Arborwood creeps on

The Kitsap County hearing examiner recommended approval of plans for the 751-unit South Kingston Arborwood development Monday.

In her recommendation, Hearing Examiner Kimberly Allen wrote that public services would meet the needs of Arborwood, as long as developer Olympic Property Group meets a long list of conditions, including modifications to two busy Kingston intersections.

Allen reviewed a plat for Arborwood, along with a development agreement, which details how construction will proceed. The Board of County Commissioners has the final say on the plans.

As part of traffic mitigation for the development, the state would require Olympic to install a two-way left turn lane on a stretch of State Route 104 near Miller Bay Road, where traffic backs up near an Albertson’s store and a business park.

Olympic must also build a stoplight at the crossing of South Kingston Road and West Kingston Road, but can wait until 355 homes are finished at Arborwood. Either a roundabout or a traffic light will serve Arborwood’s main entrance, near South Kingston Road and Taree Drive.

For sewer service, Olympic has plans for a treatment plant on the west edge of the Arborwood property, and will extend a sewer main to South Kingston road capable of carrying flow from neighboring homes.

Olympic plans to hand over a 104-acre swath through the middle of Arborwood to the county, to extend the adjacent North Kitsap Heritage Park.

Four Kingston residents testified against parts of the development agreement at an Oct. 8 hearing.

Several were concerned the influx of traffic to South Kingston Road would be dangerous for walkers and bicyclists unless more road improvements were made.

There are no plans for widening South Kingston Road.

Approval of the plat and development agreement will allow Olympic to begin permitting the project. But Olympic Vice President Elizabeth Wilson said the company will still wait for the housing market to pick up before moving forward.

“We’re in no hurry to do that,” Wilson said.

Arborwood will be built in phases and could take 20 years to complete. Olympic estimates that the development could eventually house 2,000 residents, based on an average of 2.4 residents per household.

About 1,800 people currently live in the Kingston area. Arborwood would be included in the Kingston urban growth area, where higher density development is allowed under the Growth Management Act.

Arborwood has been in planning since the early 1990s and has been re-designed several times.

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