Background

Port Hadlock-Irondale Urban Growth Area

The Irondale & Port Hadlock Urban Growth Area (UGA) is located  roughly six miles south of the City of Port Townsend, Washington.  Jefferson County identified the Irondale & Port Hadlock UGA as a  place for potential growth and in 2002 designated this unincorporated  area as an official "Urban Growth Area." Under Washington State's Growth  Management Act (GMA), urban growth areas are required to have  "fundamental urban services," including public sewers (the area is  currently served by private septic systems).

Without urban  services including a public sewer system, urban densities and urban  zoning allowing commercial development and multi-family housing are not  allowed under the GMA. As a result, the area is limited under the  current "transitional rural zoning." Future zoning that has been  approved for the UGA once a sewer is constructed can be viewed here. Through the preparation (September 2008) and adoption (March 2009) of the Sewer Facility Plan for the Irondale & Port Hadlock UGA, Jefferson County took the first step to satisfy this requirement for the development of a public sewer system.

Through  this Sewer Facility Plan, and in consultation with community members  and the Sewer Advisory Group, Jefferson County Public Works' consultant  team recommended a preferred alternative for building a sewer system in  Port Hadlock with later expansion to Irondale, ultimately serving  approximately 1,290 acres. The recommendation was based on engineering  feasibility, responsiveness to community concerns, compliance with  regulatory requirements, preliminary cost estimates, and environmental  considerations. 

The County decided to move forward with this  recommendation and completed design with final plans and specifications  for the wastewater treatment plant, influent pipeline, and effluent  (treated water) reuse (infiltration) area. In addition, the County  acquired the land needed for construction of these facilities. The  design of the gravity collection system (the pipes under the roads  throughout the UGA) has only been completed to the 10% level at this  time.

While much of the design is complete, construction cannot begin until funding that  is both affordable and sustainable is acquired. Jefferson County  continues to seek funding for the sewer system so that the Irondale  & Port Hadlock UGA can reap the benefits of development. For  example, a public sewer system could encourage local economic  development through retail expansion and job growth. In addition,  consolidated growth in the UGA has environmental benefits by limiting  sprawl. And lastly, a sewer system would benefit residents by providing  them better services.