KAPO Annual Membership Letter

Dear KITSAP ALLIANCE OF PROPERTY OWNER MEMBERS:

September 7, 2021

It was only in May of this year 2021, that we have been able to have our monthly meetings at the Family Pancake House on Kitsap Way. Two more are scheduled for this year September 30th and October 28th. We suspend those meetings in the months of November and December because of the holidays and often travel plans of our members. Thus, we hope you can join us and learn what is going on in the County and how you can be involved.

Your Board of Directors, however, conducts monthly meetings all 12-months of the year and these are “in person meetings.” Within this last year your KAPO Board has had a focus on housing issues to limit the adverse impact of “more regulation” ( often not needed), on the cost of our new single-family homes and our rental market for apartments. Of course, we recognize the COVID pandemic impacts that have artificially limited our supply of building products. Such cost factors we believe will be a relatively short-term influence, but regulatory measures, if left unchecked will continue to be and become the dominate reason our houses, both new and existing cost more than our average citizen, i.e., our medium income households can afford.

Some of our members have been a part of our organization since its inception in the year 2000. We very much appreciate your continued support. Property and home owners as well as those with an affiliated interest have a common concern about the affects and impacts of regulatory measures adopted by our Washington State Legislature, our Board of County Commissioners and our City Councils. These ordinances affect the ways we can use our property, or not in some cases. More important, such new and existing legislation can be viewed as an incremental abridgement of the rights and privileges that are guaranteed by both our US and Washington State Constitutions. So, that which began some 21-years ago has the same abiding mission going forward.

As KAPO members, we care about, the quality of life here as well as the rights we have as land owners – for the whole of the County. We know too, that “quality of life” is not enhanced by unneeded regulations. Rather, our perspective causes us to focus on how “rights” are preserved and balanced by appropriate legislation when needed. We do not therefore believe in “regulation for regulation’s sake,” or that our need is somehow manifest in what may or may not be appropriate or have been adopted in another county or city jurisdiction.

We have a by-word in this organization, really a starting point for any consideration of legislation …… “what is the problem you are trying to solve?” Our next question is: “what existing remedies exist that could remediate the problem?” If legislation is the likely solution, then “what is the least impacting measure that can be imposed? We want to know too, if in the passage of legislation by our elected officials, if they have “counted the cost” of imposing new regulatory measures?” And finally, we want to know if our elected officials are brave enough to make an assessment of existing regulations and repeal those that are not needed or more restrictive than is necessary to address current problems.

We wish we could report that our elected officials both State and local had the discipline to perform such analysis before adopting plans and ordinances. Sadly, that is not the case and is the reason KAPO has a role to play for the foreseeable future. In that regard, here are the issues and proposed legislation we have addressed or are testifying about:

  • Lack of effective citizen participation, which involve citizens in a participatory way and not just inform them about what the County is going to do to them.
  • Oppose the new increase in “traffic impact fees” applicable to new homes that raises the assessment from $700.00 to over $4,000.00 that is set to go into effect on February 1, 2022.
  • Oppose features of the recently passed “Storm Water Design Guidelines” that were finally adopted in early 2021 and the “Update to the Shoreline Master Program,” adopted in June of 2021 that introduced some 20-new un-mandated regulations.
  • Continuing objection to the proposed Zoning Ordinance – Use Activity update that is introducing a host of new regulatory measures set to be adopted later this year.
  • Gearing up for the Comprehensive Plan Update process to commence in early 2022.
  • Building alliances with the Kitsap Building Association, the Kitsap Association of Realtors and the Kitsap County Real Estate Brokers in North, Central and South Kitsap County.
  • Maintaining our KAPO.org website to provide our membership and others timely information about the above issues and more.

It is hard to match the dedication of your Board members. In that regard, we hope that others in our organization might aspire to become more involved. The Board can always use your individual and perhaps collective help. Regardless, what keeps this organization alive and vital is your yearly support. Without KAPO, what other organization would or can represent the rights of people to own and use your property as provided in our State and US Constitutions?

Our membership fee is set at $120.00 per year and on behalf of your Board of Directors we are grateful for not only your renewed membership but also whatever donations you might want to make to facilitate our organizations activities and on-going expenses. Donations are taxdeductible and we have forms to submit with your tax returns if needed or desired.

Again, thank you for your continued support.

William Palmer President

August 26: Dinner Speaker Douglas Washburn

Our August Dinner Speaker is Douglas Washburn, Kitsap County Department of Human Services Director. His Department has the Lead in addressing Housing Affordability and Homelessness in the county.

Family Pancake House 3900 Kitsap Way, Bremerton WA 98312

Thursday August 26, 5PM meet, greet, and order no-host dinner

Join us for discussion and interchange. More Info Pat (360)-692-4750

August 26: Dinner Speaker Douglas Washburn

Our August Dinner Speaker is Douglas Washburn, Kitsap County Department of Human Services Director. His Department has the Lead in addressing Housing Affordability and Homelessness in the county.

Family Pancake House 3900 Kitsap Way, Bremerton WA 98312

Thursday August 26, 5PM meet, greet, and order no-host dinner

Join us for discussion and interchange. More Info Pat (360)-692-4750

June 24: Dinner Speaker Shane Seaman

Tonight’s dinner speaker is Attorney Shane Seaman from the Cross Sound Law Group in Poulsbo. Shane is currently a Court Commissioner for Bremerton Municipal Court and actively sits as a Judge Pro Tem for the Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Port Orchard and Poulsbo Municipal Courts as well as the Kitsap and Jefferson County District Courts. Shane will be speaking on “Adverse Possession or Prescriptive Easement?

Family Pancake House 3900 Kitsap Way, Bremerton WA 98312

June 24, 5PM meet, greet, and order no-host dinner

Join us for discussion and interchange. More Info Pat (360)-692-4750

Citizen Participation letter to Kitsap County Planning Commission

The question for this Commission is how do we as a Commission partner with our citizenry? As a person with a long history of public participation, I can testify and I have, this is not the attitude promoted in our current citizen appeasement program. Partnership means that the people considering plans and ordinances have to do morethan just summarize comments made or provided. The recommendations made bythe public has to matter to the degree that there is evidence that plans andordinances were actually changed or amended based on changes the public said arenecessary. Failure to do so minimizes citizen involvement and does not encourage it.

Unaffordable Housing in Kitsap County

A shortage of housing is a very real crisis in Kitsap County. By our calculations, we are as of today, short of demand by approximately 20,115 housing units. This has resulted in the cost of housing now being roughly double what Unites States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) deems as “affordable,11 both to buy and to rent. We have solutions.

Kitsap Alliance, Kitsap Home Builders Association and Kitsap Real Estate Brokers Association request an in-person working group meeting with the Board of County Commissioners, the Planning Commission, and the Kitsap County housing specialist to identify means of reducing the current high cost of housing and eliminating the deficit in housing supply.

May 27 Dinner Speaker Senator Tim Sheldon

It is our great pleasure to return to in person dinner meetings. Our Guest Speaker is Senator Tim Sheldon. He will be giving us his perspective on 31 years of the Legislature.

Family Pancake House 3900 Kitsap Way, Bremerton 98312.

May 27, 2021, 5PM Meet, great and order, 6PM Speaker.

Masks required.

Join us early for discussion and exchange of information.

More info? Pat (360) 692-4750 pat.ryan58@comcast.net

June 24: Dinner Speaker Shane Seaman

Tonight’s dinner speaker is Attorney Shane Seaman from the Cross Sound Law Group in Poulsbo. Shane is currently a Court Commissioner for Bremerton Municipal Court and actively sits as a Judge Pro Tem for the Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Port Orchard and Poulsbo Municipal Courts as well as the Kitsap and Jefferson County District Courts. Shane will be speaking on “Adverse Possession or Prescriptive Easement?

Family Pancake House 3900 Kitsap Way, Bremerton WA 98312

June 24, 5PM meet, greet, and order no-host dinner

Join us for discussion and interchange. More Info Pat (360)-692-4750

May 27 Dinner Speaker Senator Tim Sheldon

Family Pancake House 3900 Kitsap Way, Bremerton 98312.

May 27, 2021, 5PM Meet, great and order, 6PM Speaker.

Frozen Land isn’t navigable water (despite what the Clean Water Act says)

Richard Schok owns a pipe fabricating company in North Pole, Alaska. After decades of building a successful business, Richard decided to purchase property to relocate and expand his company. The new property was next to a junk car dealer, a scrap metal dealer, and a concrete product supply company. Not exactly the pristine wetlands one thinks of when hearing about the Clean Water Act.

Unfortunately for Richard, the Army Corps of Engineers decided that his property was a wetland under the Clean Water Act. The agency decided that the property (despite being bordered by other businesses) was adjacent to a navigable water body because the town of North Pole is located between two rivers. Even worse, the only “wetland” the Army Corps found on Richard’s property was permafrost—land that’s frozen all year long.

PLF represented Richard and his company and challenged the Army Corps’ determination that frozen land is navigable water under the Clean Water Act. Unfortunately, the courts ruled against him, and it looked like he couldn’t follow through with his business plans.

But earlier this year, the Trump administration adopted a new rule about what land is regulated under the Clean Water Act. The new rule is far from perfect, but it does make several improvements. Richard is one example of how the new rule can help small business owners.

The new rule changes how the Army Corps and the EPA determine whether a wetland is “adjacent” to a body of water and, therefore, can be regulated by the agencies. Specifically, the new rule says that, when a road or other barrier separates a wetland from a river or stream, that wetland will not be covered by the Clean Water Act. That means Richard’s property, which is surrounded by other industrial businesses, is outside the Army Corps’ jurisdiction.

Based on the new rule, Richard asked the Army Corps to reconsider its determination that his property is covered under the Clean Water Act. Earlier this month, the Army Corps agreed that it could not regulate the property. While the Army Corps still views permafrost as a “wetland,” it can no longer regulate the permafrost on Richard’s property.

Pacific Legal Foundation Article dated Dec 1 2020