Boat launch options still afloat

HANSVILLE — The Point No Point Boat Launch and Resort, the Point No Point Lighthouse and Park and Forbes Landing are all located within about a mile of each other and share a feature that is difficult to find along the shores of Kitsap — public access to the water.

But now that these locations are secured under the jurisdictions of state and county government agencies, the question is how to develop them as a whole unit, rather than as three separate parcels serving the same purpose.

As is typical for Hansville, nothing will be done until the voices of the residents are heard. That opportunity will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Hansville Community Center at Buck Lake Park.

“(It’s an) introduction of sorts of where they left off (regarding) the boat ramp and to discuss what the community wants in these three parks,” said HCC board of directors community affairs chair Betsy Leuner.

The meeting will include an update from the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, which owns the Point No Point Boat Launch and Resort property. The boat launch, a rail-based system that launched and retrieved vessels with passengers on board, was closed in January 2002 for safety reasons, but caretakers Vic and Sharon Nelson still operate the property’s campsite and storage facilities. The rail-system boat launch has been around since the 1920s and was heavily used when the area was a popular summer fishing spot through the late 20th century.

In 2003, public meetings were held in which residents’ input was taken and incorporated into a conceptual plan for a redeveloped boat launch, similar to the original system. In spring 2004, the state applied for funding through the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation but it never came through for the proposed project.

DFW engineers then developed a new idea — an elevated concrete ramp with a metal grate extending into the water. But there were no docks planned for the facility. At the same time, DFW and Kitsap County talked about development and operation of the site and have raised the possibility of having an outside organization take over the site’s operation.

“We’re now working with the county to try and come up with some creative way to get a boat launch put out there somewhere on the shoreline,” said DFW regional manager Sue Patnude, adding that one idea includes allowing passive access on the resort property and a motorized boat launch at Forbes Landing.

The latter site is a 3-acre parcel directly east of the Hansville Grocery Store that was purchased by Kitsap County last September to become part of the Hansville Greenway and Wildlife Corridor and Sound to Hood Canal trail system. County officials have said they would like to meet with residents to discuss how it should be developed.

“They are looking to see how all three Point No Point public access properties — the lighthouse, the Point No Point boat launch and Forbes Landing — can be formed and operated as a system rather than three separate parcels,” Leuner said. “So it’s a brainstorming public meeting.”

There has been talk of developing sub committees to work on each entity as well as conducting walkthroughs of each property.

“It’s really open to the community so everyone can help plan for the development,” Leuner said.

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