Getting out of an address change won’t be easy

The in basket: Kathleen Pulici, who lives on an unimproved road in Central Valley, wrote, “We received a letter from CenCom which states that, to be in accordance with Kitsap County Code, we have to name our driveway.

“Our driveway serves10 families who have Central Valley Road addresses. Naming the driveway seems unnecessary and very inconvenient for the residents. Cencom has sent aide vehicles in the past, and has had no problem finding the addresses, which are all well marked.

“My question,” she said, “is this ‘request’ a requirement under the law, or can we respectfully decline to name our driveway and change our addresses?”

Her issue sounded familiar. It seemed like the county had undertaken such widespread address corrections in the past. I was referred to Tom Powers, address coordinator at CenCom, to learn the nuts and bolts of this one.

The out basket: Tom replied, “You probably do recall a time in the past when there was a major readdressing effort in Kitsap County. It was about 10 years ago following the 2000 Census. One of the driving forces behind our current project was the collection and comparison of addressing data in conjunction with the 2010 Census.

“A comparison of addressing data between various county departments, including Elections, did not match up, and many addresses needed to be verified, and corrected before elections districts could be accurately redrawn for 2012. So, addressing issues tend to come to the forefront every 10 years.

“Examples of bad addresses,” Tom said, “are 1) an odd or even address number on the wrong side of the street, 2) an address number that is out of sequence with other addresses around it, or 3) a house addressed off of Street A, but access to the property is actually from Street B.

“Kitsap County Code also specifies (and this is the part that applies to Ms. Pulici’s question) that an unnamed easement must receive a road name once there are a certain number of houses on it. This is in the interest of making the residences easier to find for emergency response vehicles. Long, branching driveways, marked only with a stack of 10 or 20 address signs on a post at the main road can cause confusion and delays for an emergency vehicle.

“This is definitely not a situation unique to Ms. Pulici’s easement or area. Over the past 10 months, we have put new road names on over 50 easements, and have another 30 or so currently in the works. All told, with new road names and the other types of address corrections mentioned earlier, we have changed over 1,000 addresses so far.

“While these changes are not mandatory, there are specific criteria and procedures that must be followed if someone chooses to ‘opt out’ of having their address changed or their road named.

“As a 9-1-1 employee, I try to encourage people to understand the public safety benefits of correct and logical addressing, and cooperate with our efforts. But there is an appeal process available, as well as waivers for both individual address changes or road naming.

“There is a small cost associated with filing the paperwork required to document the waivers, and they are considered temporary in that the address change will go through if usage or ownership of the property changes.

“Also, for a Road Name Waiver, the request must be unanimous, in that every property owner on the easement must sign and file paperwork. There are other requirements for an easement to qualify for a road name waiver, such as the addresses must all be sequential with no odd/even errors.

Having gotten this information, Kathleen tells me the neighborhood would like their driveway to be named Lost Lake Trail, using the neighborhood name for the pond at its end.

Information on the addressing project is online at




One thought on “Getting out of an address change won’t be easy

  1. Did anyone consider the cost to the homeowner with regards to these changes. Drivers License replacement, Vehicle registration changes, etc.

    I’m a limited income person and every cent counts. Give CENCOM a big ol’ thank you for me.


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