>Illahee Beach Nourishment Appeal Thursday in Port Orchard – 9/30/09


Informal Appeal of Illahee Beach Nourishment Project.  As stated in an earlier Update, the Illahee Community Club’s request for an informal appeal of the Illahee Beach Nourishment project was finally approved.  We promised more information on the Illahee Beach Nourishment project, so this is what we know.
Connected to the Dredging of Illahee Culvert.  The county has a blanket HPA (hydraulic Project Approval) to dredge out all culverts in the county.  The “Illahee Beach Nourishment” project is a new HPA to take the dredged material and place it on top of the Schutt’s Point spit in the name of “beach nourishment.”  We think this is to be done once a year for five years, though some of those attending the Port’s hearing last week on the same subject, thought they heard it could be done twice a year.
How Much Material?  We have been asked how much material is being dredged.  The permit says ~50 cubic yards from the downstream end of the culvert.  The material is to be placed on top of the spit in a row 100 feet long by 10 feet wide according to a drawing.  The height would be 18 inches, and if done once a year for 5 years would make it 7 and a half feet high, and double that if it is done twice a year.
How Does That Help the Beach?  That is the question we are trying to understand.  The natural movement of beach sediment is to the north in what is called a drift cell.  It is a natural process that probably keeps the Schutt’s Point spit area beach sediment intact.  Does the spit need help?  We haven’t noticed any problems, and other than just wanting to dispose of the sediment onto the beach rather than in a gravel pit, we don’t understand why it is being done.
Littoral Drift.  Littoral drift is what we know this movement of sediment to be, though it has other names.  We have attached the wikipedia link if you want more information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longshore_drift
Attendees?  The Illahee Community Club voted at its last meeting to file the informal appeal.  There were several community members at the Port’s informal appeal hearing in Olympia last week.  Illahee residents are welcome to come and express their thoughts. 
Beach Silting Problem.  We have talked with a number of residents who have been concerned for years with the silting that has been going on at the beaches from the storm surges of Illahee Creek, and the damaging affect the silt has on clams and oysters. 
More Beach Silt?  Some of them are concerned that dumping the culvert sediment, which contains more silt is only compounding the problem.  We are hoping some of them will be able to tell the DFW Appeals Coordinator what is happening to the shellfish now because of excessive sediment, not to mention a proposal to add more.
The Ghost Net Guy to Attend.  Dale Thoemke, the ghost net guy, was invited by an Illahee resident to attend.  We are hoping that he, as a diver, will be willing to talk about the damage silting does to shellfish.
Port Orchard Hearing Thursday,1 PM.  The meeting is being held at the DFW offices in Port Orchard, which is much better than having to drive to Olympia.  The time is 1 pm.  The offices are at 502 High Street, Suite 112, in Port Orchard.  The DFW phone number is (360) 874-7258 if you need more information.  Or you can call me, Jim Aho, at 479-1049.
Jim Aho

>Legal Issues Update – 9/28/09


Timbers Edge Decision?  There was NO decision at Monday evening’s County Commissioner’s meeting, much to the disappointment of those in attendance, on both sides. 
Discussion Focused on New Conditions Proposed by Applicant.  Seems Commissioner Brown wanted to make some modifications to two of the Hearing Examiner’s Conditions based on a new proposal by the applicant at the Hearing 4 weeks ago.  He had been working with DCD staff to come up with new language to reflect the applicant’s new infiltration proposal.
Copies Passed Out.  When the discussion began, Commissioner Brown had copies of the modified conditions passed out to the other Commissioners and to those in the audience.  It was difficult to review the new conditions on such short notice since we didn’t have copies of the old conditions, though we think we understand it now.  The explanation of what was happening, was not clear to many of the Illahee residents attending, and it also appeared to take the other Commissioners by surprise.
Attorney Comments.  Following some discussion, the attorney for the applicant (Timbers Edge) and the attorney for the appellant (the Illahee Community Club) were allowed to comment.  Mr. Templeton, the Timbers Edge attorney, basically agreed with the conditions but we felt back-peddled on some items.  We wanted to review his comments this evening, but the meeting was not on BKAT as scheduled, and was therefore not recorded by us.  Mr. Ryan Vancil, attorney for the Illahee Community Club, said the language of the modified conditions was not very clear as to what would be allowed and went on to say that issues like this should go back to the Hearing Examiner, where they can be properly discussed.  He also reminded the Commissioners that this new modification covered only one of the issues of concern to the Illahee Community.  Based on the discussion that followed, it appears Mr. Brown had picked this one issue out as his primary focus of the appeal, and didn’t appear to be concerned about any of the other issues.
Friday Deadline.  The two sides were given until close of business on Friday (10/2/09) to respond in writing to the new conditions that were proposed.
Copy Provided.  We have scanned the handout as an image attachment and will try to get a more readable copy later.
Thursday (10/1/09) Illahee Beach Nourishment Hearing.  The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) HPA Appeals Coordinator, Lisa Wood, has scheduled the Illahee Community Club’s informal appeal to Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 1:00 pm at the WDFW field office in Port Orchard, which is at 502 High Street, Suite 112.
Letter Attached.  We have attached the letter regarding the hearing.  We also hope to have time to provide the community more information on what is being proposed, but right now our attention is on responding to the curve thrown us at the Commissioners meeting.
Jim Aho

>Important Legal Proceedings – 9/26/09


Commissioners’ Decision on Monday! The County Commissioners will decide Monday (9/28/09) on the Community’s appeal of the Hearing Examiner’s decision regarding the Timbers Edge development. The decision is scheduled for the end of the regular 7 pm Monday Commissioner’s meeting, which is held in the Commissioner’s Chambers at the County Administration Building in Port Orchard.

Please Attend. The Illahee Community Club is asking for a good attendance at this meeting even though those in the audience can just listen to the Commissioner’s discussion and their vote. This vote will be telling as to whether the commissioners are more concerned about an aquifer and salmon stream and the community’s desire to protect them, or a high density development above the stream corridor.

Commissioner’s Vote? Some think that when the applicant offered up a new infiltration plan during the appeal, that this gives the Commissioner’s a good reason for sending (remanding) the project back to the Hearing Examiner. Should that happen, we hope it would go to the new Hearing Examiner, rather than the old one.

Status of Community’s Letter to the Developer. The developer, Mr. Jim James, has asked his engineer to “provide him advice for his consideration.” Mr. Kuhlman, in an email to the Illahee Community, said the community proposal lacks enough detail for him to provide the necessary information to Mr. James; he goes on to argue for sewers rather than septics; and wants “a more quantitative proposal and explain how your revised proposal will more properly address the environmental issues associated with our development than is done by our proposal.”

Response After the Commissioners’ Decision. The ICC Board evidently will respond to Mr. Kuhlman in the time period following the Commissioner’s decision, pending what the decision is.


Persistence Pays Off. The Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) consented late Thursday (9/24/09) to hear the Illahee Community Club’s informal appeal of the “Illahee Beach Nourishment” project. Late Friday afternoon DFW was trying to set up the informal appeal hearing for next week in Port Orchard at 10 or 10:30 a.m. on either Thursday (10/1/09) or Friday (10/2/09).

Two Informal Appeals Filed. The Port of Illahee also filed an informal appeal on the Illahee Beach Nourishment project and the hearing was held on Thursday (9/24/09) in Olympia. The Illahee Community Club’s appeal was denied at first because the Certified Letter was lost for 9 days somewhere in Olympia, and was receipted one day beyond the appeal deadline date.

Calls by Illahee Citizens Make a Difference. Because of the persistence of Illahee citizens to the Post Office and DFW the issue went up the chain of commands, and eventually to one of the state’s Assistant Attorney Generals, where it was decided to allow the informal appeal to go ahead. We think it was the right decision because neither the Post Office or DFW knows what happened to the letter for 9 days.

More Information Later. We will try to provide more information on the 5 year Illahee Beach Nourishment appeal later.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 9/21/09


Shoreline Meetings Tonight (Monday 9/21/09) & Thursday (9/24/09). The Illahee community has been blessed with 3 miles of shorelines. We want everyone in Illahee to be aware that the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) is in the process of being updated and that informational meetings are being held nearby. Attached is the information that was posted on the Kitsap County website.

County Hosts Shoreline Update Outreach Meetings
Stakeholders Asked to Join Kitsap County Shoreline Management Plan Update Advisory Group

(Port Orchard) – Kitsap County is required to update its Shoreline Management Master Program (SMP) by 2012. The Washington Department of Ecology is providing funding to conduct the update. The SMP is a comprehensive land and water use management plan that includes policies and regulations for use and development of Kitsap’s shoreline. Kitsap County has about 230 miles of saltwater, stream and lakefront shorelines that support diverse environmental, economic, and recreational uses. The Department of Ecology ultimately approves the updated plan, but citizens and County government cooperatively develop an updated plan that is proposed to Ecology. We planned several information outreach meetings to kick-off this effort, and encourage stakeholder participation in an advisory group to guide these efforts. The meetings start at 6:30 PM and wrap-up at 8:00PM.

Meetings are scheduled at these locations:
  • Tuesday, September 15, 2009
    Kingston Fire Station
    26642 Miller Bay Rd NE, Kingston
  • Monday, September 21, 2009
    Keyport Bible Church
    15270 Washington Ave NE, Keyport
  • Thursday, September 24, 2009
    Kitsap County Fairgrounds, The Eagle’s Nest
    1200 NW Fairgrounds Rd, Bremerton
  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009
    Seabeck Christian Conf. Center “Dining Hall”
    15395 Seabeck Hwy NW, Seabeck
  • Monday, October 5, 2009 at the
    Kitsap County Administration Building, Chambers
    619 Division St., Port Orchard
Illahee Preserve Parking Lot Logs. We received the following update from Vic Ulsh on the status of the log pile next to the new Illahee Preserve parking lot along Almira:

Logs at Almira
Lori Raymaker has made arrangements with Kitsap Community Resources and AmeriCorp to cut up the logs at the Almira parking lot at Illahee Forest Preserve. They will cut the logs as fire wood for those in need. Target date for their big work party is Friday, October 16th. They also expect to be available to do a few other chores while their personnel are on-site. I suggested weeding the rain garden (it will need it again by then). I plan to meet with Lori and a rep from KCR at 9AM on Wednesday, October 14th to go over a game plan, especially hoping to have them avoid driving over the sidewalks to get to the logs.
Brownsville Appreciation Day (BAD) on Saturday (9/26/09). You have undoubtedly seen the signs for Brownsville’s Appreciation Day on September 26, 2009, so don’t forget our Port of Brownsville neighbors to the north on Saturday. The link to their web site is attached below.

Passing of John King. Illahee lost a good friend on September 8, 2009, when John King passed away. A number of us enjoyed talking with John as he worked on his vintage cars in the Sunset Avenue area. His obituary link is attached.

Lost Cat – Was it Found? We have been asked if the lost cat was ever found. We have not heard what happened, even though information was passed on. If you have any information, please let us know so we can pass it on.

Send in Information. Keep sending us your information and we will try to pass it on.

Jim Aho

>Culvert Dredging&Beach Nourishment Hearing – 9/17/09


Hearing Held Today (9/17/09).   There was an informal hearing held today by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW or DFW) in Olympia regarding the approval of the “Illahee Beach Nourishment” project.  This project proposes to take the ~50 cubic yards of sediment dredged from the Illahee Creek culvert and place in on the Schutt’s point spit yearly for the next 5 years.
Two Groups Expressed Concern.  There were actually two Illahee groups that expressed concern for this “beach nourishment” project:  the Port of Illahee, and the Illahee Community Club.  Both groups requested an informal hearing with the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), but only the Port of Illahee was allowed to present its case.
Illahee Community Club Appeal Request Rejected.  The Illahee Community Club’s appeal request was rejected because DFW said they didn’t receive the letter until September 10, 2009, which was 31 days after the project was announced, and one day past the 30 day requirement. 
USPS Investigation Initiated.  The ICC was concerned about the denial as they sent a certified letter to DFW on 1 September 2009 and for some reason it didn’t get to DFW until 10 days later.  ICC members contacted the US Postal Service who conducted an investigation since certified letters are tracked and not supposed to get lost.
WDF Investigation.  The WDF also conducted an investigation and the ICC was called on Tuesday and told by DFW that it wasn’t they who held up the letter, but rather the US Postal Service who messed up.
Port Informal Hearing Scheduled for Wednesday (9/17/09).  What is interesting is the Port of Illahee sent their letter out via regular mail probably a day after the ICC letter, and it was received by DFW and DFW set up the informal hearing for the Port for September 17, 2009. 
Hearing Was Held for the Port Concerns.  One Port Commissioner and three Port sanctioned residents were given an opportunity to provide oral and written information to the HPA Appeals Coordinator to explain why they believed WDFW was wrong in issuing the Illahee Beach Nourishment Hydraulic Project Approval (or HPA).  During the hearing the Coordinator kept reminding everyone that protection of fish life and habitat are the only issues that can be presented.
Two Hour Hearing.  The hearing lasted two hours.  We think the Port’s concerns were adequately presented.  Regardless of the outcome of the hearing, we think the beach nourishment concept is flawed for more reasons than we can present here. 
Brief Paper Attached.  We have attached the brief paper that was provided to DFW, though we need to state that the oral testimony from the brief was given at the end of the hearing and that some of the questions in the brief had been answered by that time.
US Post Office Call.  The ICC received a call from the Post Office in Olympia, after the hearing, that as we understand it, said the ICC letter had indeed been delivered to DFW before September 10.  We heard that the Olympia Postal Service Office was sending an email to the WDF supervisor and we are waiting to see if the ICC will get their hearing.
Will the ICC Get Their Hearing?  If the ICC letter was received by DFW before September 10, then the ICC should be able to also have an informal appeal hearing on their issues, prsuming they have something new to present.  
Questions? – See Attached Brief.  We hope this email makes sense.  We have attached below the breif that was given to WDF for those who may want to know some of the information that was presented.
Jim Aho
Informal Appeal of HPA by the Port of Illahee re Beach Nourishment Project
Understanding of the Project
1.       Dredging is being proposed by KC Public Works Roads Division.
2.       Dredging is necessary because of the excessive sediment loading of Illahee Creek.
3.       The sediment has been filling the culvert beyond its design capacity since it was built in 1999.
4.       The culvert essentially failed during the Dec 3, 2007 storm and was first dredged in 2008.
5.       Subsequently the culvert filled up again with sediment, though not to the post-storm height, but is getting close to the pre-storm height, and dredging is again being proposed.
6.       Concern of KC Public Works is another major storm could result in the total failure of the culvert.
7.       Public Works Road Division is primarily concerned with removal of the dredged material rather than its placement, and has an approved gravel pit disposal site for the removed material.
Beach Nourishment
1.       Beach nourishment is being proposed by the DFW biologist as a better use of the culvert sediment?
2.       Sediment is to be placed on the inside (land side) of the spit at Schutt’s Point.
3.       The project proposal does not explain how the depositing the sediment from the culvert will nourish or benefit the beach, nor does it describe if it is correcting a beach problem, nor does it explain how it will benefit fish.
4.       The rationale for the beach nourishment phase of the project is not understood by the Port, or the community the Port serves.
Concerns with the Project
1.       The reason for the dredging and the corresponding beach nourishment project is the excessive sediment loading in Illahee Creek.
2.       Excessive sediment loading is primarily the result of unconstrained storm surges within the watershed caused by the lack of stormwater control requirements for roadways and developments in the 60’s & 70’s.
3.       The sediment load has not only affected the fresh water fish and salmonids, but has also affected saltwater marine life.  The sediment loading has resulted in the silting of the nearshore beach areas well out into Port Orchard Bay, such that silting depth at the base of the Port of Illahee dock measured 32 inches in 2008.  This is a massive sedimentation problem and the reason for DOE Surface Water Management Grant being awarded to the Port of Illahee.
4.       Until the sedimentation problems within the Illahee Creek watershed are made part of an overall strategy plan to control the stormwater surges, there will be the continued degradation of freshwater fish and saltwater marine life.
Schutt’s Point
1.        Schutt’s Point is the location of the placement of the dredged material.
2.       Schutt’s Point has an interesting history both old and new that needs to be understood by those requesting change.
3.       The area of the placement is an estuary wetland that supports local and wintering waterfowl.
4.       During extreme high tides local residents have taken kayaks or shallow bottom boats through the area, however not in the recent past.
5.       The area has some restrictions placed on it because of its fragile nature, by a Hearing Examiner in 2004.
6.       Local residents are having a hard time understanding the rationale for either increasing the height of the spit or the filing in of an estuary wetland in the name of “beach nourishment.”  This point needs to be emphasized, and also reflects one of the Port’s concerns.
Flood Plain
1.       The estuary area is also in the flood plain of Illahee Creek.
2.       During the December 3, 2007 storm, Illahee Creek did as most creeks did, went over its banks and flooded.
3.       The effects of the storm were new stream channels that spread throughout the channel migration zone (CMZ) with one of the primary side streams running through the area designated for placement of the dredged material.
4.       Around the time of the first dredging the stream was redirected back to its main channel, both through the actions of the dredging and the placement of berms to restrict side stream flows.
5.       Again, many of the locals don’t understand the human intervention into an area that is supposed to be left in its natural state, including the placement of the dredged material in or near the channel migration zone.
1.       The Port has been advised by DFW that the HPA is ultimately about what is best for fish life or fish habitat, which we presume also includes shellfish.
2.       The Port has been involved with fish incubation projects both alongside the stream and at the Port of Illahee dock.
3.       The Port has also been supportive of fish habitat restoration projects within the watershed and particularly along the lower stream corridor.
4.       One of the key elements of the Illahee Watershed Surface Water Management Plan that was funded by DOE and the Port was a study of fish habitat and fish use of the Creek.
5.       The conclusion of the biologists was the excessive sedimentation was the major problem seriously affecting fish and fish habitat in the stream.
6.       As mentioned earlier, excessive sedimentation has also resulted in excessive silting out into Port Orchard Bay which is detrimental to shellfish.
7.       In other words, the same problem affecting the culvert is also the same problem affecting fish and fish habitat, excessive sedimentation.
Supporting Documentation
1.       Parametrix/Stillwater Sciences/Keta Waters “Illahee Creek Watershed Surface Water Management Plan” dated September 2008.  This report describes not only the watershed problems, but also recommended solutions to the sedimentation problem.
2.       HDR Report “Illahee Creek Stormwater Outfall:  Evaluation of Impacts in Response to Kitsap County Shoreline Questions,” dated May 2, 2008.  This report does an excellent job of documenting  the effects of the December 3, 2007 storm on the estuary area.
1.       The concept of dredging year after year without an overall plan only perpetuates the sedimentation problems and is detrimental to the overall concept of supporting fish.
2.        The concept of beach nourishment has not been substantiated as for need and in fact appears to be using the dredged material to raise the height of the spit or fill in an estuary wetland.
3.       A Comprehensive Plan to control the sedimentation problems of Illahee Creek is needed to protect fish, the Illahee Creek culvert, and the estuary wetland.
4.       The HPA should be denied until it can be included as part of a comprehensive plan to resolve the excessive sedimentation loads in Illahee Creek.

>Wildlife Update&Preserve Info – 9/11/09


Missing Cat.  We were asked if there was a picture of the cat that went missing that we reported in our last Update.  Before we had a chance to check on one, someone forwarded a photo of the actual cat.  If anyone has seen “Fiona” let us know and we will pass the information on.
Owl Pictures.  Thanks to Ed who told us how to access the owl photos from an email.  The owl in a barred owl, and looks similar in color to a spotted owl.  The difference is the breast feathers on a barred owl are vertical, while those of a spotted own are horizontal.  Some were hoping it was a spotted owl as the picture was taken close to where the Timbers Edge project is proposed to go in.

Dead Blotted Seal.  We were advised by one of the local Area Habitat Biologists to report the dead seal to the Marine Mammal Investigations, which we did.
Missing Doe?  The doe one resident was worried about is still around, according to those responding back.  On a walk this evening we observed five dear with none having the distictive white markings of the deer in question.
Illahee Preserve Work Party Sunday Morning.  We receive the following notice regarding an Illahee Preserve work party scheduled for Sunday morning.
ILLAHEE FOREST WORK PARTY.  We are planning a work party for this Sunday to accomplish a couple tasks within Illahee Forest Preserve.  The work will include gathering up limbs (which have already been cut) and piling onto an adjacent parking lot AND removing pieces of an abandoned car body which has already been dismantled & cut into manageable pieces by Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue.  We had hoped to utilize some Navy volunteers but they have not yet confirmed.  We welcome any volunteers who may be willing to help.  Our target was 16 people for 1.5 to 2 hours.   Gloves would be handy.  Meeting location is the Almira parking lot at Illahee Forest Preserve located behind/above Lowe’s in East Bremerton near the corner of Fuson and Almira.  Target time for meeting is 9:00 AM this Sunday morning, September 13th.  Muffins and coffee to be available. 

I welcome any questions.  Thank you.

Vic Ulsh
WK (360) 479-6900
HM (360) 373-4824

Illahee Preserve Damage to Red Elderberry.  We just received the following email regarding what looks like deliberate damage to red elderberry plants in the Preserve.  Let us know if you see anyone doing the damage.
Just wanted to let you know about an evolving challenge at Illahee Forest.  For reasons I cannot explain, somebody or somebodies have been wreaking havoc with red elderberry plants in the Forest.  They are bending/breaking the stalks and leaving the damaged plant material to die.  Mostly near the trail system, but some of the carnage is off trail.  We had another round of damage to red elderberry shrubs in the past 1-2 days.  This seems rather odd.  The damage is only to red elderberry, but it’s torn up pretty badly.  As always, let’s keep alert and monitor/investigate any suspicious behavior.    Thanks.

By the way, I think there is some type of dead animal very near the Thompson parking lot, but I could not determine just where.  Peeeeewwww!

Jim Aho

>Wildlife Update – 9/9/09


Predator Gets Cat?  Attached is an email we received the other day.  If this cat escaped and you have seen it, please respond to this email.
On Friday night, at midnight I was coming home and when I opened the door my cat, Fiona, scooted out passed me.  She is a 10 lb. brown/black Maine Coon cat with long hair, of course and a black stripe down her back.  Fiona is new to going outside and had not ever been outside until a couple of months ago, when I would let her and her sister out during the day when I was at home, so she does not know about the dangers of the outdoors and especially at night since she does not go out at night.  I fear that she is gone for good, but I hope that she is out there just scared and that I will get her back.

The incident is as follows:  I live a couple of doors up from the old store across from the Illahee Dock, for sake of location.  I have a completely fenced yard and Fiona was in the backyard.  I tried to get her about every 30 minutes from midnight until the incident and she would come close and talk to me, but would not come in, and she has the aloof personality that cats are known for and she wanted to stay out longer.  At 2:30 Saturday morning I went out and called her and she once again came to the corner of the house and spoke to me, but would not come in.  I went back inside and sat down and then I heard the noise like she was in a fight with one of the neighborhood feral cats, I got up immediately and went outside and there was nothing to see.  She made the fighting noise for no longer than 10-15 seconds without growling like in a cat fight.  I took a flashlight and search the property, calling her name the whole time right after this happened.  Saturday, I searched the property at least a half a dozen more times calling her name and there was no response.  She was so happy with her new house and yard.
As I say, I feel that she is gone for good, but I hope if anyone finds her they will contact me.  As you can imagine, I am devastated.  A friend of mine that works with Fish and Wildlife as a wildlife biologist for the feds says he thinks it sounds like an owl that just swooped down and got her.  I don’t know, but I want others to be aware so that they don’t loose their pet in the same way.

Illahee Creek Turtle.  We had several identification responses as to what type of turtle it was that we saw in Illahee Creek.
Looks like a painted turtle (Chrysemys picta)
That is a Painted Turtle (Chrysemys pieta).  The Western Pond Turtle is dark brown with little other coloring.  The Painted Turtle is more common in eastern WA but many have been introduced in the Puget Sound area.  Not that too unusual.
Owl Pictures.  We recently received some great owl pictures, but are having a hard time figuring out how to get them off an email and attaching them to this update.  We will keep trying. 
Have You Seen This Doe?  We have seen this doe with her two fawns, but not recently.  The two fawns have been seen on their own so some have been wondering if something happened to the doe.  If you have seen her recently, please let us know, and we will pass the information on.

Blotted Dead Seal.  This just floated in Wednesday morning.  A few years ago a dead sea lion floated in and decomposed on the beach.  It wasn’t a pleasant sight and the odors were even worse.

Jim Aho

>Wildlife Update and Monday Invite – 9/5/09


Blue Parrot Update.  We were hoping the lost blue parrot notice that we sent out Monday evening (8/24/09) would have resulted in some success, but the parrot did not return and no one reported seeing it. 
Fish in Illahee Creek.  The last four years we have been walking up Illahee Creek to do upstream water quality monitoring.  This past year, moreso than other years, we have been concerned about the low flows in the creek and not seeing fish.  However, on Tuesday, September 1, 2009, during our water quality trek up the stream, some fish were finally seen, though not nearly as many as in past years.
Turtle in Illahee Creek.  Also on Tuesday’s trip up the creek, we saw a turtle in the stream, a first for us.  Someone said it must be a Western Pond Turtle, since they are what would normally be around the area.  We have attached a photo that may help with any identification.
Moles.  Lots of mole activity has been seen recently, including a baby dead mole on the pavement along Sunset.  We have attached the photo. 
Illahee Preserve Fair Info.  It was nice to see information on the Illahee Preserve at the Kitsap County Fair last week.  One of the most picked up items was a map of the Preserve.  Many people have gone into the Preserve, which is forested, and have gotten lost and have been requesting maps.  The architectural firm of Rice, Fergus, Miller designed the map and brochure.  Let us know if you need a copy.  Attached is a photo of the information that was available at the Fair. 
Monday Get-Together Invite.  Iris Friday, who lives next to the area where the Timbers Edge project is planned to go in and next to the Illahee Preserve, has invited residents to see the area and share some food.  Her email invite is below:
As a resident of Illahee and one of the families most affected by the Timber’s Edge project,  I am once again vehemently stating my opposition to the Timber’s Edge project that stands to drastically impact our day to day routine here at 4829 Charmont Lane NE.  Where, you say, is Charmont Lane NE?  Well, imagine for one moment that you and your family found yourself tucked at the end of a Cul de sac with neighbors to your south and east.  To the west, you found nothing but old growth and blackberry brambles.  imagine again, that your only exist consisted of a primitive two lane street with no sidewalks, but treacherous hills (think Dec 2007) storm.   But, first, you must exit off a single dirt road up a very treacherous hill.  And, then imagine your precious six year old daughter walking up a hill with no sidewalks which now has 200 vehicles exiting above her exit street (with no lights) on their way to work. The lots in our neighborhood far exceed those proposed by the developer and we don’t have sidewalks.
This labor day weekend, I invite you to come and join us at 4829 Charmont Lane Ne on Sept 7th so that you can see for yourself the unrealistic plans proposed for Timber’s Edge.  Please mark your calendar for Monday, September 7th at 1:00 P.M.  Please feel free to share a salad or just hang out.
Thanks!  Thanks for all your input to these Updates.
Jim Aho

>Appeal Hearing Report, Finally – 9/4/09


Commissioner Hearing 8/24/09.  We are slow in reporting on the Illahee Community Club’s appeal hearing before the County Commissioners that took place the evening of August 24, 2009.  There were approximately 30 Illahee residents in attendance, with some of them wearing the bright orange Illahee tee shirts that were passed out during Illahee Day’s cleanup event.  Below and attached are photos taken at hearing. 

Attorney’s Briefs and Arguments.  We felt booth attorney’s did a good job in presenting their clients cases.  It was interesting that the developer’s attorney highlighted an exhibit that came in after the hearing, while the record was being held open, as the basis for possible new mitigation, which the community felt was a new argument since they never got an opportunity to respond to it.
New Argument Raised at Hearing.  What we and the community found most disturbing at the hearing was that a new argument was allowed to be raised by the developer at a closed record hearing.  Attorney for the developer, Ron Templeton, offered up the new mitigation possibility during his presentation time, and followed it up with an email to the Commissioners the following day. 
Community’s Response to New Argument.  We received a copy of the Community’s response to the new argument, which has in it the mitigation proposal presented by Mr. Templeton.  The Community’s response brief reads as follows:
         At the hearing on the matter noted above on Monday, August 24, 2009, the Applicant Timber’s Edge (“Applicant”) introduced a new argument proposing new mitigation measures for the project.  The purpose of this brief is to provide clarification regarding process for the Applicant’s new argument, and does not address substantive issues addressed at the hearing. 
         At the hearing the Applicant argued that the project should be conditioned by two new mitigation conditions: 
1.                  The Applicant will design and install a stormwater system that will result in no material reductions in base flow of Illahee Creek as a result of site development.  This will be accomplished through the maintenance of groundwater recharge contributions from the project substantially equivalent to pre-development levels.
2.                  In addition, to the extent reasonably feasible without jeopardizing the stability of the slopes abutting Illahee Creek, the Applicant will infiltrate as much groundwater as is reasonably possible.  Thus, if safely and reasonably feasible, the Applicant will infiltrate 100% of the project groundwaters, thereby completely eliminating the need for the stormwater outfall on the Massano Property.
This language was proposed for the first time during oral argument before the Commissioners, and was submitted in writing the day after the hearing via email with the following additional comment from the Applicant’s counsel: “I am attaching the Revised Conditions the Applicant proposes to insure there are no adverse impacts to the Illahee Creek base flows.”
         This argument was raised for the first time on appeal to the Commissioners, and is therefore not part of the record before the Commissioners for review.  Information not in the record is not allowed as part of the Commissioners’ hearing.  KCC 21.04.120 (E). The Board of County Commissioners is limited to hearing the appeal“on the established record.” Id.  The mitigation proposed by the Applicant is not a part of the established record and therefore should not be considered by the Commissioners.
         New arguments raised on appeal are generally not considered at the appellate level.  Boehm v. City of Vancouver, 111 Wn.App. 711, 722, 47 P.3d 137 (2002) citing King County v. Wash. State Boundary Review Bd., 122 Wn.2d 648, 670, 860 P.2d 1024 (1993).  For an issue to be properly raised on appeal, it must have been raised before the Hearing Examiner.  The purpose of this is to avoid “hearing by surprise,” by having new arguments introduced during hearings that the opposing party has not had an opportunity to address or adequately argue.  This is especially to be avoided in a complex case such as this, where any new proposal will undoubtedly impact other aspects of the project and other conditions already established for the project.  
         In addition, past practice by the Commissioners in a case where new mitigation has been proposed by an applicant has been to remand the project back to the Hearing Examiner. As indicated by Commissioner Bauer at the hearing on this matter, a recent case before the Commissioners involving a Montessori school was remanded to the Hearing Examiner to address proposals from the applicant in that case to mitigate some of that project’s impacts. Remanding a question like this to the Hearing Examiner is appropriate, because it allows time for proper analysis of the proposal that is not possible in the forum of a Commissioner appeal.  For instance, in a remand the Hearing Examiner could benefit from expert comments submitted by the appellant and not just unilateral input from the applicant.
         Due to the complexity of this case (over 400 exhibits), and the reasons stated above, if the Commissioners believe that the mitigation identified in the MDNS could be improved to protect Illahee Creek base flows, this matter should be remanded to the Hearing Examiner so that proper mitigation, review, and analysis can occur.

Decision Only on 9/28/09.  We haven’t heard whether a response brief by the developer’s attorney followed the above brief.  (Sometimes it seems the only winners in these situations are the lawyers.)  The Commissioners will vote on the Community’s appeal at the September 28th meeting.
Update on Community Proposal Responses.  The Illahee Community Club hand distributed to most Illahee residents, a letter to the developer and the county that laid out a compromise the community would support.  The letter provided an opportunity for residents to respond as to how they felt about the compromise.  The results so far are nearly all agreeing with the compromise, with one not wanting any development at all.  The ICC wants to remind people to keep responding to the proposal by sending the tear off portion to the ICC address or that they can also do so via email (to this email or info@illaheecommunity.com).
Jim Aho

>Report of Illahee Community Meeting on 8/22/09 – 9/1/09


Illahee Community Meeting 8/22/09.  The Illahee Community Club held its quarterly meeting at the Sylvan Way library on Saturday afternoon 8/22/09. There were three primary items on the agenda – the Timbers Edge Proposal, an announcement by the Port of Illahee, and a discussion of the Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Hydraulic Project Approval of a 5 year dredging plan of the Illahee Creek culvert.
Timbers Edge Proposal.  There was unanimous approval of the Timbers Edge Proposal that was drafted by the ad hoc committee and the Club’s board.  We just received an advance copy of the letter forwarding the Proposal to Mr. James and the Proposal itself, which reads as follows:

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 also been successful in the past to defeat detrimental projects (fish pens) or mitigate the impacts (Illahee outfall project), both county approved projects (through the Hearing Examiner and the Board of County Commissioners), and have demonstrated they will stand up and fight for and defend positions that are right for their community.
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 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 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.

Port of Illahee Announcement.  The Port of Illahee announced that it made an offer on a residence that it hopes to use as an office and a community meeting place, with the lower portion remaining as a rental.  The property address is 5560 Ocean View, and the offer is contingent upon being able to get a conditional use permit, which is needed for any business use in a residential area.
Dredging Proposal.  There was concern by the community with regards to the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Hydraulic Project Approval of a 5 year dredging plan for the Illahee Creek culvert.  The project is proposed by Kitsap County Public Works and was approved by DFW.  The approval letter states that if there are concerns that either an informal or formal appeal can be filed within 30 days.  The community was concerned that the Department of Ecology funded report that offered remedies for the watershed and the culvert, was not made part of a comprehensive culvert plan, and voted to file an informal appeal.  We just received an advance copy of the appeal letter and have included the text below:

The Illahee Community Club recently became aware of the Hydraulic Project Approval for the “Illahee Beach Nourishment” project, which proposes to dredge the Illahee Creek culvert and place the dredged materials at the beach.  In our opinion, the project has little to do with “beach nourishment,” and more to do with a five year authorization to continue dredging a problematic and failing Illahee Creek culvert.
The Illahee Community Club is in receipt of a Department of Ecology funded report, reference (a), which has analyzed the Illahee Creek watershed because of the sediment pollution impacting Puget Sound.  The report documents the sources of the pollution and other problems associated with Illahee Creek and its watershed, and goes on to recommend strategies and projects to correct the problems.
At an Illahee Community meeting on August 22, 2009, the community was informed of the “Illahee Beach Nourishment” project and, after much discussion, decided by unanimous agreement that they could not support the HPA without a corresponding watershed implementation plan to correct the underlying causes of the sedimentation in the culvert.
The Illahee Community Club is therefore filing this informal appeal of the HPA of “Illahee Beach Nourishment” project, and request that any dredging of the culvert be part of the larger comprehensive watershed surface water management plan for the Illahee Creek watershed.

Other Meeting Reports Later.  This Update is rather long so we will send out the Timbers Edge appeal hearing (8/24/09) and the University Point dock hearing (8/27/09) reports later this week.
Jim Aho