Jefferson County Commissioners to vote on comp plan amendments

No verbal testimony during public hearing

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County commissioners are expected to deliberate and take action next week on Comprehensive Plan amendments that may include possible changes to marijuana growth and production regulations, updates to the Port Hadlock sewer project and more.

The three commissioners received written testimony during a public hearing Monday, but no one provided verbal testimony and the written comments weren’t read aloud.

Commissioners are expected to take action next Monday after last year’s Comprehensive Plan cycle was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The amendments regarding the Port Hadlock sewer project would bring the plan up to date with the current project. Changes would add the modular treatment plant that utilizes membrane bioreactor technology to treat wastewater that is planned for sewer, and it would add the six-year financing cost estimated to be $27.09 million, said Austin Watkins, interim planning manager.

The county Planning Commission conducted a public hearing in February, and the commissioners added a second public hearing to add the approval of the Port Hadlock Sewer Project by the state Department of Ecology, a notice received on March 30.

The changes to marijuana production could update the code from allowing production and processing on rural residential and forest resource land through a conditional discretionary use permit to not allowing further sites to be permitted, Watkins said.

The change would also remove cottage industry performance standards for marijuana processing. However, production would not fall under the cottage industry designation, Watkins said.

The county would still allow production and processing on rural and urban industrial-zoned lands, and production would continue on agricultural lands.

Processing and retailing on agricultural land would also continue through a conditional discretionary use permit, Watkins said.

The possibility of some Brinnon residents within the Brinnon Limited Area of More Intensive Rural Development (LAMIRD) connecting to the Dosewallips State Park sewer system is among the plan’s proposed amendments.

The amendment would establish a policy and development regulation to provide a comprehensive policy that addresses issues and exceptions required by the state and the Growth Management Act for adding sewer connections in rural areas, LAMIRDs, sewering as an essential public facility in rural areas, and sewers to rural schools that serve both urban and rural students, Watkins said.

Specific plans on inclusion of service, improvements to the sewer and other capital planning actions would happen later, as the policy and development regulation essentially “tees up” the following work for the county to move forward, Watkins said.

The last amendment change would be for a specific 22.51-acre site near Airport Cutoff Road and Romans Road, changing it from a rural residential 10 (RR10) zone to an RR5 zone, which would allow for one house to be built per 5 acres, as opposed to one house per 10 acres, Watkins said.

The commissioners are required to make a final decision on the changes by April 30 due to the resolution they approved in October.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]

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