Agreement will guide North Kitsap legacy partnership

PORT ORCHARD —  Kitsap County and Olympic Property Group are mapping out the process that could bring 7,000 acres of North Kitsap timberland into public ownership and allow new development in Port Gamble.

The county unveiled a proposed memorandum of understanding with Olympic Property Group on Monday, which lays out a two-year schedule for creating a sub area plan and development agreement to govern the land transfers and development.

The memorandum will be a first step for the North Kitsap Legacy Partnership, a joint planning effort County Commissioner Steve Bauer and Olympic President Jon Rose announced in January.

The partnership would preserve the bulk of Olympic’s 8,000 acres of North Kitsap timberland as public open space. In exchange, Olympic would be allowed to add denser development to Port Gamble, the town it owns and manages.

The memorandum proposed Monday will not bind either side to going through with the agreement. It will guide the complex negotiations needed to form the final agreement.

“This will map out the whole process,” said Eric Baker, special projects manager for the county.

The memorandum includes a list of properties to be included in the negotiations.

The properties considered for transfer to the public include 2,000 acres south of Hansville and a series of properties stretching between the North Kitsap Heritage Park, south of Kingston, and Port Gamble. Another 3,000 acres south of Port Gamble would also become parkland, along with 1.5 miles of coastline on the west side of Port Gamble Bay.

These properties would either be held by the county or by a land trust.

Meanwhile, new residential and commercial development would be focused in the 120-acre Port Gamble townsite and an adjacent 1,000 acres.

Under the memorandum, Olympic would not be allowed to clear cut timber on any of the North Kitsap properties until the end of 2010. It would also not be allowed to sell the land, outside of its Chatham development, a residential subdivision off Hansville Road.

That suspension period could be extended at the end of the year.

The proposed memorandum is being circulated in the public and will return to the County Commission for a vote in late May or June.

View the draft memorandum of understanding below:

NK Legacy Partnership DRAFT MOU

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