Port Orchard recently annexed 95,000-square-feet of land officials now consider a “logical” boundary for the city.
The Retsil Annexation, a nine parcel, 2.2 acre annexation located between the intersection of Bay Street and Arnold Avenue to the west and the intersection of Beach Drive and Olney Avenue East was approved by the city council last week. The small annexation acts as a bridge between the city’s existing primary boundary to the east and the city’s Joint Water Reclamation Facility, Port Orchard Planning Department Director James Weaver said.
The annexation was approved by the city council by a 4-0 vote. Council member Jim Colebank recused himself from the vote as a property owner on Beach Drive. Colebank is also leading an effort to annex a much larger part of Beach Drive.
Council members Rob Putaansuu and John Clauson were absent from the meeting.
The Retsil Annexation originally included the 24.8-acre Washington Veterans Home at Retsil, but it was dropped from the area in March when Port Orchard Police Chief Al Townsend said that annexing the 240-member veteran’s home would strain the already taxed police force.
Robert McGee, owner of Annapolis Fitness and Whiskey Gulch Coffee, two pieces of property included in the annexation, said he supported the move to incorporate into the city because it made sense for both the property owners and the city of Port Orchard. The police monitoring will be more frequent, it eliminates jurisdictional overlaps, and it completes the shoreline in a more practical way, he said.
“My overall perception of the annexation is a positive one,” McGee said. “It is a small piece of area being annexed, but it makes a lot of sense in the overall picture.”
According to a Port Orchard Police report for 2011, response times are in general lower than the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office response times.
Before a vote on the annexation, the city took public testimony. Dave Lewis, a resident of Beach Drive, was the only person from the public to speak. He spoke in opposition of the annexation. The smaller annexation is a “stepping stone” for the larger Beach Drive annexation, which he opposes. Kitsap County offers better plowing and de-icing services in the winter, he said.
“This is the first step,” Lewis said.