February 10, 2006
Contact: PJ Callahan
Phone: (360) 337-4481
Kingston Village Green One Step
Closer to Reality
ORCHARD, WA—The Kitsap Board of County Commissioners has reached an
agreement with Pacific Northwest Communities and American Eagle Communities
LLC for the purchase and sale of a Navy housing development located on 3.6
acres for $1.75 million. The signing of the agreement coincides with an
announcement from Congressman Jay Inslee’s office that the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded a $150,000 Economic
Development Initiatives (EDI) grant to Kitsap County for "land acquisition
for a community center and park/utility complex." EDI provides grants to
local governments to enhance both the security of loans guaranteed through
the Section 108 Loan Program and the feasibility of the economic development
and revitalization projects they finance.
The North Kitsap site, known as Kingston Village Green, was
selected in October 1999 as one of eight park properties for development.
"The Kingston Village Green Concept Plan, together with seven other plans,
represents a concerted effort by the county to design an overall plan for
parks development that takes into account the needs and preferences of the
entire county," said District 1 Commissioner Chris Endresen. "The Kingston
Village Green Final Plan balances active recreation and civic buildings with
the desire to retain open space in the downtown Kingston area."
The site consists of two separate properties comprising a
total of 15.4 acres—a developed park with existing play and sports
facilities, and an undeveloped property located one block away with an
existing sewage treatment plant operated and owned by Kitsap County Public
Works. Adjacent to the undeveloped property on the north side of NE West
Kingston Road is a Navy housing development that includes 12 housing units
in six duplexes.
Pacific Northwest Communities is a partnership between
American Eagle and the Department of the Navy. American Eagle is an entity
specifically formed to partner with the military as part of the Navy’s
Military Housing Privatization Initiative. Because Pacific Northwest
Communities and American Eagle are contractually obligated to the Navy to
redevelop or sell the property in a manner that maintains military
residential communities throughout the nation and enhances quality of life
and well-being for military families, the deed restricts the land be "used
as a public park and/or public community center and for no other purpose."
It also specifies that the land "shall not at any time be used for
residential purposes," except "publicly-funded and subsidized housing for
senior adults may be constructed on top of and within the same structure as
a community center." Also in accordance with the agreement, the county will
rent the existing 12 housing units for no more than three years while
working with the community to fine-tune the design and secure funds for
construction of the park and community center.
In 2001, the Navy housing property adjacent to the park site
was earmarked for future expansion and acquisition as part of the county’s
park planning process. Based on the Navy’s historical practice of gifting
surplus property to states, counties and cities for legitimate public use,
the county allocated $1.5 million in the Six-Year Capital Facilities Plan to
develop the park. However, in early 2005, the county was informed by
American Eagle that the Navy was planning to either sell or develop the
site. Because significant public input was garnered during the park planning
process, the county felt it would be unfortunate to curtail the preferred
plan based on a change in the way the Navy now surpluses property and moved
forward with plans to purchase the property.
"The need for the creation of a Village Green for the
community of Kingston has been clearly recognized for a number of years,"
said Endresen. "This piece of property is critical to the completion of the
project. It is a site that has the potential to serve many functions,
providing facilities for neighborhood park needs, and serving as a central
gathering space for community events and festivals. Acquisition of this
property was critical to allow expansion of community-based program elements
as the need arises in the future."