Western Sequim urban growth area boundary finalized

PORT ANGELES — Seventy-two acres and 61 parcels west of Sequim will be removed from the urban growth area under a hybrid version of a Clallam County Planning Commission recommendation.

Clallam County commissioners on Tuesday voted 3-0 to approve an ordinance that ends a nearly decade-old effort by residents of the neighborhood to be removed from the urban growth area, or UGA, to protect the rural character of the area.

The neighborhood is located south of West Hendrickson Road and east of North Priest Road. It includes Palo Verde.

Some citizens spoke against the planning commission’s recommended alternative — one of three — that removed 75 acres from the UGA and changed the zoning to rural low in a Dec. 15 public hearing. Rural low allows for one dwelling per 4.8 acres.

Opponents of being removed were concerned about giving up their options if they ever needed access to city services.

“We approved, in concept, a sort of a hybrid of what the planning commission had approved,” said Commissioner Steve Tharinger, whose district includes the Sequim UGA.

“I met with staff to finalize the boundary. We went over this yesterday. So we’re going to include seven lots that are on the western portion of this area or have those lots remain in the urban growth area.”

Rather than allowing a random sawtooth map of the urban growth boundary, county lawmakers opted for a compromise.

They drew a consistent boundary line that took into account the wishes of as many property owners as possible.

An urban growth area is unincorporated land adjacent to an established city or an unincorporated hamlet.

Under the Growth Management Act, cities may extend public utilities to urban growth areas or annex land.

The Planning Commission’s recommendation kept 27 acres of the 101-acre neighborhood in the northeast and southeast corners of the neighborhood in the UGA. These parcels are closest to city utility lines.

Lands remaining in the UGA will retain their urban residential zoning, which allows up to five homes per acre.

The change takes effect in 10 business days.

There are no commissioners’ meetings next week in observance of the holidays.

The next meeting is a Jan. 4 work session at the Clallam County Courthouse at 9 a.m.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-417-3537 or at rob.ollikainen@peninsuladaily news.com.

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