Since 2006 a Master Planned Residential Resort (MPR) has been in the planning stage by the Canadian Stateman Group, on what is known as Black Point in southern Jefferson County along the Hood Canal. The MPR, 15 miles south of the Hood Canal Bridge, was proposed as an approximate 256-acre destination resort with golf course. The county granted (against much opposition) a land use designation in 2008, and in 2018 approved new zoning and a “Development Agreement”. Despite the go ahead from the county, the Statesman Group has only recently logged the land and has now been marketing the not yet built development. The Brinnon Group, which was formed in opposition to the proposed development, has now asked the State Attorney General and Federal Consumer Protection Bureau to investigate the sales and marketing efforts.
The Brinnon Group points out several points of concern.
The county amended their development agreement with Statesman under court order, due to an appeal by Statesman of the original zoning and agreement. The amendment required each phase of development to “contain adequate infrastructure, open space, recreational facilities, landscaping” and other conditions “to stand alone if no subsequent phases are developed.”
Further, the Development Agreement requires ten features of combined infrastructure and resort/recreational amenities be developed before residential units can be built and sold. However, as of this date, none of these infrastructure/amenities have been constructed; the Brinnon Group state that no permit applications have even been filed for necessary features of Phase 1 of the proposal. No water/sewer district has been formed and no sewer treatment plant or water system has been permitted, constructed or installed. No permits have been filed for construction of the staff quarters. No road system has been constructed and no improvements made to the intersection of Black Point Road and Highway 101, the only entrance to the project.
The ten features the agreement states for Phase 1 “required that substantial resort infrastructure and recreational facilities be constructed as follows:
- Clearing and construction of the golf course.
- Construction of the road network.
- Road improvements at Highway 101 and Black Point Road.
- Wastewater Treatment Plant.
- Water Storage Tank and distribution piping.
- Sanitary Sewer Pump Stations.
- Begin Implementation of Vegetation Management Plan.
- Construction of Community/Recreation Center, with 208 short term hotel rooms, spa services, pool, water slides, commercial space and sports courts.
- Construct residential units with 52 units of staff quarters for those working at the facility.
- Form a water and sewer district.”
- Only if these amenities and infrastructure elements are completed can the developer construct and sell approximately 252 units of residential housing.
- As of this month, according to the Brinnon Group’s letter, none of these infrastructure/amenities have been constructed. (emphasis in original email from Brinnon Group.)
- Additionally, the planned 208 room hotel, complete with premised water slides, spa services, commercial space and sports courts is not constructed, and no building permit applications have been filed.
- The only progress on Phase 1 is logging (and timber sale) for golf course fairway areas
- Construction of any sewer and water facilities requires approval of the State Department of Health (DOH). Though application materials were sent to DOH, they were incomplete, as described in a letter from DOH dated September 22, 2020. A recent inquiry to DOH by the Brinnon Group shows no additional material submitted by Statesman.
- The Brinnon group points out that despite the issues listed above, the Statesman Group have begun marketing efforts.
- They have constructed a web site.
- They have put a 6 minute sales video out.
- Sent out a mass mailer in the Seattle area.
The Brinnon Group points out that both the website and the “Seattle Signal” mass mailing contain multiple inaccuracies and statements which are not – and will not be – accurate within any reasonable time. The five numbered items in the mailing, “Vista Lots, Sea View Villas, Terraced Lofts, the Inn by the Sea and the Maritime Village” are all described for purchase or lease real estate interests. There is no indication, according to the Brinnon Group, that these facilities are permitted or constructed, and the brochure does not explain the ten elements of Phase 1 of the PHMPR that must be constructed before the real estate interests can be sold. There is apparently no opportunity offered for prospective buyers to inspect the property.
Additionally, the marketing mailing states that, “While some are golfing or enjoying REJUV-Health, others benefit from the Recreation Center’s indoor pools, skating and hockey rink, indoor soccer, racquetball and numerous training facilities for league sport, as well as the Family Fun Center,”
However, this recreation center is not constructed and there are apparently no permit applications with Jefferson County, nor even basic plans for the facility, according to the Brinnon Group letter.
The website claimed that “Our Health Center includes an approved surgical operatory for various endoscopic day procedures such as those related to ear-nose-throat procedures, general surgeries, plastic surgery plus urology & gynecology and minor orthopedic procedures.” The Brinnon Group could find no plans nor permits for construction of such a facility.
The Brinnon Group goes on to state, “Even Phase 1 of the PHMPR involves a very expensive proposal with a multi-year permitting and construction program. However, substantially no progress has been made on moving this project forward in the three years since the Development Agreement was approved, after modifications required by the Superior Court. There is every indication that Statesman lacks the financial wherewithal to complete this venture, much less even initiate it.”
A question also is raised by the Brinnon Group as to whether the Statesman Group has the financial resources needed to build this development. Their concern comes from a 2016 proposal made by the Statesman Group that said, “In order to finance this community resource, Pleasant Harbor Marina & Golf Resort LLP (PHM) will be seeking County and State of Washington support, where the stakeholders would all benefit from the increased attraction in the community.”
The proposal included requesting a $2,000,000 grant from Jefferson County and a $9,250,000 grant from the State of Washington from “the Washington State Utility Trust, a Recreational Community Grant . . .” Statesman further proposed that the State “would sponsor through the Federal Government a Tax Exempt Municipal Improvement Bond for $26.5 million dollars at a loan to PHM.” Given the non-existent financial arrangements proposed, neither the State nor Jefferson County advanced any funds, much less the $37,750,000 requested. Indeed, Statesman asked local governments in British Columbia to provide similar financial support in the amount of about $40 million for the recreational center at its Pine Ridge resort, which unsurprisingly was declined by Canadian officials.
The Brinnon Group concludes in their letter, “Statesman, though creating the PHMPR in name, has made no progress toward the completion of facilities necessary to meet the standards of a Master Planned resort, even the basics of water and sewer services. It appears that Statesman lacks the financial resources even to build the infrastructure and amenities required by its Development Agreement. This however does not deter Statesman from wild promises and misrepresentations concerning its proposal, as found in its promotional materials and advertising, all in an apparent attempt to solicit sales of real estate interests in this proposal. The mismatch between development reality and description provided in the promotional materials is substantial. The partial development of an underfunded and half-finished resort has consequences for the community. In summary, the Brinnon Group requests that there be a full investigation of the public solicitation for the sale of interests in the Pleasant Harbor MPR and appropriate actions taken.”
We will continue to follow this story as it unfolds.