Mini-golf permits land in the rough

If you’re looking for a new place to putt a few rounds with the kids, you’ll have to wait until next spring

Permit delays will put plans to construct a new dinosaur-theme mini-golf course on hold, unless the approvals arrive in days.

Gary Senft, of the Victoria-B.C-based Garsen Construction, said 18-hole Rex’s Ridge course was granted a conditional use permit but is still waiting for site development and building permits.

“It’s frustrating because we started in September of last year, and it takes a long time to get it all together,” Senft said.

The construction season started April 1, and “if you aren’t open for tourist season, there is no point in opening,” Senft said.

The course will be located on the west side of Wheaton Way, a quarter mile north of Fairgrounds Road near the Texaco station.

The land, formerly owned by the Kitsap Lake Baptist Church, was on the market for two-and-a-half years before it was purchased by Senft.

“We turned down a few speculators because we didn’t like what they were doing. We respect the fact that it is across from churches and we didn’t want just anything going in there,” said Conrad Dodd, pastor for the Kitsap Lake Baptist Church.

The area is also impacted by wetlands, and during the time it was for sale new land use rules were implemented.

“The new rules came out on critical areas, and the wetland buffers were extended. That made it difficult to sell. When you take usable land away, you make it more expensive to develop,” said Doug Kitchens, the commercial real estate agent who brokered the property.

Only 2 acres on the 6-acre plot could be used, Senft said.

“I want to stress that there is still an off-hand chance this could happen this year,” Senft said.

If delayed, the park will open May of 2003, Senft said. He added that Garsen Construction also has plans to build an 18-hole Norwegian-theme course in Poulsbo next year.

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