Public hearing set on proposed comprehensive plan changes

County commissioners to discuss proposals April 19

PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson County Commissioners will host a public hearing April 19 to discuss potential amendments to the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

The three commissioners unanimously agreed to the hearing Monday so they can potentially amend the proposed amendments, which have been recommended by the Planning Commission.

The hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. April 19.

The amendments included possible changes to marijuana growth and production regulations, updates to the Port Hadlock sewer project and more.

Last year’s Comprehensive Plan cycle was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One change that is already expected is an update the Port Hadlock sewer project plan to include plan approval by the state Department of Ecology, which took place March 30, said Austin Watkins, interim planning manager.

“Our recommendation is to hold a public hearing so we can clean it up,” he said.

The changes to marijuana production could change 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 at the March 22 meeting.

The change would also remove cottage industry performance standards for marijuana processing. However, production does 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 amendments.

The amendment establishes a policy and development regulation that provides 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 will happen later, as the policy and development regulation essentially “tees up” the following work for the county to move forward, Watkins said.

The amendments regarding the Port Hadlock sewer project bring the plan up to date with the current project plans, such as adding the modular treatment plant that utilizes membrane bioreactor technology to treat wastewater that is planned for sewer, as well as a adding the six-year financing cost estimated to be $27.09 million, Watkins said.

The last amendment change is 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.


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

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