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County puts freeze on Carlsborg development
by AMANDA WINTERS
As a hold on development in Carlsborg stretches into its fourth year, one Clallam County commissioner is not inclined to continue interim controls past August.
While discussing whether or not to extend the interim controls, which prohibit most development in the Carlsborg Urban Growth Area, Commissioner Mike Chapman said he is “frustrated beyond belief” the community has been at a standstill for so long.
The Carlsborg UGA was ruled as noncompliant by the Washington State Growth Management Hearings Board in 2008 for not having a sewer plan in place. The board ruled a sewer plan was necessary under the Growth Management Act and the county has spent the past three years both challenging the ruling in court and working to develop a wastewater treatment plan.
Despite the Court of Appeals remanding the case back to the hearings board, no decision has been made regarding the 2008 finding of non-compliance. The county is filing a motion to dismiss the case, Planning Director Steve Gray said.
Chapman said the Clallam County Prosecutor’s Office continues to recommend commissioners extend the controls, but he doesn’t see the hearings board changing its decision and he questions what right it has to dictate zoning in the county.
“They’re an appointed board ruling from afar,” he said. “They don’t live here, they don’t pay taxes here, they don’t stimulate our economy.”
The “painfully slow” pro-gress developing plans for a sewer system also is frustrating, he said.
“There are jobs that could’ve been created in the last four years in Carlsborg,” he said.
Commissioner Jim McEntire said he, too, is “inclined to just get on with life.”
Though the commissioners approved the interim controls for another three months, Chapman said the odds of his voting to approve another extension in August are “close to zero.”
Clallam County Senior Planner Carol Creasey told the board of recent changes to the draft facilities plan for the proposed sewer project.
“The main change to the facilities plan since 2010 is the reuse portion,” she said.
By moving the reuse facilities to the Clallam County Public Utility District site on Idea Place, as recommended by a consultant, the county will save close to $360,000 and avoid impacting fish habitat, she said.
The commissioners will hear a presentation on the draft facilities plan at their June 12 meeting. The plan is available for download on the PUD website at www.clallampud.net/water.
The PUD commissioners will consider adopting the plan June 4 and sending it to the Department of Ecology for review as soon as June 5. Ecology is expected to approve the plan by the end of August, Creasey said.
The engineer and design phase is scheduled to be completed by August 2013 with construction beginning in 2014 and completion of the sewer project in March 2015, she said.
McEntire requested staff expedite the process by at least a year.
“I think this could easily be done in far less time,” he said, adding property rights have been hampered for far too long.
Three business owners from Carlsborg spoke during a public hearing in favor of pursuing the sewer project so they can use their business property to its full potential.
The board received one e-mail in opposition of extending the controls. No one spoke against the proposed sewer system at the public hearing.
Reach Amanda Winters at awinters@sequim