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Brokers/realtors upset with council

“Smart Growth” took a beating at the latest meeting of the CK Community Council.

Such a beating, in fact, the CKCC decided not to use the term anymore.

Representatives from the local Board of Realtors, and Kitsap Commercial Brokers (KCB), spoke at the Nov. 20 meeting — held in the Fire Hall/Water District conference room.

More than 50 people attended, and it was nearly a full Council.

“When I got through reading (Visioning 2052) I felt like I’d just read 40 pages of ‘feel good....’ It cites five previous reports, gathering dust. There’s a question whether it’s even legal to spend money on this,” said Pat Boyle, associate broker/manager of Reid Real Estate in Silverdale. He and two others at the meeting represented the KCB.

Council President Carl Johnson defended the Council.

“Part of the problem is that we’ve been at it two years and this is the first time we’ve gotten this kind of input. We advertised for public input again and again, but didn’t get it.”

He reminded those present that “We’re not elected officials. We have no power. All we do is report your wishes to county commissioners ... now we’ll report this.”

Boyle verbally trashed the recent study by Concordia consultants, picking it apart sarcastically:

l “Every level of government (in America) is talking about closing parks ... but this study wants us to build more parks.”

l “They’re skilled at mentioning the obvious: ‘The quality of life and public safety is important.’” Boyle read from the study and said, of course it is. He asked why the county is paying consultants to tell us this?

l “Need for a community gathering place? We’ve got so many now we’ll never use them all. Look at all the churches.”

l Parks, a teen center, public art, a performing arts center — “All it does is add to the cost of developing houses and businesses. The cost gets higher and higher until no one can afford anything. How many businesses in the Kitsap Mall have been driven out because they couldn’t afford the rent?”

l “America is a nation of car drivers. Am I going to ‘park & ride’ (take a shuttle or bus) and pick-up my drywall?”

l Do we need a (Sheriff’s) station in the middle of Old Town? They can turn on their sirens but still can’t go anyplace with all the traffic congestion

l “What’s a library going to look like in 50 years?” Boyle said books are already computerized and read on hand-held screens. Libraries may shrink.

l “As for the Campus’ proposed location, the south half is already fully developed, and the rest is too steep or too wet to do anything with.”

Frank Leach, broker/owner of Remax in Silverdale, added his own flavor to the mix:

l “In 1977 Kitsap County adopted a Comprehensive Plan that was way out-of-the-box,” he said. “That’s why the county is what it is today — a wonderful place to live and raise kids.”

l But then the state adopted the “Growth Management Act” in 1990. “This is our community, our county and our state, and our (growth problems) won’t change until we change that law.”

l In 1971, 1,900 homes were built in Silverdale. After the GMA was adopted, this dropped to 650 per year due to restrictions in the law. For instance, an additional $3.80 to $4.20 is added per-square-foot of building cost just to mitigate storm water requirements. The GMA ups the cost to $470,000-per-acre to develop,” he said.

Council member David Peterson broke-in to say “There’s more to life than transportation and housing.” But Leach was adamant:

“My life is not just selling real estate,” he said. “My job is to get people where they want to be.”

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