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Apple Tree Point begins clearing

KINGSTON — Smoke has blanketed parts of Kingston during the past week since work began on the much anticipated and disputed, Apple Tree Point development, fanning the flames of further concerns regarding outdoor burning.

Kitsap County is in charge of burning within its Urban Growth Area, and the developers received all the necessary Site Development Activity Permits and Forest Practice Applications needed for work, said Kitsap County Department of Community Development engineering department manager Merita Trohimovich. North Kitsap Fire & Rescue and county inspectors have been watching the site to make sure all policies are being followed.

“It usually doesn’t take too long, just a couple of days,” Trohimovich said. “Inspectors have been on site as of (Wednesday), and everything was fine (Wednesday).”

The Apple Tree Point project is located on the corner of Lindvog Road and Berry Street and will be a three-phased 106 unit project on 126 acres, with Phase I consisting of 34 lots on 17 acres. Six acres of open space are being set aside as well.

“They are clearing just enough area to put in the road,” said DCD planner Jeff Smith. “They’ve received all the proper permits, and developers will be grading individual lots.”

Trohimovich added no building permits have been approved yet, and it will probably be some time before applications are filed with the county. The land must be platted first, and infrastructure for construction has to be established.

Several residents have called NKF&R officials to inform them of the burning and voiced their concerns about the use of fire in land clearing and air quality.

“Outdoor burning is banned, though the county controls it within the Urban Growth Area,” said NKF&R public information officer Michele Laboda. “The air quality all has to do with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and their standards. We have had quite a few people calling us with concerns. People are frustrated because they can’t burn, but they see burning near them.”

The project has been greatly disputed since it was first introduced almost 12 years ago. There have been several lawsuits brought against the project and its developers, one of which is co-owner Kate Fortune. They have all been resolved, and the project began to move forward again with a public meeting in September 2006, where neighboring residents again made their feelings known about the project.

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