>Now Waiting for Illahee Community Plan Decision – 12/7/08


Thank You For Your Support. We want to thank those who supported of the Illahee Community Plan.

Commissioners Decide on December 22. The Commissioners held their public hearing on November 24 and kept the written record open until this last Friday, December 5th. Thanks to the 50 plus Illahee residents who attended the hearing and to those who sent in emails and letters of support.

Photos of November 24th Hearing. Attached are photos of the hearing that were taken by John Lind. The last one is of Audrey Boyer, who at age 91, got up and spoke before the Commissioners in favor of the Illahee Community Plan.

Kitsap County Community Plan

Liaison Katrina Knudson

Illahee resident Judith Krigsman

Illahee resident John Lind

Kitsap County Commissioners

Illahee resident Audrey Boyer

The Public Process is Complete. The public process for community or subarea plans is now complete and now we wait for the decision by the County Commissioners. We have done all we can do and now we hope for a favorable decision.

Excerpts From Letter to the Commissioners. Some of you sent in emails to the Commissioners and provided us copies. We have taken excerpts from some of the emails we received and included them below.

We have watched neighbors with many differing views on everything from politics to the environment come together to work for the common good of the community.

We also have been amazed at the generosity of the community. Rather than requesting services from the county, the community has been willing to volunteer to work on and pay for community projects.

We have watched a community website come into being and a website advisory group emerge to help keep it up and make sure it represented community interests.

We also think it noteworthy to state that there has been very little opposition from within the Illahee community itself. We think that speaks well of the considerable efforts to involve all community groups in the nearly three years the process has taken.

Very few Kitsap communities have a combination of uniqueness , a concerned citizenry and their support and the enterprise to entertain the notion that we must object and fight against the ONE SIZE FITS ALL mentality of growth management. Illahee is among them. The Illahee community and the BOCC, via the able planning staff at DCD have completed a plan fulfills that uniqueness and that merits your approval.

Those in opposition to our plan, do not live here in our unique geologically rich area with our steep slopes , our ravines, our forest preserve, our Creek, and, oh yes, our storm water run off problems from irresponsible upslope development.

We have lived in Illahee for over twenty years and I am concerned about its future, and how unregulated over-development will degrade my property’s value and the special, fragile nature of our community. This place that I love and call home.

I am asking for your support of this plan and support of the people who live in this very special, blessed place.

When the development of a community plan began to emerge in 2006, volunteers spent considerable time and energy reviewing other recently-approved or in-process sub-area plans as well as local, state, and federal laws related to zoning, transportation, environment, and infrastructure. This research was critical to ensure Illahee’s plan was in compliance with current regulations. Other volunteers spent time researching local historical records to get a sense of the significance of our community to the Native Americans and early settlers who called Illahee home. Throughout the process, numerous community members readily provided input and shared historical perspectives and photos. As a result, the Illahee Community Plan successfully blends the past, present, and future so that prospective residents, like those from earlier times, can take pleasure in some of the same idyllic surroundings current citizens now enjoy.

Local governments encourage its citizens to become involved in their community in order to promote a spirit of cooperation and friendship, a shared vision for safe neighborhoods, a pride in home maintenance, and an appreciation for the environment. Illahee is blessed with hundreds of acres of green space, three miles of pristine shoreline, and active wildlife corridors and streams. Citizens are determined to protect these lands inherited from early settlers while encouraging reasonable growth. What better demonstration of a community’s identity and purpose then its own community-developed plan?

I am writing in support of the Illahee Community Plan. I believe the plan is a solid foundation for future development of the Illahee area and allows the community to retain those features which make it so unique. I am a current member of the Illahee CAG and attended most of the planning meetings that were scheduled with our Kitsap County planners. Our planners were very responsive to requests for more information when it was needed and expertly guided us through the process to make sure our Illahee Plan was in compliance with existing codes and laws while balancing with the wants and needs of the community at large.

I am very proud of the fact that both the community and the County made the plan very public and at anytime any citizen could have voiced their opinion. Information was provided both on the Illahee Community website as well as the Kitsap County website. There were also several articles in the Kitsap Sun throughout the process. Mailings were done by both the Community and the County. Multiple emails were sent out during the process to anyone who requested to stay updated on the Illahee Plan. It was a very open and public process.

I, as well as many Illahee residents, have been working on an Illahee Community Plan for more than three years. We started with about 70 Illahee residents and have increased to over 120 active contributors of information and volunteers. It has been an honor to work with such an active, involved and considerate group of people. They have displayed thoughtfulness and consideration for the Illahee Forest, Puget Sound waters and Shoreline, Illahee creek, the Illahee community and neighbors not to mention Kitsap County.

The purpose of the Illahee Community Plan is for the community to define itself and determine the future of Illahee. I believe we have developed a sound, cohesive and Community/County acceptable plan.

We would like to take this time to comment on the Illahee Community Plan in the most favorable light. For the following reasons, we support and applaud the efforts of this project on the behalf of Kitsap County DCD and the many residents of Illahee who gave support and structure to a product which will form the basis of community ideas and a sharing of vision for the future of their community. Three years of community planning went into this project by community residents who strongly felt the need to be active participants. (This was followed by the listing of 12 specific reasons, too long to list here.)

I just wanted to show my enthusiastic support for the Illahee Community Plan and give my input on the letter “RE: Illahee Community Plan” sent to the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners dated October 3, 2008 and signed by Richard A. Brown, Government Affairs Chairperson, Kitsap County Association of REALTORS

I am not responding to their opinions of “what’s wrong with the plan” sections, as others can better address those. The Illahee Community is unusually strong in its ability to unite and communicate with each other. We use several methods for disseminating information throughout the community:

Postings on roadways, hand-delivered invitations to participate, continuously updated e-mail reports on community interests (not only for this plan but for anything we find interesting such as Wildlife Reports), US mail, Web sites, word of mouth, and community meetings. I am strongly in favor of working with the County to further preserve our natural resources and beautiful community through this Illahee Community Plan and have been actively involved and well-informed about each step even though I am severely handicapped and often home-bound, thus showing that most of those not involved in this planning process were simply not interested or did not have the time to do so. There has been no selective inclusion or exclusion from any of our community groups and activities but rather the opposite, with a reaching out to try and include as many and diverse a representation as possible.

Note: There were other emails forwarded to us, but this is a representative sample of what we know was sent to the Commissioners. We will try to find out just what the public response was, both for and against, and report back later.

Jim Aho