Requested Information Regarding Mullinex Property. Many of you have requested more information about the Mullinex situation that was mentioned in the KAPO letter and the allegations made by Ms. Henderson. We have obtained permission to print the contents of a response to KAPO by a nearby neighbor that provides more in depth details. If you are in a hurry and want to skip the historical details in the letter, read the last three paragraphs. Let us know if you have more questions and we will try to obtain answers.
October 19, 2008
Dear Ms Henderson,
After reading your comments in your letter to the Board of Commissioners about the Illahee Community Plan and referencing the “Mullinex family “, I am compelled to respond.
The property now owned by Shaun and Alida Mullinex was originally owned by Joe Yank. Mr. Yank owned a large farm acreage and later his daughter had an equestrian facility and the land now owned by the Mullinex’s was pasture. Part of the farm was sold to Dr. David Relling (Mr. Yank’s son-in-law at that time) in the 1950’s and he established his veterinary practice, still known today as Relling Small Animal Hospital. The other part of the farm was sold to a Clifford Burlingame in 1973. Mr. Burlingame was a builder and his plan was to place his home on the western part of the parcel (the parcel now owned by the Mullnex’s) alongside Perry Avenue. But, these plans were not allowed by Kitsap County because the property was too wet for development. What is most unfortunate is that while the Burlingame children recall these interactions with the county there are no county records as no building permit was applied for. It was the way things were done in those days (1970’s); honesty and integrity were integral to a person’s word. Mr. Burlingame had this parcel appraised during this time. Because of the appraisers notes (on file in county records) stating that this parcel of land was essentially unbuildable due to the stream, surrounding topography and wetlands, the property taxes for this parcel were significantly reduced. Someone on behalf of the Mullinex family should have encouraged them to obtain this information. Over the course of the next 25 years, according to Mrs. Burlingame, many ideas were considered for ways to use this property. One of these was a Christmas tree farm, but alas the trees died- they were too wet. Another idea was to turn it into a pet area, but this proposal was nixed by Kitsap County officials as the pet feces would contaminate the stream. The stream was considered a primary source of water recharge to the area wells as well as feeding into the acknowledged South Fork of Illahee Creek. What finally grew along the stream were (now large and productive) blueberry bushes- blueberries love moisture.
In 1998 when Mr. Burlingame passed away the property went into an estate and that parcel now owned by the Mullinex’s was purchased for $25,000 by the Heidners. Several of the Burlingame children still live in the area and can provide more factual details of this transaction. In July of 2005 the property went up for sale about six years after the Heidners had purchased it. They made a tidy profit, selling the land for $115,000.00 to Shaun and Alida Mullinex.
Our property borders the entire Mullinex property to the north. When we purchased our property in 1999, my cousin Paul Drury worked for the county as one of their storm water engineers. He commented to us about the beautiful stream- the stream that meandered across our property going northward under Burrett Street connecting to the main fork of Illahee Creek and southward onto the adjoining property now belonging to the Mullinex’s continuing southward feeding into one of the North Perry well sites. We have a short article written by the Burrett’s daughter and provided to us by the listing real estate agency (John L. Scott) from whom we bought the property. She had written about “her father purchasing the land from the Phillips . . . their apple orchards . . . and the wonderful year around stream”. I began to research the area talking with our neighbors and anyone who knew more of the area’s history eventually learning about the stream being the South Fork of Illahee Creek. When the For Sale sign was posted (John L. Scott Realty, Agent Bob Arnold), a call went out to the seller’s agent by those that knew of the nature of this land not only to provide this information but to ensure that this information was ultimately passed on to any possible buyers. Of note, the still natural state of this entire watershed area of which this parcel is only a part of is well known to many in the area. The Category Wetland rating was not something placed upon this land by anyone other than Kitsap County. This agent’s response was most unfortunate, as he made it quite clear that he had no intention of disclosing such conditions to the prospective buyers. In fact, he responded vehemently that when the sewers would come to this area, everyone would sell out. Because of his response, I chose to do some research on disclosure and learned that apparently disclosure is only required by real estate agents when it involves buildings or other structures and does not transfer to land for development. It is up to the buyers to research raw land.
When the Apex Septic service began to dig the various holes for percolation studies that July of 2005, we were quite interested to see how this would transpire. These holes were dug along the west side of the property bordering Perry Avenue and contiguous to our wetland property. It was also the very site that Mr. Burlingame had wanted to place his home and was denied this by the county because of the boggy terrain. We chose to take pictures of these holes- these holes remained wet throughout that summer of 2005.
In November of 2005, Mr. Mullinex came to see the property. According to Shaun he was told by the seller’s agent that the wet, winding area was a drainage ditch.
I will never forget the day they arrived from Hawaii, straight from SeaTac driving directly out onto their property to see their new home site. My heart sunk when I met this wonderful family and being a Vietnam era veteran I was even more disheartened to learn of their active duty military status. And as the months ensued and I learned more about them and about Alida’s health I was deeply saddened and more than angry. I could not for the life me understand how this could have happened. This saga still continues today and what I write next is from what Shaun and Alida shared with me over these next months.
Most interested in this property they placed a deposit, more than they wanted to but were encouraged to do so by the seller’s agent because property was selling fast and they needed to secure this if they truly wanted it, was dependent upon an approved septic design. While in Hawaii, their real estate agent was called by the seller’s agent telling them that a septic design had been approved. The septic design that was approved by the Kitsap County Health Department showed the house located in the middle of the property on top of the stream and surrounding wetlands. In January of 2006 at the sale closing they thought an approved septic design sufficient enough for them to proceed to purchase the property. It was not until their building permit reached the next phase did they learn about the true nature of their land. Yes, subsequently the county worked very, very hard not to deny them in any way their right to build upon their property. What has not been disclosed in all your recriminations, Ms Henderson, is what they are allowed to build. The home area allowed would be quite different in size compared to their original plans and located in the very eastern back of their property. Their dream home designed to accommodate any handicap, given Alida’s diagnosis, no longer a possibility. Any enjoyment of the surrounding land for lawn or play would only be a very small area due to the need to mitigate and fence the stream and wetlands. The area proposed for the location of a possible Glendon Septic system was in the far NE corner of their property. This area is often very wet and borders our land of which we have pictures documenting the standing water. The area proposed for the reserve drain field would be accessed by coming from the main system across/under the stream and uphill to the western boundary of the property- again, the same area of this lot that had heretofore been undevelopable much less an appropriate location for a drain field.
I would remind you again, at this point, that the wetland categorization comes from Kitsap County documents and not from any other source. Had there been any moral fiber in the nature of the seller’s agent for disclosure on this land or perhaps by law a requirement to compensate for the lacking of such integrity, the Mullinex’s in all probability would never have purchased this property. Therefore, your inflammatory comments about the vigilantes in the Illahee community being responsible for the plight of the Mullinex family are totally unjustified. What is inexcusable here is how the seller’s agent failed this family. It wasn’t ignorance on his part, he had been made fully aware of the conditions of this property, and chose his course of action. That is to whom you need to direct your comments on the plight of this family. And, while Kitsap county representatives have done everything they could to help Shaun and Alida; the county is somehow, through a process that I cannot comprehend, culpable. How the Health Department could have approved such a design given all the county maps available documenting this watershed area for the stream, its wells that are a part of the North Perry Water District, Critical Aquifer Recharge Maps, Hazardous areas maps, etc. is again, something I simply do not understand.
As for your statements about the Illahee Community individuals which you maligned in your letter as well as those statements you made about them in two public meetings; those statements need to not only be formally retracted by you, but accompanied with an apology and in such a time and place that they may be viewed in the same venue as they were delivered.
Furthermore, if I had had any reservations about the sub area plans which you have castigated in your letter to our Commissioners especially regarding the Illahee Community Plan, they have disappeared. It is community plans, carefully researched, well written, and empowered by the letter of the law; that will protect the citizens of this community from agents that wish to hide, conceal or otherwise ignore any conditions that might interfere with the development of raw land. I, now, not only fully support the Illahee Community Plan I will make every effort to see that it is not only passed by our Commissioners but that it is maintained.
Linda Drury Hinde
Cc: Commissioner Jan Angel, Commissioner Steve Bauer, and Commissioner Josh Brown (via email)
Katrina Knutson, Associate Planner, DCD (Cc:email and letter)
Barney Bernhard, President, Illahee Community Club (via email)
Shaun and Alida Mullinex (via email)