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North Bend begins comp-plan changes

NORTH BEND - The city has begun the process of updating its comprehensive plan and development regulations, which will guide future land use and growth.

North Bend's Community Services staff and the Planning Commission are working to develop comprehensive plan revisions for the City Council to discuss and potentially adopt. The staff has reviewed all background information, and amendments that were proposed for the plan by citizens concerning agricultural land protection, incompatible land uses and environmentally sensitive areas have been forwarded to the Planning Commission.

The reason North Bend is updating its comprehensive plan is because all Washington cities must review and, if necessary, revise its policies by Sept. 1, 2002, as required by the state Growth Management Act. The act mandated that a city had to adopt its first plan in the mid-1990s, update the plan by September 2002 and then at least every five years make sure the plan and its regulations represent the city's needs and actual growth.

The Planning Commission was scheduled to begin the revision process earlier, but it was delayed by work on the Tollgate Farm development.

City officials said public input is a major component in the comprehensive plan's amendment process. A news release from the city states that "the amendment process ensures that the comprehensive plan and development regulations accurately reflect the desires of the citizens of North Bend and provides a foundation for directing future growth and development within the city of North Bend."Several of the proposed amendments came about from the public looking at agricultural buffers and buffers between single-family residential and certain commercial uses. So this is an opportunity for the people who live here and care about things to get involved," said Phil Messina, city administrator.

Besides land use, amendments to be considered by the Planning Commission include transportation, water, sewer and flood-reduction plans, parks, recreation and open space, floodplain regulations and subdivision regulations.

After the Planning Commission hands its recommendation to the City Council, the land use, transportation plan and development regulations section of the plan will be sent to state officials for a 60-day review. Then public hearings will be held, most likely in the fall.

The public is invited to attend Planning Commission meetings, where the comprehensive plan may or may not be discussed. For meeting times, call (425) 888-5633. Residents can view the proposed amendments online at http://ci.north-bend.wa.us, or at City Hall, 211 Main Ave. N., or at the Community Services building, 126 E. Fourth St. Open-house and public-hearing dates will be published in the newspaper beforehand.

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