Tag Archives: land use

County Official Contemplates “Land Use Court”

To put this post in perspective, I had a casual conversation the other day with Larry Keeton, director of Kitsap County’s Department of Community Development. Usually, when I interview Keeton, I’m peppering him with questions related to sticky land use issues. But on Monday, I was there on other business, and Keeton was in a chatty mood.

He happened to mention a random (or maybe not so random) idea he has, i.e. that there ought to be a land use court. Just as there’s a separate court for bankruptcy, Keeton said, there should be a court in which judges are versed in the intricacies of land use.

As someone who has at times struggled to understand land use documents and rules, I can attest to the fact its a complicated field, especially if you don’t deal with it routinely. Most of the stories involving land use at the Kitsap Sun end up on the desk of our environmental reporter Chris Dunagan. But every now and then one comes my way. Most recently I wrote about the controversial Woods View development in South Kitsap. Dunagan followed up with a story about tighter controls on sewer systems in rural areas that resulted in part from Woods View.

The legal entity that owns Woods View is suing Kitsap County on behalf of the former owner, who has declared bankruptcy. County officials won’t comment on the case, which revolves in part around an on-site sewage system proposed for the stalled development.

Keeton was going to pitch the idea of a land use court to fellow planners from around the region Wednesday. He’d be willing to shepherd the idea along but hasn’t got the time right now. Maybe it will be a project for retirement, he said.

Los Angelena Goes Chicken

Bremerton residents are still (pardon me) clucking away about chickens. At 6 p.m. on Monday City Councilman Roy Runyon will host a district meeting at the Norm Dicks Government Center.

The subject matter: City chickens.

At one point he said Assistant City Attorney Ken Bagwell would be there to explain to residents how they might launch a citizens’ initiative. I think that is still the plan, though some council members have said they’re not thrilled with a city employee getting paid to help residents craft an initiative.

To some, having chickens seems like a bad idea. It did to Am Seidenwurm, a writer for the Los Angeles Times Magazine.