PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County commissioners heard the results Monday of public remarks for and against the proposed Pleasant Harbor Master Plan Resort in Brinnon.
Community Development Director Patty Charnas outlined the results of the public comment period that started Feb. 7, went through to April 9 at the public hearing and closed April 13.
Charnas said the 76-page document she presented to the commissioners is “… a big report” that represented a lot of work.
More than 300 individual comments were received — 282 written statements in addition to 75 verbal remarks recorded during the hearing.
Charnas said most of the individuals either stated support or objections for the proposed resort. She said some focused on issues already decided or to be decided in the future. Those comments that specifically addressed regulations are being reviewed by staff as a basis for potential revisions.
Charnas said staff will bring proposed updates to the adopting ordinance and development regulations during the next commissioners’ meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, May 29 at 9 a.m.
Charnas said the staff acknowledged every comment received and that took a lot of time.
“This county has a rich history of acknowledging those comments,” she said.
Staff organized all information into a matrix that summarized the content of each comment, whether it was generally in support or opposition, and grouped them into general topics.
The topics included: aquifer and water supply; critical areas including shoreline; tribal/cultural, archaeological or historical resources; local economy, jobs, tax revenues and expenditures; public services, facilities, recreation and amenities; shellfish; size and scope of the project; traffic and transportation; wildlife; and water quality.
Commenters who had general support for the proposed resort said it would bring jobs, support local services, and would improve the economy at the local and county levels.
They believed that school-aged children would benefit from recreational opportunities not currently available. They also felt there were positive impacts on affordable housing.
Those who had general objections felt the project would substantially harm the economy at the local and county level.
Many raised concerns about the financial stability of the planned resort or the likelihood of its predicted financial success and ability to deliver amenities.
Others were concerned about unforeseen or unforeseeable costs to the county if the resort is not successful. Many suggested that the project be bonded or required to assure financial success.
Others objected to the idea that the jobs that would be created would pay family wages or support local workforce development and sustainability. Other comments focused on the costs to local services and diminishment of the quality of those services that the resort could cause.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected].