>Good Attendance. Considering the prediction of snow, it was good to see the chairs filled at the Illahee Community meeting on Wednesday (2/23/11), and to realize the 12 signs placed throughout the community continue to inform residents who are not on Illahee’s email lists.
Thanks to Eric Baker. The community needs to especially thank Eric Baker, Kitsap County Special Projects Manager, for his knowledgeable and forthright presentation on the issues of the Growth Management Act (GMA), Urban Growth Areas (UGAs), Annexation, and various other related topics. Eric arrived before 6 pm and the questions finally were stopped at 7:30 pm so Eric could depart and residents could decide what direction they wanted to go with the two submitted resolutions.
Timely Decision Needed. When a question was asked when a resolution to the county need to be submitted, Eric responded that it needed to be submitted by Monday, February 28, 2011, for it to get on the county’s docket and be considered this year.
Request to be Removed from the UGA Deleted. Based on the presentation and resulting discussions the community realized they could not be removed from the UGA, and that part of the resolution was eventually deleted. Eric stated that the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) has been clear that Rural densities can only go down to 1 dwelling unit per 5 acres, and Illahee clearly does not fit that definition of a rural zoning density.
Greenbelt Zoning Urban? Eric said that Illahee’s Greenbelt zoning density of 1-4 dwelling units per acre (or dua) is an ‘urban’ density even though the community has argued for years that the natural features, or critical areas in Illahee, do not support the higher zoning densities of 5-9 dua which were put in place in 1998 and still remain in some parts of Illahee. Some in the community felt the 1-4 dwelling units per acre was a more rural type of zoning, evidently remembering that for years Illahee was zoned ‘semi-rural’, that was until the Growth Management Act changed things.
Illahee Cannot Be Removed From the UGA! The bottom line for this part of the discussion was that Illahee cannot be removed from the Urban Growth Area because it already has urban densities, whether they are Greenbelt or the higher densities of 5-9 dua. This was a big disappointment for a number of attendees.
What Can Be Done? No one knows what can actually be done and what is possible unless a request is made to Kitsap County.
Request to County. What was decided is to submit a request to the county to “Establish Illahee (or portions thereof) as a Greenbelt.” We received a copy of the resolution late this afternoon and have attached it – the link is below this paragraph. It was signed and submitted to Kitsap County on Thursday (2/24/11) afternoon.
Annexation Discussions. Just some brief comments regarding the annexation discussions. Annexations normally require providing urban level services, but there is little money available to do so at the county or the cities, so they are dependent on developers. Annexation also depends on whether you are Tier 1 (population density and services), Tier 2 (density or services), or Tier 3 (open land). Most of Illahee has low density and few services, so it would not be a top priority for annexation.
Annexation Methods. Eric presented the various annexation methods, none of which seem threatening to Illahee at this time.
Bremerton’s Annexation Plan? Eric suggested we talk with the City of Bremerton’s Planning Department head to see how they view the Illahee area that is in the East Bremerton UGA.
Interesting Comment Heard. We heard the following comment at the meeting that we found fascinating, though we are probably not quoting it exactly: The Illahee Greenbelt zoning density of 1-4 dwellings per acre is one that has been supported by both the property rights residents and the environmentalists in Illahee as it allows either septic systems or sewers and is a density both groups seem to be able to live with.
Daffodils. We promised we would photograph the first daffodils we saw last week and decided to put in another shot of the first flowers we saw, though this time with some snow around them.
High Tides. The supposedly high tides this week were not excessively high. We have attached a couple of pictures showing the tide at its highest on Tuesday.