>Timbers Edge Report – 9/15/08

>Report Requested. We have been asked to report on what is happening with the ongoing Timbers Edge hearing that started on August 28th. We attended a recent strategy meeting and have some pertinent news and information to share.

Record to Remain Open Until September 30th. The hearing record was agreed to be kept open because not all of the Illahee Community Club’s expert witnesses were not available for the hearing. The dates agreed upon were for the Illahee Community to submit their expert witness reports by September 30th. The applicant would then have until October 15th to rebut those comments, and closing arguments would then be submitted by October 30th.

Sewer Plans Not Properly Noticed. The Illahee Community Club (ICC) contended that the sewering of Illahee was not properly noticed as the Timbers Edge notice only went to those within 400 feet of their project areas. The Hearing Examiner asked the two lawyers to work out how they wanted to handle the County’s oversight, which was done with a “Stipulation” document.

Notice to Property Owners Coming? The stipulation was signed by the lawyers on September 4th and states that notice should have been issued to the property owners along the sewage and storm water lines for the project. It further calls for a 14 day period after notice is given, for property owners to comment and a possible hearing will only scheduled if a property owner so requests. The ICC is waiting to see if the county has agreed to the stipulation document, and then needs to see if any property owner(s) request a hearing.

Expert Witness Reports. Because of the pending September 30th deadline the ICC is actively working with experts to obtain expert reports. While a month to contact these people and request reports seemed more than adequate during the hearing, it is a relatively short time span for many professionals who are booked up months in advance. They nevertheless appear at this point to have some commitments to have some reports by the September 30th deadline.

ICC Traffic Expert. At the August 28th hearing, the ICC’s traffic expert, Robert Bernstein, reported significant traffic safety issues with the project, which the residents who live along Fir Drive were well aware of. In legal cases it takes the experts to tell the Hearing Examiner what the impacts are and if they are significant, as was accomplished by Mr. Bernstein. 

Other Experts? The ICC is looking at other expert witnesses to cover the areas of fisheries biologist (secured), geological engineer (discussing price), stormwater engineer (secured), hydrologist (a commitment, but currently on travel), waste water engineer (ongoing discussions), culvert/bridge design engineer (still searching for one), and architects (possible contacts identified).

Residents Upset and Responding. The ICC folks tell us Illahee residents decided to fight the development because of the small lots and tightly spaced houses and their concerns for their neighborhoods and Illahee Creek. They also noted that the residents have committed financially to the effort.

Thank You For Supporting the Appeals!!! The ICC thanks the community for the moral encouragement and financial support for these appeals.

Let the ICC Know Your Thoughts. The ICC Board of Directors would like to know what your thoughts and comments are regarding these legal actions and any other thoughts on what you would like to see the Illahee Community Club accomplish. You can do so with letters to the ICC, P.O. Box 2563, Bremerton, WA 98310 or simply respond via email to this update, and we will pass the information on.

Jim Aho