the current situation

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September 2, 2019 Email

Status of Brinnon Group and MPR

What happened with the lawsuit…

·        In April 2019 Judge Olson returned the development agreement for the Pleasant Harbor Master Planned Resort MPR) to Jefferson County for significant revisions.

·        The county had approved a plan where the developer would build some condos and a drainfield and then have 45 years to build other components of the resort.  There was no penalty if the developer stopped with the condos and drainfield.

·        The judge pointed out that only one type of non rural development is allowed in a rural area like Brinnon, an MPR.  The MPR must have both residences and the recreational features that bring people to a resort.

·        In August 2019 the county approved an amendment to the development agreement that requires the developer first to build the golf course, roads, building footprints, stormwater storage, and gravel crushing operation.  There is a lot of up front expense added to the plan before any income from residential units and recreation facilities.

·        When the developer starts to build residences, he must also build a drainfield, sewage treatment  pump stations, a conference center, and units for staff housing.

What is the Brinnon Group doing now…

·        Brinnon Group members attended county meetings to make sure the county followed the judge’s orders.  For example, the county and developer “forgot” to include the sewage treatment plant until reminded by a Brinnon Group statement read to the county commissioners.

·        We are setting up a system to track any work done on the MPR.  If you have any concerns or questions let us know and we will investigate.

·        We are paying off the legal bills.

What about those legal bills…

·        We are happy with the results our attorney achieved and would like to finish paying him for his work.

·        We still owe more than $20,000 in legal bills.

·        We had 2 successful fundraisers in August and are planning more.  People also continue to send checks and to donate through our webpage and on our GOFUNDME page.

·        We received one grant last year and will be applying for more funds from charitable organizations.

·        Ways to donate in

o   Send a check to PO BOX 572, Brinnon, WA  98320

o   Donate on our webpage

o   Donate on our GOFUNDME

Amendment to Development Agreement


         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?

  • The development agreement has been amended. As a result of our lawsuit, Judge Olson ruled that the amenities that qualify it as an MPR, including the golf course, have to be completed in the first phase of construction, along with the highway improvements. The county had originally allowed the developer to build some condos and a drain field and then had given him 45 years to add the other elements of the MPR.

5.     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.

6.     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.