Navy seeks comment on Growler effect on historic properties

PORT TOWNSEND — Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is inviting comment on a draft memorandum of agreement that addresses the effects of increased Growler operations on historic properties in the region.

The draft National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) says the Navy consulted with the city of Port Townsend, but the draft does not address mitigation for any historic districts or structures off Whidbey Island. The draft was released for comment before all the parties reached an agreement.

“We asked to be included and we were excluded,” said Port Townsend Mayor Deborah Stinson.

“We made the case that we have several historic districts and we felt there were impacts. [The Navy] came back and said we’re too far away.”

Stinson, one of the signatories on the draft, said she would support mitigation that benefits Coupeville.

“I’m more there to support Coupeville and the other folks impacted and to remind them that we do feel like we’re impacted,” she said.

The Navy is required to take into account the effect of its actions on properties listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and to allow the public to express ideas for how to resolve adverse effects, according to the Navy.

The draft MOA says the Navy would provide the National Park Service with not more than $250,000 to support preservation of five landscapes of the Central Whidbey Island Historic District.

Within four years the Navy also would provide the National Park Service with not more than $125,000 to complete a professional cultural landscape inventory and assessment.

And it would provide not more than $75,000 to the National Park Service to complete the design, construction and installation of a southern gateway entry sign to Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve on Whidbey Island.

The MOA is available for public review at tinyurl.com/PDN-historic whidbey.

Comments will be accepted until the process is complete, but are preferred before Friday. Include “Growler 106 MOA Comment” in the subject line of a comment.

Comments may be sent to Commanding Officer, NASWI, Attn: CRPM, 1115 W. Lexington Drive, Oak Harbor, WA 98278; or emailed to [email protected].

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

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