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City to developer: Fix unsightly mess in Bremerton neighborhood

BREMERTON, Wash. -- Homeowners in East Bremerton say they're fed up with their unfinished neighborhood after complaining for months about dying trees, exposed pipes, and unfinished roads in the East Park development.


The city is now stepping in to put pressure on the developer, Highmark Homes LLC.


"My frustration level is probably at a 9 or 10 right now," said East Park homeowner Kristen Zabaglo.


It's been about a year since Zabaglo was lured away from the skyrocketing rent prices in Seattle and bought a house in East Park sight on scene.


She loves everything about her home except for what's around it, she said.


"We bought these beautiful homes and they're gorgeous. The paint is beautiful. The trim is beautiful. But the outside doesn't really stand up to what we have on the inside," Zabaglo said.


Highmark Homes recently finished building the last of the 64 homes that make up the first phase of the development, a company spokesperson and city leaders said. East Park is a higher density area where the lots are smaller with plenty of amenities around them.


"Highmark gave us this idea that we're gonna have nice paved roads, green grass, beautiful common areas for kids to place and it's not the case right now," said East Park homeowner Tyson Farley.


The City of Bremerton sent a letter to Highmark Homes in late July that threatened to call the $393,852 bond for the project if the issues being raised aren't fixed by October 2. If the issues aren't resolved, the money would go to the city or a third party contracted to finish the work, said Public Works Director Chal Martin.


"We don't want to hurt anybody, but we want to get this housing development put back together the way it was originally envisioned," Martin said.


"In all fairness to the developer, it was a difficult task to bring this back up and get those houses going and get the amenities reestablished. We just don't think the developer has taken on those responsibilities as aggressive as he should have," he added.


Highmark Homes general manager told KOMO 4 that when the developer purchased East Park from a third party several years ago, the neighborhood was distressed and needed a lot of work. The company agreed to make repairs after the homes were finished and plans to have the work done by October 2, she added.


Farley has his doubts.


"There's a lot of be done, so I'm skeptical to whether that's going to happen in 60 days," said Farley.


East Park will be made up of 5 phases, Martin said. The city won't let phase 2 begin until phase 1 is complete, he added.


City leaders hope to meet with Highmark Homes sometime next week to lay out a timeline to get the work done, Martin said.

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