News

Coupeville details town plan

In an attempt to ensure open space remains on the western side of town, Coupeville officials unveiled its comprehensive plan at a workshop Monday night.

The 33-acre piece of land, known as Krueger Farm, is the largest parcel in town that is owned by one person.

“We have a unique opportunity to negotiate with the owner over the whole package,” said Mayor Nancy Conard.

Town officials propose dividing the property into nine different plots and shrinking the amount of available housing from 120 units to 108 utilizing a variety of low, medium and high density housing and mixed-use development.

Under the plan, almost 12 acres would be dedicated to the town and managed as open space. The land includes most of the woods that are visible from Highway 20 and the field on the corner of Broadway and the highway.

In addition, development would be prohibited on the remaining wooded area for two years. Town Planner Larry Cort said that the moratorium would give the town enough time to raise money to buy more of the woods.

There will also be a one-year moratorium on development for another 7.62 acres, which will give a group called Friends of Krueger Farms time to raise money to buy the land from the current owner.

Joe Keeva, member of the Friends of Krueger Farm steering committee, said that the owner of the property, Cecil Stuurmans, has been open to selling.

“At worse, we will be able to buy some of the property. At best, we will be able to buy all of the property,” Keeva said.

The property is being appraised and fund-raising won’t start until a price for the property can be agreed upon.

Should development occur on the site, Cort said that construction has to follow low impact development standards.

He added that any high-density development in the area would be cottages or duplexes instead of apartments.

Cort said that the revision is necessary because the current zoning of 120 lots threatens a rural entryway into the town.

The amendment concerning Krueger Farm was originally presented late last year. However, after strong public objections the amendments were tabled and the town then embarked upon a series of meetings about the town’s comprehensive plan.

Conard said the meetings provided a forum for people to bring concerns in a casual, non-threatening atmosphere.

More than 40 people attended the Monday evening complete with popcorn and lemonade.. Many in attendence seemed to appreciate the work town officials have done in the new amendment.

“I think they’ve done their homework,” said resident Ron Van Dyk.

Although there were several people at the meeting were concerned with the commercial development aspect of the town’s proposal and how it affects the water supply.

Rural entryways are another topic that is being addressed with this year’s amendments. Town officials are looking to change the zoning of certain pieces of property to keep the entries in a more rural character.

These three amendments would change zoning from medium density to low density housing.

A public hearing before the town’s Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled for June 17. After the commission makes its recommendations, it goes to the Town Council.

You can reach News-Times reporter Nathan Whalen at nwhalen@whidbeynewstimes.com or 675-6611.

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