Plans to revive the town of Port Gamble by building 176 new homes and commercial buildings are moving forward with a public meeting scheduled for Monday. The meeting, which begins at 5 p.m. at Poulsbo City Hall, is for people to describe what issues they think should be examined in an upcoming environmental analysis.
“It would be very helpful to the county to hear what types of adverse environmental impacts people would like to see covered or discussed in the environmental impact statement,” said David Greetham, an environmental planner for Kitsap County.
Olympic Property Group, the development arm of Pope Resources, has proposed two alternatives, one with more development on the waterfront, where the former Pope and Talbot lumber mill was. The plan with less development would be chosen if the company can reach agreement with state officials on a cleanup plan for Port Gamble Bay.
Pope Resources remains in discussions with the Washington Department of Ecology about whether two company docks must be removed as part of the cleanup plan. A $9 million legislative appropriation, which can be used to buy property for open space, is contingent on a cleanup plan being approved.
Monday’s meeting has nothing to do with the cleanup plan, Greetham said, but people can learn about the two development alternatives and suggest other options for study. Preliminary plans call for 176 new homes at historical densities that would appear similar to the renovated houses on the town site today. A 100-room “lodge” and restaurant are proposed on the waterfront along with a dock for tourist boats.
Issues to be studied during the environmental review include traffic, water supply and changes to historical aspects of the town, which was established in the 1850s.
Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder said he wants the environmental review to be as complete as possible.
“The scoping process and the upcoming public meeting provide a great opportunity for public input at the beginning of the process,” Gelder said.
Jon Rose, of Olympic Property Group, said he hopes a lot of people show up to learn about the project. “This is a chance for folks to voice their concerns, so the county can then sort through all the issues that are expressed,” he said.
Written comments about what should be included in the review are due by March 20. Email may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or a letter may be addressed to Kitsap County DCD, Port Gamble EIS, 614 Division St., MS-36, Port Orchard, WA. 98366.