McCormick Woods deal nearly done

An agreement between Kitsap County fire officials and developers wanting to add nearly 1,500 new homes to the McCormick Woods area is “90 percent” complete, said Kitsap County Fire Marshal David Lynam this week.

“I was supposed to have it done by Friday, but I had a few other things to deal with,” Lynam said, referring to the extensive fire investigation launched after a Port Orchard woman was found killed in her burned-out home April 30.

GEM 1, LLC — a partnership between the McCormick Land Co. and Granite Land Co — applied for permission from the county to build McCormick West, which would add 1,432 single-family residences on 606 acres within the McCormick Urban Village.

However, when both Lynam and South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Chief Wayne Senter testified before Kitsap County Hearing Examiner pro tem Keith McGoffin on March 27 that they were concerned about the plan not including another access road nor providing land for a future fire station, McGoffin put the decision on hold.

“The two conditions brought up by the (fire officials) were discussed extensively,” said Dennis Oost, a staff planner with the county’s Department of Community Development. “The plan would have been approved had it not been for the fire marshal’s concerns.”

Senter said having “1.5” exits for such a large area was simply not adequate, and he requested that the plan include another access road, along with five acres set aside for a potential fire station.

Last week, Lynam said the developers had agreed to address the fire officials’ concerns.

“There will be land provided for a fire station,” Lynam said, explaining that three acres the developers were originally going to be given to the county for a park/green space will be set aside for a fire station, and the fire district will be responsible for building the structure in the future, if and when they decide it is necessary.

Asa for the access, Lynam said the parties agreed on a third road that would be available only to emergency vehicles.

“We can open the gate automatically when we need to, and that way the developers do not have to redo their traffic planning,” he said.

The last few details that Lynam said needed to be hashed out, however, included whether the access road would be paved or gravel.

“In principle we agree, and I don’t expect the fundamentals to change,” he said, explaining that the agreement was supposed to have been finalized last Friday, but he was still hashing out his end this week.

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