White Horse housing/golf project back on course

Court says project is vested under 1983 standards.


Staff Writer

A Washington State Court of decided Monday the White Horse housing development is a vested project, not subject to current growth management guidelines and can move forward.

“We’re pleased,” said Bob Screen, developer for White Horse.

But not everyone is happy with the court’s decision.

“We’re disappointed, but not totally surprised,” said Charlie Burrow, a plaintiff in the case. The Indianola resident said he plans to meet with the other plaintiffs and their attorney to figure out the next course of action.

According to the court’s ruling the 450-acre development, which includes an 18-hole golf course, adheres to the 1983 zoning ordinance. That ordinance allows for a density of one home per acre if certain criteria are met. The project, which applications were filed for in 1991, is not subject to the current Urban Growth Area standards which call for one home per 20 acres.

The North Kitsap Community Council and others (the plaintiff’s in the case) have the option of taking the case to the State Supreme Court or asking the appellate to reconsider its decision.

White Horse, if built would include 224 homes, the golf course, club house, bed and breakfast, community center, and equestrian center. It would be located near the intersection of South Kingston and Indianola roads.

“The NKCC has failed to carry its burden to establish that the county erroneously interpreted its ordinances in making this land use decision, or that the county erroneously applied its laws to facts,” the opinion states.

The Kitsap County commissioners approved the application for the project based on the pre-growth management act laws.

The North Kitsap Community Council appealed the approval to the King County Superior, which upheld the county’s decision. The court however was bound by the appellate court’s decision regarding the Association of Rural Residents v. Kitsap County involving the Appletree Point development.

The appellate court said that Appletree did not comply with the Interim Urban Growth Area. The King County court therefore reversed its decision.

In 2000 the Washington State Supreme Court overruled the appellate court’s decision and said Appletree Point was a vested project not subject to the Growth Management Act, therefor paving the way for the White Horse plan.

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