Three years down, nothing to show for it — repeat
Since the conception of the Growth Management Act, our mini-governments have had their hands full. Citizens have to realize that the same city staff that handles your annexations also handle the aftermath.
A case in point is that the Caldart Heights development (ironically, built on land we owned) has all infrastructure completed, seven houses built, and seven foundations waiting for new customers. The rest of Caldart Avenue has also been developed in the last three years. The annexations and PUDs are the easy part. After those are completed, the same city staff has to look at proposals and bounce them off the ever-evolving list of regulations, impeding what you are trying to do. They have no choice, and they cannot hire an engineering staff to handle the work load.
But if your property is landlocked, watch out! We have spent $95,000 on a simple short plat of 1.75 acres initiated when we put our home up for sale in 2005. The city was kind enough to section out the piece with the house, since it was too big a parcel to sell by itself. This six-month process has taken three years.
Remember, the city is an income-producing entity — just think about all those fees they receive from the developers who hire a team of employees to take on the city in order to get their developments completed first. Failure of Caldart Heights to submit the required documents has left us in a landlocked status for over one year.
Mayor Kathryn Quade spoke of preferring large annexed areas so that the already stretched resources can be more efficient. So, if you have a little short plat that used to take two weeks to record with the county, it now will take years. It is not the city’s fault — they do not generate enough taxes and fees to hire professional engineers to make quick decisions.
So, if you think you will have a vote and a voice on issues and decisions made regarding your land after annexation, think again. You give up all rights to your land when you begin the process of any change. Frustration of having the fate of your land sitting in the hands of a City Council for which you cannot vote, no representation, and a perceived lack of a definite schedule for the future is where you are headed. Remember, this functional plan will only be good at a specific point in time and subject to change.
Council Member Linda Berry-Maraist’s comment that fees can reach into the thousands of dollars, and the process can take years is extremely accurate. I began my short plat process three years ago, spent $95,000 and still do not have a building permit.
As stated in your editorial: lives have been consumed by this process for almost three years. This long drawn out process with no citizen say in the process is unacceptable.
Some common sense, please
Today I witnessed one of the worst acts of stupidity of a pet owner I have seen recently. As I was driving down 23rd Avenue in Poulsbo a car coming toward me had a dog hanging out the window. This in itself is dangerous for pets. But the sight that I saw went far beyond that. A woman was driving with her window open on the driver’s side all the way down. A tiny Yorkshire terrier type dog was completely outside the window. Its front paws were resting on the outside side mirror and its back legs on the top of the door frame. The driver had her left hand resting on the dog’s lower back only.
I couldn’t tell in the time I had to look if the dog had a harness on but the way the woman’s hand was situated it didn’t look like she had her fingers through any strap. Which if she had, would not have made the dangerous act any safer.
Why would anyone take such a risk with his or her pet like that? No matter how much a dog wants to have their nose out in the wind it is still wrong. My rule of thumb for pet safety is would I allow a child to do it and if not why would I allow my pet?
is too positive
Amazing the amount of free publicity which John Rose and company seemed to garner from the North Kitsap Herald. It seems to occur at least once a week; must be a heck of a publicist on staff. Regarding the dock which John Rose insists he needs “for Port Gamble.” Perhaps he should be more attentive to cleaning up the mess which Port Gamble is responsible for in and around Gamble Bay (both historically and ongoing).
There is one shell fish bed shut down to harvest already “due to continuing sewage contamination; how many more areas would be in peril due to “flushing” of pleasure boats which would use the dock? And is this dock perhaps a “promised” enhancement for the 400 or so homes planned for the upland areas, in return for “donating” trail rights for the Bay to Canal walking trail?
Perhaps a clever journalist could delve further into these questions!