Category Archives: Manchester Community Plan

Manchester Plan Update: Public Hearing Set for Oct. 23

Katrina Knutson, the Kitsap County staff member who has been shepherding the update of the Manchester Plan, presented the proposed final draft to the county’s Planning Commission today. The commission will take public comment on the plan (your second to last chance) Oct. 23. The county commissioners are expected to vote on the plan before the end of 2007 (with one more public hearing before that board). The plan is the result of a year’s worth of work on the part of county planning staff and a citizens’ committee.

Here’s the notice about the meeting, and how to see a copy of the draft plan:

A public hearing on the proposed update of the Manchester Community Plan will be held before the Kitsap County Planning Commission at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 in the county’s administration building, 614 Division St., Port Orchard. For a copy of the plan, or to send written comments, e-mail Katrina Knutson at or mail them to her at 614 Division St. MS-36, Port Orchard, 98366. For more information and to view the plan online, visit; from there click on “Kitsap County Sub-area PLans Web Page then “Manchester Community Plan.”

Manchester Plan on the Verge of Adoption

The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners has announced it will make a decision on the proposed Manchester Plan in December, setting wheels in motion for the plan’s adoption as part of the county’s Comprehensive Plan by the start of 2008. This follows months of work on the part of Manchester residents and county staff to craft an update to the 2002 Manchester Plan.

County staff hope to keep the adoption of the plan on track and, at the same time, mollify property owners seeking to develop in downtown Manchester by making a special provision. They will not incorporate into the plan consideration of properties that could be reclassified for different types of land use (in most cases owners seeking to develop at higher densities), but they will accept applications for site specific land use reclassifications earlier than usual (beginning in November, instead of next March). If such applications make it through all the hoops, the earliest they could become effective would be late 2008.

Bill Palmer, a land use consultant, got the ball rolling by appealing to the county’s department of community development on behalf of five property owners looking at mixed use (residential with retail) projects in downtown Manchester. Jim Bolger, of the DCD, says there are probably others out there with similar goals, and his department would like to know about them sooner rather than later so planning for Manchester’s development can proceed with a comprehensive view to the interests of all concerned.

The county’s Planning Commission will get a report from county staff on the proposed Manchester Community plan this Tuesday at 9 a.m. So far, the PC has ruled on aspects of the plan including building heights and design standards, with a tendency to support those who favor a moderate-to-limited approach to development, i.e. building heights set at 28 feet (rather than higher) and an imposing list of design standards for developers.

What’s your position on the proposed Manchester Plan? Do you think it strikes a good balance between maintaining Manchester’s small town feel and promoting development that could help sustain its economy? Or do you think it should have been crafted differently?

Planning Commission Endorses Manchester Design Standards

The Kitsap County Planning Commission has given its seal of approval to design standards for future development in Manchester. The decision brings a revision of the 2002 Manchester Community Plan (Manchester Sub-area Plan) one step closer to completion. The plan must be approved by the county’s Board of Commissioners. Some planning commission members criticized the design standards for being too restrictive on developers, and the final vote was 5 to 3 (Lary Coppola was absent). On Sept. 11, the commission upheld a 28-foot limit on building heights. Both actions favor a guarded approach to development in the waterfront town.

Planning Commission Approves 28-foot Building Height Limit

I covered the meeting yesterday at which the county’s planning commission approved at 28-foot limit on building heights.

Ron Rada, who recently filed as a write-in candidate for the Port of Manchester, attended that meeting. As I was interviewing him today, I asked him how he felt about the PC’s decision.
“That’s just super as far as I’m concerned,” Rada said.

Regarding Lary Coppola’s comments that development of design standards for Manchester was not done in a “fair and open” public process, Rada volunteered, “I think he was way off base. The gals who put that committee together (Carol Leininger and Carrilu Thompson) went overboard, as far as I was concerned, to try to get community input.”

How about it, blog readers? Did you feel left out of the loop, or that your thoughts, particularly on the prickly issue of building heights, were not being heard? Or do you agree with Rada that the people heading up the design standards committee made a good faith effort to be inclusive?

Incidentally, I didn’t have room in the article to include a comment from Philip Fletcher, the county planner who was on the hot seat with the PC yesterday. In response to to Coppola’s comments, Fletcher said that the county had followed the rules that were required and that legal staff are confident the process could withstand an appeal. Then he made a more offhand comment — First, you have to know that the whole planning commission took a field trip to Manchester before the meeting yesterday and had lunch at a local eatery — At the meeting Fred Depee had just suggested that the PC make an “out of the ordinary effort” to reach out to those who did not feel sufficiently included in the process. And Fletcher said, “We just did that. We went to the community, and we went to the tavern. Five o’clock tonight everyone in the community will know about this.”

Would that be what you’d call “glass roots politics?”

Hearing Examiner Takes Aim at DCD Interpretation of Code


The Kitsap County hearing examiner has given the go-ahead to a controversial development in Manchester, denying an appeal by residents to stop the project. Hearing examiner Stephen Causseaux Jr. also ruled on two challenges to an interpretation of county code issued in April by Director of Community Development Larry Keeton.

Keeton’s interpretation, issued at the request of a group of Manchester residents, amounted to a temporary hold on permitting for buildings over two stories in Manchester Village. The interpretation, which expires Nov. 1, came after a permit was issued for Colchester Commons, a proposed retail/residential complex of three stories with a fourth story for underground parking.

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Anchors Aweigh: Manchester Project Set to Begin

Three years after David Hopkins first conceived of an upscale residential/retail project in Manchester, he’s finally ready to break ground. Demolition on the old Manchester Foods building, site of the new development, will begin this week.
It’s been a long haul for Hopkins and his partner Dawn Gogol, principals of Hoppet Construction Inc. of Gig Harbor. Their plans have been delayed by a citizen appeal and a backlog of projects awaiting approval by the county’s Department of Community Development. And while many Manchester residents have expressed approval of the project, The Anchors at Manchester has been at the center of a hotly contested debate over building height and design standards for the town’s commercial core.
Hopkins said he and Gogol have “worked our butts off” to make The Anchors a showpiece and example for future development in Manchester. The 26,435-square-foot “Cape Cod” style project will have shops and 11 condominiums, ranging in size from 1,400 to 2,500 square feet, and in price from $500,000 to $1.1 million — not exactly the kind of real estate the sleepy little waterfront town with knockout views Mount Rainier has been used to.
“We got excited about this piece of land three years ago when we felt we could have a real impact for design standards in Manchester,” Hopkins said.
The project did get people thinking about design standards, but the impact wasn’t exactly what Hopkins had expected.

Manchester Residents Plan Demonstration Saturday

A group of citizens concerned about future development in Manchester is planning a demonstration for 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the downtown area.
The “Keep Manchester Rural” rally comes just days after Larry Keeton, the county’s director of community development, issued an official interpretation of the 2002 Manchester Community Plan. The document was published as a legal notice in local papers this week.

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Manchester United: What’s Next?

At a meeting Feb. 27, Manchester residents signed up to serve on committees for the revision of the Manchester Sub-area Plan (Manchester Community Plan). Committees include: zoning and development regulations, natural systems and critical areas, transportation, public infrastructure, and public facilities and parks.
The next meeting will be 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 20 at the Kitsap County Administration Building, 619 Division Street. For more information, contact the county’s department of community development at (360) 337-7181 or

Manchester United

Once burned, twice careful seems to be the motto of Manchester residents as they embark on a revision of the Manchester Sub-Area plan (Manchester Community Plan). County officials launched the process Tuesday at an evening meeting where, one after another, residents expressed frustration over how the 2002 plan was put into action (or, as they said, not). Many noted concerns with regards to building height in the downtown area. Concern over rapid development and traffic problems topped the list of issues that would be given close scrutiny as the plan is revised. The county and residents who volunteer to be involved in development of the plan are on a tight time line. They need to submit a draft to the county’s Planning Commission by September.