Stakeholders, council members focus on way forward for Port Townsend Golf Course

PORT TOWNSEND — A Port Townsend Metropolis Council particular assembly took council members to the Mountain View Campus and a tour of the Port Townsend Golf Course earlier than ending at its clubhouse for an often-testy 2 1/2-hour dialogue about the way forward for the 58-acre property and the town’s decision-making processes.

The boots-on-the-ground go to on Monday got here a couple of month after the council at its July 17 assembly rejected two idea proposals for the course developed by a stakeholder committee. As an alternative, the council unanimously permitted a plan to have metropolis employees and a guide develop a 3rd proposal based mostly on the council’s priorities. These included inexpensive housing, entry for youngsters and households, monetary sustainability and accessibility.

On the Monday walk-through, Mayor David Farber, Deputy Mayor Amy Howard and council members Ben Thomas, Monica MickHager, Owen Rowe and Libby Urner Wennstrom had been joined by near 30 individuals as they listened to members of the stakeholder committee, who symbolize the YMCA, pickleball, canine park, golf and ancestral prairie communities. (Council member Aislinn Palmer was unable to attend.)

The stakeholders defined their constituencies’ pursuits and issues when it got here to various makes use of for the Mountain View and golf course websites.

The Mountain View Campus and its growing old pool generated virtually no dialogue on the clubhouse sit-down.

A separate metropolis initiative guided by a steering committee, More healthy Collectively, is within the strategy of creating a plan for changing the Mountain View pool with a brand-new facility that it’ll current to the town on Sept. 5.

The emotional and substantive coronary heart of debate centered on the golf course and a perception expressed by many within the viewers that the council had already made up its thoughts that the city-owned property ought to be utterly repurposed for different makes use of.

The council’s movement handed at their July 17 assembly excluded golf from the plan it tasked employees and the guide, Groundswell, to develop. A movement introduced by Thomas that may have included components of the golf course was voted down.

Howard mentioned the vote mirrored the council’s need to have extra time to think about a substitute for the stakeholder proposals that had been submitted, not a rejection of golf.

“We wished extra planning, extra alternative to have the dialogue and, actually, alternatives to do issues like this,” Howard mentioned. “The one factor that has been determined is that we wanted extra [options] with out the golf programs.”

Though housing was not a part of the unique scope of the stakeholder committee’s activity to develop an idea design for the golf course, it grew to become part of the dialog by public conferences and public suggestions. The council’s citing it as a precedence on July 17 led some to consider that the development of housing was a foregone conclusion.

At the least a half-dozen individuals on Monday carried indicators protesting utilizing the course for housing (“No housing on our legacy lands”) and advocating it stay an open area (“Golf is NOT lifeless!”)

“If we don’t maintain the golf course, what number of homes are being proposed?” requested Joni Blanchard in regards to the employees and guide plan that the council will evaluate at a Sept. 11 work session.

Director of Parks & Recreation Technique Carrie Hite, who has been main the Mountain View and golf course initiative since final fall, mentioned there was no approach presently to know what number of items would possibly potential to be constructed as a result of it might depend upon the type of housing — single-family or a number of unit — in addition to the place they might be sited.

Many of the golf course property is deed-restricted for municipal use, with an space alongside Blaine Road the largely seemingly spot for any housing.

If housing was a part of the plan for the golf course, Faber mentioned, the land must be put aside for future development as a result of the town already has its fingers full with different initiatives.

“The town is at the moment engaged on Evans Vista and we don’t know if that’s going to be successful. Cherry Road is already a black eye,” mentioned Faber of failed public housing property. “It might be a decade or extra to be thought-about at this cut-off date.”

A report ready by guide David Hein that was commissioned by Groundswell criticized each the town and the lessee, Gabriel Tonan Golf Retailers, for the course’s operational, price range and upkeep woes.

Nonetheless, he offered a constructive long-term outlook for the course with options for the way it might turn into a financially viable enterprise beginning with an funding of $315,000 in upgrades.

The report, a lot of individuals identified, addressed the town’s issues that the golf course operated at a loss and that enhancements to its growing old infrastructure had been financially unfeasible.

“The Hein evaluation is a really affordable sum of cash that turns this again right into a self-sufficient metropolis asset moderately than one other drain on parks and upkeep assets,” mentioned Christina Albrecht, who’s a part of a gaggle crafting a administration and marketing strategy for turning across the course.

“It will price the town nothing and turns this not simply right into a self-sustaining useful resource, however a profitable useful resource that truly will be bringing more cash into the town,” she added.

The council was inspired to think about at its Sept. 11 workshop an up to date idea design created by Robert Horner, a Port Townsend panorama architect, that preserved many of the golf course whereas incorporating lots of the components public enter had expressed a need for, reminiscent of putting in strolling paths, growing the quantity of native prairie and offering areas for non-golf actions.

Metropolis Supervisor John Mauro mentioned workshops had been often reserved for employees shows however something that was submitted, together with Horner’s plan, can be included in council members’ assembly packets.

“All supplies shall be into account and mentioned,” Mauro mentioned. “No motion shall be taken, however there shall be public remark.”

Wennstrom mentioned she wished to reiterate to residents and stakeholders that the council had no pre-determined consequence for the golf course in thoughts.

“So far as I’m conscious that any resolution has been made that we aren’t that we’re positively shifting ahead with a ‘no golf’ plan,” Wennstrom mentioned. “I need lay that to relaxation.”


Reporter Paula Hunt will be reached at

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