County lands three acres at Forbes Landing

HANSVILLE — Three acres may not sound like much, but to the Hansville community, it will make a world of difference.

The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners Monday approved the purchase of three acres of waterfront property in Hansville, known locally as Forbes Landing, for $1.5 million from private owners. The county plans to develop the waterfront property into a park that will allow the public direct access to Puget Sound.

County officials have been working property owners, John Banchero Jr., MRM Capital LLC and the estate of John S. Banchero Sr., the past few years to purchase the site.

North Kitsap County Commissioner Chris Endresen said the community has been waiting for more than 15 years for this property to become public, mainly because of the county’s lack of public waterfront access.

“While we have more shoreline than any other county in the state, we have a very low percentage (available) to the public of waterfront,” she said.

The property will also become part of the Hansville Greenway Corridor, as the idea behind the development of the Greenway is to be able to walk from the Sound to Hood Canal via trails throughout Hansville.

The county has earmarked $500,000 in its capital facilities budget for the purchase of Forbes Landing, Endresen said. In late summer 2004, the county also received a grant from the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation (IAC) for $1 million to put toward the purchase of the property.

“This piece was really important to the community, so we did budget for it,” Endresen said.

As for what will type of development will take place there, Endresen said that effort will be put to community members.

“There is going to be a community planning process,” she said. “I was told by community members that were (at Monday’s meeting) that they have some ideas.”

Those ideas include making it a more passive recreational area and make it accessible for fishing, said Hansville Greenway Association president Ken Shawcroft, who worked with the county to apply for the IAC funds last year.

“We’re going to be getting together with the county and community to figure out how we want to develop it,” he said.

Community members have been kicking around ideas, he added, such as building a fishing pier or rerouting Finn Creek, which runs parallel to Hansville Road.

“This is going to be a project that will take awhile,” Shawcroft said. “My hope anyway is to get it accessible to the public before too long.”

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