PORT TOWNSEND — Public testimony was heard Monday on an amendment to the Pleasant Harbor Master Planned Resort in Brinnon during the Jefferson County commissioners meeting.
The amendment to the development agreement includes a revised work phasing plan as well as conditions of approval for future development.
The public comment period was extended until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to allow for additional comments.
Commissioners will review the testimony and plan to put the decision of whether to approve the amended development agreement on next Monday’s agenda.
A Kitsap Superior Court judge reversed a Jefferson County ordinance on the phasing plan of the resort agreement in March.
The judge cited a failure to identify a community center in the development agreement and related maps.
That decision sent the plan back to county commissioners for review.
“We’ve been negotiating with the developer on an amendment that would cause the development agreement to be in compliance with the [Land Use Petition Act] decision issued by the superior court,” Chief Civil Prosecuting Attorney Philip Hunsucker said.
“What Superior Court of Kitsap County said is that the phasing part of the development agreement needed to be changed to make sure the required amenities were all in Phase 1,” Hunsucker said. “That’s the purpose of the amendment, specifically having a golf course and a community center at the end of Phase 1, so that when you are done with the phase, you have everything you need for a full master planned resort.”
The court also ruled Phase 1 must include a spa, sports courts, pool and water slides, a recreation center, conference center, staff quarters, a maintenance building and commercial space.
Patty Charnas, the county’s Director of Community Development, felt the agreement addressed the outstanding issues.
“We believe that the negotiated revised development agreement is responsive to the remand and is responsible for still providing for what is required for the master planned resort development agreement,” Charnas said.
In addition to several emails entered into the record, five residents spoke at the hearing.
Rebekah Ross of Brinnon questioned if the center would be available to the community, or if it is expected to be an amenity for the resort.
“I want to know what the resort will contribute to the community in exchange for the burden it will impose,” Ross said. “Basically, we have the community center ordered by the court and some seasonal employment. The court correctly noted that the plan does not have a community center as originally promised. We should look for the common understanding of what that means. A community center should be a public place, which means us, the entire Brinnon community.”
Rob Mitchell of Brinnon said the plan was remanded because of “sloppy work” and said the phasing site plan lacks information.
“There is no title on that plan as who created it so there’s no way to verify its accuracy,” Mitchell said. “The latest plan shows features that don’t exist.”
Craig Durgan of Port Ludlow told commissioners he is in favor of the resort.
“We need the economic development in the county,” Durgan said. “We also need the housing. There comes a time when you have to realize that this is probably going to happen, and if you continue to create ill will with the resort developer, it just isn’t good in the long term. I would say there are some fine points that need to be negotiated.
“It’s time to close ranks and just let it move ahead.”
Comments also were received from the Brinnon Group, which opposes the Pleasant Harbor Master Planned Resort as planned, and The Statesman Group, which is working to develop the plan.
Commissioners said they did not have time to review them before the hearing.
Jefferson County Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected].