Clallam: Commissioners to view `rural' designations as they visit growth plans today


Peninsula Daily News

Define ``rural.''

That's rural as in ``rural areas/lands,'' ``rural character,'' ``rural development'' and ``rural governmental services.''

This isn't a vocabulary exercise. The terms are cornerstones of Clallam County's land-use policies, especially important in a region where lands that once grew crops (rural) are sprouting homes and businesses (urban).

The line between the two is seldom as clear as a subdivision boundary.

Clallam County commissioners will consider the issue today when they call for public hearings amending the county's critical areas code, zoning code, and comprehensive plan. The hearings are set for Dec. 21 at 10 a.m.

``Rural,'' according to an amendment to the comprehensive plan, is land that's neither urban nor a farm, forest or mine.

``Rural character'' includes several characteristics, including:

* Open fields and woodlots.

* Low residential densities, with small-scale agriculture, woodlot forestry, wildlife habitat or outdoor recreation uses.

* More natural landscape than homes and businesses.

* Natural flow of surface and ground water.

* Areas that ``reduce the inappropriate conversion of undeveloped land into sprawling, low-density development.''

``Rural development,'' according to the proposal, could include ``clustered residential development'' that preserves rural character.

And as for ``rural governmental services,'' these might comprise water systems, police and fire protection, and public transit.



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