Kingston Citizen Advisory Council notes

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following was culled from notes provided by Kingston Citizen’s Advisory Council secretary Mary Kulish from the KCAC meeting Jan. 7. The next meeting of KCAC takes place at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Paul T. Nichols Headquarters station of North Kitsap Fire & Rescue off Miller Bay Road.)

At the Jan. 7 meeting of the Kingston Citizens’ Advisory Council, co-chair Greg Platz led a discussion of the KCAC 2008 accomplishments and 2009 goals. After some discussion and changes, the document was approved.

Platz also read a letter he wrote on behalf of the KCAC that praised and thanked Kingston Community News Editor Rebecca Pirtle, who is leaving that post, for all her coverage of the council’s work and activities.

Transition Town

Guest speaker at the KCAC meeting, Kinley Deller of the North Kitsap Climate Change Strategy and the Transition Town Initiative, gave a special presentation. Deller, who works for King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks, said he started North Kitsap Climate Change Strategy to help local citizens learn how to and take action to reduce the community’s carbon footprint while making things less expensive, simpler, and more sustainable. He equated the necessity of becoming more sustainable with emergency preparedness saying, “I want you all to be able to bring this back locally so that we will be able to sustain ourselves regardless of what is happening to the oil supply or the price of food. The goal is to be able to provide food and other necessities for ourselves.”

Deller is working with Stillwaters Environmental Center to implement “The Transition Town Model” within the North Kitsap community. This model, which began in England, strives to build local resilience to the depletion of oil supplies, to climate change, and to other industrial or environmental occurrences that effect quality of life.

He said that a Transition Town Steering Committee is being established and will form community groups from Kingston, Indianola, and Suquamish. The groups will work on ideas to help North Kitsap create its own strategies. “Transportation, local food, and energy efficiency are focal points right now,” Deller said. “One of the first steps is to recognize that we have to start cutting back as a community.”

Other objectives of the North Kitsap Climate Change Strategy and the Transition Town Initiative include creating a community revolving loan fund that would help residents retrofit their homes for energy efficiency by using low-interest loans; finding ways to make Kingston more walkable, perhaps with the help of a walkability audit; and instituting a farm-to-school program that would have local schools plant gardens that would provide food to the school cafeteria. Deller said Spectrum, Kingston High, Gordon, Wolfle, and Briedablik schools are all starting such programs.

Deller said he would like all of the groups that KCAC represents, the town, and the county to consider him a resource as Kingston goes forward with planning and projects.

County report

Kitsap County Department of Community Development Associate Planner Pete Sullivan said the county is reviewing long-range community planning, updating county codes for land development, zoning, procedures, and site-specific comprehensive plan amendments for the entire county. One of the goals, he said, is to reduce duplication of process thereby making things run efficiently. Platz asked Sullivan to alert KCAC to any applications or changes regarding the Kingston area.

Village Green grading

Kitsap County Parks and Recreation Director Chip Faver and Parks Planning Project Manager Matt Keough attended the KCAC meeting and as part of the parks, trails and open space subcommittee report, updated the group on the Village Green project.

Keough passed around two three-dimensional models of the 14-acre Village Green area, which includes four acres belonging to the Parks Department. The first model showed the area as it is now without the Navy housing; the other showed the preferred parks project with grading. He said the project, which is awaiting approval by Commissioner Steve Bauer and the Village Green Stewardship Committee, is expected to get under way in May. For safety reasons, the fencing will remain until the grading and seeding are done, probably at the end of May.

A motion was made, seconded, and passed for KCAC to endorse the grading plan presented.

Faver thanked KCAC members for all their help and support for this project.

Kingston Open House

In other business, Platz said he continues to work on the Kingston Open House for 2009 and is coordinating calendars with the school district, parks department and county. It is tentatively scheduled for the third week in March. He noted his disappointment that the parks department has refused to provide the tables needed for the many information booths. KCAC members encouraged Platz to call commissioner Steve Bauer about this issue as many of the people providing information at the Open House are from county departments.