Opinion

Central Kitsap projects get the green light

DISH FROM THE COMMISH

Kitsap County has the most saltwater shoreline of any county in Washington state. From Blake Island, to Dyes Inlet, up to Port Gamble Bay, we live in one of the most bountiful places anywhere for recreational opportunities on the water. Yet with so much to enjoy, Kitsap County’s access to Hood Canal is rather limited.

For decades, the Seabeck Marina provided boaters with moorage options in Kitsap County for Hood Canal. The marina became a focal point for the community. Many remember the festival feel of Seabeck during shrimp season when people from throughout the Puget Sound descended upon this quaint community to cruise the short distance across Hood Canal to Dabob Bay. Violent storms battered the marina until it reached a point where it had to be abandoned. With the closing of the marina, Seabeck lost a large part of its culture and sense of community.

About three years ago, a group of investors began to evaluate the opportunity to purchase the abandoned Seabeck Marina with the goal of building a new modern marina to serve boaters in the Kitsap portion of Hood Canal. Our Kitsap County hearing examiner approved a shoreline substantial development permit for this project known as the Olympic View Marina in December 2007. Then the project hit a snag.

The Department of Ecology began its review of the permits and their concurrency with our Shoreline Master Plan. The department disagreed with the conclusion of our hearing examiner. Over the course of several weeks, Kitsap County staff worked diligently with Ecology and the project applicant to arrive at a compromise that allowed this project to move forward. This positive outcome can be attributed to the collaborative efforts of all parties involved. In the next few months, work should begin on the new Seabeck Marina, including demolition of the existing structure and pile driving for the new marina.

The new marina should eventually be able to accommodate approximately 200 boats. It promises to offer access and moorage for the recreation opportunities of Hood Canal. More importantly, the marina offers the potential to provide residents with a stronger sense of community and strengthen our shared values to preserve Hood Canal for future generations to enjoy.

New traffic signal lights up

Kitsap County continues to improve vehicular and pedestrian safety in Silverdale by completing a new traffic signal on Silverdale Way at Anderson Hill Road. This intersection connects Old Town Silverdale and the waterfront with CK High School and Junior High. Last summer, Kitsap County added additional traffic signals on Bucklin Hill Road to provide better pedestrian access between the waterfront and the Clear Creek Trail system.

Adding three sets of traffic signals in Silverdale may initially not seem to be substantial, but consider the fact that the city of Bainbridge Island doesn’t have any city-maintained traffic signals at all (the signals on Bainbridge are on State Highway 305).

We believe the county’s commitment to these improvements will result in fewer traffic collisions and will greatly enhance the ability for pedestrians — especially teenagers and seniors — to enjoy our community.

Community happenings

The Silverdale Chamber of Commerce is hosting two of its biggest events this month.

On Saturday, Oct. 18, the Chamber is sponsoring the Kitsap Military Fall Festival. This event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kitsap Pavilion, located at the Kitsap Fairgrounds & Event Center. This event is free for military personal (active, reserve or retired) and their guests.

More than 150 vendors representing local businesses, social services organizations and service clubs will be present. This is a great opportunity to learn about the services and support available to military personal in Kitsap County.

The Silverdale Chamber of Commerce’s Homecoming Gala is Saturday, Oct. 25 at the Silverdale Beach Hotel. Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., with entertainment to follow. Tickets are $50.

For more information on either event, contact the Silverdale Chamber at (360) 692-6800.

Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown appears the second Saturday of the month in the CK Reporter.

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