QUILCENE — Area residents seem to be “overwhelmingly” supportive of a plan to convert the historic 1892 Hamilton-Worthington House into the Worthington Park Event Center and overnight lodging business, according to a county planner.
The plan calls for installing 47 parking spaces with ADA parking, landscape screening and new fencing, relocating the driveway and a new water system, drainage and septic system to serve the house. Overflow meadow parking is also planned. Food and beverage service for events would be prepared off-site.
The maximum occupancy on the first floor of the mansion is 99 people.
The second floor would provide four bedrooms for guests attending an event with a two-night minimum stay.
On April 3, the Quilcene Historical Museum applied for a land use application and SEPA review — the state environmental policy act that identifies and analyzes environmental impacts associated with governmental decisions. Public comments were taken up to April 17 on the project.
The historical museum property on East Columbia Street garnered only positive responses during the public comment period, according to Emma Bolin, Jefferson County planning supervisor with the department of community development.
“We received 79 written comments about the land use application,” Bolin said. “That was quite a bit.”
A public hearing is scheduled May 28 at the Jefferson County Courthouse in the afternoon; the time has yet to be finalized. Residents will be allowed to comment on the record about the conditional use permit and the SEPA response. After the public hearing, the hearing examiner’s determination will be made within ten business days.
The conditional use permit asks for a change of use to convert the historic house that was a single-family residence into an events center with overnight lodging.
An application for the project, originally submitted in 2017, was revised in 2018 to include use of the Linger Longer Stage and the mansion grounds for events such as weddings, music concerts, wine tasting and festivals.
“Jefferson County is the lead agency on this and will be making the final decision,” Bolin said.
“The Hamilton-Worthington House celebrates history, enhances historic education, creates community collaboration, supports economic development and tourism,” Bolin said.
“It is a place for community gatherings for now and future generations.”
Jefferson County Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected]ws.com.