Illahee 6/21/12 Preserve Meadow Restoration, Sign Vandalism, TE Meeting Report

Preserve Meadow Restoration.  Last Sunday afternoon (6/17/12) we received a call that the tractor doing the ground preparation for the Compass Circle Meadow Restoration Project had been fixed and they were already at the Preserve finishing the dirt work.  By the time we arrived they had finished their efforts and the area was ready for the finish raking.  Several people responded that evening and the next morning and by noon the next day the entire meadow area had been planted with the grass seed supplied by the Oregon State University.  After waiting for months for everything to come together, it all happened in less than 24 hours.  Thanks to Doug O’Donnell of the East Bremerton Rotary and Dave his helper for their two trips to the Preserve and for persevering after their tractor broke down during the first trip!  The photo above shows the meadow area after the contouring and raking.  Now we just hope the planted turf grass seed germinates and prospers.  And, we should note, in the worked up soft soil there were deer tracks as there were concerns the deer had left for quieter areas of the Preserve.

Sign Vandalism.  It is sad to report vandalism in the Preserve, especially to signs that were put in as part of Eagle Scout projects.  Both of these incidents occurred about the same time and nearby each site were the same brand of discarded beer cans.
TE Meeting Report.  Lots of folks have been curious about what happened at the Timbers Edge meeting on Monday evening so we need to get out this report.  Attorney Ryan Vancil presented the situation that would make it possible for the community to acquire the Timbers Edge properties.  He noted there is a willing seller, Jim James, who would like to sell the development and would sell it to the community.  He noted because of the economy the development is stalled which is why it is available.  And he noted that if the community is interested in seeing a different outcome than the presently approved development, there are some creative opportunities available.  He gave an example of a community on Bainbridge Island that worked out to everyone’s benefit.  It all starts with a willing community to be involved in working together to make it happen.  

Questions?  There was a long question and answer period with a common theme that residents wanted a lower density development and how that could be obtained.  There was also a question whether the 5 acre piece of property that was the Avery Homestead could be a local park.  Others said some portions of the 15 acres would be a natural addition to the Illahee Preserve.  But, before anything can get started some background work needs to be done, such as getting an assessment or appraisal or value of the TE development.  One of the residents asked if we should also be talking with Mr. Tallman, who evidently is holding the notes for the properties.   

A Willing Community?  At the end of the meeting residents were asked if they were interested in pursuing and possibly purchasing the TE development.  The response was nearly unanimous to proceed and begin with obtaining the necessary background information.  The issue will be discussed further on Tuesday evening when the Illahee Forest Preserve holds their monthly meeting.  This will also be a discussion item for the IllaheeCommunity.Com (ICC) non-profit group (formally the Illahee Community Club).  

More Details to Follow.  There are many details that will need to be worked out before anything will be ready to move forward.  We were intrigued by the creative options presented by Mr. Vancil and want to learn more before reporting on them.  We, like others in attendance, felt that this just might work out for the good of the community and the Illahee Preserve, and is definitely worth checking it out.  

Jim Aho

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