>Illahee Outfall Appeal to County Commissioners – 5/1/08

>May 12, 2008 is the date of the upcoming Illahee Outfall appeal to the County Commissioners.

BACKGROUND:

Phase One. The MT Illahee Corporation has proposed a phased development of a number of legacy lots in Illahee. The first phase is 10 homes on 1.03 acres on Sunrise Terrace. (Note that the developer said it was 10 homes on 2.41 acres but they included the county right-of-way in front of their 10 lots and approximately a quarter mile of the roadway going to Ocean View Boulevard.)

Phase Two. The second phase is for approximately 50 plus homes on slightly larger than legacy lots (47 ft x 90 ft instead of 40 ft x 90 ft) located further up the hill and south of Ocean View boulevard. Note that the lot size is still less that allowed by our current zoning which would require a 65 ft x 90 ft lot. Also note that the club has entered into discussions with the developer in March 2008 and asked that he consider increasing the size of their lots to conform with the current zoning (along with more infiltration and outfall options while he in turn is considering increasing the stormwater treatment level).

The Outfall. The first phase, and the second phase, requires piping the storm water downhill to the Sound. The existing 24 inch outfall pipe that has been problematic for the community since it was installed in the early 1990’s is not large enough to accommodate the volume of stormwater from the new homes and roadway, thus requiring a new 18 inch line and a 42 inch outfall next to the existing outfall and located directly under the dock.

County Approved. The county approved the development on October 23, 2007, subject to some minimal mitigations, and the location the outfall at the Illahee community dock. They also approved pre-treatment (removal of solids) of stormwater rather than basic or enhanced treatment (which remove other contaminants).

Community Opposition. When the community met to discuss the proposed development and outfall, they voted overwhelmingly to oppose certain aspects such as the higher than zoned density, the stormwater not being significantly infiltrated or treated, and the dumping of the storm water at the base of the dock. The Illahee Community Club filed an appeal regarding the County’s SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) determination, as did the Port of Illahee.

The Hearing. The hearing was held on November 8, 2007 and the Hearing Examiner approved the project with some additional mitigation and denied both the community’s and the Port’s appeals. (They were told in advance that the Hearing Examiner, who is hired by the county, politely listens to citizen appeals, and nearly 100 percent of the time, sides with the Kitsap County staff and against the citizens.)

Decision to Appeal. After reading the Hearing Examiners decision the Illahee Community Club felt the Hearing Examiner did not follow SEPA regulations and failed to consider some some of the facts presented, and so they decided to appeal the decision to the County Commissioners.

Why Appeal? This appeal to the Commissioners is limited to the items discussed or presented during the hearing, and history is not favorable for those appealing. The Commissioners, like the Hearing Examiner, nearly always support their county staff, and normally deny citizens appeals. Some have said it is a waste of the $500 filing fee, not to mention thousands of dollars in lawyers fees. The Illahee Community Club felt the issues too important to not have an opportunity to present their case to the Commissioners and want to see where the Commissioners stand on the issues.

PREPARATION FOR THE HEARING

Postponement Request Denied. At the February 2008 meeting of the Illahee Community Club it was decided that the club should look at working with the developer to see if they could come to some agreement rather than spend money on legal costs. Several representatives have been meeting and looking at various options, and proposed a postponement of the May 12 hearing to the developer (which needs to be agreed upon by both parties) in order to have more time to discuss the issues, but proposed postponement was turned down, so they had no choice but to begin to prepare for the hearing.

Board Members Meet. Members of the Illahee Community Club Board of Directors met on 4/30/08 to go over some of the issues.

Only Minutes Allowed for Appeal. One of the problems is that only 15 to 20 minutes are allotted for the appeal, which doesn’t allow much time cover some significant and complex issues. However, they are able to submit of brief of their written arguments.

Request for Help. There are a couple of areas currently being researched and with limited time they requested we put out a note that they could use some help. Please respond to this email if you know of someone who might be able to help and we will pass that information on.

Jim Aho

One thought on “>Illahee Outfall Appeal to County Commissioners – 5/1/08

  1. >This is an interesting update.Glad to see you are trying to work things out with the developer, though don’t expect much. They are in it for the money and most likely don’t give a rip about the community.Glad to see you are going through with an appeal. It will be interesting to see if we will finally have commissioners who will side with citizens.You guys (and gals?) are doing a great job for the community. Keep up the good work.

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