Letters to the Editor

Council should close some land use loopholes | Letters | Jan. 28

The Land Use Code update has reached the City Council, which will begin its review on Feb. 2.

This part of the code regulates all land use actions from zoning to subdivisions to administration.

This has been a huge undertaking and many changes do improve the code. Even though the mandate to staff was to only make changes that reduced redundancies and make the code easier to use, staff made 33 policy changes, some of which will have serious consequences to our community.

However, staff proposes that council review other changes that were discussed in an ad hoc committee and not all of those are suggested for review. Staff isn’t proposing that council review any of the policy changes in their recommended agenda.

This could also be the time for the city to make some policy changes, such as closing loopholes, including those that are used so developments can be more dense, taller and reduce setbacks. For those of us who ask how large developments like Island Gateway and Harbor Square were approved, it’s all done through the loopholes now in the code. These should be closed.

Several of us have spent hundreds of hours reviewing the changes. It was an arduous process. We need more citizens to become involved. It’s time for our community to finally get the land use codes that actually reflect our community values. It’s time to get this right.

Debbie Vann

Bainbridge Island

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