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Controversial project awaits examiner’s decision

The one-man jury is still out on whether or not Ron Ross and George Linder will have to pay for an environmental impact study for a rezoning request. Hearing examiner Steve Causseaux Jr., who oversaw an appeal hearing on July 22, has decided to keep the record open until tomorrow to give Ross’ representative an opportunity to respond to comments from the hearing.

The decision may be out in a couple of weeks, said Rick Kimball,

The two are requesting to rezone a 144-acre plot of land that sits adjacent to Rocket Golf at 368 NE Waaga Way from its current one home per every five acres to one to five homes per acre. The land is bordered by Waaga Way to the south and by NE Paulson Road to the north.

The bordering land is zoned rural residential (one home per five acres).

The zoning request was stalled when the county Department of Community Development told Ross that before the rezoning request would be considered, Ross needed to have an EIS done to determine the impact five homes per acre would have on the area.

Ross, the owner of Royal Valley LLC, argued in a phone interview on Monday that because there is no specific plan for the land, an environmental impact study is premature.

“We don’t have a project, we really don’t know what we’re studying,” Ross said. “Zoning would allow for an awful lot of things we don’t want to consider.”

Ross said he has no intention of building any more than three homes per acre — he never has, and he never will.

“I don’t want to go up to five houses per acre,” Ross said, adding that he’s been developing housing projects since 1957 and he’s never gone to more than three homes per acre.

“That’s way too dense,” he said. “That’s what they say ‘smart growth’ is all about: you stack them in and you stack them high. I’m totally against that. That’s not Kitsap County. That’s New York; that’s Chicago; that’s Los Angeles. People coming to Kitsap County don’t want to live in dense population.”

Ross filed the zoning request on April 16 and the DCD requested an EIS on May 24. The study would cost $20,000-$50,000.

On June 9, Ross and Linder appealed the request for an environmental impact study.

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