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Land use among issues addressed by proposed amendments

NORTH BEND - As it continues to work on amending its 2000 comprehensive plan and development regulations, the city of North Bend will host an open house where the public can review and comment on the proposed changes from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Mount Si Senior Center in North Bend.

Following the open house, the Planning Commission will evaluate the public input, then forward written recommendations to the City Council. After City Council review, formal public hearings will be scheduled before the Planning Commission to gather additional comments on the proposed comprehensive plan and development regulation amendments before final adoption.

The amendments address three topics: incompatible land-use issues, the protection of sensitive areas and the protection of agricultural land.

* The proposed measures to reduce incompatible land uses include: (1) Creating a new Interchange Commercial-Residential zoning district to reduce the impact of interchange commercial activities upon neighboring residential areas; (2) Buffering incompatible uses, defined as residential zoning adjoining commercial and/or industrial zoning, through a Transitional Area Overlay District; and (3) Separating recognized open-space lands from residential and commercial areas with an Urban Separator Overlay Zone.

* The proposed recommendations to protect sensitive areas include: (1) Creating a Sensitive Areas Overlay District to identify and enhance protection of sensitive areas; (2) Requiring a notice on the title of property having sensitive areas at the time of development approval; and (3) Adopting an ordinance to move toward compliance with the Endangered Species Act.

* The proposed measures to protect agricultural land include: (1) Defining agricultural/forest lands; (2) Creating an ordinance to protect the right to practice farming/forestry; (3) Establishing 150-foot buffers on property adjacent to agricultural land as a condition of development approval; (4) Requiring a notice on the title of property within 500 feet of agricultural land as a condition of development approval; and (5) Providing an optional program to encourage transferring development rights to protect certain land areas from development.

The specific dates and times of future public meetings will be displayed at the North Bend City Hall, Community Services Department, the post office and the North Bend Library. Interested persons are encouraged to stop by in person, call, or otherwise contact the Department of Community Services, 126 E. Fourth Street, P.O. Box 896, North Bend, WA 98045 for detailed amendment information. Contact Steven Buske at (425) 888-5633 or e-mail him at sbuske@ci.north-bend.wa.us with any questions.

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