PORT TOWNSEND — What should be done to develop Point Hudson?
That was the question asked of community members at a Wednesday meeting as Port of Port Townsend officials presented development options to make the marina financially sustainable.
More than 30 people attended the meeting where representatives from Maul Foster &Alongi (MFA) environmental engineering and consulting talked about options.
Port officials officially floated the idea for a partnership with the Northwest Maritime Center.
“Our job is to help you and the port in general to find a direction that works for Port Townsend,” said Jim Darling of MFA.
Darling said the project is in the preliminary planning phase, mostly involving community outreach, with port officials and MFA contacting stakeholders and issuing a survey to get an idea of what the community wants for Point Hudson.
The goal of the project is to make Point Hudson financially sustainable while also providing public access, protecting the ecosystem along the shoreline and preserving the historic maritime character of the small marina, according to MFA and port representatives.
‘What we know is the current state doesn’t meet the need, so we’re looking at how to change that to meet the need,” said Mike Stringer of MFA.
Development options include adding hospitality services such as rental cottages, renovating and repairing buildings to provide a space for maritime tradesmen, and adding more walkability and green space.
“I love Point Hudson, and it has become a bit of my life’s work to make sure our little Point Hudson doesn’t get messed up,” said Carol Hasse of Port Townsend at Wednesday’s meeting.
“We’re not a round peg that fits into the square hole of development.”
Other community members said they were reluctant to change any of the current zoning codes at the marina, which Stringer said were some of the most strict he’d ever seen, and they also opposed changing the current shoreline plan for the area.
However, many of those same community members, including Hasse, were in support of getting the Northwest Maritime Center involved.
“I’d place my bets with the maritime center board,” Hasse said.
Port of Port Townsend commissioners voted unanimously to send a representative to meet with city officials and Northwest Maritime Center board members to discuss how the port, city of Port Townsend and maritime center could work together to ensure Point Hudson’s future.
“It seems like it would be the next logical step,” Commissioner Peter Hanke said.
Port Executive Director Sam Gibboney pointed out that this is not a negotiation with the city or maritime center since, as a public entity, all decisions and discussion by the port commission must be in the form of public meetings.
Exploring outside partnerships does not take away from the planning being done by MFA for Point Hudson, Gibboney said.
The next step in that planning process is an open house Oct. 19 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Marina Room at Point Hudson in order to gather more public opinion on the project.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected]