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White Horse Golf Course's opening delayed yet again

The White Horse Golf Community development, a planned community of 224 luxury homes and a 456-acre, 18-hole golf course situated between Kingston and Indianola, has had to delay the official opening of its golf course yet again. The current scheduling hitch is due to a delayed permit review at the Kitsap County Department of Community Development office. The course, which was expected to be opened for play in April, will not be allowed to open until a final permit, dealing with storm drainage work in the course’s parking lot, has been reviewed and approved by the county.

It took 12 years of legal wrangling for White Horse Golf Course property owner Bob Screen to even be able to begin developing the course and community. Construction for the course, which was designed by Cynthia Dye McCarey, a member of the well-known Dye family of golf architects, finally began in September 2003 and almost two years has passed since it was originally set to open. Weather and other setbacks in 2004 pushed the course’s opening date from May 2005 to June 2006. Last year’s wet winter weather forced the opening back even farther.

But the end is in sight for the often beleaguered development, said Bob Screen, owner and developer of White Horse.

“Everything else is ready to go,” said Screen. “We expect to see something [from the county] in the next few days.”

Meanwhile, phase one of the course’s neighboring housing development is moving along more or less on schedule with 60 of the 65 phase one lots sold, and a number of the mostly custom-built homes are completed and occupied.

“That part of it’s moving along fine,” said Screen, “There are a lot of people living here already.”

Screen attributed the timely development of the homes in part to the development’s strict rules that homeowners must provide an approved house plan within 12 months of purchasing their lot, and must complete construction within another 12 months.

Engineering work for phase two of the residential portion of the community is currently underway, and once the golf course is open, development of those lots, 59 in total, will begin.

Although the course is not open to the public, potential home buyers are occasionally welcomed to play the course, and sports and golf journalists have been allowed to play for purposes of reviewing the course and Screen is pleased with the feedback they’ve gotten from both the journalists as well as from professional golfers who’ve visited White Horse.

“We’re getting a really positive response,” said Screen, who reported the course has a long mailing list of golfers who are eager to be alerted when the course finally does open for public play.

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