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Chico wants out of Silverdale — Incorporation proponents may adjust proposed boundaries
Wayne Holmes lives on Chico Beach Drive, has a Bremerton address and doesn’t want to be a part of an incorporated Silverdale. And as a Chico resident, he isn’t alone in his sentiment.
“I think you’ll have a lot of people fighting you — I’ll be one of them,” Holmes said last week in a public meeting on incorporation.
And in response, proponents of Silverdale cityhood said the proposed boundaries of the city would be trimmed to exclude some southern reaches, but where exactly has not yet been determined. This step backwards in the process means proponents will have to start over, but supporters still plan to have a proposal on the ballot next spring.
More than 100 Central Kitsap residents gathered at a Boundary Review Board public meeting May 12 at the Silverdale Beach Hotel to discuss the proposal for Silverdale incorporation. Although one speaker said he was just opposed to more sprawl, most speakers said the current proposed boundaries extend too far south, sweeping up the community of Chico.
Others said they are not against Silverdale becoming its own city — they just don’t want to be a part of it.
“The less government we have, the better off we are,” Holmes said.
Other residents at the meeting said they feel that the county does an adequate job providing services and therefore have no desire to become incorporated.
Mary Zabinski, of Chico, said she did not attend the meeting to oppose incorporation but was surprised that the proposed boundaries stretched into her neighborhood.
“It needs to stay at Newberry Hill Road,” Zabinski said of where she thought a southern Silverdale city boundary line should be, adding that many already recognize it as the beginning of Silverdale on the south end since there is a welcome sign where Newberry Hill Road meets Chico Way.
Members of Citizens United for Silverdale, the committee pushing for Silverdale cityhood, addressed points including needing local control for local issues and that the county is not able to provide services for an urban area like Silverdale. After hearing comments from other residents, committee members decided to reassess their original proposed boundaries, Marcus Hoffman, committee spokesman said.
“Obviously there were people organized to oppose because they thought Chico was its own area and we respect that,” Hoffman said Monday. “That’s why we’re making the adjustment.”
The committee is currently preparing to either revise or submit a new proposal to the county — the original proposal was submitted last month — and that adjustments would be made to bring the southwest border of the proposed city further north, Hoffman said, adding that exactly when they will have it complete and turned into the county was uncertain.
“The sooner is better than later, obviously.” Hoffman said. “We want to get it done so we aren’t chewing up uncessary time.”
By resubmitting its application, the process would essentially start over and there would be another Boundary Review Board public meeting, said Carolyn Gourley, clerk for the board. After the public meeting where residents can provide input — like at last Thursday’s meeting — the county auditor will assign a petition number and the committee will have 180 days to gather signatures from residents living within the proposed boundaries.
“Once submitted, that’s the boundary it goes by,” Gourley said, adding that the board cannot make changes to the boundaries. The board can only disapprove the proposal if an agency invokes jurisdiction against incorporation, she said.
At last week’s meeting, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Jay Lovato said the fire agency has taken a neutral stance on incorporation and neither supports or is against it.
“The area submitted for incorporation both wholly reside in Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue’s jurisdiction,” Lovato said. “We are prepared to meet with all stakeholders as necessary.”
Others, however, are interested in picking a side, but aren’t yet sure which one.
Brad Buskirk, who lives adjacent to the Chico Beach Cottages on Chico Way, said the new development has ruined the ambiance of his neighborhood.
“We’re being dwarfed by all this development around us,” Buskirk said.
Buskirk’s main goal is to stop more development like the Chico Beach Cottages, which is built under the county’s urban low zoning designation.