Tag Archives: Manchester

Planning Consultant Undaunted by Spruce House Denial

The Kitsap County Hearing Examiner has denied a conditional use permit application for Spruce House, a proposed three-story development in Manchester. Planning consultant William Palmer says his client, John Park of BJP LLC, Gig Harbor, will likely appeal the decision.
Some of the town’s residents were unhappy with the scale of the building, plans for which received preliminary approval before the 2007 Manchester Plan limited building heights to two stories. But Hearing Examiner Kimberly A. Allen, in her ruling Nov. 11, said the project meets requirements of the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan and Kitsap County Code in effect at the time Park first applied.
Allen rejected the application on the basis of stormwater plans deemed inadequate by county staff, who testified at a public hearing Oct. 22.
Another problem stems from an easement dispute between Park and the owner of a neighboring property. The neighbor’s property encroaches on the Spruce House site, and the two parties are involved in a suit and countersuit.
Since the project is in legal limbo, Allen wrote, her hands are tied for ruling in favor of Park’s application.

Palmer, who typically withholds his opinion on land use rulings, weighed in on Manchester’s potential for development vis a vis the resistance of some residents to the size and scope of Spruce House and three other retail-residential projects grandfathered in at three stories.
“I still think Manchester is the place for the kind of development proposal that is represented in Colchester Commons, Spruce House and Frank Tweten’s Project,” said Palmer, adding The Anchors at Manchester to his thoughts. “ All four, if allowed to go forward, would make Manchester a really special place to be.
“Obviously there are some who like the run-down nature of the buildings in the area and would like to see it stay that way.”

Here’s a link to a story on the one three-story project that has been built in Manchester.

Kitsap Commissioners to Consider Sewers & “the Laughter of Children”

Two public hearings of note on Monday’s agenda for the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners.

1. The board will hear an appeal by the Farmhouse Montessori School in South Kitsap of the county hearing examiner’s denial for a special permit that would allow the school/day care to operate in a rural neighborhood.

2. The Board of Commissioners also will take up the issue of whether to form a Local Improvement District to extend a sewer line along Colchester Drive in Manchester.

Farmhouse Montessori

Kitsap County planners recommended approval of the school’s permit request, but when the project reached the Hearing Examiner Ted Hunter, several nearby residents said they weren’t too keen on the proposal, especially considering the extra traffic, noise and potential damage to the environment.
Hunter denied the permit, saying the use would be detrimental to the surrounding property owners.

“Educating children is an admirable profession and laudable goal,” Hunter wrote in his findings. “Montessori schools offer a unique perspective on the educational process and can provide a valuable service to the community. (But) noise generated by laughter and screaming of young children during outdoor playtime and by up to 84 vehicle trips to and from the property would be materially detrimental to single-family residential properties in the immediate vicinity.”

Manchester Sewer LID 9

The Board of commissioners deferred a decision on the matter, after testy testimony from area residents, who questioned the accuracy of the costs and the process by which LID boundaries were drawn.

Ron Rada, chairman of the Manchester Community Council’s sewer committee, is spearheading the LID process. After the previous meeting in June, he submitted to the board a detailed response to questions raised during the hearing.

Among other questions, Rada addresses a concern about LID boundaries raised by Kitsap County Assessor Jim Avery, a Manchester resident. Avery asked why some properties between the previously formed LID 8 and the proposed LID 9 were not required to be part of either district. Avery said it was unfair to other residents that these folks weren’t obliged to pay their share of the cost.

Rada, in his letter, explained that some property owners joined LID 8 as latecomers, a move approved by the board. The latecomers and those who didn’t want to hook up to the sewer form a patchwork of properties between LID 8 and 9, some with sewer service, some without.

The committee couldn’t legally require the unsewered properties to be part of LID 9, Rada explained, because the sewer line had already been extended to accommodate the latecomers in LID 8. The law permits LID boundaries to include only properties without current access to sewer. When and if the septic on the properties in LID no-man’s-land fail, they will be required to either fix them or hook up to the sewer, Rada said.

Rada also sent me an article by John Carpita, a public works consultant, explaining how local utility districts are formed . The title of the article, “Are We Having Fun Yet?” hints at the complexity of the process, but Carpita spells it out in his introduction, saying, “LIDs are more fun than root canals without novocaine, a three-month visit from your in-laws, balancing city budgets… (with) a reputation as difficult to administer, time consuming and a public relations disaster waiting to happen (my emphasis added).”

The article addresses the issue of proportionality of assessments. “Statutes specify that the assessment per parcel must not exceed the special benefit, which is defined as the fair market value of the property before and after the local improvement project,” Carpita writes.

Resident Tom Warren questioned whether residents were proportionately represented. The petition approval was determined by area of property, giving those with larger properties more weight in the vote, yet the amount assessed per property is the same, he observed. Carpita’s article confirms that the LID petition “needs to be signed by owners of 51 percent of area within the LID.” (The LID 9 petition just barely met this threshold.) Clearly, Rada & company followed the statutes. However, the question the commissioners need to answer (and one that perhaps Avery himself could address) is whether having access to the sewer line conveys equal value to each property regardless of its size.

I’m going on vacation next week, so will pass this off into other capable hands. But I’ll be watching to see how the commissioners rule and invite your comments of enlightenment before or after the meeting. Cheers.

Friday Afternoon Club (Early): Playing in the Tidal Muck

I wanted to give the heads up about this event which takes place FRIDAY:

Washington Sea Grant will sponsor a beach walk from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. along the Manchester shoreline. The event is planned for an extreme low tide with a full moon to give participants a chance to see all manner of creepy crawling tidal creatures.
Co-sponsors are WSU Kitsap Cooperative Extension, Kitsap Beach Naturalists and People for Puget Sound and the Committee to Restore Duncan Creek.
The event will be filmed by Northwest Creative Media. See KING5 coverage of an earlier Manchester Beach seine event at the committee’s Web site, www.manchestermarina.com.
The tidal walk is free. RSVP to Daoud Miller at (206) 382-7007, extension 217 or @ dmiller@pugetsound.org. Participants should dress warmly, bring flashlights with extra batteries and wading boots. Meet at the Manchester Library.
Another beach walk is planned Feb. 6 at Fort Ward State Park, Bainbridge Island. For more information, visit the People for Puget Sound Web site at http://www.pugetsound.org.

Christmas Comes to Manchester

This from Carrilu Thompson in charge of festivities in Manchester:

The Manchester Community is celebrating the December season with a number of wonderful activities for people all ages!
Sunday, December 7th:  The Manchester Community Association hosts the annual Manchester Tree
5:00 pm Lighting Ceremony at the community room at the Manchester Library.
There will caroling, hot cider and cocoa, cookies, the unveiling of the tree lights
and a visit from Santa Claus.
3:00 pm There will a Luau to benefit the Veteran’s Flag Pole Fund at the Manchester Pub
$10 per person donation for all you can eat.
Thursday, December 11th: The Manchester Community invites our neighbors to come down to the
8:00pm waterfront to enjoy a big bon fire and the Argosy Christmas Ships as a choir
on board serenades the folks on the shore with lots of Christmas music.
Saturday, December 13th: The Manchester Library and the Manchester Community Association sponsor
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm an ornament making event for the kids in the Library community room.
There will be weatherproof materials available so the children can add their
ornament to the Community Tree!
5:00 pm Join the Manchester Community in welcoming the Port Orchard Yacht
Club’s Parade of Christmas Boats at the waterfront Pomeroy Park.  Watch the
beautifully decorated boats float by with music and greetings from Santa
Any questions about the events, call Carrilu at 360-620-8440.

Friday Afternoon Club: Your Chance to Tour Manchester Condos

The Anchors at Manchester will hold a Grand Opening ceremony from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

The complex features 11 luxury condos that have been at the center of a controversy over building height in Manchester.
The condos boast “unobstructed, panoramic views of Seattle, Bainbridge, Vashon & Blake Islands, Mount Rainier & the Cascades create a one-of-a-kind living opportunity … custom design interiors … boat launch, pier/dock, park & beach at your doorstep and elevator access to single story living with commercial space on the ground floor,” according to a press release from Windermere.

“Priced from the $500,000’s.”

Location: 8075 East Main Street, Manchester WA 98353
Directions: From Westbound on HWY 16 take Sedgewick exit; R on Sedgewick; L on
Long Lake; R on SE Mile Hill; L on Colchester; R on Main; Anchors at Manchester
on Left

For more information contact Aisha Hopkins, Windermere RE/GH 253.606.0701,
aishah@windermere.com or visit www.anchorsatmanchester.com