eBlast#1: 7/6/15

The three ad hoc committees addressing the logging within the Master Planned Resort (MPR) have been working in concert to reach an outcome that protects your interests. Over the coming weeks the committees, through their sponsoring entities, will provide a series of common eBlasts to report to you important background information regarding MPRs, the statements made at the Jefferson County Commissioners meetings, a status of events and activities, and the committees’ views.

Please mark your calendar to attend the August 6th PLVC General Meeting to be held at the Bay Club from 3-5pm where further updates and discussions will take place, with County and PLA representatives in attendance.

Below is the first installment of the series of eBlasts. It is a presentation made at the Commissioners meeting on July 6 providing background on the intent of MPR legislation.

“My name is Dave McDearmid. I am the Chair of the Ludlow Maintenance Commission’s Special Committee addressing the timber harvesting that has taken place in Port Ludlow.

Regardless of how well legal documents are written, someone will take pieces from them out of context to support their actions, even if the result is in direct conflict with the intent of the legislation or agreement.   So let’s focus on intent.

How did Master Planned Resorts (MPR) come to exist? The following is taken from Report No. 57 entitled ‘Master Planned Resorts “Washington Style”’ published in May 2003 by the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington. “Although the 1990 Growth Management Act (GMA) did not permit growth that is “urban in nature” outside of Urban Growth Areas, subsequent amendments to the Act provided for some limited exceptions…. The exceptions include…..master planned resorts.”

Why were these exceptions necessary? The report goes on to state “Many of the resource industries that have traditionally provided jobs and income to rural residents have more recently cut back or disappeared altogether from the scene. These GMA amendments provide flexibility for additional uses, services, and employment/economic opportunities in rural areas…….. Many of Washington’s rural areas offer magnificent scenic settings and natural amenities with potential to attract tourists and recreational enthusiasts. Resort and recreation uses can potentially provide additional sources of rural jobs and income. When carefully planned and sited, some of these recreation-related uses can be developed without jeopardizing neighboring resource uses or sacrificing rural character.” (Emphasis added)

What constitutes careful planning and siting? The report provides “Careful planning and siting of resort facilities coupled with design excellence are essential ingredients to the success of an MPR. Successful resorts must balance development of an attractive package of amenities with preservation of the features and natural settings that are a major key to attracting visitors.” (Emphasis added)

In summary, the intent of the MPR legislation is to create resort developments within magnificent scenic settings to attract additional economic opportunities without jeopardizing neighboring resource uses or sacrificing rural character. That’s not just good legislation; it’s good business.

Last week Commissioner Sullivan commented we have to get it right next time, which was understood to be an indirect reference to the MPR proposed for Brinnon. I would submit that the County needs to get it right this time and preserve and protect what’s left of the Port Ludlow MPR. It is not only the correct legal position as intended by the law, it is the right business decision for the people of this county. To do otherwise effectively nullifies the state’s MPR legislation and jeopardizes the economic benefit that was intended with its passage. Surely you do not want that associated with your names or Jefferson County.

Thank you for your time.”

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