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Courtesy Auto Group expands again in Poulsbo
"POULSBO - After expanding their primary dealership on Viking Avenue in 1998 via an ambitious renovation, Courtesy Auto Group is at it again. But this time the long-standing dealership is looking east - to State Route 305. In spring 2001, Courtesy is planning to add three additional franchises on a seven-acre parcel of land just north of Frontier Bank. The planned growth in Poulsbo has been in the works for a while, according to Rick Hern, vice president of Courtesy Auto Group. We have been working on it for quite some time, Hern explained. You just don't jump into something like this without checking it out thoroughly first. Once completed the dealerships, will offer both current and new franchises, he added. The auto group is working closely with the Suquamish Tribal Council on the impending project in order to ensure that issues pertaining to Dogfish Creek and the surrounding environment are adequately addressed, Jane Waian of Courtesy said. The property (sale) will be closing this month and we'll be starting the project next spring - pending weather, Hern said. The construction will coincide with an extension of 7th Avenue which will eventually connect the road to State Route 305 at its intersection with Forest Rock Lane. As the state Department of Transportation proceeds with its plans to widen SR 305, discussions are arising over permitting issues and where exactly Courtesy Auto Group's extension work will end and the DOT's begin. John Stephenson, city engineer, said that Courtesy is financially responsible for the extension of 7th Avenue, but that there was still some uncertainty as to how far the auto group will have to build before meeting the DOT right-of-way. Courtesy Auto Group must build out to the point where they meet with the DOT, but it depends on where this point will be, Stephenson said, noting that the two entities were also working to address permitting issues that surround a required culvert at the site. It might make sense that who ever gets there first will builds the culvert, he explained. Timing the permit to meet both the needs of Courtesy and the DOT, which isn't expected to begin widening work until 2002, could be a problem, he admitted. The connection point is up in the air as far as funding goes and the timing of the permit is also up in the air, Stephenson said, adding that neither issue was very likely to keep Courtesy's project from progressing. It's not really whether - we know it's going to happen. That's a statement the Hern family might call a credo as it continues to expand its successful enterprise throughout Kitsap and Jefferson counties. We've been expanding for a while, said Hern, who serves as vice-president of Courtesy Ford Inc., Courtesy Mitsubishi, Courtesy Suzuki, Courtesy Imports and Courtesy Chevrolet of Poulsbo, Courtesy AutoMax in Silverdale and Courtesy Ford in Port Townsend. We're always looking for future growth and future opportunity, he remarked. "