Officials grapple with Silverdale's "fuzzy" borders

One of CK’s Community Councilmen, Dave Peterson, may have come up with an idea to solve that body’s most vexing problem.

Silverdale’s Central Kitsap Community Council has to define Silverdale — literally. They have to figure out — on the map — where the unincorporated “urban growth area” (UGA) begins, and where it ends.

They’ve been working at this for years and tried again during the Sept. 16 CKCC meeting.

Incorporated cities are a lot easier to figure out. They have clearly marked, geographical “city limits” surrounded by “areas of interest” that may be added later — with voter support.

But unincorporated areas, such as Silverdale, may be as large and densely populated as a city, such as Bremerton, but with no borders.

Why is this important?

The local Council, appointed by county commissioners to represent the interests of those living in CK’s UGA, must establish borders to help the county finish its Comprehensive Plan. To enable the County to know where Silverdale is, how many citizens live and work there, the infrastructure needed, traffic problems to fix, parks to build, zoning to define, etc.

“We’re back to fuzzy thinking again,” said Councilwoman Naomi Pursel. “Here we are trying to plan years in advance (with the Visioning 2022 process), but our consultants are telling us our UGA boundaries are best left fuzzy.”

How will the Council know where to put facilities or where to plan for what? she complained, if it’s all so “fuzzy.”

Councilwoman Kay Wilson said there has to be a little fuzziness so that Silverdale doesn’t get “locked in” to a rigid set of borders, such as a city. Cities must hold expensive elections to add new territory. A certain blurring of borders enables Silverdale to acquire more territory more easily.

However, Hank Mann-Sykes reminded them that “We gave ’em (the county) what we thought Silverdale was a few years ago, and they threw it in the garbage.”

Another Council member said Council-hired consultants seem to want to keep Silverdale too small.

Councilman Tex Lewis: “We need a red zone of solid lines for Silverdale, and an orange zone of ‘possibilities.’ A shading out....”

Then Peterson came up with an idea:

“Let’s get a big map of the area,” he said. “Mark the roads, but keep it simple, then invite the public to take a red marker and draw their idea of Silverdale. After enough people have drawn enough overlapping lines — all of them a little different — we’ll have our (approximation) of Silverdale.”

A fuzzy outline with at least some definition, he said.

The idea was well received. Plans were made to create the map. No dates have been set for public input. The Council’s next Town Hall Meeting is Oct. 16, 7 p.m., Evergreen Room, Community Center, Silverdale Way N.W.

To have a vision,

you need money

The Central Kitsap Community Council’s next Visioning 2022 meeting, Sept. 26, 7-9 p.m., at the Water & Fire District Community Room on Newberry Hill Road near Dickey Road N.W., is considered critical, said CKCC President Carl Johnson.

The agenda will be to untangle confusion over how CKCC can fund projects.

Possible funding sources include the regional Public Facilities District (PFD) and voter-approved taxes.

The PFD recently rebated about $12 million in tax revenues for two regional projects: converting Kitsap County Fairgrounds into a “Special Events Center” with a host of upgrades; and redeveloping the downtown-Bremerton waterfront with a conference center, hotel and parking complex.

The PFD is a special taxing district designed to benefit regional projects. The problem, according to the CKCC, is that “regional projects” and other language used by the PFD is so vague as to be useless for CK projects. Council members said they have a hard time planning projects because they are unsure whether the PFD will fund them or not. Another source — a separate tax issue on the ballot — may be needed.

On Thursday, the Council will try to separate wheat from chaff to go ahead with such projects as Visioning 2022, creating a long-range plan for Silverdale, and the area’s newest park, the Old Mill Site off Bucklin Hill Road at the Clear Creek delta, Dyes Inlet.

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