Hadlock, Irondale get UGA

By Sarah J. Bell
Port Townsend Leader Staff Writer


Jefferson County, WA - The Jefferson County Planning Commission and residents of the Port Hadlock/Irondale Urban Growth Area were given a standing ovation by the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners on Monday afternoon for their work and input.

The BOCC unanimously approved the UGA amending the county's comprehensive plan.

"These people have worked hard with government entities and the citizens," said Commissioner Glen Huntingford.

The BOCC approved

the plan with room to amend zoning appropriations. This reservation could allow the county to rezone residential area to commercial on a case-by-case basis in the future.

Considering concerns expressed by residents of the UGA area collected at a public hearing Aug. 2, the commissioners quizzed county staff about their findings on issues of water availability, traffic and transportation, and the location of a proposed sewage treatment plant.

County staff reassured the BOCC that concerns were taken into account in their final report but did not prove problematic to the development of the Port Hadlock/Irondale UGA.

Jim Pearson of county public works addressed the issue of traffic, saying that the number of cars on State Route 19/Rhody Drive would be coming through whether there is a UGA in the Tri-Area (Hadlock, Irondale, Chimacum) or not. Huntingford agreed with Pearson, saying that traffic is already increasing. Pearson said they would be working with residents, business owners and the state to develop a plan for access and traffic.

Huntingford expressed his frustrations with people from outside the UGA, specifically Port Townsend, chiming in on the issue and sensationalizing plans by labeling it "urban sprawl" and talking about putting in a Wal-Mart.

"I don't want to see the county paved over," Huntingford said. "We need reasonable growth."

Huntingford said the UGA plan does a great deal to prevent sprawl.

Al Scalf, community development director, said UGAs were created under the state's Growth Management Act to preserve open space in rural areas and prevent urban sprawl.

The BOCC and county staff plan to meet Aug. 16 to finalize the UGA. The commissioners have committed to review the Curtiss and Randolph street area in Port Hadlock that has become an area of concern late in the process. People living in homes on Curtiss Street said the latest version of the UGA map shows it is commercial land.

Heidi Eisenhour of Port Hadlock said she hopes her street remains residential.

"There are kids between the ages of 2 and 5 playing near the street all the time," she said. "The UGA looks good, but we're not done yet."

Scalf said that standing businesses on Curtiss Street can remain zoned commercial, but they will rezone residences appropriately.

Josh Peters, senior planner/long-range planner, said he was satisfied that the board approved the UGA.

"All that's left for us to do is tweak the proposal to accommodate and isolate residential areas in the Curtiss and Randolph street areas," he said.

(Contact Sarah J. Bell at sbell@ptleader.com.)



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