New county shoreline plan would use a point system
June 11, 2008 · Updated 10:58 AM
"Though a preliminary shoreline management strategy presented recently to the Kitsap County Commissioners is expected to protect shoreline resources and provide useful information, the plan could also curtail property rights and increase the development costs.The commissioners expect to discuss the strategy next week. The three of us are going to have to talk ... to come up with what makes sense. What I foresee is, we'll have some kind of discussion and then direct staff, County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido said.Currently, a 200-foot buffer is required for development near streams bearing endangered salmon species. Some developers and landowners say that's unfair to people who want to expand structures already within the zone.National Marine Fisheries Service staff proffered to commissioners and county staff a shoreline management plan that allows developers to bypass the 200-foot buffer in exchange for an environmental impact assessment. The county could adopt both, allowing developers to choose, Garrido said.We'll probably offer options; I would welcome options, she said.Proposed county guidelines for remodeling projects adding less than 20 percent of impervious surface would use a point scale. Homeowners or developers would be awarded points for taking steps to mitigate the project's impact on salmon. For instance, builders would be awarded 10 points for a shoreline assessment, 9-41 points per restoration project, 25 points to upgrade an on-site septic system, 10 points each to enter the parcel into the Open Space Program and to grant conservation easement, and undetermined points for minimizing hard surfaces, maximizing tree cover and contributing to a Shoreline Restoration Fund or Education Fund created in the proposal. They would also get one point for each foot the structure is away from the stream.Once the builder earned 100 points, the remodeling project would be allowed to go forward, regardless of buffers.Buffer distances for new projects would be based on the developer taking conservation measures similar to those required of remodeling projects.Variances would be applied to parcels that don't meet county standards, though Garrido said commissioners will have to discuss standardization. We need to figure out how to make that easy to follow, she said."