Judge rules against portions of Brinnon resort pact

Jefferson County commissioners told to reconsider

PORT ORCHARD — A Kitsap County Superior Court judge has reversed portions of Jefferson County’s development agreement for the proposed Pleasant Harbor Master Planned Resort and sent it back to the Board of County Commissioners for further consideration.

In her decision, Judge Sally Olsen found inconsistencies between the development agreement and Jefferson County Code, particularly in regard to the master planned resort’s proposal to build out in multiple phases and to have each phase stand alone with the proper amount of recreational opportunities.

Olsen’s decision was rendered March 28 on the appeal filed by the Brinnon Group.

The development agreement between the county and the Pleasant Harbor Marina and Golf Resort covers a 238-acre area along the Hood Canal south of Brinnon.

Plans call for 200-plus condominiums and multiple recreational opportunities.

“Upon completion of Phase 1, according to the [development agreement], there would be the marina, 202 housing units and a cleared site for the nine-hole golf course, with no golf course being built,” Olsen wrote in her decision.

“In addition to lacking a golf course, Phase 1 fails to provide a spa, sports courts, pool or water slides, all of which the [Master Planned Resort] is required to provide.

“Phase 1 also fails to provide a community center, a recreation center, a conference center, staff quarters, a maintenance building or commercial space.”

The decision reversed the development agreement and sent it back to the Board of Jefferson County Commissioners to be revised consistent with the order.

Either the county or the developer could appeal within 30 days of the decision.

“It’s up to the developer to decide what they’re going to do given the court order,” Commission Chair Kate Dean said Tuesday. “They could ask us to amend in compliance with the court order, but it’s really up to the developer to decide the next step.”

Out of a 10-point statement, Olsen found in favor of the Brinnon Group, which opposes the development agreement, on three principles.

“The fundamental proposition here is under the state Growth Management Act,” said Rick Aramburu, a Seattle attorney who represents the Brinnon Group.

“You just don’t get to build waterfront condos any place you want unless you tie it with a real destination resort, and that’s specifically allowed for under the [county] code.

“We want the resort facilities to be built along with it so each phase would be accompanied by recreational facilities,” he said.

Arguments were heard in December.

Separately, a hearing was held in front of the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings board in December. One issue regarding the state Environmental Policy Act was dismissed at the request of the Brinnon Group, and the board ruled in favor of Jefferson County on the four other points in a statement filed Jan. 30.

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Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].

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