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blueshoefarm at gmail dot com.... and that would be how to reach me

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kitsap County WA Part 1

When I was looking for a house with property to buy outside of Seattle... I drove throughout the surrounding towns and counties circling Seattle. I was looking for a community that WAS a community. Something that the developers did not decide the lay of the land, since for some reason greed wins out over "community" unless there are guidelines for density and requirements for infrastructure. In the last 20 years that seems to have been hucked out of the window of King County.
How I ended up in Kitsap is that it still has retained alot of it's rural nature. It has clear guidelines for density in city limits and outside. It was all written down which areas were slated for development, and they were near the city limits. Rather than checker-boarded allover the county. Which does not make happy rural property owners or development owners... since the reason people buy in a development may be so they don't have to look over a manure pile or have cows mooing next door. Ditto for rural residents. They may want the privacy so they can park as many derelict and dead cars as they want in their front yard and not worry about the neighbors complaining. Or raise pigs.
Over on the Seattle side of the water, former farmland areas to the north, east and south have been and are being filled with endless rows of quickly constructed developments with granite counters, spacious entry ways, walk-in closets and less expensive materials holding it all up.
I did research on rural density designations and development for all the counties I looked at. (and school data, crime data and community demographics) In Kitsap, we attended a meeting on zoning changes. The thing that struck me was the people in charge seem to be fresh outta school. I am all for school, but I think it takes a bit of life wisdom to take what you have learned in school all starry-eyed and dew-cheeked and roll it through the machine of real life, so it can get a semblance of what gritty reality is. Take your theories, actually live and work in the community, listen to the residents and business owners, imagine your county's role in a larger world....and then put something down on paper.
There is a bunch of development issues I have been watching with a keen eye. And it reminds me of the difficulty of the public process. More later....

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