That little blue house perched under the Manette Bridge is soon to be demolished.
The Bremerton City Council recently approved purchasing the home for $132,000, plus closing costs, and for the residence to be torn down.
It’s one of the few waterfront homes left. There was a day when the Bremerton waterfront was filled with such beach houses. They’ve been slowly disappearing over time. One particular day in 1990, eight of them were condemned by the city after one collapsed.
The reason you also don’t see many today is because state environmental regulations forbid building over Puget Sound. Only one now remains habitable on the Bremerton waterfront, which I wrote about last year.
The reason for the demolition this time around has to do with the city’s sewer system.
As part of the Washington Avenue project, an aging and problematic sewer line along the beach — between the boardwalk and Manette Bridge — will be closed down. Instead, sewer systems in houses along Washington Avenue now have “grinder” pumps, which pull sewage up into lines being constructed on Washington, rather than falling to the beach line below.
To install a grinder pump to the little home at 646 Washington would’ve cost around $40,000, Bremerton Public Works Director Chal Martin told the City Council. And in buying the house, the city will have a small slice of waterfront that could one day be developed.
“It could be beach access in the future,” Martin said.
The other reason the city bought it: officials said the house would give them something called “mitigation credits.” That’s a fancy way of saying that in the future, if there are objections to a city project for environmental reasons, the city could proceed with the project anyway because it mitigated environmental problems elsewhere.
Only Councilman Roy Runyon objected to the purchase, while the other six on the Council approved it. Runyon said he did not believe it was worth the city’s money.
UPDATE: Martin told me Friday that the home couldn’t be moved because it just wasn’t “economically viable.” Also, the city has condemned the yellow house that remains on the beach but there’s no timetable yet for demolition. The other beach house — soon the lone one left — will remain.