Illahee Update 11/22/11 Fallen Trees, Illahee Creek Culvert, Pee Wee Report, Cell Tower Hearing Report

Fallen Trees 99 and 100. We went for a brief walk in the Preserve today and were happy to report we only found two trees down across the trails, but still means 100 trees came down since last Thanksgiving, and will likely be cleared either Wednesday or at daybreak on Thanksgiving day.

Damaged Hemlock. The other day we took a picture of a small hemlock tree that had been hacked about half way up the trunk.  When we went by it today it would be hard to know it had even been there as the Rotary trial crew took care of it.  One of the frustrations they have learned to live with is vandal damage and hope with increased usage of the Preserve that it diminishes.

Illahee Creek Flows. With 2.84 inches of rain we received as of late Tuesday, Illahee Creek is running fast, but not as full as we expected on Tuesday afternoon.  We have been measuring the maximum clear opening (from the base of the stream to the top of the culvert) to see if the recent downstream cleaning has had any affect.  The measurement today was similar to the last few readings.  The concern is it would only take one large log to block the culvert and possibly cause a washout.

Last Pee Wee Game Report. Following is the report of the last North Perry Pee Wee football team’s championship game at Port Townsand from Tony Chavez:

One last pee wee football note.  Illahee’s own North Perry Gators C-String (9-10 year olds), being the Kitsap County Champs traveled up north to Port Townsend on Saturday, November 19, 2011, to  take on the North Olympic Youth Football Champions, the Forks Chargers, in the 3rd annual Battle of the Bridge.  North Perry won by a score of 36 to 8, making them a perfect 10-0 this season!  As they like to say at North Perry, HARD WORK PAYS OFF!

Another Cell Tower Hearing Report. Awhile ago we posted a comment regarding a second cell tower being proposed at the Trenton Ave fire station.  We were hoping at a minimum they could disguise the tower as a tree so it won’t be so imposing.  We just received the following report from Judith Krigsman  who gave in-depth testimony before the Hearings Examiner, Kim Allan, on November 10th.

I felt that the hearing went very well.  I explained that most neighbors in the immediate vicinity or within the fall zone of a cell tower, can be refused an FHA loan.  That is 26 per cent of all mortgage loans.  HUD has strict guidelines and cell towers are called nuisances and hazards.  This may  affect home values in the area.  This can also make it difficult to sell your home if you need to secure an FHA loan.

The Department of Community Development was not aware of this most serious detail.  Verizon, the cell tower proponent, did not know this either.  Now it will be up to the Hearings Examiner to go through all the facts presented to see if they have merit.

Also, Department of Community Development completely omitted the adjacent property to the south in the proposal, which would be most affected by the 125 ft. monopole.  This family, owners of the 3 ½ acre adjoining parcel, are in jeopardy of losing their home if the tower ever fell.  It appears that sometimes those most affected have such little voice when it comes to these hearings.  That is the great thing about Illahee, neighbors look out for each other and attend these hearings to express their thoughts.

The major issue to this hearing was that Verizon failed to prove that they did an active search for alternative locations in an industrial or commercial  zone, where Kitsap County prefers to locate these facilities according to Kitsap County Codes.

Additionally, Steven Chafee, an Illahee neighbor, came to make testimony at the hearing.  He presented some good facts about cell towers to the examiner and expressed his concerns about the proposed project as a concerned neighbor.

Stayed tuned for the outcome and although it is hard to make change, the voice is a powerful thing!

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you a great Thanksgiving!

Jim Aho