Illahee Update 12/10/11 Timbers Edge Foreclosure Sale and Illahee Preserve Open Space Gift?

Many Phone Calls and Emails This Week. We received many emails and phone calls this week regarding a legal notice in Wednesday’s (12/7/11) Kitsap Sun.  The legal section add was a “Notice of Trustee’s Sale” of all five of the Timbers Edge project parcels.  If you don’t still have Wednesday’s paper the notice can be read at this link: We have been trying to figure out what it all means and we are still confused, but thought we should let you know what we have been able determine so far.

Background. The Timbers Edge project has been a concern for many years for Illahee residents since as it was originally planned it would have had some devastating effects on Illahee Creek.  Over the years the project changed some, though it was still a high density, small lot development on the bluffs of Illahee Creek.  It nevertheless was eventually approved by the Kitsap County Hearing Examiner.  When the community appealed to the Shorelines Hearings Board, the appeal was withdrawn when the developer agreed to gift the Open Space areas, roughly 24 acres, to the Port of Illahee (for a possible grant match, which would have the land eventually transferred to the Illahee Preserve).

Next Friday’s Sale? The date, time, and place of the sale is December 16th, at 10 am, outside the main entrance of the Kitsap County Superior Courthouse in Port Orchard.  These are the same type of sales that have had disturbances the last two weeks, see the following link:  “Another Occupy arrest at Kitsap County foreclosure auction”

The Parcels. The Timbers Edge project involved 5 separate parcels of land, which the local community has referred to them as the Avery parcels (2), The Talmo pacels (2), and the Garrison piece, based on who owned them previously.

Avery Homestead. The Avery homestead consisted of two 5 acre parcels that parallel Noble Lane.  We understand that some of the descendants still live in the area and that is about all we know.  It was that 10 acres that had plans for the highest density of homes, about 90 homes on roughly 40′ by 90′ lots.

Talmo Parcels. The Talmo parcels are located just north of the Avery homestead, along the steep banks of Illahee Creek.  They are mostly open space and can only accommodate approximately 8 slightly larger lots, roughly 60′ by 115′.

Garrison Parcel. This is the parcel to the west, which lies along the steep slopes of the South Fork of Illahee Creek, and is also comprised of roughly 60% open space.  This parcel had plans for approximately 18 homes sites averaging roughly 60′ by 100′ in size.

Total Owed is $581,141. According to the notice the “Total Payments and Charges Owed” for the Garrison parcel is $272,224.80, and $308,916.93 for the combined Avery and Talmo parcels, which adds up to $581,141.73.

What Will Happen on Friday? We don’t know what will happen?  We have been asking questions, but we are not getting any real answers.

Questions? We have been asked about what will happen with the 24 acres gifted to the Port?  Some think that a lien against the properties needs to be served, others think that the gifted open space is already part of the property legal works.  We don’t know what to think, so if anyone has any information, we would like to get some answers, or at least a better understanding of what is happening.

Land Trust Purchase? The idea of trying to interest a Land Trust to purchase the Timbers Edge development has been part of a long range plans by Illahee groups (Port, Preserve, & Community).  The Preserve and Port were contacted early on by two Land Trust organizations and had decided to wait until the open space gifting had taken place, since it supposedly was imminent.  They were also waiting for the Illahee film project to complete as it should show all the preservation projects that have gone on in the Preserve and could be used to positively influence the land trusts.

Next Steps? It appears the next step is to wait and see what happens at the sale on Friday 12/16/11.  Hopefully the person or group purchasing the properties will be willing to work with the community or a land trust to purchase these properties.  One of the suggestions made this week was to see if the community could raise $308,916 to purchase the largest group of properties.  They thought if there were 31 people willing to contribute $10,000 each that it could be done.  While that seemed like a very unlikely prospect to us, there were a few who were willing and able to contribute.

Community/Preserve Awareness. We have been asked to let people know what is happening on these issues, and while we don’t know as much as we would like, we decided it is time to pass the information on since the sale is this coming Friday.

Comments? We would like to know your thoughts and comments, and any expertise you might have to better understand what might happen and if there are any options out there for the Preserve and the Community.

Jim Aho