>Legal&Related Issues – 2/26/10


When is the SHB (Shorelines Hearings Board) Appeal Hearing?

When is the Timbers Edge Superior Court Hearing?

When is the Fairness Doctrine Appeal Hearing?

Why Haven’t You Put Out An Update On These Items?

What Happened at ICC Meeting Last Saturday?

Questions?  Above are some of the questions being raised that we have been asked to answer.  Also, we had a number of people who couldn’t be at the ICC meeting on February 20th who have asked that we put out an update on the meeting.  So we will try to provide some answers.

The Legal Questions on Hold?  The short answer on the three appeal questions is that they are all on hold as negotiations are taking place between the lawyers to see if they can come up with mutually satisfying solutions that will be agreeable to the Illahee Community and the other parties.  During the negotiation process many of the details remain confidential and will be presented when there is an agreement that we can share.

Tens of Thousands of Dollars Spent.  We realize that the community has spend many thousands of dollars to protect the community and there is hope in the eyes of the Illahee Community Club Board members we talked with, that the community can put some of this work behind them through the negotiations.  Board members can’t say much else at this point but do ask that we be patient a little longer.

ICC Meeting Last Saturday.  In addition to discussions regarding the above legal issues, a related issue was a report that the Illahee Forest Preserve (the non-profit corporation supporting the Illahee Preserve) met on February 16th and voted to push for a Phase II Plan to continue to acquire or obtain conservation easements on specific properties next to the Preserve and along Illahee Creek.  The Plan will probably require a number of grants from various sources to make this happen, including support from the county and the Port of Illahee.  Evidently the county has been approached as the next grant cycle for the state begins soon.  After the presentation there was a motion that the ICC support the Illahee Preserve Phase II Plan, which was followed by another motion that the Port of Illahee be asked to help with aspects of the Plan.

What Was Phase I?  We realize that many are unaware of the Phase I Plan that acquired just over 100 acres of land through purchases, delayed purchases, or conservation easements.   The Preserve started out with 352 acres of the formerly Department of Natural Resources (DNR) land and with the Phase I purchases now consists of approximately 460 acres.

Phase I Acquisitions.  We have attached the map that shows many of these acquisitions.  The light blue parcels in the middle of the map are the 66 acre trade made with North Perry Water District for the water tower and pump house properties in the Preserve.  That land was once the water source for historic Illahee and was give the the water district when it was no longer needed as a water source.

Phase II Plan Map Needed.  We will be requesting a new map showing the Phase II targeted properties and will provide it when we get it.

Jim Aho

>Rain Garden Update – 2/25/10


Illahee Preserve Rain Garden Prep Continues.  We are preparing the the rain garden plots at the Illahee Preserve parking lot on Almira for a planting session on March 6th.  The interior paths between the plots were completed on Thursday, Feb 25th.  We are doing finish grading of the plots with hoes and rakes.  Thanks to Jenny Morgan, our volunteer landscape architect, for her layout of a meandering low point through the plots which we laid out on Thursday and we think it really looks great.  Thanks to Aimee Weber, our volunteer botanist,  for flagging native plants that are emerging from the plots and that can be used and for locating areas where plants can be salvaged from the Preserve.  We planted some extracted rushes, sword ferns and an Oregon grape, and it appears that obtaining them will be reasonably easy, but time consuming. 

Landscape Rocks Needed.  There are some areas in the outer plots where some larger landscape rock would be helpful.  Let us know if you have any suggestions where we could get some.

Conservation District Plant Pick-Up on March 5th.  We are planning on picking up the plants ordered from the Conservation District early in the afternoon on Friday, March 5th.  After we see the size of the plants (all bare root) we will probably flag some of the plots so it will be easy for planters to know where the specific species go.  Also, we are presuming a mortality rate on the plants of roughly 25% so that will also be taken into account with our flagging.

Rain Garden Planting on March 6th.  Beginning at 9 am on Saturday morning we will finish grade the plots that still need it, and then start planting.  From what we found out today, the layouts on paper are nice to have as a starting point, but things can change quickly once you see the plants and start planting.  This is where the artistic talented persons are helpful.

Phase II Planning Session Week of March 7th.  The Conservation District did not have all the plants we wanted so we will be augmenting what we ordered with another order after we see where we are at.  This will be primarily true with the example species plot which is between the pavement and the detention pond.  We will have a planning session sometime the week of March 7-12 to determine what is needed to finish planting the plots, and also what to use for a mulch.

Signage Later.  The signs that will describe rain gardens and how to build them will be similar to those used by the Clear Creek Trail Task Force.  They will be designed, ordered and installed later.

Thank You Volunteers.  We are appreciative of all that have volunteered so far.  We think this project will complete quickly with the time consuming aspect being extracting plants from the Preserve.  But with the numbers of people helping it should complete well before noon.

Questions?  If you have any questions please give me a call at 479-1049 or Aimee Weber at 405-1613.

Jim Aho

>Important Meeting Reminder – 2/19/10

>Saturday Illahee Community Meeting.  There is an Illahee Community meeting on Saturday afternoon, February 20th, at 1:30 pm at the Sylvan Way library hosted by the Illahee Community Club.

Most Important Meeting.  This is an extremely important meeting and Illahee residents are encouraged to attend.  

Illahee Phase II Plan to be Unveiled.  The Phase 1 Plan that added over 100 acres to the Illahee Preserve is now looking at for a second effort which is being referred to as Phase II, and will look at the possibility of adding more land through possible purchases or conservation easements.  The Illahee Forest Preserve group approved the Phase II Plan on Tuesday and is looking for concurrence from the Illahee Community on Saturday.  This is an exciting proposal that if it is ever completed will benefit all of Illahee.

Legal Issues to be Discussed.  The Illahee Community Club is in the middle of two law suits and needs to determine the will of the community as it looks at various options, which we can tell you nearly all appear to be positive, but they need to hear from residents to make sure they are in agreement as to the direction the board is going.  These will not be passed on via email, probably until much later, so residents are encouraged to attend and vote on what they would like to have happen.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 2/16/10

>Speed Radar Sign.  When we mentioned the new speed sign on Illahee Road we failed to mention it had a radar unit above it that gives the speed of the vehicles.  Well, sort of.  For vehicles going over 10 miles over the speed limit it flashes “SLOW DOWN.”  However, every now and then between the flashing slow down message the speed shows up.  We saw lots of 40 plus speeds and some probably in the 50 range.  We were quite surprised at how fast some of the vehicles were going.

Old Radar Sign.  A few years ago residents requested the portable radar sign that the county has available for a week at a time. The radar unit was located at a school bus stop and the kids, and the parents, used to comment about the excessive speeds of many of the drivers. 

Solar Powered.  We also failed to mention the sign was solar powered as you can see from the attached photos.

Sign Location.  We also failed to mention the location of the sign and had several inquiries as to exactly where it is.  The location is not quite 0.2 mile north of the community dock on Illahee Road and is facing north so it picks up the speeds of southbound vehicles coming into the historic section of Illahee. 

Flower Photos for Sunbirds.  We have a number of Illahee residents who spend their winters in warmer climates, but they should know that after the one cold spell we had early this winter, the weather has been unbelieveably warm.  We are attaching a few photos to prove it.

IFP Meeting Reminder.  The Illahee Forest Preserve, the non-profit supporting the Illahee Preserve, meets tonight, Tuesday 2/16/10 at 5560 Ocean View Blvd at 6:30 pm.

Illahee Community Meeting on Saturday.  The Illahee Community meeting will be at the Sylvan Way Library at 1:30 pm on Saturday, 2/20/10 and all are invited.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 2/13/10


Speed Sign Up and Working.   It was interesting to watch cars hit their brakes on Friday afternoon just after a new speed sign went up along Illahee Road.  We will try to get a picture of the sign when the rains stop.  It is common to have cars exceed the speed limit as they come down Illahee Road from the north.  Residents who live in the area say that over the years pets and deer have been killed along that stretch of road, along with several vehicle accidents and at least two pedestrians who were injured in separate incidents by speeding vehicles.  We assume that was one of the primary reasons for the sign, including safety issues for the nearby school bus stop.

Speed Sign Information.  The speed sign was paid for by the Port of Illahee and was installed by Kitsap County Public Works.  We watched them pour the foundation two weeks ago and took a picture which is attached.  Below is the text of an email we received telling of the signs completion.

The Illahee speed sign is up and working great!  I want to thank the County, especially Jeff and Del for their excellent work, collaborative effort and courteous conversations and patience with the Port of Illahee.  We look forward to a continued working relationship with the County to make our community a safer place to live. 

On behalf on the Port of Illahee and the Illahee Community, thank you and congratulations on a job well done.

Dennis Sheeran
Port of Illahee

Illahee Community Meeting 2/20/10.  The Illahee Community’s quarterly meeting will be held on Saturday February 20th at the Sylvan Way library beginning at 1:30 pm.  There are a number of issues within Illahee that we hope will be discussed at this meeting.  The Illahee Community Club is served by a 15 member Board of Directors who are working hard to restore and preserve the natural features of the Illahee area along with many other things.  All Illahee residents are invited and encouraged to attend.

Squid Fishing Great on Thursday.  A visit to the Illahee community dock on Thursday evening found the squid fishermen pulling in multiple squid for those with multiple jigs, along with instances of two squid being caught on one jig, and an instance of three being caught on one jig.  We have never seen such numbers being caught or so many squid attacking the jigs as we did that evening.  

Native Plant Sources.  When we put out the email about the demonstration native plant rain garden we mentioned that plants were being purchased from the Kitsap Conservation District and we were asked for more details.  The KCD sale is a once a year sale and the plants are bare root.  Orders are put in in January and the plants are brought to the Fairgrounds for pickup in March.  Native plants are also available at some nurseries and locally through Jim Trainer, who has Treez, Inc.

Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP) Meeting 2/16/10.  The new Port meeting place at 5560 Ocean View Boulevard (upper level) is being made available to the Illahee Forest Preserve and the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee for their monthly meetings on the third Tuesdays of each month.  The Illahee Forest Preserve is a non-profit support group that supports the Illahee Preserve and meets this Tuesday (2/16/10) at 6:30 pm. 

Great Things Have Been Done by the IFP.   This group has done some phenomenal things from supporting hydrology studies of the Illahee Creek watershed (paid for by donations from Illahee residents), to grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Coastal Protection Fund (which helped purchase additional properties for the Preserve), to securing wetland experts when the Preserve boundaries were threatened, not to mention supporting Preserve projects.  

The IFP Needs More Members.  This group notes that they are getting older and members have succumbed or moved on and they are looking for younger members to help carry on their vision.  They hope that with meetings now being held more locally that others will join them.  They note that anyone interested in the Preserve can join them, not just Illahee residents.  Again, they meet on Tuesday at 6:30 pm at 5560 Ocean View Blvd.  Let us know if you need more information on this group.

Jim Aho

>Rain Garden Project Info – 2/11/10

>Native Plant Demonstration Rain Garden Plots at the Illahee Preserve.  We have some information on the demonstration rain garden being planned for the Illahee Preserve and we are summarizing it from the document we received. 


Who Is Doing This?

The Port of Illahee, with a grant from the Department of Ecology (DOE), is seeking help in the establishment of demonstration rain gardens at the Illahee Preserve (a Kitsap County Heritage Park).  

Why Are They Doing This?

The rain garden project was first accepted by Illahee Preserve volunteers and was recently expanded are part of a combined Port & DOE campaign to encourage home owners to install their own rain gardens, as Kitsap County, and Illahee in particular, is especially sensitive to storm water run-off.  

Why The Example Plots?

Small rain gardens installed near roofs and roadways are the preferred method to handle the storm water and it is felt that example plots will help encourage and educate residents with installations.  

What Are They Doing?

Two rain garden areas (one with example species and one for demonstration plots) have already been prepared with amended soils as part of the new Almira Drive parking lot installed by Kitsap County Parks for the Illahee Preserve.  The 460 acre preserve is becoming increasingly popular as a destination park, so we feel it is a good place to promote the benefits of rain gardens.

Who Is Doing The Plot Layouts?
Tentative layouts have been or are being developed for the demonstration plots.  Plot #1 layout is in progress, Plot #2 being assigned to area Master Gardeners and Illahee residents, Plot #3 to a landscape architect, and Plot #4 to a botanist. 

How Many Plants are Needed?
We have ordered 280 native plants from the Conservation District that will be arriving on March 5, 2010 and plan to augment the order with gifts and extracts (such as sword fern) from the Preserve, and additional purchases only as necessary.  

When is the Planting Party?
We will be picking up the ordered plants on Friday afternoon, March 5th, with the primary planting party beginning at 9 am on Saturday, March 6th, with Sunday, March 7th, being a backup day if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

The Rain Garden Overall Completion Date?
The goal is to have everything planted and mulched by early March 2010.  We want the rain gardens looking fine for the parking lot dedication, which is tentatively scheduled for on or around Earth Day in April.  Please note that because of parking lot security issues we are limited to lower profile native plants.  Also note that we realize our timing for planting is less than ideal, and we will likely need to water the plants during the summer months of the first year or until they get established. 

Want to Help?
If you are interested in helping plan and/or planting the rain gardens or have questions, please feel free to contact Aimee Weber at (360) 405-1613 or Jim Aho at (360) 479-1049.  Or you can respond to this email and we will pass the information on.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 2/7/10


February Illahee Community Meeting? The Illahee Community Club (ICC) holds its regularly scheduled meetings the middle month of each quarter and is looking to meet later this month at a time and place to be decided later. This is the meeting where current information about what is happening in Illahee is shared, along with regular reports about what the ICC is doing. Notice of the meeting is provided by signs throughout the area along with notice by email to residents who have provided their email addresses. The signs should be coming out soon.

Appeal Information? There evidently are some issues going on with Superior Court appeal regarding Timbers Edge that we hope will be discussed at the ICC meeting. We have heard something about the Shorelines Hearings Board appeal being delayed for discussions to take place and hope to find out more at the meeting. These appeals have been taken on by the ICC and they note they have been costly and they appreciate the community’s continued moral and financial support, both of which are needed.

Illahee Preserve Demonstration Rain Garden. This project to install a demonstration rain garden at the new Almira Illahee Preserve parking lot is a GO. We heard that a majority of the native plants have been ordered from the Kitsap Conservation District and they will be picked up on Friday, March 5, 2010, and that a planting party is being planned for Saturday, March 6th, and possibly as a backup, Sunday, March 7th. Evidently the area has been divided into 5 rain garden areas and volunteers are needed to do the planting. There is a letter scheduled to go out this week that is supposed to describe the project that we will pass on when it comes out.

Why Rain Gardens? The short answer is they help slow down and clean stormwater which is especially needed in the Illahee Creek Watershed to help alleviate the stormwater surges that plague Illahee Creek and Puget Sound. We noticed the article in the Kitsap Sun this week written by Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown that helps explain why the county is finally getting interested. When we presented stormwater arguments at the Illahee Outfall appeal, Josh was the only Commissioner that sided with the Illahee Community, and while we lost that appeal to the Commissioners, we ended up with a favorable mediated agreement as the result of the appeal to the Shorelines Hearings Board. The article link is: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/feb/04/my-turn-stormwater-crisis-needs-solutions-now/

The Other Reason For Rain Gardens – Aquifer Replenishment. The other reason for rain gardens is they help infiltrate water back into the aquifers, which are needed to maintain the baseflow in Illahee Creek (because that baseflow comes from the underlying shallow aquifer). That fact has been established as the results of community funded studies that totaled almost $10,000. (As an aside comment regarding Illahee aquifers, we felt the County Commissioners did little to protect our aquifers in their Timbers Edge decision when they stipulated infiltration, but then added the escape clause “to the extent feasible.” If they were really serious about protecting our aquifers, they wouldn’t have added an escape clause. Maybe some day the County will come around to respect our aquifers, like they are coming around to be concerned about the effects of stormwater. It seems like it takes too long in Kitsap County for the legislative process to catch up with science.)

Jim Aho