'Fun Center' wins approval north of Bremerton

There may be a “Fun Center” in your future.

The Kitsap County hearing examiner gave his blessing to a family Fun Center planned for five acres north of Bremerton.

“I wanted to be treated fairly ... and (the hearing examiner’s) decision looks fair to me,” said Brian Ferguson of Bremerton. He and wife Becky are project applicants. They had been upset, previously, over the nearly 30 months of red tape needed to OK the center.

Kitsap County Department of Community Development (DCD) planners admitted a portion of delays were their fault.

Hearing Examiner Stephan Causseaux Jr. released his decision June 5 — nearly a month after taking the matter under study — about twice as long as most projects take to examine.

“They (the county) first told us it’d take six months ... then they added another seven months... it’s been over two years. That’s just the way government is,” he said. “Besides, they’d never OK’d anything like this before.”

The “Tropical Paradise Family Fun Center,” planned for 5.3 acres near the northwest corner of Almira Drive and Riddell Road (just behind the Fred Meyer store on SR 3/Waaga Way) will include internal-combustion go-karts and batting cages.

The Fergusons hope to break ground on the project late this summer with completion scheduled eight to 11 months later.

The project also calls for a two-building recreation center with an additional utility building, totaling 32,814 square feet. The center would keep miniature golf, go-Karts, bumper boats, and batting cages outdoors, with a video arcade, laser tag, and more miniature golf for children indoors.

It was the possibility of noise from these activities that made the project controversial with neighbors.

There were 77 items of evidence submitted to the examiner May 8. Many of these were e-mails or letters from neighbors concerned about noise. The Fun Center is subject to 36 conditions from the hearing examiner — many of which also address noise.

“Noise is just a design issue,” said Mr. Ferguson. “It won’t be a problem.” the county is stipulating high, noise-proof walls. The Fergusons are willing to go along with this.

Evidence included no less than four noise studies, as well as such things as a geotechnical report, grading plans, environmental report, e-mails concerning streams, applicant site elevations, a letter of concern from nearby Kitsap Mental Health Services, stormwater plans, and more.

Conditions focused on noise and stormwater for a “major development,” as defined by county codes.

Conditions include securing all necessary building and signage permits, planting trees as a buffer, running the go-karts with mufflers, installing a sprinkler (fire-suppression) system, storm drainage including a buried “clay wall” to protect the Fred Meyer shopping center, pollution mitigation and a permit from state ecology officials, $22,000 of intersection improvements at Almira and Riddell, handicapped access, new sidewalks, sewer plans, solid waste collection and recyclables mitigation, and the noise abatement fencing.

Noise will be monitored, said county planners.

Hours of operation are recommended to be no earlier than 9 a.m. and no later than 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and no later than midnight Friday and Saturday.

The Fergusons have money down on the land. Land owner is Three Hundred Five Associates. Castle Golf Inc. is designing the center, which is estimated to cost $4.5 million.

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