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Piecing together Kingston’s puzzle

KINGSTON — The Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce offered what it felt the community needed on Wednesday night — the big picture.

The Kingston Cove Yacht Club was standing room only as local business owners and residents crowded together to hear presentations on three major upcoming Kingston projects — the new high school and the Arborwood and White Horse developments.

“There are things out here that will definitely make some big changes in Kingston,” said Kitsap County Commissioner Chris Endresen.

Dr. Gene Medina, superintendent of the North Kitsap School District, presented four possible site plans for the new campus that is expected to be ready for use in the fall of 2006. But none of the plans are definite, he said.

The new high school and facilities are set to be constructed on land behind Kingston Junior High and Spectrum Community School on West Kingston Road.

The first alternative, named “School in the Woods,” has the new high school set back from the road, surrounded by woods, with parking lots, a track and athletic fields situated closer to the road.

The second alternative is called “School on the Hill,” and would have the school and facilities grouped closer together and located closer to West Kingston Road.

The third option, “School on the Hill B,” is a similar plan that adds the option of an amphitheater and less parking than the original School on the Hill plan.

A fourth option, again similar to the School on the Hill, has the athletic facilities set behind the school, rather than closer to the road.

Medina mentioned building trails to connect the rear portion of the new campus with Gordon Elementary. He also said he wants to work with the county to share the athletic field space with the community as much as possible.

Bob Screen, the man behind the 450-acre White Horse development, described the plans for the much buzzed about golf course and housing units.

The property is located west of South Kingston Road and north of Indianola Road.

With his approved 1996 plan, the development calls for 224 home sites, ranging from one-half acre to an acre and a half parcels, with septic systems.

The golf course will be designed by Cynthia Dye of Dye Designs, one of only four women in the country who designs golf courses, he said.

“We hope to begin construction sometime this year (for the course),” he said. “We hope to start first phase of the lots this year, too.”

The course’s large practice range will be a two-fold.

Besides being a field for hitting balls, it will open up for 10 weeks during the summer for a kids’ golf program that will include a five-hole, 3-par course and lessons. The program will end with a tournament and banquet for the kids, he said.

The final stage of the development will be a 10-foot wide all-weather surface trail from Arborwood to Indianola Road.

For the Arborwood development, Jon Rose of Olympic Property Group presented a plan to utilize the 1,100 acres OPG owns south of West Kingston Road and west of South Kingston Road.

One-third of the property will be for homes and a 500-foot-wide county greenway, Rose said. The greenway concept was adopted from the county’s old idea of the Indianola Greenway.

The other 795 acres of the property will be set aside for Heritage Park, a large scale regional park for trails and open space, with both passive and active recreation opportunities.

The time frame on the projects vary and Rose said Arborwood is still in the application process for the original design from 1996.

“(Arborwood) is still vested in applications on the old layout,” he said. “We need to watch the process with the new urban growth area (plan),” noting Arborwood will still take a couple years.

Screen said he is still in the permitting process for building for the course and home sites.

The school board is currently deciding which plan they will propose to go through the Environmental Impact Statement process, Medina said.

“What can we do as community members to help make the projects happen?” asked Stephanie Stebbing of Country Pet Shoppe.

“If (the projects are) going to happen, it’s because people in the community stood up to support it,” Rose said. “Talk it up, talk with your neighbors.”

“Show up at public hearings,” added South Kitsap County Commissioner Jan Angel.

The purpose of the meeting met the expectations of Kingston Chamber members.

“I thought it was great,” said Sonny Woodward of John L. Scott and chamber member. “It’s long overdue. It put everyone in the same room. I think what our goal was for people to see the big picture. Everyone has just individual ideas.”

Woodward is particularly pushing for Rose’s park.

“I want the Heritage Park so bad, I can taste it,” he remarked.

“It’s a nice opportunity for the community to see that there is a lot of cooperation going on in our neighborhood,” said Bim Prince, the chamber vice-president. “They are looking to solve problems rather than push single agendas.”

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