Keep Our Neighborhoods Safe
Citizens – Kitsap County is seeking public comment on a proposal to locate housing for Level III Sexually Violent Predators in neighborhoods very close to Bremerton and other sections of the county. The City of Bremerton opposes the proposal in its current form and will be submitting comments to the County. Please take a moment to read the information below and how you can submit public comments on the County’s zoning proposal.
Each of us in local government must plan for housing for all people. Under state law, the City must have regulations that allow housing for people who have been previously incarcerated.
Many years ago, the City was prudent to develop zoning that does not allow housing for this aspect of our population to be located where our families with children reside, where our schools are, and where we gather for recreation. I am grateful that we have had the foresight to adopt the right regulations to prevent the impacts that this housing type could have on our neighborhoods.
Kitsap County Level III Sexually Violent Predators Housing Proposal
Kitsap County is currently undergoing a process to write their regulations and has adopted “interim” regulations while they work on their final solution. Unfortunately, the interim regulations allow housing for high-risk sexually violent offenders in all of the County’s large commercial zoning districts (see regulations here) near neighborhoods in Bremerton as well as Port Orchard, Silverdale, and Kingston. Kitsap County has prepared a list of frequently asked questions about these regulations that can be viewed here.
How Will This Impact Bremerton?
You should be aware that the County’s code changes will affect our neighborhoods around Gorst, Navy Yard City, Perry Avenue Mall, and areas along the 303 corridor near Fred Meyer, Lowes, and Walmart. A map of the proposed areas that are affected can be viewed here (on page 29 of 33).
The good news is that the regulations adopted by Kitsap County can still be shaped, and they are currently taking public comment and conducting public meetings to hear from you. Here are the ways you can participate and let your voice be heard:
I appreciate that each local government is required to create regulations that allow for a variety of housing types for all people, but we as local governments must make sure that the regulations that we write will protect our neighborhoods to the highest degree possible. I will be writing a comment letter on behalf of the City that opposes the current broad proposal to locate these facilities in the County’s general commercial areas and I will ask that their proposal ensures your neighborhoods are safe. I hope that you will join me in sharing your concerns that Kitsap County should not put housing for high-risk sexually violent offenders in neighborhoods near Bremerton and other cities in the county.