OPG submits Port Gamble master plan to county

PORT GAMBLE — Olympic Property Group submitted two versions of its Port Gamble master plan to Kitsap County Jan. 17.

Olympic Property Group president Jon Rose said it could take as long as four years before any construction begins: 12-36 months for the environmental impact review and public hearings, and another 12 months if the county’s decision is appealed.

“[Olympic Property Group] won’t be building for a while,” said Larry Keeton, Kitsap County’s director of community development.

Studying the environmental impact of the proposed development is the first step that must be taken. The county has contracted out the work to study the impacts. The contractor is hired by the county but paid for by the property group.

OPG submitted two versions of the  master plan, one that would involve less development of the mill site; it reflects ongoing discussions with the Department of Ecology and is “less intense,” Rose said. The other “more intense” plan is more similar to previous versions.

“It’s going to be one or the other,” he added. “We’re hopeful and optimistic we’ll have positive conclusions.”

Within the next 30 days, notices regarding the plan will be sent to residents in the area who could be affected by Port Gamble development.

A public hearing, which has not been scheduled, will allow for public comment on the environmental impact and other concerns, Keeton said.

The plan calls for development of homes, an inn, a dock, waterfront trails, and an agricultural area with a creamery, garden plots, greenhouses, an orchard and a winery. Rose said everything in the plan is allowed under current zoning. “The plan doesn’t ask for a rezone. There’s nothing discretionary,” Rose said.

The first work to be done: Closing the wastewater treatment plant and connecting existing buildings to a septic system. The current wastewater treatment plant outfall has polluted a geoduck bed, closing that site to harvest and impacting the treaty harvesting rights of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe.

“We’ve been working on this since 1995 when the mill closed,” Rose said. “All the work we’ve done to get the town to look better and function better, all of the environmental cleanup … this is going to be a major economic stimulus for North Kitsap.”

The town of Port Gamble was historically a S’Klallam village site. Any excavation will be done in accordance with a cultural monitoring plan to be developed by a consultant and, likely, the S’Klallam Tribe, Rose said.


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