Ridgetop Land Exchange decision postponed until 2020

Evaluation of public comment and property appraisal to be extended into next year

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources recently announced the postponement of its presentation of the Ridgetop Land Exchange until 2020.

The proposed trade between DNR and Evergreen Housing Development Group would see a 27-acre parcel of Common School Trust land (located between Ridgetop Boulevard and State Highway 303) traded for a 1.5-acre parcel of commercial property in Snohomish County. DNR states the exchange will provide long-term revenue for public school construction by exchanging a residential property that earns no income for a commercial property that will generate immediate revenue through an existing commercial lease.

The state trust property is within the urban growth area boundary of Silverdale. A portion of the Clear Creek Trail crosses the property, through an easement held by Kitsap County. The Evergreen Housing Development Group intends to build a market-rate multifamily project on the site, retaining the Clear Creek Trail.

The public comment period for the Ridgetop Land Exchange in Silverdale, formerly known as the Bucklin Hill Land Exchange, between DNR and the Evergreen Housing Development Group was extended to Oct. 11 following a Sept. 12 public hearing, at the request of the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners. Now the evaluation of public comment and property appraisal will be extended into next year.

Brock Milliern, division manager of DNR Conservation, Recreation and Transactions, said the department wants “to take feedback we have received from community members and hear any further concerns before moving forward.” He also noted that “before the proposal is placed back on the agenda for the Board of Natural Resources, DNR will reopen a public comment period and schedule a community conversation in Kitsap County.”

For more information about the proposed land exchange, visit dnr.wa.gov/managed-lands/land-transactions/ridgetop-land-exchange.