>Results of Wed Annexation Meeting 2-24-11

>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.

Other Comments on the Meeting?  Please let us and others know your thoughts regarding Wednesday’s meeting by commenting on our website http://illaheecommunity.blogspot.com/, or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Illahee?ref=ts.  This update will be posted within 24 hours of it being sent out.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous – 2-21/11


Illahee Preserve Downed Trees.  Recent winds have caused a number of trees to come down in the Illahee Preserve, with some of them blocking trails.  Several Illahee Preserve volunteers have gone through the county’s chain saw training class and have been doing an amazing job of keeping the trails open.  While walking the trails on Saturday afternoon, after the Saturday morning wind storm, we encountered Jon and Vic (two East Bremerton Rotary volunteers who went through the training) who had just taken care of 14 blocking trees and were starting to work on #15.  These are the type of amazing people we are fortunate to have working in the Preserve, and reinforces again and again that volunteers, and volunteer organizations like the Rotary, can keep a major Kitsap County Heritage Park’s trails open and the Preserve well maintained.  
(For those wondering about the trash bags by the Mutt Mit Station (see attached photo), they were left by the County’s Alternative to Detention crew several weeks ago, and they must have forgotten to call someone to pick them up.)

Power Outage On Saturday.  We received the following photo taken near Illahee State Park showing at least one set of downed power lines that probably caused some of the outage on Saturday morning.

Wednesday’s Library Meeting Sponsor.  Some have wondered about who is sponsoring the “annexation” meeting at the Library on Wednesday at 6:15 pm.  They saw the signs that went up on Saturday and wanted more information.  We received a copy of an email that had a brief explanation of the Illahee Community Club (ICC) that may be helpful:

Illahee Community Club Information:

The Illahee Community Club (ICC) has been in existence since the founding of Illahee, but was reorganized in 2008/2009 to expand its boundary (essentially that of the Port of Illahee) and purposes (to support restoration and preservation).  The Club is now a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity with contributions tax deductible, as allowed by law.  Yearly dues for voting members are $10 per family.  Lifetime memberships are granted for those who support the ICC with gifts over $100.  There are currently ~175 voting members. 

The purposes of the Illahee Community Club are:
·         To restore, preserve, and maintain the Illahee community as an historic, scenic, and culturally significant area.
·         To combat community deterioration through remedial actions such as elimination of fecal coliform and storm water pollution.
·         To restore and preserve the Illahee area of Puget Sound, including freshwater, wetlands, floodplains, estuary, nearshore, marine, and upland habitats for the benefit and education of the general public.
·         To restore and preserve the following items adversely impacting the Illahee Creek Watershed as delineated in the Department of Ecology / Port of Illahee funded Parametrix Report, “Illahee Creek Watershed Surface Water Management Plan,” which are:
Surface Water Runoff, Landslides, Reduced Aquifer Recharge, Water Quality, Functionality of Illahee Creek Culvert, Degraded Salmonid Habitat.
·         To restore and preserve the natural features of the Illahee area including the Illahee Preserve (a Kitsap County Heritage Park), Illahee State Park, and area wildlife and habitat for the benefit and education of the general public.
·         To advocate for accomplishment of the goals and objectives in the Illahee Community Plan that support the restoration and preservation of the local Puget Sound area for the benefit and education of the general public.
·         To solicit and obtain financial support for the education, restoration, and preservation of the aforementioned items and other impacts adversely affecting the Illahee area of Puget Sound.
·         To work with private landowners, public water groups, schools, land trusts, government agencies, public and private associations, businesses, service groups, foundations, Indian tribes, and others to accomplish the above purposes.

Pheasant.  We have been trying to get a picture of a roster pheasant in the area that is pretty skittish.  This is the best we can do at this time and appreciate photographers who can capture good poses of these birds.

Gray Squirrels.  Gray squirrels have been steadily moving north through Illahee.  This one showed up this fall and pretty much ate all the chestnuts from our American chestnut tree.  They often displace the native Douglas squirrels and chipmunks, probably by out-competing them for food.  We also saw our first gray squirrel in the Illahee Preserve this winter.  Some think they are coming from the more urbanized areas of Bremerton.

Black Turnstone.  These are small shore birds we noticed just south of the Illahee Community Dock.  We included a picture with a pigeon in it to give you an idea just how small these birds are.

Spring Flowers.  We took the pictures of flowers on Friday and have noticed more flowers blooming each day, including a bunch of daffodils today (Monday).  We didn’t have our camera today, so those pictures will come later.  We also noticed the Canada Geese have paired up, another sign that Spring is nearly here.

Jim Aho

>High Tides&Annexation Issues – 2-17-11

>Weekend High Tides.  This is the second round of high tides this year with the next 5 days being 13.0 and above.  The times are early in the morning beginning on Friday (2/18) at 5:15 am, Saturday (2/19) at 5:44 am, Sunday (2/20) at 6:16 am, Monday (2/21) at 6:49 am, and Tuesday (2/22) at 7:25 am, so there may not be much daylight until Monday and Tuesday.  We are getting our information from the tide chart put out by the shipyard for Bremerton, Sinclair Inlet, and Port Orchard so what we actually observe in Illahee could be a few minutes off. 

Two Annexation Positions.  We understand there are two draft resolutions floating around regarding ANNEXATION worries.  This is a subject that has been discussed by a number of board members and there appear to be two different positions:  (1) Annexation is a threat and a concern that needs to be addressed now, and (2) Annexation is not a threat so why waste  your time on the issue.

Annexation Discussion at Illahee Meeting.  We found out today that ANNEXATION discussions will be the primary topic for the Illahee Community meeting on Feb 23rd at the Library beginning at 6:15 pm.  Evidently there are enough questions regarding the issues that some expert responses are needed to decide which side is right.

County Expert to Speak.  Eric Baker is the county’s Special Projects Manager for the Kitsap County Commissioners and is one of the most knowledgeable experts at the county with respect to the Growth Management Act (GMA), the various Urban Growth Areas (UGA), and the issues related to annexation.  Josh Brown, our County Commissioner, has asked Eric to attend our February 23rd meeting to discuss these issues and to try and answer any questions we might have.

Two Draft Resolutions.  We have been asked to send out the two draft resolution documents as “Discussion Papers.”  We normally try to keep these Updates rather brief so we have decided to include them both as a file attachment – please click on the links.

Discussion Paper Option 1 Summary.  The first discussion paper is a one page resolution entitled “Resolution to Remove Illahee from the Urban Growth Area (UGA)” and basically states that Illahee is “…primarily natural resource lands, geological features, and recreational lands that greatly impede urban levels of development and supporting infrastructure..” and therefor not suitable for the higher density development levels for UGAs.  It references the various reasons Illahee should be excluded from the UGA and requests the current Illahee Greenbelt zoning (1-4 dwelling units per acre) be applied to the entire community.   DISCUSSION PAPER OPTION 1 LINK

Discussion Paper Option 2 Summary.  This discussion paper is very similar to Option 1, but is a two page resolution entitled “Resolution to Establish Illahee (or portions thereof) as a Greenbelt, and A Request for the Greenbelt to be Removed from the Urban Growth Area.”  This paper presents many of the same arguments of Option 1, but rather than requesting all of Illahee be designated as Illahee Greenbelt, requests only those areas “… where urban zoning is inappropriate, including the shoreline uplands north of the current Illahee Greenbelt.”  The paper notes that “…. Illahee has shoreline areas mostly in a natural state that have an incompatible upland urban zoning of 5-9 dwelling units per acre.”   DISCUSSION PAPER OPTION 2 LINK

Our Thoughts.  We are intrigued the greenbelt issue is in both options and have heard greenbelts have been used by other counties to protect critical and environmentally sensitive areas.  We don’t know whether having a greenbelt classification is enough of a justification to remove it from an urban growth area.  On the other hand, since greenbelts do not support urban levels of growth, it makes sense to removed them from the urban growth area.

Your Thoughts.  We have been asked to put the two discussion paper options out for your consideration and to help facilitate discussions at the community meeting next Wednesday.  We would also like to know your thoughts, which you can send to us, or respond to the Illahee Community blogsite, or on Facebook.

Jim Aho

>Wildlife Report – 2-4-1

>5 Orcas Sighted in Illahee.  The orcas were sighted this afternoon (2/4/11) traveling north through Illahee at 4:20 pm.  There were 5 of them this time with one being much smaller, so it probably was a young one.  We received the call when they were right out in front, but didn’t answer the phone since we were on another call, so we missed getting any videos.  The next time our neighbors call we will be sure to answer right away.

Sapsuckers.  We have an apple tree with what looks like a series of 1/4 inch diameter holes methodically drilled into the trunk.  We thought it was a bug or beetle infestation at first and then found out is was caused by a woodpecker called a sapsucker.  We never did see the sapsucker in action on our apple tree so when we got the next report it helped us see the connection.

Illahee Preserve Sapsucker.  We received the attached photo that was taken last Sunday by Vic Ulsh in the Illahee Preserve of a Red Breasted Sapsucker.  Vic gave a report on the Preserve that included the following:

I noted a red breasted sapsucker on a tree near the Almira parking lot.  See attached photo.  From recent observations it appears we have a pair of hairy woodpeckers and at least one red breasted sapsucker living near the Almira parking lot.  Check out the telltale sapsucker holes in the bark. 
Blog and Facebook Reminder.  All updates are now posted on our blog within 24 hours of being e-mailed.  If you have comments, please visit the blog and leave your comments at the end of the post.  It’s a great way to generate a public discussion. You can post anonymously if you choose.  Also, please visit and “Like” our Facebook page, and be sure to suggest it to your Facebook friends.  We are actively trying to increase our exposure in the community through social media and we need your help!
The link for the Facebook page is:  http://www.facebook.com/Illahee
The link for the blog is:  http://illaheecommunity.blogspot.com/
Blog Site Comments.  There haven’t been many comments on the blog site, but if they are like me this is something I am not very comfortable with yet.  I did respond to a comment recently and have attached the three comments that were at the bottom of the blog, which I have copied below:


Anonymous said…
Annexation to Bremerton is NOT what I want, or to Silverdale or any other city. I thought the reason for creating a Community Plan was to preclude that possibility. THE POSSIBILITY OF THE ANNEXATION OF ILLAHEE IS NOT GOOD NEWS! Glad someone from Illahee is concerned, and yes, talk about this at the community meeting.
Jim Aho said…
In response to Anonymous,I never thought we had to worry about annexation once we had our subarea plan, i.e., the Illahee Community Plan, but after hearing the the GMA required annexation by 2025 or 2030 for anyone within an Urban Growth Area, I am now concerned and think we need to further protect ourselves. It seems to me that much has changed in Illahee since 1998 when Illahee was first designated to be in the Urban Growth Area, and now we have a small window of opportunity open whereby we might be able to convince the county, and the Growth Management Hearings Board, that Illahee is indeed mostly rural with unique features that inhibit or prevent urban buildout and urban densities. If there ever was a time to try and get out from under the urban designation label, now seems to be it. I also would like to see this discussed at the Illahee Community meeting and voted upon, so we can get things moving and possibly approved by the end of this year.Jim Aho
Anonymous said…
Does anyone else ever comment on these blogs other than me, Mr. Anonymous, and Mr. Aho?

Illahee Community Meeting 2/23/11.  There will be an Illahee Community meeting on February 23rd at the Library on Sylvan Way at either 6 pm or 6:30 pm.  We heard they were trying to find a speaker to talk about the Growth Management Act, Urban Growth Areas, and annexation.  We will let you know when we find out what the agenda will be.
Jim Aho

>Squid, Theft, KRCC Report – 1-31-11

>Squid Fishermen.  Just about every evening during the winter months squid fisherman can be seen at the Illahee community dock jigging their lures, such as we photographed here on a cold winters night.  We like to check in with them every so often to see what they are catching, and to see if they have caught anything unusual (one time someone caught a nice mackerel and didn’t want it so we took it home and ate it).  That question regarding unusual catches is when we found out about someone catching a lobster which we will describe in a future Update.  

Larger Squid.  On Monday evening (1/31/11) we noticed one squid in a bucket that was twice the size of any of the others, and asked if we could take some pictures.  After a couple of camera flashes along with lying on the dark decking, the squid quickly changed colors to suit its surrounding, which can be seen by comparing the two photos.

Forage Fish Report.  The other interesting news is that they have also snagged some of our primary forage fish while squidding, which are herring, smelt, and sand lance (candle fish).  (Forage fish are small fish that are preyed on by larger fish.)  While these forage fish are not seen in the numbers of decades earlier, it is encouraging to know they are still around.  If it wasn’t for these fishermen’s reports, most of us wouldn’t be aware that these forage fish are using our nearshore and shoreline areas in Illahee.

Illahee Preserve Rain Garden Thefts.  While getting ready for Saturday’s work party at the Illahee Preserve, we noticed that 3 logs and a rock had been taken from the rain garden.  We have attached a photo that shows where the rock and one log were.  This is disappointing as it takes lots of volunteer coordination and volunteer work to make the Preserve and the Rain Garden special and some are wondering if we can install a video camera to cover the parking lot.  If anyone has any ideas or expertise in this area, please let us know.

KRCC Public Meeting Report.  We saw at least 4 Illahee residents at the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council public hearing regarding the Countywide Planning Policy document.  One of the most interesting presentations showed a graph of the projected populations used to determine the urban growth boundaries in the county, and how the actual population figures are coming in at about half the projections.  We don’t have all the facts, but understand that is why either the courts or the Growth Management Hearings Board are asking the county to take a second look.  The link to the Kitsap Sun coverage of the meeting is:  http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/jan/28/tribal-members-speak-out-against-large-scale-in/

Community Input.  Two residents testified during the public hearing and we received two comments that were emailed to the KRCC, which we have attached below:

Thank you for allowing public comment to the “Kitsap Countywide Planning Policy” draft document proposed by the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council.

I attended the public hearing last evening and I’m not sure I was as clear in my comments as I should have been with my last point.

My concern is with the wording changes in the document that tightened the language by replacing “should” with “shall” when it came to issues such as annexation, and then when it got to Element E (which looks at open space preservation, critical areas, and water quality/quantity), the language was loosened by replacing “shall” with “should“.

After hearing the testimony about the importance of natural resources and open space, etc, I don’t know how you can not change this wording back to “shall“.  

Additionally, I would state that current science has more than ever supported the necessity to preserve and protect critical areas and resource lands, such as critical aquifers.  We know that the Kitsap Peninsula is for the most part hydrogeologically self contained, that our ground water comes from precipitation, and that some areas, such as Illahee, are at water balance, meaning we are withdrawing and supporting stream flow with what is already being infiltrated.  The implications of this fact alone are staggering.

If you really believe that “Water is a Resource” then your wording in this county wide planning document needs to support that policy.

Thank you for considering changing the “should” back to “shall“.

Thank you for allowing public comment to the “Kitsap Countywide Planning Policy” draft document proposed by the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council.

I am requesting that Illahee be considered for withdrawal from the urban growth area that it has been assigned to. A majority of  Illahee is made up of critical areas: steep slopes, canyons, Illahee Creek, state park and Kitsap County forest preserve, in addition to documented category one aquifer recharge areas. All that is in possible jeopardy if its future is to be annexed to a city.  Under GMA and the definition of UGAs, it clearly spell out the incompatibility of urban growth and protection of important aquifers. Given that population projections have been exaggerated in the establishment of UGAs here in the county, it makes sense for a rural entity such as Illahee  be withdrawn from the UGA.

Your Thoughts?  Let us know how you feel on the issue of annexation, which is what is being proposed as a “shall” in the Countywide Planning Policy document.  

Community Meeting Discussion Item?  We would like to suggest this be a discussion item at the next Illahee Community meeting that has just been scheduled for February 23, 2011 at 6:30pm at the Sylvan Way Library.

Jim Aho

>Year End Gifts&More Brush Picking Response – 12/29/10

>Year End Gifts?  We have been asked to provide the addresses for the non-profits (501.c.3 organizations) supporting the Illahee Preserve and also the Illahee Community for those interested in supporting them with tax deductible year end gifts.   Letters need to be post marked not later than Friday (12/31/10) for them to be considered for 2010.  The addresses are:

Illahee Forest Preserve (501.c.3)
% Don Jahaske, Treasurer
P.O. Box 3047
Bremerton, WA  98310

Illahee Community Club (501.c.3)
P.O. Box 2563
Bremerton, WA  98310

More Brush Picking Responses.  More responses to the brush picking problem came in shortly after we sent out our Update.
I would like to walk thru the forest with my dog,but now that these people are being confronted-it is possible that I may encounter problems and am now fearful of harm that may occur. I think the police and or some other official needs to step up for public safety. Why clean up a forest area for the public if the public may be in danger using it?

I have a good friend who grew up here who has told me many times about brush picking in our general neighborhood as a boy.  I have seen postings about needs for money to meet your needs.  Might I suggest that an alternative that you folks learn from DNR how they go about leasing the right to pick.

Someone asked what they are doing with what you call “Brush Picking”
In my past career I worked in the floral industry for 30 years.  15 of those years were in the wholesale floral industry as a buyer of foliage and flowers to sell to florist.  It is most likely that these Hispanic people are picking leather leaf fern, huckleberry, and salal (Can’t remember how to spell this) or lemon leaf to sell to the floral wholesale houses in Belfair and Tacoma.  It is most likely that the vans dropping these people off are with one of these wholesale houses.  I would give the wholesale houses a call and let them know that you are having a problem with pickers picking illegally in the Illahee preserve park.  This will also give them heads up that some of the product they are purchasing is Illegal and to not buy the product from them.  The Hispanic people are not aware of the concept of private forest areas.  And yes, most of these Hispanic workers are straight out of Mexico or Honduras and speak little English.  I am from California and have worked with the Hispanic people, who come to America in hopes of a better life, for many years in the Watsonville and Salinas Valley.

Seems like the signs need to go high up on trees. Absolutely nasty to rip them down and then haul them away. Maybe the next step is trail names written into wet concrete poured into the paths
More reason to have more presence in the park by folks that would be concerned, such as the horse riders.
Unless the legal system pushes you probably will not have success with the Hispanic pickers. Know anyone in ICE?

I just wanted to let you know that I have come across a brush picker (one male) on two separate occasions in the forest. I walk my two golden retrievers almost every day along the outer rim trail (eastern most trail) and have been started by this man. The first time I saw him, my dogs alerted me to his presence and he hid behind a tree. Yesterday when I was walking, I saw him picking salal and he didn’t even try to hide. I know that brush picking is illegal in our forest without a permit, and as I did not inquire whether he had obtained the proper permitting, I was unsure as to what I should do. I must say, as I often walk my dogs alone in the forest, it is a bit unnerving to have such encounters. Any advice as to what I (we) should do if this happens again?

No Official Advice Yet.  In response to the previous email — we have not received any official advice yet from Parks or the Sheriff’s dept.  Also, it is illegal to brush pick in the Preserve and as such there are no brush picking permits.  We will let you know as soon as we receive any official information or advice on this issue.

Jim Aho

>Emergency Culvert Clean-out Completed – 12/23/10

>Emergency Culvert Cleanout.  The Illahee Creek culvert under Illahee Road received an emergency clean-out on Tuesday (12/21/10).

What Was The Emergency?  We have been asked “What was the emergency?” and as stated in the request from the county it was excessive sedimentation in the culvert that posed a safety problem and a threat to private property.  The problem is the culvert continues to fill with sediment and has local residents and the county concerned that at some point it could fail and possibly washout the road, the safety issue.

What Was Done?  At the downstream end of the culvert an excavator dug out a large hole (we estimate it was about 12 feet wide, and went downstream about 15 feet and into the culvert about 7 feet, and went down about 6 feet) which would contain about 60 yards of sediment.  We counted 10 truck loads, each containing about 6 yards, which also would equate to 60 yards of sediment removed.

Will It Help?  The real question is will it help?  It should help some in the short term, that is, until the next big storm.  The problem is the continual need to dredge is a maintenance headache and not the ultimate solution (which is to correct the upstream surges that bring down the sediment).

Future Culvert Meeting?  The Illahee Community Club (ICC) has asked for a meeting with county representatives to discuss the culvert situation and the public works has agreed, though they would also like to see if the golf course gifting will go through, as that is the logical place to stop the surges.  We will ask the ICC and the county when such a meeting might take place.

Culvert Photos.  We have same pictures of the excavation and the culvert before the clean-out and during the clean-out, and when the current 0.6 inches of rain, which has filled the stream and is putting brown silt laden water out into Puget Sound stops, we will take some photos and measurements, to see it the clean-out has begun to work.

Jim Aho

>Shoreline Issues – 12/22/10


3 Plus Miles of Shorelines in Illahee.  The Illahee Community has just over 3 miles of shoreline that runs from the north end of the Cheney Estates (or 30th Street) to University Point (see attached).

Changes Coming?  Kitsap County is currently in the middle of an effort to update their Shoreline Master Program (SMP), which is required by the State and is being funded by the Department of Ecology.  The update will effect communities and the shorelines of the county and will most likely affect the Illahee community.

“No Net Loss” Requirement.  One of the requirements of the state is that the county’s SMP have the goal that there be “no net loss” of ecological functions.  This is one of the goals the Task Force (established to help advise the county) is working on, and will soon be looking at shoreline classifications.

Current Illahee SMP Classifications.  The current classifications of the shorelines in Illahee ranges from Conservancy to Rural to Semi-Rural (see second attachment). 

Task Force Meetings.  Monthly SMP Task Force meeting have been going on for some time and they will reportedly start discussing whether the current shoreline classifications should be changed.

Shoreline Inventory First.  Before the Task Force can start on classifications a Shoreline Inventory and Characterization (I&C) Report had to be submitted to the Planning Commission for its approval.  The I&C is a new product for the SMP and some have questioned both its intent and supposed lack of breadth (see link to Kitsap Sun article in a following paragraph).

I&C Report Size.  The I&C report covers all the marine beaches of Kitsap County by drift cell and further breakdowns the drift cells into “Nearshore Assessment Units” or NAUs    In other words a drift cell may have many AUs.  For example Illahee is part of drift cell 56, which runs from Manette to University Point (5.69 miles), and contains 17 NAUs.  With 228 miles of shorelines in Kitsap County the report is a massive nearly 500 pages.  The I&C report can be found online at the county’s SMP website:  http://www.kitsapshoreline.org

Planning Commission Public Hearing.  The Planning Commission had a public hearing on the Inventory and Characterization (I&C) report on December 7, 2010 and is taking written comments until January 4, 2011.  The Kitsap Sun covered the meeting and the article can be read by clicking on the following link:  http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/dec/08/planning-commissioners-scrutinize-first-document/

Our Thoughts.  We have been part of the Task Force and also attended the public hearing.  Since the process is ongoing we are waiting to learn more and are reluctant to say much until we have completed the process and we have all the facts.  We do have some thoughts on the Inventory and Characterization report.  As with any new product it is a work in progress.  It is easy to document where the bulkheads, boat ramps, piers and floats are.  It is more difficult to document the biological diversity and ecological functions of shorelines, not to mention those beaches that are degraded or impaired.  In other words, there haven’t been many studies that look at our individual beaches for the biological and ecological processes that are going on.  And further, the shoreline area is defined as 200′ upland and 1000′ waterward (intertidal), for a total of 1200′ to be considered.  The I&C Report, nevertheless is a starting point, for looking at individual stretches of the shoreline.

What Next for Illahee?  We know we have at least two major degraded or impaired shoreline areas according to residents, due to stormwater runoff problems.  The Rue Villa beaches and the Illahee Creek area beaches have had excessive sedimentation from stormwater surges that have fouled local beaches and shellfish beds.  Only the community residents who have seen the ‘before and after’ differences can really note the damage.  Those long time residents need to be interviewed and the impaired areas need to be mapped so they can be included somewhere in the I&C Report.

SMP Presentation at Illahee Community Meeting.  Some who attended the Illahee Community meeting, where the county gave a presentation of the SMP Udate process, probably have a better understanding of what is going on.  This is a long process and the issues are extremely complex.  The county does have a good website where all this informaiton resides (which was noted earlier).  We anticipate there will be other area or community meetings where more information regarding shoreline classifications will be presented. 

Submit Comments on I&C Report.  In the meantime, it would be good for the Planning Commission to hear your comments regarding the I&C Report.  This is important because the document establishes the baseline for the “no net loss of ecological functions” requirement of the state.  

Jim Aho

>Illahee Meeting on Monday (11/29/10) at 6:15 pm – 11/27/10

>Meeting Signs Up in Illahee.  There are 10 signs up around the Illahee Community, though there are usually a few more that were lost.  If your neighborhood needs a sign, please let us know and we will contact the Illahee Community Club.

Meeting is at the Port of Illahee’s New Office.  The Port of Illahee meeting place is at 5560 Ocean View Blvd, which is a block up Ocean View from Illahee Road, near the Illahee community dock.

Time is 6:15 pm.  We were initially told the meeting would be at 6:30 pm so we asked “why the change?”  Seems the evening meetings at the library were always at 6:15 pm because they closed at 8 pm, and all the signs already had 6:15 pm on them, so that is what it now is.

Agenda.  We also found out that the agenda will include a summary presentation of 16 Illahee projects that are either currently going on or are being proposed, including Rolling Hills Golf Course, Timbers Edge, the Illahee Preserve, and Illahee Creek.  We were amazed at the number of Illahee projects and think this a presentation of interest to all residents.

Tight Meeting Room.  We have been asked to advise residents that the meeting room is smaller than the library’s, so it may be a little tight.  There are some bringing extra chairs to add to those that are already there.

Questions?  We think we will be able to answer any questions regarding this meeting so if you have any give us a call at 479-1049.

Jim Aho

>Wildlife&Miscellaneous – 11/21/10


Chipmunks.  We know there are a number of Illahee residents who have chipmunks in their yards.  We snapped a photo of one during a recent walk.  

Deer.  We heard about a big 4 point buck that got hit and killed on McWilliams last week.  The county hauls dead deer away if they are aware of them.  In past years there are usually 2 or 3 local deer, that we know of, that get hit by cars during the rutting season.

More Wildlife Comments Soon.  We realize that we need to report on some pressing matters and will continue later with more wildlife photos and information.

Illahee Creek Culvert.  Of concern to many in Illahee is the status of the Illahee Creek Culvert.  It has filled to a point where a major storm could cause major problems and possibly wash out the culvert and road.  We took a couple of photos this week to give you an idea just how much sediment has accumulated.  This is one of the possible agenda items that could be brought up at the upcoming Illahee Community Club (ICC) meeting.

ICC Quarterly Meeting 11/29/10.  The Illahee Community Club (ICC) has scheduled its quarterly meeting for next Monday evening (11/29/10) at the Port of Illahee’s meeting room at 5560 Ocean View Blvd from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.  They were unable to find available times at the library and are thankful that the Port of Illahee has a place within the community where they can meet, though it may be a little crowded (it is a big room but not as big as the library meeting room) and there are currently not enough chairs (if anyone knows where they can get some folding or stacking chairs, the ICC would like to talk with you).  Parking is also limited and people will probably need to park at the Illahee store or along Madrona.  We  will send out a reminder of this meeting and hopefully an agenda later in the week.

Saturday’s Preserve Work Party.  We really should have let people know about the amazing work party the East Bremerton Rotary scheduled this past Saturday (11/20/10) but we knew it was going to be big and didn’t want to flood the area with too many people.  We aren’t exactly sure how they do it, but they keep getting bigger work parties each time they schedule an event.  So how big was this event?  If you count just the people who signed in there were 32 from the aircraft carrier John C Stennis, 14 from Naval Base Kitsap, 19 from the East Bremerton Rotary, and 8 from the Illahee Community, which totals 73.  We have attached a group photo that was taken at the end of those who were still there.  

Piles of Wood Chips Moved.  Over the past 5 months tree companies have been dumping chips at the Preserve.  When they filled the normal chip delivery area, they started dumping them in the parking lot, and we had to move some as it is an offense to block the handicapped parking areas.  The goal was to get rid of all those chips by placing them on the trails and around the parking lot, which they did.  See the picture of them loading chips and then realize the group photo was taken were the chips were previously.

Dedication Comments.  We have been told a number of times about how those who attended the Illahee Preserve dedication (on October 26th) enjoyed it in spite of the rainy weather.  We were also told that the dedication was so special for one family that they donated $500 to the Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP), which is the support non-profit group for the Illahee Preserve.  It was the IFP that paid to have the dedication rock moved into place, and paid for the dedication plaque and installation.  If any others are interested in contributing, the IFP is a 501.c.3 non-profit corporation and gifts are tax deductible, as allowed by law, as is the Illahee Community Club, PO Box 2563, Bremerton, WA 98310.

Volunteer Supported.  We should note that the Illahee Preserve is a Kitsap County Heritage Park that is an experiment in which primarily volunteers plan, support and maintain the Preserve.  This is possible because of the support of the East Bremerton Rotary, who not only supports with work parties, but also has paid for the signs at Thompson Lane and the Almira parking lot; along with support from the IFP, the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee, the Illahee Community Club, the Illahee Community, and the Port of Illahee.   The experiment is working as more and more volunteers show up to help and support the Preserve.  Thanks to all involved!!!

Jim Aho