the current situation

Contact Us:


The hearing for our appeal to the Growth Management Hearings Board will be December 18, 2018 at 9 am in the First Floor Conference Room at the Jefferson County Courthouse. The address is 1820 Jefferson St., Port Townsend.

The hearing for our appeal in Superior Court will be December 19, 2018 at 9 am in Port Orchard. The address of the Superior Court hearing is 614 Division St. Room 210, Port Orchard.

Appeal Issues

 Our lawsuit is based on the fact that it is unclear what development the county has approved. 

Brinnon residents have been sold on the idea there will be a recreational center.  The development agreement has NO building plans for the center. There is NO date when such a center will be built. 

 The 2008 comprehensive plan amendment promised a “community center” with 200 seats.  This is not in the current plan. The 2018 development agreement has two different descriptions of what will be build and where.

 In the Canadian Pine Ridge development, Statesman proposed a recreation center with the same drawing given to the county two years ago.  It has never been built.  In fact, Statesman has asked the Canadian government for about $40M to build it.  This is similar to the proposal they made to the Jefferson County government for tax money along with the drawing for the recreational center 2 years ago.

 The first phase of the resort is to build 202 condos.  The county has given Statesman 45 years to build a golf course or a recreation center.  These would come in later phases.  It is unlikely than any child in Brinnon right now who wants to use the recreation center will see one before he or she is grown.

 It is also unclear how the county plans to deal with the increased traffic

·  The Brinnon fire chief recently reported that there have been 76 wrecks on 101 since 2012, including the October 2018 fatality

·  The resort will add up to 4100 car trips a day to the Brinnon area

·  The environmental impact traffic report accepted by the county ignored any accidents that did not take place at intersections; so there are limited road improvement required of the developer

·  Analysis of similar developments in Oregon show that taxpayers will pay for needed infrastructure and fire safety costs

This appeal is complex and will go on through January, 2019. We have momentum and we’re gathering community support.

Legal Documents for Growth Management Board Hearing


         ATTACHMENT A:  Ordinance Adopting Development Regulations

         ATTACHMENT B:  Ordinance Adopting Development Agreement

         ATTACHMENT C:  Map from Final SEIS

         ATTACHMENT D:  Different, Hand Corrected  Map of Master Planned Resort






Legal Documents for kitsap superior court (LUPA)


ATTACHMENT A:  Ordinance Approving Development Regulations

ATTACHMENT B:  Ordinance Adopting Development Agreement

ATTACHMENT C:  Map of Master Planned Resort Plan

 ATTACHMENT D:  Different, Hand Corrected  Map of Master Planned Resort

ATTACHMENT E:  Vision Statement from 2016






1.     What is an MPR?

A Master Planned Resort (MPR) isn’t whatever a developer wants to build.  It is defined by both state law (RCW 36.70A.360) and Jefferson County ordinance (18.15.025).

An MPR must have self-contained, integrated facilities, focused on a range of recreational facilities.  Permanent residences are allowed only if they support onsite recreation.  The emphasis is on short stay. 

2.     What are important details about the Pleasant Harbor MPR proposal?

  • It is located on Black Point, on about 250 acres, adjacent to the Pleasant Harbor Marina, which the developer also owns.

  • There is one aquifer for Black Point and wells already are experiencing salt water intrusion.

  • The completed MPR will have 890 units. At least one building will be 4 stories high.

  • The MPR will add more than 2000 people per day to Brinnon.

  • The MPR will add up to 4100 car trips a day on highway 101.

  • 80% of employees will be paid below the poverty level.

  • The resort will not add to the affordable housing in Brinnon. A dormitory will house seasonal staff and they will pay up to 30% of their wages to stay there.

  • The MPR will harm shellfish and other aquatic life in Hood Canal, both through in increase of traffic emissions and pollution from the MPR itself. 

3.     Are MPRs generally economically successful?

The Washington State report on MPRs states: 

After reviewing North American resort and recreational projects over a 30-year span, some resort industry leaders estimated that as few as 10 percent were profitable for the original developer. (page 10).

The guide describes areas that have set specific investment targets for developers and recommends that counties ensure that developers have the experience and financial capability to carry out the development.

Jefferson County has refused to ask the developer to provide this information, despite many requests from the public. 

4.     What is the current status of the MPR?

  • Development agreement and regulations have been approved by all 3 members of the BOCC.

  • The developer has signed the development agreement, but not the attachments.

  • There are no permits; it is not yet at the permit stage. 

5.     What is the basis of the Brinnon Group’s appeal?

The current MPR plans do not meet the state or county requirements for an MPR.  The design is so vague and the timing so unclear, that you cannot tell what the county has agreed to with the developer. And it is unclear that there will be short term rentals. 

6.     What will be the impact on taxes?

  • Some people believe that it will reduce their property taxes, because more people in Jefferson County will be paying for county expenses. However, to know the true cost you need both income and expenditure figures.

  • The county has refused to do an analysis of the revenue and costs to taxpayers from the MPR, despite being asked by citizens many times.

  • An Oregon study of a similar development concludes:

    • In conclusion, local governments and local taxpayers will be left with a net cost burden of $45.94 million if the Thornburgh Resort is fully completed as proposed. This is a net cost after the resort has been credited for all known payments and tax revenues it will generate. The $45.94 million cost will be externalized and will ultimately be borne by other taxpayers (not the resort) through some combination of higher taxes, reduced public services, and lower facility service standard

  • The development agreement approved by Jefferson County transfers costs to taxpayers in a number of ways. For example, there will be considerable damage to Hood Canal from increased traffic emissions (4000+ extra vehicle trips a day). Taxpayers will pay to protect and to restore the Canal and its fish and shellfish.

7.     What would real economic development in South County look like?

 During the 1994-95 process to update the 1982 Community Plan, the first such plan for Brinnon, the Planning Committee gathered survey results and comments in order to create a profile of the community. The essential theme echoed by residents was the importance of maintaining the rural character of Brinnon. As before, respondents favored the development or improvement of single- family residences, convenience stores, retail and service businesses, agricultural and/or aquaculture production, marina operation and boat launches, and the expansion of parks and other public areas.

8.     What do I need to do to stop the MPR?