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County struggles to reign in White Horse golf course

INDIANOLA — With a lengthy list of permits still needed before receiving its certificate of occupancy, the White Horse golf course galloped ahead of Kitsap County regulations and opened its doors to the public June 15.

The golf course has had trouble teeing off for several months after announcing an April opening date. Since, officials have been working with the county to complete a list of requirements outlined in a February letter, said Kitsap County Department of Community Development engineering department manager Merita Trohimovich.

“They don’t have their certificate of occupancy yet,” she said. “We’re just trying to work to get them to do what’s necessary to get the last remaining permits.”

There were five or six applications waiting for approval regarding several buildings at the golf course, she said June 20. After completing the building, it must be fully inspected before the permit is approved by county officials, which usually takes about two to three business days, Trohimovich said.

The county charges $524 for each permit White Horse does not have, per day.

White Horse developer Bob Screen did not return phone calls seeking a comment by press time.

“Their ultimate plan is to build more housing in phases, and the county will accept their plans like anyone else,” Trohimovich said when asked if the fines would harm White Horse’s relationship with the county. “We will work cooperatively with them, we feel we had a good relationship with them and responded promptly.”

The other aspect attached to the golf course opening is the much anticipated trail connecting it to Indianola and Heritage Park. The trail either needed to be completed by the course opening date or bonded with an 18-month deadline for construction. At that period, if the trail is not completed, county officials will seize the bond money and finish it with county crews.

Kitsap County Department of Community Development planner Dennis Oost said Screen decided to bond the trail in June, but plans on beginning construction on it this summer.

“I know he posted the bond to finish the (Site Development Activities Permit),” Oost said. “He is dedicated to the trail construction, which should start as soon as the new phase begins this summer. We kind of expect to see additional phases of the trail beginning soon.”

The golf course hosted the first annual North Kitsap-Kingston Rotary golf tournament June 8 by acquiring a single-day occupancy permit to utilize the greens. The tournament acted as the main fund-raiser for the group this year.

“The SDAP needs to finalized,” Trohimovich said. “They have several in already, but they need the final ones pertaining to the golf course.”

It is unknown how long it will take before the final certificate of occupancy is awarded or how much the fines will total.

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