Illahee 12/15/14 Timbers Edge Campaign, Area Map, Scientific Studies, Unique Opportunity, Brief TE History, The Property, Nine Month Reprieve, Half Price Purchase?, Why Contribute?, What If Funding Is Not Raised?, Donor Wall, How To Contribute?, Thoughts of Comments?

Campaign to Purchase Timbers Edge.  We have been following this story and waiting to report on it.  We heard copies of the map below and the information that follows went to a printer today.  We also heard that while there is a ‘handshake agreement’, an Options Agreement has not been signed.  Never-the-less, because of some contributors wanting to give end of year gifts, they needed to get the information out. 

Area Map.  The map below shows the Timbers Edge properties and their relationship to the Illahee Preserve and Illahee Creek.

contributions-map-20141208 (1) 

Scientific Studies.  Past experience with Timbers Edge found the local community mostly united, with some outsiders thinking the community was against any development.  The consensus of those who studied the issues and reviewed the scientific studies have basically agreed with the community that this is not a good site for a high density development. 

The Document.  Below, in italics, is a copy of the “Campaign to Purchase Timbers Edge” document. 

Unique Opportunity.  We have a unique opportunity to save and preserve some of the most sensitive natural features in one of the most populated areas in the county.  The target of the campaign is the 36 acre Timbers Edge (TE) development adjacent to the Illahee Preserve and Illahee Creek.

Brief TE History.  The development, consisting of mostly small lots (40’ by 90’), was fought by the community (opposed by more than 700 residents), but approved by the Hearing Examiner. A bankruptcy ensued several years later, with the new owner planning to either sell or develop the property. 

The Property.  The 36 acre property consists mainly of forested plateau and sloped riparian areas that abut Illahee Creek.  On the east end of the property is the site of the four acre Avery Homestead.  The map (shown above)  shows how critical the property is to the Illahee Preserve, the watershed, wildlife corridors, and proposed trails between the Preserve, Puget Sound, and Illahee State Park. 

Nine Month Reprieve.  The current owner and developer understand the impacts their plans pose to the future of the Illahee Preserve and the community, and have agreed to give the Illahee Forest Preserve and the Illahee Community groups a nine month reprieve to raise the funds.  Otherwise the project will go forward with 87 homes.  The deadline for purchase is August 15, 2015. 

Half Price Purchase? The property purchase price is $1,700,000 with the property owner agreeing to contribute $500,000.  Additionally a trust representative was approached and may substantially contribute, with the total of these representing roughly half of the purchase price. Other organizations, trusts, foundations, businesses, and interested individuals like you must contribute the remaining $850,000.

Why Contribute?

  • ·         It helps complete the Preserve by connecting critical targeted forest and riparian habitats.
  • ·         It helps maintain the groundwater recharge of the critical Manette aquifer (already impacted).
  • ·         It lessens further storm water impacts to Illahee Creek, the Illahee Road culvert, and Puget Sound.
  • ·         It insures base flows in Illahee Creek affecting salmonids are not further degraded.
  • ·         It is a recommendation of the 2008 DOE/Port funded Watershed Management Plan (#Pur-1).
  • ·         It avoids a pressurized sewer main running through Illahee with major cost impacts to residents.
  • ·         It eliminates the small lots and a major traffic concern for residents who live along Fir Drive.

What If Funding Is Not Raised?  If funding is not raised, the Illahee Community and Illahee Forest Preserve groups, having failed this once-in-a-lifetime purchase, have agreed to support the development. 

Donor Wall.  A donor recognition wall is being planned at the Illahee Preserve’s Almira entrance for gifts of $1,000 or more. The goal is for $400,000 to come from major donors and organizations, with the remaining $400,000 from individual gifts of $10,000 (10), $5,000 (20), $2,000 (50) and $1,000 (100). 

 How to Contribute?  Contributions can be made to the Illahee Forest Preserve, 6253 East Blvd, Bremerton, WA 98311 (until a land trust is selected to broker contributions).  Any contribution over $500 and marked ‘For TE Purchase Only’ will be returned if Timbers Edge is not purchased.  The Illahee Forest Preserve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and donations may be tax deductible.  

PLEASE HELP TODAY!  Your support of this critical campaign is greatly appreciated!!!

Campaign Updates:

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 Thoughts or Comments?  Let us know your thoughts or comments.

Jim Aho