Kitsap County on the west side of Puget Sound is home to the third largest naval base in the country, which accounts for half the county’s economy. That’s a lot of weight to throw around, and now the Navy is doing it… but secretly.
Any military base is allowed to object to land development nearby that may interfere with its operations or security. Plans to create piers or increase boat traffic on the west part of Puget Sound were approved by the county, but then stopped by the Navy without warning.
To get approval from the county the businesses had to spend big money coming up with plans, projections and reports. More than 60 public meetings were held over one project alone. Then the Navy says NOPE and the business’s hopes are dashed, just like that. No appeals or explanation granted.

It’s because nuclear submarines have ownership of the seafloor, and they like to keep it clear. The Navy base has eight of them, all capable of launching nuclear missiles.

But I haven’t gotten to the good part of the story yet.

To ensure its rights to the seafloor, the Navy decided to just buy it from the state. It was valued at $1.7 million. That’s a lot, and would need a bill from Congress. But remember how the Navy likes to keep things secret?
So instead they found someone to value it at $720,000 – less than the $750,000 threshold for Congressional approval. So secretly, again, the Navy paid the money, got the easement, and cancelled further development.
Nearly a million dollars of money owed to Washington state to compensate for the loss of commercial development just evaporated.

Lesson learned: don’t try to negotiate with nuclear submarines.

[SOURCE: Seattle Times]