Silverdale development receives award — County and YMCA take VISION 2040 award for plan

Michael Donne runs Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, at the Silverdale YMCA. The facility is the only part of the planned Central Kitsap Community Campus completed so far.  - Tom James/staff photo
Michael Donne runs Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, at the Silverdale YMCA. The facility is the only part of the planned Central Kitsap Community Campus completed so far.
— image credit: Tom James/staff photo

Kitsap County and YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties have won one of six 2011 VISION 2040 awards for their work on a development plan for downtown Silverdale.

The awards were given for projects geared toward meeting the needs of the 5 million people expected to be living in the greater Puget Sound area by 2011, according to an Oct. 29 release by the Puget Sound Regional Council, the awarding agency.

The Y’s award came for their work on the Central Kitsap Community Campus, a plan for the development of downtown Silverdale, said Jennifer Gregerson, chair of the award selection committee.

Gregerson said the planned development stood out for its combination of planned facilities and potential positive effect on the surrounding area. In addition to the YMCA already on the site, Gregerson said, a library branch, senior housing, and open space are planned.

“[It’s] a good example of a town center development that will transform the area in the future through improved mobility, jobs and housing,” Gregerson said.

Officials from the county and the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce were unavailable for comment Tuesday.

Jesse Palmer, a YMCA director involved with the plan since 2007, said the plan focuses on developing land between the current Sheriff’s Office on Randall Way and the Regal Cinemas movie theater. Much of that land, Palmer said, is already owned by the county, including the Sheriff’s Office and community center.

The plan was drawn up by the Central Kitsap Community Campus Task Force, said Bob Moyer, president of the Kitsap Community Council and task force member.

According to the Kitsap County website, the task force is made up of 13 organizations including Kitsap County, Kitsap Transit, Pierce-Kitsap YMCA and the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce.

Moyer said he thought the County Web site’s estimated time frame of 20 years to completion was reasonable. Funding, Moyers said, is the biggest hurdle for the plan. Without dedicated money set aside yet, items so far included in the plan are more like goals than a hard plan, Moyers said.

Still, Gregerson said the plan contained a positive vision for Kitsap, and Silverdale in particular.

“It’s positive because it’s a new type of vision to the area. It’s not just another strip mall that’s really car-focused,” said Gregerson.

Palmer said pedestrian access was central to the plan from the beginning. The task force he said, maintained that they wanted the campus to have “the feel of walking onto a university campus.”

In addition to being pedestrian-friendly, the county website listed community meeting space, public transit accessibility and “a park-like setting” as guiding principles for the plan.

The inclusion of private partners in the project also caught the selection committee’s attention, Gregerson said. Having an initial investment from a private group helped get the project rolling, said Gregerson, and made it more realistic.

The Puget Sound Regional Council includes more than 80 agencies, including King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties and more than 70 cities, towns, ports, tribal governments and other agencies in the region, the release said. The council is dedicated to coordinating transportation and growth planning around Puget Sound.

The award is scheduled to be presented at a community event on the Central Kitsap Community Campus Oct. 18, according to the release.

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