Kitsap County Buildable Lands Report: Now Is The Time To Share Your Feedback

As a nice follow-up to last week’s demographic data for Kitsap County in the new US Census of 2020, the County is now accepting comments on the latest draft of the Kitsap County Buildable Lands Report. For local residents, the Report contains two kinds of valuable information, namely recent and current economic activity, and wide-ranging projections based upon that activity.

The specific brief and scope of the Buildable Lands Report is to:

  1. “Look back” to evaluate whether development trends between 2013-2019 are consistent with development assumptions and policies noted in Kitsap’s Countywide Planning Polices (CPPs) and local comprehensive plans.
  2. “Look forward” to determine if there is sufficient land supply in urban areas to accommodate the remainder of the 20-year targets for: Commercial Employment, Industrial Employment, and Housing Units to accommodate population
  3. Identify, if necessary, reasonable measures to address the following questions:
    Are achieved densities consistent with planned densities?
    Is the rate of employment and population growth consistent with adopted 2036 targets?
    Is there capacity for employment and population growth compared to 2036 targets?

Kitsap County Buildable Lands Report 2021

The Buildable Lands Report looks at the City of Bainbridge Island, City of Bremerton, City of Poulsbo, City of Port Orchard, and unincorporated areas of Kitsap County, to review if they are growing as planned in accordance with the state’s Growth Management Act and in meeting with each community’s stated goals for 2036, county-wide. The report offers government agencies across Kitsap County an opportunity to collect and evaluate data using a common framework, with the goal of helping them provide accurate insight and guidance to all our local communities.

The program is required by the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 36.70A.215 and Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 365-196-315.

Bainbridge Island in the Buildable Lands Report 2021

The statistical details and analysis regarding Bainbridge Island are, once again, interesting – in short, it finds that Bainbridge is developing at rates consistent with the Master Plans stated growth targets, but that the growth is not happening in the Winslow core, but rather in the Island’s residential areas. It also finds that the capacity to add employment is mostly within existing buildings, so the need to better use what is already in place is key.

Those points are taken from but a single page (p80) of the 379-page report, but here is a little more context – consider them primers for your own review process:

Chapter 5. Reasonable Measures

“The City of Bainbridge Island residential growth 2013-2019 was not far off the rate of growth (96%, see Exhibit 9) estimated to reach the current 2036 Comprehensive Plan population forecast of 28,660.

However, the bulk of the residential growth took place not in the City’s designated center mixed use zones, but in the less dense residential sections of Bainbridge Island.

The residential growth pattern is not supporting the City’s current growth strategy of focusing growth in designated centers (see the Land Use Element of the Bainbridge Island Comprehensive Plan).” 

The City’s growth strategy seeks to promote divert development away from the very conservation areas where growth is occurring and instead promote growth in the Winslow and Neighborhood Center designated centers. Since recent residential growth and future capacity is overwhelmingly in those least dense residential areas, the City could consider changes to development standards that would promote additional growth in the mixed use zones. Development standards to consider updating include increasing density or Floor Area Ratio (FAR), reducing parking requirements near transit, biking and pedestrian facilities, and increasing building height.

The LCA methodology yielded results that show most of the employment capacity, 904 jobs, to be located on properties that are currently vacant, and therefore there are fewer commercial or mixed use properties that may redevelop to add many jobs. Modifying the zoning standard or uses to allow for additional uses or, such as for residential, more dense building, could facilitate redevelopment. Sixty percent of employment capacity is in the Business/Industrial zone, primarily on vacant land, so modifying the development standards is likely needed to promote additional employment in the mixed use districts.

Agree with the findings? Disagree? Have questions or suggestions? Now is your time to contribute to the process, as the public comment period opened last week and will remain open until September 21, 2021.

Submit directly to the County via:

Your feedback will be compiled, reviewed and will ultimately help the County and local cities complete the final version of thw Buildable Lands Report 2021.

Read the draft report in full: https://www.kitsapgov.com/dcd/PEP%20Documents/DRAFT%20Buildable%20Lands%20Report%20-%20August%202021.pdf