Kitsap Farm to Fork

A couple of farm girls, Diane Fish and Shannon Harkness, share their experiences with farming, cooking, local food, and building the Kitsap Foodshed.
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Public Hearing on Agricultural Sign Ordinance – TONIGHT

July 8th, 2013 by Diane Fish

A while back Dragonfly Nursery and Farm in Hansville ran afoul of county ordinances for their signage (among other things) and it brought up yet again the tenuous position many farmers in which many farmers find themselves.  I commented recently that every farmer I knows breaks the rules – somehow, someway!   There are so many federal, state, and local regulations that compliance is incredibly challenging.  Worse yet, many farmers often don’t know that they are breaking the rules.

Ag sign

Ag signage rules are just one of the areas where there is a lack of clarity.  Many small farms have seasonal produce available and put up signs to attract passing motorists – savvy business practice or illegal signage?  Depends!  Title 17 (Agriculture) is scheduled for a rewrite in 2014 (postponed from 2013).  This project definitely needs to go forward because farmers are wanting clarification on zoning codes that impact farming.   Like confusion over the sign ordinance.  So, for 2013 a group of farmers got together and worked with the Department of Community Development to come up with an interim solution to the problem.   DCD hasn’t always been completely responsive to the needs of the farming community – so this ordinance was a big deal for local farmers.  There is an informational flyer on the DCD Website with the main points are outlined below:

The agricultural sign registration program is being administered by Kitsap County Department of Community Development (DCD). Please follow this link for on-line
registration instructions:  http://www.kitsapgov.com/dcd/community_plan/agricultural%20signage/ag_signage.htm

Terms of participation in the program include:

  • Up to four off-premise signs (sellers name and contact info on back)
  • A-board signs shall not exceed twenty-four inches by thirty inches
  • Stand-alone (post driven) signs shall not exceed three square feet
  • Signs may be placed up to three days prior and shall be removed within one day following the event or sale being advertised
  • Signs shall not create hazards for vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians
  • Attachments, including balloons, shall not be placed on signs
  • Wire shall not be used to secure signs within the County right-of-way
  • Symbols and arrows are preferred to minimize wording and enhance legibility
  • Signs shall maintain a 200-foot setback when approaching an intersection or a  yellow and black county warning sign

There is a public hearing on the interim sign ordinance TONIGHT.   If you are a farmer and want to speak out about how this ordinance helps you and your business, now is the time!    The hearing takes place at the regular Board of Commissioners public meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the Board of Commissioners Chambers, 619 Division Street Port Orchard, WA 98366.  Written comments can also be submitted to the DCD point of contact Katrina Knutson, KKnutson@co.kitsap.wa.us or (360)337-5777.

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A couple of farm girls share their experiences with farming, cooking, local food, and building the Kitsap Foodshed. Written by Diane Fish and Joy Garitone.

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