Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Comprehensive Plan Amendment

A citizen-proposed amendment in the current amendment cycle for the City Comprehensive Plan would add the text shown in bold below to Section IV. Land Use Element of the current Comprehensive Plan:

Parks & Recreation
IV. Land Use Element

Goal 4: To develop park and recreation facilities, programs and opportunities which are responsive to the needs and interests of Port Townsend residents.

Policy 4.5: Design and manage park and recreation facilities to maximize environmental protection and provide interpretive opportunities for ecological systems and features, and cultural resources.

4.5.1. Extend maximum environmental protection in perpetuity for the exclusive open space, wildlife habitat, and passive outdoor recreation functions within Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park.

The Nature Park has been under threat of development for nearly half of its existence due to the imperfect nature of institutional memory which should have recorded the protected boundaries of the Park. When that memory failed at the City, the Port, the Washington State RCO and NPS, the only people left to protect the Park were the volunteers who created and fostered it into existence. That act of will is all that stood between irreplaceable wildlife habitat, natural open space and the 'progress' of mindless development.

The City Council has accepted this amendment to docket, but has put it on hold until they hear from RCO and NPS about the final 6(f)(3) boundary determination. We've been waiting a year so far for that ruling. But Kah Tai has been waiting far longer. It's well past time for the powers that be to stand up for what is right and honor the commitments made three decades ago.

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