UPDATE: Thanks to County Commissioner
Josh Brown who dropped everything to run down to Olympia and
negotiate a compromise with DNR. The Seabeck Marina project is
moving forward. We’re not completely out of the woods just yet, but
things certainly are much more encouraging. Thanks to all the
supportive and vocal residents of Seabeck and Kitsap County for
making your opinions heard!
Read about the DNR Reversal HERE!
I know that the folks at WA State DNR do, in fact, accomplish
many good things to help preserve the environment and maintain our
quality of life here on the Kitsap Peninsula, but in this
particular instance with the new Seabeck Marina, they aren’t doing
I accessed the Kitsap Sun website last night to find out the
outcome of our Central Kitsap School Support Levy. I was thrilled
to discover that the measure had passed, as had all the other
district levies in the county.
Unfortunately, my joy was short lived as my eyes were quickly
diverted to an adjoining article.
“Confusion Over Lease Stops Construction at New
No sooner had construction finally commenced on the new marina
out in Seabeck then our beloved DNR (WA State Dept. of Natural
Resources) stepped in and forced an abrupt halt to the work in
Evidently, when the Olympic View LLC partners purchased the
marina in 2004, there was a corresponding lease on the use of
state-owned bed-lands (land below the low-tide mark). During the
ensuing years of wading through endless bureaucratic red tape, the
lease was placed into an inactive status.
In 2007, the partners attempted to re-activate the lease but
were told by the State that a new policy was being drafted that
would require a habitat review (something they had already
completed). By the end of 2009 they asked the State once again for
permission to re-activate the lease, but the results were only
confusion as to what the requirements were for satisfying the new
habitat review. As a result, the partners were forced to hire a
land-use attorney to help them make sense of the new policy.
Demolition work and pile driving had begun this past week
because developers wanted to take advantage of a narrow two-week
window allowed under State Department of Fish and Wildlife rules.
The restrictive time frames are in place to protect underwater
habitat. The next window when this type of work can be performed
won’t open until July.
This past Monday, the State issued a ‘Stop Work’ order and at
the same time, informed the partners that DNR staff wouldn’t
be able to review their lease agreement until “sometime between
April and November.”
If you access the WA State
DNR website, you’ll find the following Mission Statement:
To provide professional, forward-looking
stewardship of our state lands, natural resources, and
To provide leadership in creating a sustainable
future for the Trusts and all
We manage 5.6 million acres of forest, range, agricultural,
aquatic, and commercial lands for the people of
Washington. These lands generate more than $200 million a
year, much of it to support public schools, state institutions, and
county services. We also manage these lands to provide fish and
wildlife habitat, clean and abundant water, and public
access for you.
The Seabeck Marina project has always made perfect sense. There
is a very pronounced need for marine services and moorage
facilities on the west side of Hood Canal in Kitsap County. Since
the closure of the previous marina, local businesses have been
struggling, and patiently awaiting construction of the new marina
to attract customers. Support by local residents has been
overwhelmingly positive, knowing that a new marina would bring
vital growth to the area and improve property values.
Does anyone else find it rather absurd that we can have two very
expensive ‘ghost town’ marinas in Silverdale and Bremerton, and yet
when private money wants to foot the bill for a marina with huge
potential use and popularity, all the State can do is pose endless