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Bremerton set to annex SKIA North

Latest move only applies to 150-acre portion of 3,400-acre site; Port Orchard could still take legal action.

One piece of the South Kitsap Industrial Area (SKIA) puzzle appears set for the moment, as the Bremerton City Council voted 9-0 on Wednesday in favor of the annexation of “SKIA North” into the city of Bremerton.

If the state’s Boundary Review Board for Kitsap County approves the annexation, the property would become part of Bremerton on Oct. 1.

The 150-acre

parcel of land, owned by McCormick Land Co. and

Alpine Ever-green Co., is the northernmost section of the 3,400-acre SKIA.

The remaining acreage is

owned by various private land owners and the Port of Bremerton.

Council members chiming in on Wednesday’s unanimous approval were optimistic about the land’s economic future.

“I think this will provide an opportunity for innovative industrial development in the area,” Councilman Mike Shepherd said, emphasizing the importance of sustainable building.

Council President Will Maupin said if the city and property owners work as a “team,” development should move swiftly.

Initial work on SKIA North annexation began April 22 when a “10 percent petition” was submitted to the city.

Meetings followed before the county assessor completed a sufficiency review June 25.

“We’ve anticipated for a long time this area would annex into the city,” Maupin said.

While annexing SKIA North into Bremerton seemed a formality, the fate of the remaining 3,250 acres hangs in the balance.

Land owners and port commissioners launched the entire annexation process in April, but hiccups along the way have slowed the progress.

Bremerton and Port Orchard city officials believe the largely vacant land, which includes the Bremerton National Airport, will become an economic hotbed if and when development begins.

Port Orchard officials, miffed at being excluded from discussions, haven’t ruled out the possibility of taking legal action to enforce a Memorandum of Understanding by which the Port of Bremerton, the city of Bremerton and Port Orchard agreed to develop the site jointly.

SKIA annexation financial reports are available at www.ci.bremerton.wa.us/display.php?id=977.

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