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

Date: September 21, 2007
Contact: Larry Keeton
Phone: (360) 337-5683
No. 07-

County commissioners to consider moratorium on some new development in expanded Urban Growth Areas

PORT ORCHARD, WA— Responding to a recent ruling by the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board concerning questions over providing sewer service to recently added urban growth areas, on Monday, September 24, the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners will consider adoption of an emergency ordinance imposing a moratorium on new development in some urban growth areas expanded in the county’s updated 2006 comprehensive plan.

The 180 day moratorium would only apply to the expanded urban growth areas of Silverdale, Port Orchard, Gorst, West Bremerton and Central Kitsap. (Maps of the affected locations are available at the front counter of Kitsap County Department of Community Development in Port Orchard, by calling 337-7181 or on line at )

“Moratoriums are a tool of last resort but given this recent ruling, we are considering a moratorium to ensure that people do not make investments on projects that might not be allowed to be vested until we receive resolution from the hearings board,” Kitsap County Board of Commissioners Chair Josh Brown said. “Since we won’t know what the hearings board’s outcome will be for several months, a moratorium may reduce confusion among the public and our permitting staff about what can and cannot move forward to completion right now. We have an obligation to the public to be forthcoming and upfront about the recent ruling and provide clarification at the earliest stage possible.”

Individual owners wishing to build a house for their own use on existing lots or who plan to improve and remodel existing structures would not be affected by the proposed moratorium, if adopted, but it would effectively prohibit all new development on properties that require subdivisions for urban residential development or commercial and industrial projects.

The county’s action stems from the hearings board’s September 13 ruling that until the county provided sufficient plans for future sewer service to the expanded urban growth areas, projects in these areas could not be vested under the existing development rules. The hearing board determined that without plans to provide public sewers in the expanded urban growth areas, installing them in the future may not be possible and thus could jeopardize their urban designation.

The county has until February 11, 2008 to submit plans to the hearings board to resolve the unresolved sewer issues. In the meantime, the Kitsap County Department of Public Works will continue planning for sewer provisions in its service areas and the county will work with other sewer utilities to confirm their sewer service capabilities in cities and other urban areas.

“It’s unfortunate that the hearings board’s ruling drives us to make these decisions when as a county we have begun to look at ways to not just plan for sewers, but work with other community partners to get the appropriate infrastructure in the ground,” Commissioner Angel said.

“Doing this right is critical not just to satisfy the hearings board, but the cities and a whole host of other partners have a stake in how we collectively plan for all urban services, such as sewage and other vital needs,” Commissioner Steve Bauer said.


To contact the Kitsap County Public Information Officer, 
call Clarence Moriwaki at 360-337-4481 or email:

Last Updated:  May 27, 2014