Annexation approval doesn't mean housing construction in McCormick West

The city’s recent approval of annexation for McCormick West won’t immediately mean new construction, the president of McCormick Land Co. said.

Doug Skrobut said since the company’s master plan always included the McCormick West properties, development could have begun whether or not the area was part of the city. The housing market needs to pick up before homes are built on the nearly 620 acres west of McCormick Woods Drive SW.

“Annexation was always on the table,” Skrobut said. “It’s not like we were waiting to become part of Port Orchard before the houses went up.”

The Port Orchard City Council voted unanimously Nov. 22 to annex the lands known as McCormick West and Bethel Corridor North, 569 acres along Bethel Road between Sedwick Road and SE Shelton Lane.

The council’s vote is one of the final steps in the annexation process, said ???? Weaver, the city’s development director, said. After council approval, the proposal goes to a boundary review board and various state agencies before annexation is complete.

The city will have a hand in the policing, permitting, planning and improvements in the new areas. In turn, the city will see more revenue. The Bethel Corridor North alone will bring about $1.4 million to the city each year, with that amount expected to increase as box stores such as Home Depot are built along the corridor.

Much of that revenue will go to fund the widening of Bethel Road, a project that, according to Weaver, has been on Kitsap County’s agenda for 19 years.

“We can really make improvements like the road a priority once that area is in city limits,” Weaver said.

Additional tax revenues will eventually come from McCormick West, though not until the 1,500 single-family homes expected on the property are built. A day that could come sooner than some might expect, Skrobut said.

Though the housing market is  struggling, he has reason to hope things will come around soon. He claims that for the past two years, around half of all new home sales in Kitsap County have come from the McCormick Woods Master Plan area, leading him to believe there is still a demand for housing.

But as far as when there will be enough of a demand to justify building homes on the annexed lots, he’s not quite sure.

“I wish I had a crystal ball to tell me when we’re going to build,” he said. “But I don’t.”

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