Illahee Update 5/23/12 Timbers Edge?, Bargain & Sale Deed Recorded, 21 Acres Secured, Remaining 15 Acre Development for Sale, Timbers Edge Development Impacts, Community Options? Meeting?

Timbers Edge & Kitsap Sun Legal Notices?  One of the most frequent questions we are asked is “What is happening with the Timbers Edge (TE) development?”  For several months in a row there were notices in the legal section of the Kitsap Sun about the impending trustee sale of the properties, and then nothing.  We expect things to pick up again in the paper, now that some of the “open space” property has been finally gifted to the Port of Illahee (a requirement for the developer when the Illahee Community dropped its appeal the the Shorelines Hearings Board).  
Timbers Edge properties are shown in purple.  
This map shows all the approved preliminary plats in Kitsap County.  
This map shows the location of Timbers Edge in Illahee.  

Bargain & Sale Deed Recorded.  Below is the notice we received last Thursday (5/17/12) that the “Bargain & Sale Deed” was finally recorded.  It took a number of months to be officially recorded due to an incomplete description of the properties being gifted, and eventually required a surveying group to determine the correct wording.

Gentlemen – At long last the Bargain and Sale Deed for the Timbers Edge 21 Acres has been recorded.  Recording # 201205170123.  When I get a copy back from Pacific Northwest Title I will send you a copy.  The land is in the hands of the Port, and secured from development.  Earlier development plans for this property included approximately 26 units, roads and a storm water pond to  be built on the “Future Development” tract, and another 6 units with roads on the “Open Space” tract – 32 lots and infrastructure which will never be developed due to the efforts of the Illahee community and the Port.   This land is now on the way to becoming a permanent part of the Illahee Forest Preserve.  


Well done. 

This map shows the original plat.  
This map shows the revised preliminary plat. 
21 Acres Secured.  The development plans for the original 36 acres of property along the steep and unstable banks of Illahee Creek and along the border of the Illahee Preserve have changed for the better over the last 8 years.  The 21 acres just gifted represents primarily riparian open space lands, not suitable for development, and a portion of the property that does not slope advantageously for handling storm water.  The 21 acres represents prime Illahee Creek riparian and wildlife habitat adjacent to the Illahee Preserve.

Remaining 15 Acre Development for Sale?  Now that the 21 acres have been officially removed from the development it is expected the earlier advertised trustee sale will move forward.  We have heard the developer continues to court possible investors in order that the development will be continue, but has also said he would sell it to the Illahee community.  If he is successful with developers we are left with a 15 acre development to deal with (with 10 acres being developed at 9 dwelling units/acre and 5 acres developed at 5 units/acre or 100+ homes).

Timbers Edge Development Impacts?  If the TE development moves forward as planned (and approved by the Hearing Examiner) there will be a number of adverse impacts, some of which are:

     1.  Roughly 100+ homes will be constructed on mostly 40′ by 90′ lots.
     2.  A roughly one mile pressurized sewer line will be run through historic Illahee to the Illahee North pump station.
     3.  Those residents living along the route could be required to hook up to the sewer line (est cost $20K or more) 
     3.  There will be a yet undetermined stormwater impacts.
     4.  There will be a yet undetermined aquifer impacts.
     5.  There will be a significant traffic impacts along Fir Drive.

Previous Efforts?  We have been asked about previous attempts to find funding with land trusts, grants, and the like.  All those previous efforts have failed, for a variety of reasons.  

Meeting to Discuss Other Options?  While earlier efforts to find a way to purchase the TE development have failed, we have been requested to have a meeting to discuss the situation and explore other possible options.  We have been in contact with attorney Ryan Vancil, who has represented the Illahee community groups through the TE proceedings, and he has consented to discuss other options with the community.  A number of residents have expressed interest in such a meeting so we will next try to contact other groups, such as the Illahee Community group, the Illahee Forest Preserve, the Port of Illahee, and other concerned residents and citizens in Kitsap County.

Still Supportive?  Many are wondering how long this project has gone on, and it appears it first started in 2004 and resulted in financial support from the beginning (with yearly contributions from residents averaging roughly $10,000 a year for many years).  Those who are still interested in seeing this through to the end say that this may be the opportunity we have been waiting for as there are some interesting possibilities:

     1.  Develop the area at a lower density with septic systems (a request that was made early on that was acceptable to the nearby residents and would have eliminated any community legal challenge).
     2.  Develop the old Avery homestead parcel (5 acres) at a lower density with septic systems and eventually sell the remaining forested parcels to the Illahee Preserve
     3.  Find a buyer for the old Avery homestead parcel who wants a small farm and eventually sell the forested area to the Illahee Preserve.
     4.  Solicit funding to purchase all the TE parcels for the Illahee Preserve.

Meeting Notice Later.  We will notify the community and interested parties when a meeting place and time has been scheduled.  In the meantime we would like to know your thoughts on the TE development and what you would like to see happen.

Jim Aho