Opinion

Kitsap County moving full steam ahead with CK projects

DISH FROM THE COMMISH

CK Community Campus update

At our Board of County Commissioners meeting last week, Kitsap County exercised an option on the last remaining parcel to complete the Central Kitsap Community Campus project. This is a tremendous step forward, giving Kitsap County the flexibility to master plan the development of the entire 10-plus acre campus in downtown Silverdale.

The vision for the CK Community Campus includes a new Kitsap Regional Library branch, YMCA facility, performing arts venue, senior housing and additional community facilities. The campus will incorporate an open plaza and pedestrian-friendly amenities, transforming downtown Silverdale. For years, residents have been desirous of a community campus, only to be stalled by the lack of a suitable location. With the acquisition complete, we are prepared to move forward with development of this project.

In addition to the land purchase, Kitsap County dedicated $450,000 to the CK Community Campus project. This money will be used to complete master planning of the campus, as well as serve as seed money for developing a YMCA on this site. The $450,000 investment is in addition to a $1 million low-impact development grant Kitsap County received last year from the Department of Ecology. We have targeted additional State and Federal grant programs to apply for this year as well.

During the coming months, we will continue to work to make this project a reality. I want to thank our Central Kitsap Community Council members for their dedication to this effort and the countless volunteers who, over the years, have laid the foundation for this important project.

Kitsap County continues to improve permitting process

When I took office last year, I realized major changes were needed to improve Kitsap County’s permitting process. Larry Keeton, our director of the Department of Community Development (DCD), has brought stability to the department and we have seen reduced staff turnover. The problems that were created in DCD took years to develop. It’s our Board’s priority that improvements occur much more rapidly. To monitor our progress, the Commissioners have begun to be briefed quarterly on DCD performance measures.

First Quarter 2007 resulted in 1,362 permit submissions, but only 238 permits were issued. With the slow down in the real estate market, the number of permit submissions dropped in First Quarter 2008 to 949, but the number of issued permits increased an impressive 330 percent to 787. While we have made great progress from last year to the present, we still have a lot of work ahead of us to fully close the deficit between submitted and issued permits.

Kitsap County formed a DCD Citizen Advisory Committee to work with our department to suggest changes and continue to make refinements. I would like to thank the members of this committee who have dedicated their time and insights to work with us to streamline our permitting processes.

Welcome Adm. Roughhead!

The 60th Annual Armed Services Day Parade will take place in Bremerton on Saturday, May 17. In addition to a great weekend of festivities celebrating our armed services, Kitsap County will be hosting Adm. Gary Roughhead, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). This is the first time in decades a CNO walked in the parade as Grand Marshal.

I had the pleasure of meeting Adm. Roughhead in Washington, D.C. earlier this year on a trip with our Puget Sound Naval Bases Association. I was very impressed. He showed great empathy for the needs of sailors and their families. We are fortunate to have Adm. Roughead leading our naval forces. Let’s make his stay in Kitsap County a warm and memorable one!

Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown appears the second Saturday of the month in the CK Reporter.

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