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Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598


December 18, 2006
Contact: Larry Keeton, Director, Community Development
Office Phone: 360-337-5683
No. 06-103

County Imposes 90-Day Moratorium on
Non-Conforming Lots in Rural Zones

PORT ORCHARD, WAThe Kitsap Board of County Commissioners has imposed an emergency 90-day moratorium on the acceptance of new applications for permits on non-conforming lots in rural zones for buildings connected to onsite sewage systems designed to serve more than six dwelling units. The intent of the ordinance is to address the use of alternative wastewater treatment technologies in rural areas. A public hearing will be scheduled before February 16, 2007, regarding the moratorium.

The issue came to light recently when the Woods View development in Manchester was able to move forward using new technology for wastewater treatment that enabled the builder to develop lots that previously could not be developed based on existing sewage systems. Historically, the use of onsite septic systems and soil types coupled with minimum lot size requirements provided a constraint on urban level residential development in rural zones. However, by using new wastewater treatment technology, such as Membrane Bioreactor treatment systems, the lots recently became buildable. The moritorium does not apply to the Woods View development, as the developer has submitted completed applications, thus it is considered vested for development purposes.

We are committed to reviewing this issue as quickly as possible to minimize the affect on permitting for new construction, said Commissioner Jan Angel, Chair, District #2. We are resolved to completing this review process before our next construction season begins.

The intent of the moratorium is to give Community Development staff and the board some breathing room to ensure an adequate plan for development addresses this new technology. Growing technological advances in onsite treatment systems for domestic wastewater have enabled areas of high density, urban-dimension building lots to develop in rural areas in excess of rural densities and inconsistent with the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan and the Growth Management Act.

According to Commissioner Chris Endresen, District #1, No one likes moratoriums, but in this case it is necessary. North end communities like Hansville, Indianola and Jefferson Beach could be surprised with unexpected dense development like the Manchester residents have been with the Woods Road project. We need to give the citizens and development community time to address the changes this technology brings.

The countys next step will be to assemble a group of stakeholders in January to help craft proposed policies that will address the issue for review by the Planning Commission. Once they have made their recommendation, the policies will be forwarded to the board for action.

We have taken this action to protect the long-term interests of our rural areas, said Commissioner Patty Lent, District #3. We have intentionally limited the scope of the moratorium to have the least impact on our developers.

To contact the Kitsap County Public Information Office, 
call PJ Callahan at 360-337-4481 or email:

Last Updated:  May 27, 2014