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

Zoning Use Code Update

At our Sept 1 Board of Directors meeting, Kitsap County Department of Community Development (DCD )Staff provided a brief on the proposed Zoning Code Update that is scheduled to be submitted to a Panning Commission Public Hearing at the end of September. The Material that they presented provides a summary of the propose changes. The county Zoning code update page can be found here:
https://www.kitsapgov.com/dcd/Pages/Zoning-Use-Table-Update.aspx .

One of the problems with the county zoning use update page is that it is difficult to the content of the change. The Zoning content change is here:
Use Table Resource Guide,
Definitions Resource Guide,
Special Use Provisions Resource Guide

Please read this material carefully and provide the KAPO Board with feedback and consider testifying at the Planning Commission Hearing. The Planning Commission Schedule can be found here: https://www.kitsapgov.com/dcd/PCDocs/2020%20External%20Planning%20Commission%20Calendar.pdf

The Board Is interested in your thoughts so testimony can be readied for the public hearing.

The county is adding a whole new 43 page section to the Zoning Code. Basically moving the Zoning code footnotes to a new section.

Section 17.415 General Requirements
17.415.005 Purpose.
This chapter establishes special provisions for allowed uses identified in Sections 17.410.042 through 17.410.048. In addition to other standards and requirements imposed by this title and other requirements in the Kitsap County Code, all uses shall comply with the provisions stated herein. Should a conflict arise between the requirements of this Chapter and other requirements of the Kitsap County Code, the most restrictive shall apply.

This Section contains rules for everything from Accessory Dwelling Units to Zoo, Aquarium. It includes items such as:

17.415.— Garage sales

Periodic, noncommercial sales of personal and household goods, and professional estate sales, at residential dwellings shall be allowed as an accessory use, provided such sale events conform to the following conditions:

  1. A maximum of four events per residential address per calendar year.
  2. A maximum of four consecutive days per event.
  3. Limited to the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  4. Goods shall not be placed in the public right-of-way.
  5. It shall be the responsibility of the resident and/or operator of the sale to ensure traffic is not obstructed.
  6. All goods, tables, canopies, tarps, and associated paraphernalia shall be removed from public view between sale events.
  7. Goods shall be limited to the personal or household property of the estate, the residents of the sale location, and/or the participants in the sale. There shall be no sale of goods or products purchased or produced for resale or otherwise sold by the sale participants in a commercial enterprise.
  1. Pets and Exotic Animals. Pets, nontraditional pets and exotic animals are subject to the following conditions:
  2. Pets which are kept inside of a primary structure as household pets in aquariums, terrariums, cages or similar containers shall not be limited in number by this section. Other pets, excluding cats, which are kept indoors shall be limited to five;
    b. Pets which are kept outside of the primary structure shall be limited to three per household on lots less than twenty thousand square feet in area, only one of which may be a nontraditional pet; five per household on lots of twenty thousand to thirty- five thousand square feet, only two of which may be nontraditional pets; with an additional two pets per acre of site area over thirty-five thousand square feet up to a limit of twenty; and
  3. No feeding area or structure used to house, confine or feed pets shall be located closer than the minimum yard setbacks for the zone in which they are located. No feeding area or structure used to house, confine or feed nontraditional pets or exotic animals shall be located closer than fifty feet from any residence on adjacent property.

17.415.— Accessory use or structure.

  1. One piece of heavy equipment may be stored in any single-family zone; provided, that it is either enclosed within a permitted structure, or screened to the satisfaction of the director.
  2. A residential accessory use or structure in the Rural Historic Town Waterfront (RHTW) zone, notification to the Port Gamble/S’Klallam and Suquamish Tribes is required by the applicant prior to determination of complete application. Written proof of notification is required.
  3. Storage of shipping containers is prohibited unless allowed as part of a land use permit and/or approval. Placement of storage containers allowed only with an approved temporary permit subject to the provisions of Section 17.105.090(I).

17.415.— Campground.

  1. Campgrounds shall be recreational and transient and shall not allow:
    1. Camping for more than thirty days within a forty-day time period. Campers must vacate the overnight park facilities for ten consecutive nights between allowed stays. The time period shall begin on the date for which the first night’s fee is paid. The campground operator shall keep a log of all members of the camping party and ensure that the allowed number of days stay is not exceeded.
  2. The designation of the campground as a permanent or temporary address on official documents or applications submitted to public or private agencies or institutions.
  3. In the Rural Residential (RR) zone, Rural Protection (RP), and Rural Wooded (RW) zones, a campground is allowed only as an accessory use to a park or recreational facility greater than twenty acres in size except when included within the boundaries of a town master plan approved pursuant to Section 17.360C.030. If included within a town master plan boundary, the use shall not include more than sixty spaces per five acres. All use of recreational vehicles must be transient in nature.

17.415.— Manufactured/mobile/RV/park-model/tiny home parks.

Manufactured home/mobile/RV park/park-model/tiny home park must meet the following requirements:

  1. In the Rural Residential (RR) or Rural Wooded (RW) zones and only within the boundary of a town master plan approved pursuant to Section 17.360C.030 on parcels of five acres or larger with all uses set back one hundred feet from all parcels not included within the boundary, manufactured/mobile/RV/park- model/tiny home parks shall be allowed and require a Conditional Use Permit (C).
  2. Manufactured home parks shall be completely and adequately served by public utilities.
  3. Building lot coverage. The maximum building lot coverage is sixty percent, including accessory buildings.
  4. Accessory buildings. Buildings and structures accessory to individual manufactured homes shall be allowed. An accessory roof or awning may be attached to a manufactured home and shall be considered a part thereof. Automobile parking spaces may be covered with a carport.
  5. All drives within the park shall be hard surfaced. Sidewalks and paths shall be provided consistent with county standards.
  6. There shall be at least a ten foot setback between homes, any building within the park.
  7. There shall be sight-obscuring fencing, landscaping, or natural vegetated buffers at least eight feet wide on all sides of the park. Such screening shall contain openings that provide direct pedestrian access to adjoining streets and trails.
  8. Recreational Areas/Open Space. At least five hundred square feet for each manufactured home space shall be made available in a centralized location or locations for recreational uses.
  9. Binding site plan. A complete and detailed binding site plan shall be submitted in support of the permit. The binding site plan shall show the locations and dimensions of all contemplated buildings, structures, spaces, driveways and roads and recreational areas. The Director may require additional information as necessary to determine whether the proposed manufactured park meets all the above conditions and other applicable provisions of this code.

Kitsap Housing Supply is in Crisis

“Housing Affordability” vs. “Affordable Housing”

It’s not about “affordable housing,’·
It’s about housing people can afford to buy.
There’s a big difference.
What brought on the French ‘revolution?

Today in Kitsap County, 1 in 15 families are struggling with poverty due to extreme property regulation.

Kitsap County Commissioners have advised us of our critical housing shortage (Click here)

  • There is a current shortfall of 9500 units to house 4524 families.
  • The housing shortage grows to 34,650 units in 16 years.
  • 515 housing units are currently being built in Kitsap County.
  • 1,480 new housing units per year are needed to satisfy current growth.
  • Without correction, the problem grows worse each year into the future.

Discretionary income allows freedom of choice and liberty. Home ownership is the bedrock of personal dignity. High taxes and excessive regulation destroy and undermine both freedom of choice and personal dignity. Housing is typically a family’s largest discretionary income cost. As we learned in “Economics 101”, supply and demand determine prices. Reducing the cost of housing allows discretionary income to be spent elsewhere, creating jobs and tax revenue.

Kitsap County’s median home price is now $408,590, 77% above HUD’s affordability standard of $236,710 for a median income family. We see State and Local regulations now adding well over 50% to home prices.

Home construction has been impeded by Washington State’s Growth Management Act‘s restrictive regulations over the past twenty five years, resulting in our current housing shortage. For every 100 family units formed. only 42 homes are being constructed. Considering 1/3 of our residents are renters, 11,000 new rental units must be constructed by 2036. This lack of housing supply is the cause of our home and rental prices being out of sight.

County and State leadership have failed to create solutions. There is no apparent plan to increase the rate of housing construction. There appear to be no numerical goals and no measures of progress.

City of Bremerton & Kitsap County Affordable Housing Recommendations report, ECONorthwest, Final Report, March, 2020 (the “ECONorthwest paper”) rightly states adverse impacts of housing regulation can be alleviated by eliminating housing options through zoning. In Kitsap County, zoning has for years prohibited affordable “Missing Middle Housing”:  duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, courtyard apartments cottage clustersand accessory dwelling units.

Kitsap County’s rate of housing construction must be increased by at least a factor of five or housing will become even more unaffordable. For construction to accelerate, the marketplace must be allowed to function. Local government must become an incentivized partner in construction of market-rate affordable housing, not an adversary.

The Rucklehouse Report showed the lack of affordable housing is a common complaint in all 39 Washington State counties. Only by rapidly expanding the quantity of buildable lots and unburdening developers from restrictive and expensive regulation will housing prices be reduced to affordable levels.

Washington State home prices are currently 86% above Housing and Urban Development’s definition of affordability.

Kitsap Alliance is well aware of the impacts of Washington State’s Growth Management Act (GMA) and environmental activism on housing availability. We are also aware of County and city long-term foot-dragging in creation of new and affordable building sites and zealously imposing zoning impediments and limitations. The usual bureaucratic response is “The State made us do it.”

Read the Full Housing Affordability vs Affordable Housing report.

Opinion – New York Daily News: Canceling rent won’t solve housing woes

As Americans stagger through a bewildering pandemic summer, buffeted by shutdowns and job losses, millions face each coming month with an additional dread: making their rent payments.

In response to the crisis, numerous states and localities have enacted eviction bans and rent deferral schemes. Unfortunately, such extreme measures are unjust, unlawful and counterproductive.

Governments have taken varied approaches to the threat of people being ousted from their homes en masse. California’s courts closed their doors to all eviction proceedings, even if the reason for eviction had no relationship to the pandemic. Seattle banned evictions related to non-payment so long as a tenant can “self-certify” they aren’t paying rent due to economic hardship brought on by the pandemic, and landlords must allow tenants 18 months from the end of the city’s state of emergency to repay that money. And Ithaca, N.Y., became the first — but likely not the last — city to attempt to forgive rent altogether.

While it may seem intuitive to absolve renters of their obligations during an emergency, such laws force one group to bear the burden of the crisis: landlords. They don’t get much sympathy, but landlords are often ordinary people facing the same challenges we all face. Continue reading