City invites community engagement for future of PT golf course, Mountain View Commons

Leader News Staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 9/29/22

The city of Port Townsend is inviting the community to share their thoughts and opinions on the future of the Port Townsend Golf Course and Mountain View Commons on Blaine Street.

The process …

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City invites community engagement for future of PT golf course, Mountain View Commons

Posted

The city of Port Townsend is inviting the community to share their thoughts and opinions on the future of the Port Townsend Golf Course and Mountain View Commons on Blaine Street.

The process starts with an initial stakeholder meeting from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 in council chambers at City Hall.

The stakeholders committee, a staff advisory committee, is made up of 20 people selected from tenants at Mountain View Commons, the Port Townsend Golf Club, and community members who are interested in the project and approached the city to join the committee.

They will be charged with being the eyes and ears for this process, assuring a diverse representation of the community, and helping to integrate the community input, options, and tradeoffs with the staff and the consultants, according to the city.

The culmination of public involvement will result in a decision from Port Townsend City Council on what to do with the golf course and Mountain View properties.

“We are excited to launch this effort and look forward to hearing the community’s thoughts and ideas,” said City Manager John Mauro. “There are no predetermined decisions about these valued community assets, and we are very eager to engage a wide representation of our community to think through how to make the most of our public space.”

Back in early 2020, the city council directed city staff to pursue a two-pronged approach to managing the golf course by issuing a request for proposals and enter into a three-year operational agreement and engage the community in discussion about alternative uses.

In November 2020, the city council voted to pursue continued golf services for three years while also investigating alternative use concepts for the course while developing and refining broad community involvement in the property’s future.

The city recently developed a framework for a community discussion to explore the long-term vision for the golf course.

Results showed limited use of the golf course and interested in golf in general, according to the city. While most survey respondents didn’t have an opinion on the operation, investment, or use of the golf course, those who did have an opinion mostly did not want to make capital investments, set a cost recovery policy, or explore partnership options.

For those with an opinion, most did not want the city to stop operating the golf course.

At previous Under the Tent events hosted by the Housing Solutions Network, the subject of the golf course contract has been a hot topic.

Some of those in attendance have advocated that the city should use the land to build affordable housing.

The city council discussed the future use of the golf course on June 13, and has since hired Groundswell Landscape Architecture to assist with the project.

Comments

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  • dena_o

    We live 2 blocks from the Port Townsend Golf Course. I support alternative uses for its future. This is for broader public access and environmental reasons. I take my daughter to school often but we have to go around the golf course because it is not welcoming to walkers or bicyclists. That makes sense, since golf can be hazardous to bystanders, and preserving golf greens from other use is necessary to maintain them and for the golfers' enjoyment, but that is exactly why it excludes many from enjoying the space. Golf courses are artificial landscapes that typically require irrigation for non-native vegetation and have limited access and use. They are "open space" only in the sense that they are not paved, but they are not native, natural habitat and should not be confused with it. I support the PT golf course's future transition to natural open space, including restoring and expanding appropriate natural areas, such as the Kah Tai Prarie and historic wetlands, along with developing walking and bicycling paths. The Mountain View complex could be improved and developed more as a recreation destination, including picnic and play areas, while maintaining and improving current features like the dog park, pickle ball courts and playground. I look forward to hearing more about such alternative uses and advancing these two resources, the golf course and Mountain View complex, towards environmentally sound, accessible futures.

    Steven Yanoff, Port Townsend

    Saturday, October 1 Report this

  • esisk

    I agree with Steven's comments, especially regarding golf courses and the resources required to maintain them, while at the same time prohibiting access to the non-golfing public. I envision an expansion of the prairie and wetlands, and creating paths through a wildscape for all to enjoy. Its a precious gift to have an open space in the midst of our town that creates a calming experience, and provides habitat. I would also love to see a community garden that provides for the food bank, and other organizations.

    Sunday, October 2 Report this