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New zoning regulations pass first test

The Bremerton City Council gave its narrow approval to the first reading of the first package of zoning changes under the city’s new comprehensive plan at its weekly business meeting on Wednesday night.

The package of zoning changes dealt with manufactured homes, accessory dwelling units and the city’s new R-10 zoning designation, which would cover about two-thirds of the city.

“I find it difficult to vote to approve something that has conflicting information,” said Councilman Cecil McConnell. “It has information that should be pulled and information that conflicts itself.”

In 1989, the city implemented an errors and omissions committee to review similar documents, McConnell said.

“It might not be a bad idea to reinstate the errors and omissions committee,” McConnell said.

Councilman Brad Gehring said he would rather see the Council postpone a vote on the zoning changes so that the changes can be made instead of moving ahead too quickly.

The Council should look at keeping a list of problems it finds in the zoning changes, so they can be corrected, said Councilman Mike Shepherd.

“I do like the idea of an errors and omissions committee as well,” Shepherd said.

The city’s Director Of Community Development Chris Hugo expressed surprise at the number of errors found by the Council.

“The planning commission went through all the major revisions with a fine-toothed comb,” Hugo said.

However, the city has a couple of months to get through the zoning changes before it runs into problems with compliance issues, he said.

Hugo said he would make an effort to find volunteers to serve on an errors and omissions committee and attempt to put that together.

City Attorney Roger Lubovich suggested that the Council approve the zoning changes on first reading and then set a second reading for final approval to allow time to make the necessary corrections.

By a 5-4 vote, the Council approved the changes on the first reading and set a second reading for March 30 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at the Norm Dicks Government Center, 345 Sixth Street.

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