>Community Plan – 2/24/08

>The following email was sent out to members of the Illahee Community Plan Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) and is provided for your information:

This is a reminder of tomorrow’s “2008 Illahee Community Plan Update Open House & Community Planning Process Kick-Off” meeting on Monday, February 25th, at the Kitsap Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church on Perry Ave from 6-8 pm.

Kitsap County is taking over the public process of updating the Illahee Community Plan. The county will be working with the Illahee Community and will likely establish a new Citizens Advisory Group. We would like to encourage as many of you as possible to stay involved and see it to its completion, which we hope will be early in 2008.

It has been a long wait since the initial draft was finished on 7/5/06. We’ve completed two more drafts and feel the Plan has gotten much better. We modeled our Plan after the Manchester Plan, which was updated in 2007, and so we hope to learn some lessons from them. We are fortunate to have as our planner the person who did the Manchester Plan Update, Katrina Knutson.

Whether you decide to continue or not, it has been great working with you. We regret we can’t acknowledge everyone as we don’t have records of all who worked on all the different sections or chapters or those who made all the different suggestions or edits. We also had others help who did not want to be a member of the CAG and we aren’t able to thank most of them because they aren’t on the CAG list.

Let us leave you with some statistics. When we wondered if the community was interested in developing a community plan we distributed approximately 1000 questionnaires and we were amazed that nearly 250 people sent in a response, with 234 saying they wanted to develop a Plan. Moreover, many volunteered to be on the CAG, which eventually numbered over 100.

We need to admit that we were not able to keep our communications with such a big group. We tried to put out update letters to those who didn’t have email, and eventually ran out of time and energy. We then decided to communicate only to those with email. We also did not call to keep track of all the emails when people changed providers. We felt we did good until mid 2006 and when things dragged on we didn’t keep up. We now send out community updates (blind copies) to over 250 email addresses and now have 23 that come back undeliverable.

Thank you for all your efforts and for a great beginning draft of the Illahee Community Plan! We hope you can help with this final effort and we will see you Monday!

Dennis Sheeran & Jim Aho

>News Items – 2/20/08

>New Parking Lot Plans for Illahee Preserve – The Kitsap County Parks and Recreation Department has developed preliminary drawings for a new parking lot and entry into the Illahee Preserve near the intersection of Almira and Fuson. The Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee reviewed and approved the plans Tuesday evening and the plans were then presented to the East Bremerton Rotary on Wednesday. (The Rotary group has expressed an interest in helping the Preserve with its entrances and contributed significantly to the Thompson Lane entrance along with their ongoing trail work.) As we understand it, Phase 1, the new parking lot is planned for 2008, followed by a Phase 2 restroom facility, hopefully in 2009.

Updated Illahee Community Plan on Community and County Websites – The February 2008 version of the Plan is on both websites now and only needs to have figure 3.1 replaced with a corrected map, which will soon be posted on the Illahee community website, in order for it to agree with the text. Note that this Plan update was developed by the CAG and has not been approved by the county. This version will be the starting point for coming up with a plan acceptable to both the residents and Kitsap County.  Community Plan on IllaheeCommunity.com

Community Meeting on Monday (2/25/08) Evening – This is the meeting announced by Kitsap County by postcards to all Illahee residents. The meeting will be Monday evening from 6-8 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church on Perry Ave. We hope all of you can make it to this important meeting to hear about the county process and meet our Planner, Katrina Knutson and the DCD Director, Larry Keaton.

Illahee Community Club (ICC) Meeting Saturday – This meeting is the quarterly meeting of the Community Club that was reorganized in 2007 to support Illahee issues. It is open to all residents, but does have a small membership fee of $10 per family in order to be a voting member. The meeting is on Saturday (1/23/08) at the Library on Sylvan Way beginning at 1 pm. We will send out the agenda for this meeting when it becomes available.

Illahee Outfall Appeal filed with BOCC – The Illahee Community Club did appeal the Hearing Examiners decision on the Illahee Outfall Project. The Club felt the decision was an erroneous interpretation of the law and facts in a number of different areas. The Club is asking the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to remand the project back to the Department of Community Development for a proper environmental review.

If you have other news items that should be reported please let us know.

We hope to see you at the upcoming meetings.

Jim Aho

>Illahee Outfall Proposed Appeal to County – 2/17/08

>As reported in the Kitsap Sun on Sunday (2/17/08), the Illahee Community Club (ICC) is going to appeal the recent Hearing Examiner’s outfall decision. The appeal verbiage is scheduled to be finalized Tuesday (2/19/08) and hand delivered to Kitsap County before 4:30 p.m.

Some advised the ICC that the Commissioner’s nearly 100% of the time back up the Hearing Examiner, which didn’t make their decision easy, since the cost just to file the appeal is $500, and then there are the lawyer’s fees on top of that. They concluded the issue was too important to not try and convince the Commissioners that locating another outfall at the dock was a very bad decision.

The ICC put out an email to its Board of Directors with a proposed statement that may be a clue as to the basis of their appeal. It read:

“The deleterious effects of discharging storm water directly on a public beach and swimming area were not addressed by the applicant, the county, the Health Department, nor the Hearing Examiner. This omission is too egregious for the citizens of Illahee to ignore or let pass.”

We will pass on more information as it becomes available to us.

Jim Aho

>Illahee Outfall Appeal DENIED – 2/8/08

>We were hoping this would have been reported in the papers by now. We need to report it quickly because of the short appeal window should the community want to take this to the next level.

Outfall Project Approved. The ILLAHEE OUTFALL REPLACEMENT has been approved by the Hearing Examiner.

Community Appeal Denied. APPEAL DENIED was the decision he rendered to the Port’s and Citizen’s efforts to question the County’s decision to approve the outfall and the legacy lot projects.

Community Ignored. The Hearing Examiner agreed with the county and the developer on all counts, and discarded the issues brought up by the Port of Illahee and the Illahee Community.

Community Disappointment. This decision was a great disappointment to everyone we talked with. The common question, paraphrased, was: How can the county, who is supposed to be responsible for promoting health and welfare issues, continue to dump essentially untreated stormwater at the base of the Illahee community dock, where the public recreates and where people swim? (Note that the developer’s engineer said it will be treated, but what they are doing is only removing suspended solids, and the technical term for that level of treatment is referred to as pre-treatment.)

Appeal to BOCC? The next decision is whether to appeal it to the next level, the Board of County Commissioners. The cost used to be $200 to file, but as of a week ago, it was raised to $500. Any appeal needs to be filed by February 19. 2008. We will be anxious to hear what the Port of
Illahee and the Illahee Community Club decides. Let them know your thoughts.

42 Inch Outfall. We received the attached photos that 1) show the existing 24 inch outfall, and then 2) a doctored up photo that shows what the second newly approved 42 inch outfall might look like.

1)

2)

Community Comments? Once this goes out by email it is later put on our website illaheecommunity.com where it can be accessed by clicking on “weblog” in the upper left hand corner. At the bottom of the update you can click on “comment” and add your own thoughts and see what others are saying. Our website group is hoping this will be a way for everyone to interact and see how the community feels about issues like this.

Jim Aho

>Important Dates – 2/9/08

>SOME VERY IMPORTANT DATES. Note: All meetings are posted on the Illahee Community website’s calendar, which includes a map to the locations.

February 10, 2008 (Sunday) The posting of the revised draft of the Illahee Community Plan on website illaheecommunity.com.

Notes: The CAG incorporated many of the changes requested by the county. Figure 3.1 will need to be updated by the county and will likely be available on the county’s website sometime after Monday (2/11/08)

February 14, 2008 (Thursday) Port of Illahee meeting at Old Military Road Fire Station 5 pm.

Note: This is their regularly scheduled second Thursday of the month meeting.

February 19, 2008 (Tuesday) Deadline for filing an appeal of Illahee Outfall Replacement decision.

Note: This could be done by the Port or the Illahee Community Club, but not likely both because of the cost. The county now charges $500 to file an appeal, and whatever group decides whether to do it will need to figure in lawyer costs.

February 23, 2008 (Saturday) Illahee Community Club meeting at Sylvan Way Library 1-3 pm.

Note: This is the first quarterly meeting of the re-organized community club. They are reporting over 50 paid memberships and appreciate the extra financial support they are receiving to fund involvement and help with community issues.

February 25, 2008 (Monday) Illahee Community meeting regarding the Illahee Community Plan at KUUF Church 6-8pm.

Note: This is the meeting that was announced in the post card mailing from the county. It went to all the residences in Illahee and is the kick off meeting to finish the Illahee Community Plan.

March 11, 2008 (Tuesday) Illahee SWMP mid-project presentation at the Norm Dicks center 6-8 pm.

Note: This is a very important meeting with some very distinguished scientists. Dr. Derek Booth is a renowned geologist, who was a professor at UW and is now President of Sillwater Sciences out of Berkeley, CA. Dr. Joel Massmann is a renowned hydrologist, who also was a professor at UW and now heads his own consulting firm Keta Waters. Joining them is Erin Nelson, a licensed geologist and stormwater engineer with Parametrix. They will be presenting a mid-project review of their work in developing a Surface Water Management Plan for Illahee, that is part of the Port of Illahee grant with the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Other Meeting? Let us know if there are other meetings that should be noted.

Jim Aho

>Illahee Creek Culvert – 2/6/08

>A few weeks ago we asked Kitsap County to re-access the Illahee Creek culvert situation since we felt it was no longer fully functional when it filled up with sediment during the Dec 3, 2007 storm.

We received the following response back from Jon Brand, the Assistant Public Works Director:

Mr. Aho: I’ve taken an opportunity to review Parametrix’s report, visit the site and discuss this matter with other Public Works engineers and managers. The steep gradient, geology and development patterns in the watershed all contribute to the abundant deposition of material at the culvert outlet. There is a history decades long of Public Works removing sediment from this stream. Prior to the early nineties, Public Works forces cleared the channel of debris on a monthly basis from the culvert all the way down to the beach. As environmental regulations were tightened and issues developed with the property owner, this practice ceased.

The Public Works Department views the aftermath of the December 3rd storm as a maintenance issue. The 14-foot wide concrete box culvert is in good condition and, provided that it is regularly maintained, has adequate capacity. The depth of sediment in the culvert has been monitored regularly since installation in 1999 and crews have not been directed to remove sediment. In hindsight, the County probably should have been performing regular maintenance to keep the sediment level lower. Public Works crews have been removing material from the outlet this winter and we will continue to do so until a reasonable bed elevation can be established and maintained. If resource agencies, the property owner and the public are in favor of removing sediment from the culvert outlet to the beach, the County would be interested in participating.

Your e-mails indicate that there may be funding available for replacement of the arch culvert. Given the fact that there was no monetary damage resulting from the December 3rd storm other than required maintenance, it’s unlikely that the County would qualify.

I hope that I’ve addressed your concerns.

Jonathon Brand, P.E.
Assistant Public Works Director – County Engineer
Kitsap County Department of Public Works
360-337-5777

We responded as follows on 2/6/08:

Jon – Thank you for looking into our concerns and for your reasoned response. We who live here are hoping we don’t have any more serious storms this season, as we are concerned about the culvert plugging with possible disastrous affects to Illahee Road. I’m not sure the local residents would agree to channelize the creek to Port Orchard Bay, as among many other considerations, one would then need to decide which of the recent channels to use, not to mention which one the property owner would want.

Thank you for the history of the downstream maintenance of the stream. I had not heard that the county cleared debris from the old culverts to the beach. I presume it was just debris and not sediment. Our concern is with the steadily increasing sediment deposits migrating downstream such that they are physically raising the elevation of the flood plain. The sediment load is of such a magnitude that maintenance actions as some point will become futile. Our thoughts are that a raised flood plain makes this a much more complex and difficult situation to try and resolve. We will be scheduling a brainstorming session, possibly in March when Derek Booth and Erin Nelson are available, as part of the Port of Illahee’s DOE grant to come up with watershed solutions to the problems, that will likely include flood plain issues.

As for disaster funding, we were thinking the filling of the culvert indicated a failure. We now understand that to be labeled a failure in FEMA’s eyes it needs to be a total failure, not an eminent one.

After the December storm we sent out a community update with photos showing the 19 inch vertical opening at the culvert. We are also monitoring the culvert on a regular basis and hope we don’t have any more major storms this season. We will keep the community appraised of the results of our monitoring efforts along with any changes observed at the culvert.

Jim Aho

>Wildlife Sightings – 2/5/08

>Four Illahee wildlife sightings to report.

Ravens. In the past few years ravens have visited and resided in and near the Illahee Preserve. They and their unique call were absent for awhile in some areas of Illahee, but they are still around as confirmed by residents living near the Preserve.

The Morning Seal & Cormorant Ritual. Every morning a float north of the Illahee community dock transitions from being a resting place for about 20 seals to approximately 70 cormorants. Early in the season if the seals lingered on the float too long the cormorants would do fly overs and swim around the float as if trying to tell the seals it was time for them to leave. Lately the cormorants have become much more bold and are landing on the float while the seals are still there. As more and more of the cormorants get on the dock the seals finally give up possession. The ritual is repeated morning after morning.

White-Winged Scoters. Some of the most colorful sea ducks are the Scoters, especially the Surf Scoter, which is often seen in our area during the winter season. A small flock of White-Winged Scoters have been observed recently in Illahee. They are identified by a small patch of white on their wings. The male has the large orange bill and a small white patch under the eye. The female has a black bill and an almost obscure light patch on its head. They are deep divers and eat crustaceans, mussels, and clams. They have exceptionally strong gizzards that are able to break down hard shell invertebrates into digestible matter.

River Otter or Possibly a Fisher? One of our residents is trying to identify an animal spotted mid afternoon in January, near the blackberry patch across from 5287 – 5303 Illahee Rd. It appeared that the critter was about 24 to 30 inches long with a 8 to 10 inch long bushy tail. Both body and tail had long black fur. His search of look alikes (possible suspects) has him wondering if it could be a Fisher, “Mantes pennanti” of the family Mustelida. While both the River Otter and the Fisher are of the same family and are of similar shape and size the otter has long whiskers and none were observed. Good views of the Fisher can be seen on the following web site:
http://home.mcn.net/~wtu/fisher.html
Let us know if anyone else has seen this animal and can help us with an identification?

Updated website. Just a reminder that we are daily adding new items to our website which is illaheecommunity.com and these updates appear on our blog site which is illaheecommunity.blogspot.com so any response you have can be readily seen by others. If you have any questions on how to use it, please let us know.

Jim Aho

>County Commissioners’1/28/08 hearing – 2/2/08

>This update is to cover the three Illahee items that were discussed at the January 28, 2008 Board of County Commissioner’s meeting.

General. There were a number of Illahee residents at last Monday’s Commissioner’s meeting. However, the major issue and primary interest of many in attendance were the two resolutions changing the fees charged by the Department of Community Development (DCD). Those presentations and the ensuing public comment sessions were interesting, but long.

Illahee Community Plan. The Commissioners next heard a presentation on the Comp Plan Amendment resolution that included a line item to “review and update the Illahee Community Plan.” We noted during the public hearing time that the reason the plan was before them was because of our initial questionnaire in which we asked residents if they wanted to be part of Bremerton, or Silverdale, or if they would like to develop a community plan. We noted the questionnaire results; which were 4 for Bremerton, 9 for Silverdale, and 234 for a community plan.

Tax Title Land Petitions. Later on in the meeting was the carryover of the Smith/Peacock tax title land petition. The Commissioners voted in favor of the petition without taking any public testimony. We heard afterwards that there were citizens who rearranged their schedules so they could attend and comment at what they thought would be a public hearing, based on our update which indicated the hearing was “continued” because Dwayne Peacock was on vacation during the 1/14/08 hearing. We are sorry for the confusion, though we thought, and still think, the hearing on the Peacock issue was “continued,” and that there should have been an opportunity for public comment, prior to them making a decision. It will be interesting to see if the Commissioners are aware that a number of people are upset in Illahee (assuming they read the updates), and if so, will they do anything about it.

Resolution Regarding Certain Petitions and Community Plans. The last item on the agenda was a resolution to not accept road vacation and tax title land petitions in Illahee, Kingston, and Hansville until their respective community plans are approved. The resolution passed and it will now be up to these communities to figure out how to handle these issues and where to insert this information into their plans.

Our Reporting Dilemma. We were slow in putting this update out because we didn’t know how, or if, to report on what we perceived of as the lack of a public hearing for the Peacock petition. Some have said it could be counterproductive to mention this issue. Others have asked us to report things as they happen, both the good and the not-so-good. Because others in attendance also thought the public process had not been followed, we decided to report it in this update.

Our Blog. Let us know your thoughts via this blog site (which is an opportunity for anyone to respond). Simply click on “comment” at the bottom. You can respond using your email name, or a nickname, or as “anonymous.” Let us know if you have any questions on how to use the blog.

Jim Aho