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1.5 acres added to Norwegian Point Park

HANSVILLE — After 15 years of residents wanting it, Norwegian Point Park in Hansville has it: an additional 1.5 acres of wetland.

The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners recently approved the purchase of the land, which completes the park's southwest estuary corner and includes an important water access site.

The land, with the price tag of $197,000, was purchased from Alliance Properties of Kitsap, said Chip Faver, director of Kitsap County Parks and Recreation. The purchase not only makes residents happy, it also completes a necessary grant from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 2004.

"The purchase went smoothly but it took a long time," Faver said. DNR's 2004 Acquatic Lands Enhancement grant approved the award of the reimbursement money but Parks and Recreation didn't receive it until the purchase was finalized, Faver explained.

Norwegian Point Park now contains 540 feet of sandy no-bank waterfront on the Puget Sound and three acres of sandy beaches adjacent to tidal lands leased to the county by the Department of Natural Resources, office specialist Terri Lyman stated in a press release.

Now that the purchase of the land is complete, plans for the acreage can start, including the meandering of Finn Creek to help alleviate seasonal flooding.

As Ken Shawcroft, president of the Hansville Greenway Association, as been known to note at the park's previous meetings, during periods of heavy rainfall and high tides, the water gate closes and the creek floods,.

"During really bad times, it will flow across the road toward the post office," he said.

Other plans for the 1.5 acres include native plantings and a bird viewing area.

Hansville community members, Kitsap County Parks and Recreation and the Berger Partnership helped develop a master plan for Norwegian Point Park over a course of public meetings at the Greater Hansville Community Center at Buck Lake.

The master plan is part of the agenda at the next Kitsap County Commisioner's meeting September 8 in Port Orchard, Lyman said.

The park also includes a former fishing resort and buildings currently undergoing historical analysis.

The buildings inspected were a source of controversy at the previous community meetings concerning the park's planning. Meeting attendees couldn't decide if they should be torn down or left alone.

Arvilla Ohlde, Parks and Recreation project manager, said the buildings defined as historic include the boat house, three gabled cabins, the deck and pier.

"Those that meet the national register and criteria reflect the life of the community that used to live here," she said.

Matt Keough, Parks and Recreation planning project manager said the department recently received one of the latest drafts of the historical report.

"If we are going to demolish, we will have to do so with certain conditions," Keough said.

Conditions, he explained are federally mandated in accordance with historic buildings.

The three flat-topped buildings, restaurant and the add-on boat house structure do not meet standards for the historic register, she said. Demolition of the flat-top buildings is already under way.

The final phase of the historical report will be available for the public to peruse upon completion.

"It's fun night reading," Ohlde said. In reading the report she discovered the area's past history as a boat house community. "I'm not typically a history buff but it's so interesting to see how that life on the North End was put together."

Ohlde said the goal is to have the report, options of what to do with the historic buildings and recommendations available at the October 22 parks meeting at the Greater Hansville Community Center at Buck Lake.

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