Commissioners Extend Interim Zoning for Manchester

The temporary rules will cover the appeal period for the new Manchester Plan.

By Chris Henry
The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners today approved a six-month extension of interim zoning rules that limit building height in downtown Manchester to 28 feet, two stories, buying time for county officials to approve an update of the 2002 Manchester Plan.
The temporary zoning ordinance was approved May 14 by the commissioners to enforce a portion of the 2002 Manchester Plan calling for buildings to be limited to 28 feet, two stories. The ordinance was set to expire Nov. 13.
The Manchester Plan is being updated, and is expected to be approved by the Board of Commissioners — with a provision for a two-story building limit — sometime in December. Staff from the county’s Department of Community Development requested the extension to allow time for the plan to be passed and to cover the period of time during which it could be appealed.
Without the extension, said Jim Bolger of the DCD, there would be a lapse of zoning rules, and developers could apply for buildings of greater height and density than the plan would allow.
Building height has been a controversial issue during discussions about updating the Manchester Plan. A citizens committee working with county staff on an update of the 2002 Plan arrived at the two-story limit as part of a set of design standards that will be incorporated into the updated plan.
Although the 2002 Manchester Plan included a two-story limit, three projects have been approved at three stories, because of a discrepancy between county code and the 2002 plan. The interim zoning ordinance was intended to address that discrepancy and honor citizens’ wishes while the plan revision was being hammered out, Bolger said.

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