News Flash

Public Notices

Posted on: March 27, 2019

Message from Mayor Wheeler

Today, Our Neighborhoods are at Risk of Having Housing for Sexually Violent Predators Due to Kitsap County Decisions

Kitsap County has adopted regulations that make it legal today to locate new group housing for violent sexual offenders in several Bremerton neighborhoods where our children play and walk to school. 

The City is formally requesting that Kitsap County revise their regulations immediately to prevent Group Residential Facilities – Secured High Risk (GRF-SHR), which allows housing for violent sexual offenders, from being located in the middle of our established neighborhoods in Bremerton. The City of Bremerton wants the same protection for our neighborhoods that Kitsap County has given to other communities.

For your review and consideration, the City has prepared maps that show where these group facilities can legally locate today in our community. The following maps show areas around Pendergast Park, Mountain View Middle School, West Hills STEM Academy, and Central Kitsap.

Here’s your guide to reading the maps:

  • Blue cross-hatch:  Areas around Bremerton that Kitsap County has designated for the group homes.  You should note an important point about the areas zoned by the County as “Commercial” or “Industrial:” These designations are applied in many areas where we have established neighborhoods. The County’s zoning is “aspirational” for the future and not reflective of the use that is on the ground today, which in many cases is where our citizens call home.
  • Pink colored areas:  The areas that are shaded pink indicate all the residential uses within both the areas designated as commercial or industrial and sites within ¼ mile of these areas.  We believe that it is important to show the neighborhood context in which these designated areas are located.
  • Green colored area with red line:  Schools are shown in green and the required 880-foot red buffer line where the group home cannot locate pursuant to State Law.  If a site is inside the buffer distance from a school, then a group home would not be permitted.
  • Orange colored area:  The maps also indicate in orange any potential sites that could be classified as a “risk potential activity and facility” as the County’s interim regulations also seek to locate the group homes not near parks, churches and daycares (which are “risk potential” facilities).  It should be noted that the regulations lack any specificity about how far away the group homes must be set back from these uses beyond adjacency, across the street from, or not within line of sight.

Once you review the maps, you will see that Kitsap County has made our neighborhoods vulnerable and can legally allow these group homes to be located in Bremerton today.  The County’s interim zoning regulations for Group Residential Facilities – Secured High Risk is not the right decision for our community. Please urge Kitsap County to revise these regulations now as there are not sufficient protections in the code for our families. 

Please tell the County to revise their interim regulations so they do not allow Group Residential Facilities – Secured High Risk in our established neighborhoods. Make your public  comments here: https://www.kitsapgov.com/dcd/Pages/Code-Updates.aspx (select the INTERIM ZONING: GROUP RESIDENTIAL FACILITY - SECURED HIGH RISK drop down link on page.) 

Sincerely,

Greg Wheeler
Mayor

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