only willing property owners.

Kitsap Sun article

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