Council warms to McCormick Woods

What was initially seen as ambivalence has evolved dramatically into genuine enthusiasm.

On Wednesday night, members of the Port Orchard City Council, along with Mayor Lary Coppola, visited a McCormick Woods business meeting to field questions about what annexing to the city would do for the community.

“Man, it was fabulous,” Coppola said. “We had a lot of good questions from the audience ... I was very pleased with the outcome.”

The discussion included questions about impact fees, utilities and the city’s overall vision and future.

The meeting was a turnaround from a perceived distance on the part of the council. In February, McCormick Woods resident Ray McGovern told the City Council that it needed to show some enthusiasm for the idea.

Members of the council indicated that they thought they were not legally allowed to form any opinion.

After learning they could, on Tuesday night they discussed a last-minute trip out to the community’s business meeting. A show of hands indicated that most of the members wanted to attend, making the event a public meeting in Washington State Law.

After attempting to narrow the margin down (up to three members of City Council can meet without declaring it a public meeting) the council ultimately decided that everyone could attend, and sent out public notices the next morning.

In all, five members of the council attended the meeting, along with the mayor.

McGovern said the meeting made a difference to those in attendance. The business meeting lasted longer than usual, and several headed home before the City Council had a chance to talk.

“The mayor did a nice job,” McGovern said. “They answered all the questions (and) they answered the questions well. They made us feel wanted.”

One of the main points of concern involves impact fees going to the schools.

The county charges around $1,000 per house for impact fees, and many wondered what would happen within the city.

The city does not charge impact fees, but it is researching the issue. The study is part of the comprehensive plan update.

“We’re exploring the issue at this point,” Coppola said. “We haven’t made a decision whether to do it or not. Until the study is complete, it’s not an issue.”


Tuesday night the Port Orchard City Council was set to discuss the Tremont widening and roundabout construction following concerns presented by emergency response officials.

Early in the meeting the discussion was tabled until the next study session on May 20.

Mayor Lary Coppola said the issue was tabled to verify the accuracy of cost estimations.

“We had some questions about the numbers that were presented and we just wanted to verify their accuracy,” Coppola said. “We just wanted to make sure the costs were being attributed correctly.”

Police Chief Al Townsend and South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Chief Wayne Senter gave presentations on roundabouts, concerned that the traffic system could cause backups or pedestrian issues of not handled appropriate. Senter advocated for signalized intersections.

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