PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — The City of Port Orchard is developing faster than its infrastructure can support.
On Thursday, a moratorium was placed on new water hookups – that means for now, no new home construction in certain parts of town.
Chuck Michener moved to Port Orchard a year ago.
“I wanted a new house, but also wanted some property,” Michener said while watering his lawn. “Most of the homes on the left side of the street popped up, they’re new.”
All this development has caused the city to take unprecedented action to pause development.
“As it relates specifically to the McCormick woods area, what we are stating [is] there will be no new connections until the necessary infrastructure is put in place,” said Thomas Hunter, the City of Port Orchard’s utility manager.
Just this week, city staff realized their water use estimates weren’t keeping pace with reality-- its half-a-million-gallon reservoir is at capacity, and that means no new hookups will be allowed in this portion of town.
“We’re talking about lots that don’t have a home on it yet that isn’t going to be able to construct until the necessary facilities are constructed,” Hunter said.
That translates to about a hundred lots that won’t receive hook ups anytime soon.
McCormick Communities LLC is the developer behind a major master-planned community in the area.
Through a written statement, a representative says they are “surprised by the decision” and go on to say they will work with the city to “resolved as quickly as possible.”
Eric Campbell, a partner of McCormick Communities LLC, issued the following statement:
“We were surprised by the decision and are working diligently with the City of Port Orchard and the City of Bremerton to come up with a good solution for the community. Specifically, we met with the City of Port Orchard this morning (Friday, June 14) to review the data that drove the decision. There are open questions in the data and once these are answered we can move forward and collaborate quickly on a solution. McCormick as a master-planned community is a fantastic place to live in the Seattle area, and we’ve seen significant demand to live here among new home buyers looking for a wealth of amenities and a central location with easy access to Bremerton, Tacoma, and Seattle (via Fast Ferry/WSDOT Ferry). The decision does not impact homes already permitted and under construction, and we do have homes available for buyers to purchase. We will work with the City of Port Orchard and City of Bremerton to get this resolved as quickly as possible. We continue to welcome buyers to our model homes at McCormick, and do have available inventory for sale.”
As for Michener, he’s in the clear – and though there aren’t any formal restrictions on water use in the city, all residents are encouraged to conserve whenever able.