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Some Important Illahee Information. The community of Illahee continues to be engaged in a disagreement over the Timbers Edge project. There are a number of issues that are reported to have Illahee citizens concerned, the two primary ones seem to be the negative impact on Illahee Creek and the aquifers, and the fact that most of the lots are very small, approximately 3400 square feet. There are other issues, but these seem to be the two big ones.

Notice of Public Hearing Attached. We received a “Notice of Public Hearing” in the mail on Saturday and today Ryan Vancil, forwarded a pdf file of the notice so we have attached it for those who did not receive copies. As you can see from the notice, the hearing is on Monday evening, on August 24, 2009.

Only 10 Minutes Allowed To Present Arguments. In case you are thinking the Hearing could be long, the community is only given 10 minutes to state their case, which is followed by 10 minutes for the developer. The community has hired a lawyer to do the presentation.

Community Legal Representation. The community early on decided to be represented by legal counsel, first hiring Claudia Newman of the Seattle law firm of Brinklin, Newman, and Dold, and later they hired a more local lawyer, Ryan Vancil, to represent the communities interests.

Contributions Needed. The Illahee Community Club (ICC) has asked that we remind residents that legal representation is costly and that a legal fund has been established to receive contributions. Contributions can be sent to the ICC, Box 2563, Bremerton, WA 98310.

Decision Later? Following the arguments, the Commissioners will likely wait until a later meeting to decide on the appeal, so there probably won’t be a decision that evening.

Illahee Proposal Prepared. During the last few months an ad hoc committee and the Illahee Community Club board of directors have been working on a suggested draft proposal for the Timbers Edge project that the community could live with. The proposal took some time to develop since they were working on obtaining unanimous agreement by approximately twenty committee and board members. It represents a serious attempt by the community to see if a mediation type of agreement can be reached that benefits both parties and would possibly avoid continued litigation.

The Illahee Proposal. We have attached the draft proposal we received and have also presented it below. As we understand it, there will either be a meeting to approve it or it will be sent out or distributed for a mail-in vote. We will pass on what we know as it becomes available.

Jim Aho


ILLAHEE COMMUNITY PROPOSAL

The Illahee Community has been working diligently to restore and preserve the Illahee area of Puget Sound, including Illahee Creek, its aquifers, baseflows, wetlands, floodplains, and estuaries; and is greatly concerned about the currently proposed Timbers Edge project and its impact on these areas.


The citizens of the community have had to live with the results of past county approved projects that have been detrimental to the health of the Illahee area, Illahee Creek and Puget Sound. Engineering studies funded by the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Port of Illahee have documented significant problems from these approved and authorized developments in the Illahee Creek watershed, and have concluded that major restoration work must be done to correct the problems. The estimated cost to correct the past failures on Illahee Creek alone is $20 million, which does not include the aquifer recharge issues of Timbers Edge that could result in the death of Illahee Creek as a salmon stream.


The Illahee Community has been successful in the past with litigation regarding stormwater (Rue Villa) and to defeat detrimental projects (fish pens) or mitigate the impacts (Illahee outfall project), the last two being county approved projects (by the Hearing Examiner and the Board of County Commissioners). The community has demonstrated they will stand up and fight for and defend positions they believe in.

With Timbers Edge there are varying concerns. For adjoining property owners there are concerns for the health and safety for children with regard to traffic. For those in Rue Villa and downstream of the project, it is the threat of more uncontrolled stormwater. For others it is the impact on Illahee Creek, the underlying aquifers, the estuary and floodplains. The possible death of Illahee Creek as a salmon bearing stream is unacceptable to the community, and the fact that an EIS or Environmental Impact Statement was not required by Kitsap County is both irresponsible and intolerable. The lack of concern for the creek sends a message that in Kitsap County salmon streams take second place to development.


The citizens of Illahee are not opposed to land development. They would like to work with the developer and the county to insure the Timbers Edge project fits the community, controls the stormwater, and preserves the stream and the natural features of the area.

The Illahee proposal is that the Timbers Edge development project be reconfigured to conform to the current existing zoning for the area. This zoning density, along with low impact design applications, will help insure the protection of Illahee Creek. By itself, the reduced density will by itself improve the traffic safety concerns for the children within this area.


The elimination of major infrastructure costs should be a financial incentive. The proposed sewer system would be replaced by septics. The septic systems will help increase groundwater infiltration, which in turn supports aquifer recharge and the baseflows in Illahee Creek. With maximum infiltration of stormwater through infiltration pits, bioswales, and rain gardens, etc., stormwater overflows do not need to be treated which eliminates the requirement for a stormwater basic treatment facility and piping to Puget Sound. Eliminated also are the following: the required road improvements on Perry Avenue, possible Fir Drive improvements, the anticipated cost of running the sewer line under Illahee Creek, a new sewer pump station, and the cost of repairing Illahee Road for the sewer line installation.


The secondary benefit of the Illahee proposal is a safe and environmentally enhanced development that is supported by the Illahee Community and the Illahee Community Club.

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  1. >I have off and on followed your website and just happened on it tonight to catch your report on Timbers Edge.Lots of issues to comment on and I hardly know where to start.Guess I like the fact that you are trying to work with the developer and at the same time are trying to preserve the salmon stream.I also have to agree with your statement that Kitsap County's Dept of Development puts development ahead of environmental concerns. David Greetham as their environmental guy is a joke. He is a nice guy and so smooth in his presentations, but caves for development on nearly every project. You would think this new group of supposedly environmentally concerned commissioners would tell him it is time to develop an environmental backbone and act like the environmental officer he is supposed to be.Sorry for the diatribe on the county. It just happened.Like your website, when it is kept up-to-date – like where was the Illahee Day stuff before the event?

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