Coppola Critical of Manchester Plan Process

Correction, noon Oct. 25: This posting has been corrected due to a wrongly attributed quote. Bill Bellman did not make the statement that the proposed plan had been “rammed through “ by a small group of people. The quote should have been attributed to Linda Jacobs.
Mr. Bellman did make a comment about the process by which property owners were notified via post card about meetings of the design standards committee. He said, “You might have gotten two postcards, but you were limited in what you could talk about at the meeting.”

Note: Maps of Manchester’s commercial core and view protection overlay zone are pasted at the bottom of this entry.

At last night’s planning commission meeting, people who testified about the proposed update of the 2002 Manchester Plan had almost more to say about the way it was drafted than about the plan itself.
On the one hand were people like Linda Jacobs, who felt the process was dominated by a small group of people on the citizens’ committee.
“I don’t think that the community has been informed,” he said. “I think a small group made the decisions. … I just think this has been rammed through.”
On the other hand, were people like Ray Pardo, who said, “I’d say overall the process has been fantastic,” said Ray Pardo.
The discussion was set off by a comment made at a Sept. 11 planning commission meeting by Lary Coppola, who is on the commission and also owns property in Manchester. Coppola has moved to Port Orchard to establish residency for a run for PO mayor. He complained on Sept. 11 and last night that he didn’t get any notification of meetings of the design review committee, which examined the controversial issue of building height. He called the process “bogus and fraudulent,” and said,
“I don’t question the outcome, but as someone who owns two properties in Manchester, I can say I never received any notification. If I had not served on this commission, I would not have heard of it.”
To which Pardo replied, “If you didn’t know what was going on in Manchester for the past nine months, Lary, you weren’t living in Manchester.”
And Lary shot back, “In case you haven’t read the papers, I haven’t been living in Manchester.”

One last note, at the Sept. 11 planning commission meeting, several of the commissioners, including Coppola, grilled planner Philip Fletcher to about medium rare. One could see Fletcher’s blood pressure rising.
At last night’s meeting, Fletcher, appearing quite upbeat, announced his resignation from the DCD. He said he’ll be moving to Montana soon (apologies to Frank Zappa, this is true.) Fletcher, addressing the board, said, “It’s actually been fun coming before you. I like eccentrics.”

I’ve pasted the story below, as it won’t be posted on the Web site until later. CTH


Planning Commission hears differing opinions on the how the plan was developed.
By Chris Henry
chenry@kitsapsun.com
PORT ORCHARD
The Kitsap County Planning Commission on Tuesday heard from people with a vested interest in the Manchester Community Plan. Their critique was as much about the process of drafting the plan as it was about the document itself.
The public hearing was the second to last chance for people to speak out on the proposed update of the 2002 Manchester Plan before it is considered for adoption by the county’s board of commissioners.
Written testimony on the plan will be accepted through the county’s department of community development through Oct. 31. The planning commission will deliberate on the plan Nov. 13, and the commissioners will hold a final public hearing before voting on it some time in December.
The plan, drafted by a citizens’ committee with help from county staff, limits structure height within the view protection zone to 28 feet unless view blockage is shown to be a nonissue. Inside the commercial core — a small area within the view protection zone — buildings are subject to a set of design standards that limit buildings to 28 feet and no more than two stories. The provision was added by the committee to clarify building height limits, which have been a source of controversy.
The planning commission has already approved the design standards, which will become part of the plan when it is adopted.
Several people at the hearing commented on how the plan was drafted as follow-up to a comment made at an earlier meeting by planning commissioner Lary Coppola.
Coppola, a former Manchester resident, moved to Port Orchard to run for mayor but still owns property in Manchester. He complained on Sept. 11 that he did not receive notice of design review committee meetings and said that he has talked to a number of Manchester residents who felt left out of the decision-making process.
“I feel that this whole design standard process is bogus and fraudulent,” Coppola said at the earlier meeting.
Carrilu Thompson, who headed up the citizens’ committee and testified on Tuesday, said that the committee and the county went to great lengths to encourage people to take part in the process. Two mailings were sent by the county to all property owners, committee members went door to door and updates were posted on the county’s Web site and the Manchester Community Council Web site, she said.
Thompson said some of the committee members involved in the outreach were frustrated by negative comments about how the plan was drafted.
“They feel the questioning of the ethics of the process is a slam against them,” she said.
Others who testified presented sharply differing views of just how open the process was.
“I don’t think that the community has been informed,” said Bill Bellman. “I think a small group made the decisions. … I just think this has been rammed through.”
“I’d say overall the process has been fantastic,” said Ray Pardo. “If you didn’t know what was going on in Manchester for the past nine months, Lary, you weren’t living in Manchester.”
To which Coppola countered, “In case you haven’t read the papers, I haven’t been living in Manchester.”
Access a copy of the draft update of the Manchester Community Plan at www.kitsapgov.com, departments, community development, subarea plans. E-mail comments on the plan to Katrina Knutson lead planner, at kknutson@co.kitsap.wa.us by Oct. 31.

Manchester View Protection Overlay Zone:
Download file

Manchester Commercial Core:
Download file

One thought on “Coppola Critical of Manchester Plan Process

  1. I would like to respond to the November 14th article: Manchester Plan Approved by Planning Commission. Please approve me so my comment will appear.

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