Eel Grass. When we walked a portion of the Illahee shoreline during last weeks low tides, there were several eel grass beds, which are considered great habitat for a number of marine animals. While eel grass is among the seaweed it is not considered a seaweed, but is an underwater grass that grows in the spring and summer and dies back int he fall and winter. The Department of Ecology has a good website for marine species and we have attached their site for eelgrass for those interested: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/pugetsound/species/eelgrass.html
Illahee Community Board Response to 2012 Remand Options
Whereas Illahee was founded 96 years ago and has maintained its community status and identity, and
Whereas the citizens of Illahee have been active and involved in the governance of its affairs, and
Whereas Illahee was placed in the Urban Growth Area (UGA) during the 1998 Comprehensive Plan Update, when the area between Bremerton and Silverdale was blanket zoned, and
Whereas Illahee has over the last 14 years (after the 1998 placement into the UGA) acquired nearly 600 acres of forest, park and recreational lands for the Illahee Preserve (a Kitsap County Heritage Park), and
Whereas a large portion of the 600 acres of acquired land constituted the primary areas where Illahee’s future growth was projected to take place in 1998, and
Whereas Illahee’s only commercial area with urban services was removed from the community’s recommended sub-area boundary during a review process by the Planning Commission, and
Whereas Illahee is left with primarily natural resource lands, geological features, and recreational lands that greatly impede urban levels of development and supporting infrastructure, and
Whereas Illahee was built out as a rural and later a semi-rural community, and is mostly void of urban features and urban services, such as transportation, sewers, sidewalks, etc (with a few minor exceptions), and
Whereas the Growth Management Act specifically discourages adverse urban growth impacts to vulnerable aquifer recharge areas supporting potable water services and stream base flows (supporting anadromous fish), as is the situation with the Manette aquifer as verified in the Remand’s Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), and
Whereas the Growth Management Hearings Board has remanded the 2006 Comprehensive Plan back to Kitsap County to reconsider the size of its Urban Growth Areas,
We therefore respectfully request you consider the Illahee Community as a prime candidate for the necessary remand reductions and the reductions be considered in the following order of preference:
(1) Alternative 1 (for Central Kitsap and East Bremerton) be adopted along with a rural designation for the area east of Illahee Road to the shoreline and north to University Point (to further protect its sensitive conservancy shoreline), or
(2) Alternative 2 (for Central Kitsap and East Bremerton) be adopted as presented.
Subject: The 2012 Remand
Request you choose Alternative 1 for the Illahee Community (as displayed on the East Bremerton and the Central Kitsap maps) with the addition of a rural connection east of Illahee Road to the shoreline extending south from University Point until it connects with the rural designation at old Illahee.
This request supports the conservancy designation given to the shoreline in the Shoreline Master Program by eliminating the conflicting situation of having a sensitive shoreline bordered by an upland zoning that would put 5-9 homes next to it. The two classifications seem to be at odds with each other and have been an area of contention for many Illahee residents since the Comp Plan Update of 2006.
The request to make the shoreline area rural also eliminates a situation where the Illahee Community could be considered a rural island, which could complicate the providing of county services.
The primary reasons to support of this request are the natural features in Illahee which greatly limit urban densities and increase the costs of development, both to the developers and the county. As two respected developers stated on Monday during the remand hearing, Illahee should not be in an urban growth area.
The final reason, and one that no one wants to talk about, is that the Manette aquifer is currently at water balance, and moreover, it is already impacting Illahee Creek’s ability to support fish, because local wells are decreasing the base flows in the creek. The Illahee community has taken the initiative to have the scientific studies prepared and has had them presented at the Norm Dicks Center. It is time for county to recognize these studies and adjust their planning efforts accordingly, i.e., look at ways to reduce the population projections for Illahee.
Thank you for considering this request to take major portions of Illahee out of the UGA.