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Village Green hits on similar plan

KINGSTON — Meetings to determine how to reconfigure the Village Green Park have become nearly monthly occurrences since the Kingston Community Center Foundation learned the new buildings cannot be constructed on the current Navy housing property.

This is due largely to a $40,000 Interagency for Outdoor Recreation grant Kitsap County accepted to help purchase the 3.6-acre property in December 2005.

The stipulation sent KCCF members and architect Miles Yanick of the Bainbridge-based Miles Yanick Company scrambling for a new plan.

The Village Green is a proposal to create open space, a new community center and senior housing within the core of Kingston. The project has been in the works since 2000, and the KCCF is close to beginning a final master plan for the site, located on West Kingston Road and connecting with Kola Kole Park.

Wednesday evening, Yanick returned with two options as a dozen or so members agreed the proposal should remain as close as possible to the KCCF’s original plan but shift any construction off the county property. The other plan involved relocating the Kingston tennis courts north from West Kingston Road to California Street and building a community center on the courts’ location, with senior housing just behind it.

“I don’t like that plan,” said Kingston resident Dan Price. “The community center is the focal point, and it doesn’t look like the focal center. (The first option) feels like a town center, to me it looks like the spotlight. The other one looks stacked up and doesn’t look like a gathering point to me.”

The majority of the group agreed, though Yanick said he felt the other option has merit because it provides more green space for residents.

“I feel strongly about No. 4, I think it is a superior plan,” he said. “I mean, this provides five acres of open space in an urban area. Wow.”

Price was quick to point out the original plan for the Village Green was not just a park, but a town center and assembly area. Others were also confident, while an open space would be nice, there will be plenty with the community center and senior housing spread out. Kingston resident Walt Elliott, on the other hand, felt the option with the buildings and parking spread out separated the area and used more asphalt making it look, at least on paper, more expensive.

“No. 1’s got several things accomplished,” said Kingston resident Dave Wetter. “No. 4 is clearly a consolidated piece of park, but it’s sacrificed all of the community aspects. No. 1 looks balanced.”

The group decided No. 1 required further exploration, and another meeting would be held July 18 to examine the design. Yanick and landscape architect Robin Hanway also brought preliminary drawings of extending Oregon Avenue as a throughway between Kola Kole and the Village Green. Hanway presented a turn around at the Village Green end, and a sidewalk for pedestrians separated away from the road by a layer of bushes and greenery.

“The turn around is sufficient for a fire truck,” she said. “We also did a little plaza and stepped entry at Kola Kole. We want it to be very dramatic looking.”

Hanway said she would continue to work on the connection, and she and Yanick will present another concept drawing of the proposal at the meeting at 7 p.m. July 18 at the North Kitsap Fire & Rescue headquarters.

“We’ve been through three reviews so far, and we keep coming back to the original,” Wetter said.

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