>What Happened to the Updates? We have had inquiring about why there have not been any recent Illahee Community Updates, especially in light of the frequency of past reports and the Timbers Edge appeal, that was reported in the Kitsap Sun. The short answer is we have been impacted by a combination of travel, visitors, internet and router problems, and a relocation to put in an oak floor. This Update is being written from a temporary location in the garage.
Illahee Outfall Settlement Statement. We have received a copy of the “Illahee Outfall Settlement Support Statement” that has just been mailed out by the Illahee Community Club (ICC) to a rather lengthy distribution list.
Background. We have not gone back to get all the dates, but we remember being aware of the MT Illahee development plans in 2007. According the “Settlement Agreement” copy we have Kitsap County issued a “Mitigated Determination of Non Significance” or MDNS ruling for the project on October 23, 2007. This was approval for a new 42″ storm water outfall located at the base of the Illahee Community Dock and the storm water system and development of a roadway and 10 lots on Sunrise Terrace, along with planning for a future development along Rest, Olive, and Hardt Streets.
Port & Community Appeals. The Port of Illahee and the Illahee Community Club each appealed the project, only to have the Hearing Examiner deny the appeals.
Appeal to the County Commissioners. The Port and the Community appealed the Hearing Examiner decision to the County Commissioners, only to have Commissioners’ Angel and Bauer deny the appeal on June 9, 2008 (Commissioner Brown supported the appeal).
Appeal to the Shorelines Hearings Board (SHB). The ICC filed an appeal with the SHB on July 7, 2008, feeling the County, the Hearing Examiner, and the two Commissioners did not consider all the facts.
Port Action. In addition the ICC actions, the Port of Illahee had filed a no trespass lawsuit with Kitsap County Superior Court on March 4, 2008 to prevent the developer from cutting into the dock’s foundation to install the new outfall.
Settlement Option. With the pending legal hearings and costs to both sides, ICC members met with one of the developer’s engineers to see if they could come up with a mutually acceptable solution.
Settlement Agreement. The meetings eventually resulted in a “Settlement Agreement” signed by the MT Illahee Corporation, Kitsap County, the Port of Illahee, and the Illahee Community Club.
Agreement Timetable. The timetable of the agreement required revisions to the Shoreline Permit and the storm water system which were recently completed and approved by Kitsap County.
ICC Required Actions. There were several stipulations or requirements for the Illahee Community Club, including completing a “Settlement Statement” and sending it to the ICC email list, posting it on the Illahee Community Website, submitting it to the County, and forwarding it to local papers.
ps Attached is John Lind photo of a tugboat going through Illahee.
Update Frequency. It has been awhile since the last update and the inquiries as to why are continuing. We have been busy with other things and also there has not been any email inputs received that could be passed on, except for some photos and a verbal report on some owl activity. That situation is changing as you will note below.
Grant Report Distributed. The Port of Illahee has distributed the “Illahee Creek Watershed Surface Water Management Plan” that was prepared by Parametrix and funded primarily by the Department of Ecology. We have received a copy of Port distribution letter, and the report itself, and will try to get them to you and on the website soon.
Illahee Outfall Settlement. We also found out the Illahee Community Club has completed a “Settlement Support Statement” letter that describes the benefits of the outfall settlement to the community and to the developer. Once it is signed we will obtain a copy and send it out to all our our email list, which was one of the stipulations of the settlement.
Puget Sound Partnership Reps in Illahee. We have received information that several representatives from the Puget Sound Partnership will be looking at various sites in Kitsap County on Sunday (3/1/09) and one of those sites will be Illahee. They will be meeting at the Illahee Preserve for a quick tour of Illahee and are evidently interested in what is happening with Illahee Creek and the impact of the creek on the Sound.
Missed Meeting Reports. We have been asked to keep up with reporting on recent Illahee meetings as many have advised us they have other obligations and can’t make all the meetings. We understand and will try to get reports out on the January and February meetings.
Short Update. Look for more information on each of these items soon. We will likely send a separate Update out on each one with a link to the actual document so you can comment on them if you want.
Illahee Information. Please send us any information you think the community should be aware of and we will pass it on.
ps The photos are of the new Preserve parking lot being installed and are from John Lind.
Minor Illahee Oil Spill. Anyone walking by the Illahee North detention pond early this week noticed green and white oil absorbent pads placed at the stormwater outfall coming into the pond, and green pads placed at the overflow outlet where water was leaving the pond. Emails to the Health Department found the pads were placed by Kitsap County Public Works personnel in response to calls from Illahee North residents who reported an oil sheen visible on the pond waters. The county was unable to determine the source of the spill which evidently was visible just as the pond was freezing over but not reported until the ice left. See the attached photos showing the white and green absorbent pads.
Tightlining. The stormwater system in Illahee North tightlines the 20 acre development’s stormwater into the detention pond where the water is detained and the overflow is then discharged at the Illahee community dock. The problems with this type of stormwater system is there is no aquifer recharge or bioinfiltration close to the source of the stormwater. Experts have determined that the earlier requirements for these ponds were inadequate and that there are now better methods and systems for taking care of stormwater. Also, when there is a contamination problem like a sewage spill or oil spill, overflows from the pond are tightlined directly to Puget Sound.
Illahee Outfall Mailing. On Wednesday many Illahee residents received a “Shoreline Permit Revision” notice from Kitsap County. This is the settlement outfall that better distributes overflow stormwater to Puget Sound rather than concentrating it all at the Illahee community dock. We have presented the details of the settlement in previous Updates which are also available at the website illaheecommunity.com.
Bio-Infiltration Swales. The new Sunrise Terrace development is using bio-infiltration swales which will process 90 to 95% of our normal rains back into the aquifers and only the overflow will be directed to Puget Sound. This is the direction the Department of Ecology and the Puget Sound Partnership is recommending for handling stormwater and is a great improvement over the tightlining system discussed earlier.
Cost of Legal Challenges. The “Settlement Outfall” was a compromise agreement between the Illahee Community Club, the Port of Illahee, and the MT Illahee Corporation. The end results are improved methods for handling stormwater. But, it also comes at a substantial cost in dollars for the Illahee Community and the Port of Illahee, not to mention to the developer. Just the Community Club’s legal costs of the Outfall appeal and the Timbers Edge appeal were $20,000 in 2008.
Timbers Edge – Waiting on Hearing Examiner. The Timbers Edge project appeal is waiting on the Hearing Examiner’s decision. The community just received the attorney’s bill for the closing argument portion of the hearing and they find themselves $3,000 short.
Volunteer Donations Needed. The Illahee Community Club urgently needs donations to its legal fund in order to continue to work for agreements such as the Settlement Outfall. The Hearing Examiner hearing the Timbers Edge appeal has a nearly 100% record of siding with the County so they expect further appeals may be needed. This is a situation where the community voted with its contributions in 2008 and will need to do so again in 2009 if things are to proceed.
Revised Illahee Boundary Map. We are waiting for a revised Illahee Community Plan Boundary map from the county and will send it out when we receive it.
Settlement of Illahee Dock Outfall Appeal? It appears there will be a settlement of the Illahee Dock Outfall appeal to the Shorelines Hearings Board (SHB).
Background For New Readers. There has been an ongoing issue with a development in Illahee that planned to install a second stormwater outfall at the Illahee community dock. The issue made the papers, went through a hearing before the Hearing Examiner and the County Commissioners, both of who approved the new outfall despite community and Port of Illahee objections.
Appeal To The Shorelines Hearings Board. The Illahee Community Club (ICC) felt neither the Hearing Examiner nor the County Commissioners understood the gravity of the public health aspect of their decision to allow essentially untreated stormwater to be dumped onto a public beach and swimming area, and appealed to the Shorelines Hearings Board.
Port of Illahee Trespass Suit to Superior Court. The Port of Illahee was also involved in their own way in that they filed a no-trespass lawsuit in Superior Court as the development proposed installing their new outfall directly under the Illahee Community Dock.
Parties Remained Cordial. Despite the legal wranglings the parties remained cordial and several members wondered if there wasn’t a way that we could resolve our differences.
Engineer Berni Johnston’s Efforts. Berni Johnston, the engineer from Team Four, continued to met with two Illahee community engineers in order to see if something could be worked out. Berni was a member of the Illahee Community Plan Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) and understood the community was not against the development, but wanted stormwater cleaned and infiltrated rather than tightlined to the bay, along with some zoning issues.
Community Understood Need For Stormwater Infiltration & Outfalls. The community understood that with the underlying soils in Illahee that 90-95% of the rainwater, that comes slowly, can be infiltrated back into the ground and into the aquifers. They also understood there would always be a need for stormwater overflows to Port Orchard Bay for the major storm events like the Dec 3, 2007 storm.
Another Option Surfaced. It was during those discussions to minimize the impact of stormwater in the area that another option surfaced. It was noted that much of the existing volume problem was from the Illahee North detention pond overflow that should have gone to a Berg Street right-of-way outfall, and that that outfall will eventually be needed to handle any future development in the basin. By doing what should have been done years ago, the proposed outfall at the dock would no longer be needed.
One Remaining Community Issue? Only one smaller pre-existing stormwater pipe coming from above the development would probably end up being connected (tightlined) to the stormwater overflow going to the newly proposed Berg Street outfall. This is only item, and a small one at that, that could not be accommodated with a bioswale option in the settlement agreement. This small sub-basin will require some community effort and possibly an upslope rain garden to take care of water treatment and infiltration.
Benefit to the Developer. There are also benefits to the developer, in addition to not having to fight the ICC or the Port of Illahee in court. The Berg Street outfall should be an easier installation. No pre-treatment Vortechs vaults need to be installed. The developer is also using stormwater applications that better respect the environment and Puget Sound.
Overall Benefits. The overall benefit of this settlement is to the environment which includes the aquifers, which are overallocated in Illahee, and to the waters of Puget Sound, which are being adversely affected by stormwater discharges tightlined to the salt water. This settlement is a step in the right direction that goes beyond what is legally permitted to doing what is environmentally right. In the end we think it will be even less expensive, in spite of the legal costs, except for the community and Port whose legal costs are significant. Ironically it took a dedicated community and one dedicated engineer to make the settlement happen.
Status of Settlement? The basic technical agreement exhibit needs to be finalized. The legal document has been prepared and reviewed by the lawyer teams and is ready for signatures from MT Illahee Corporation, Kitsap County Commissioners, Port of Illahee Commissioners, and the Illahee Community Club Board of Directors, and is expected to be completed by Monday, 11/24/08.
>Frustrated Gillnetters in Illahee Waters. We have a couple of reports about some gillnetter boats in the Illahee waters. The first was on Wednesday when a sea lion was seen taking salmon from the gillnet. The sea lion would splash the salmon on the surface of the water and the fisherman were seen trying to scare it away with their flare gun. On Thursday evening there must have been a seal or a sea lion bothering another gillnetter because there were two shotgun blasts about 5 pm. The fisherman have told us they can defend their nets with shotguns and they evidently sometimes have to.
Seals on Area Floats. The seals are back on area floats, with one float along Illahee having numbers in the mid teens nearly every morning.
Break-in Email. We have received a number of responses thanking us for sending out Ed Hamilton’s information about the break-in at his mother’s house and reminding us to watch out for each other’s homes. Thank you Ed for the email.
Dock Outfall. There is progress being made on a possible settlement to the outfall at the Illahee dock. A settlement agreement document was in the process of being prepared by the Illahee Community Club, when another much more detailed document was being prepared by the attorney for MT Illahee. Now it looks like it will take some time to work on settling on the agreement writeup. We think the attorneys must love this all the way to the bank. The good news is we have the potential to have settlement that can be a win-win situation for all parties, if we can now settle on the writeup.
Sewer Hearing on November 17th. The Illahee Community Club (ICC) has retained a wastewater expert to watch out for the Illahee Community’s interest when the Timbers Edge project runs a sewer line over a mile long over Illahee Creek and through the historic section of Illahee. New notices were reportedly received by residents within 200 feet of the shoreline where the sewer line will be run, but they were not sent out to other residents along the route, even though the Kitsap County Code says residents along the sewer line are required to hook up. The ICC’s lawyer complained to the Hearing Examiner (HE) about this but evidently the Examiner is not concerned, and the hearing seems to be going ahead for November 17th. For those close to these issues, they are upset with the county and the HE on the notice situation.
Citizens Advisory Group List. The final Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) list needs to be completed this weekend and turned in early on Monday. We need to hear from everyone regarding how you want your name listed, and if you want your name on the list. We just reached the number 90 and need to hear from the rest of you soon.
Keep those reports coming in!
Update on the Illahee Outfall Appeal. It has been over a month since the Illahee Community Club decided to appeal the locating of a 42 inch diameter stormwater outfall at the Illahee Community Dock and we have been asked to provide an update. The original notice went out as an update on June 19th and is included at the bottom of this email.
Things are Happening Quickly. The pre-hearing conference was held this past Thursday (7-24-08) and everything seems to be on a fast track, with Discovery (a legal term we are just learning about) to be completed by August 4, 2008. Some other legal item needs to be completed in early September, with the hearing dates scheduled for October 7 & 8, 2008 (The first day will be at a location in Kitsap County and the second day will be at the Board’s hearing room in Lacy, Washington.) We will provide more information when the pre-hearing conference results are published by the Shorelines Hearings Board.
Thank You to Those Who Have Already Donated! Donations in support of the appeal continue to trickle in which is encouraging to the ICC Board of Directors and they thank you for your help.
Status of Donations. Approximately half of the funds (about $4000) have been raised for lawyer fees. The Club is still working on an expert witness list and will need to determine those costs.
This is not where community members want to spend their money but they also have stated to the Club that they don’t want to roll over and let another injustice be done in and to our community.
Contributions Still Needed. Contributions are tax deductible, as allowed by law, since the Community Club reorganized in December 2007 as a 501.c.3 organization. They can be sent to the Illahee Community Club, P.O. Box 2563, Bremerton, WA 98310. Please note on gifts that they are for the Outfall Legal Fund.
Where to Contribute? The Illahee Community Club, P.O. Box 2563, Bremerton, WA 98310-0332.
>Appeal Filed. The proposed Illahee Outfall Project to put a 42 inch outfall at the base of the Illahee Community Dock has been appealed to the Shorelines Hearings Board (SHB) by the Illahee Community Club.
1980’s Appeal. This is not the first time the Illahee community has appealed a proposed project to the SHB. At least twenty years ago community members successfully opposed a fish pen project the county had approved for the area (about a third of a mile north of the Illahee Community Dock). Aquaculture (salmon rearing pens) was a new business being introduced to the state at that time and a newly arrived Illahee shoreline resident successfully convinced the county that Illahee was a prime area for commercial salmon pens. The problem that residents, and eventually UW scientists realized (who testified for the community during the SHB hearings), was the tidal flushing actions were insufficient in Illahee to carry away and disperse the wastes. There were also concerns by the nearby neighbors with many of the commercial aspects associated with the project.
Small Illahee Group Funded the 80’s Appeal. This previous situation required local citizens to take the County and the applicant to a state hearings board to see that the right thing was done. There weren’t many citizens who came forward to support that appeal and it was costly for those who stepped forward. The Illahee Community Club wasn’t active at the time so nearby residents organized the “Illahee Community Betterment Committee” to help with the fight. Their initial goal was to get 12 families to each contribute $500 for the appeal and they ended up with just enough money. They retained John Merkel, a respected and powerful Seattle attorney, which was one of the keys to their success, along with several UW professors. As we move forward with the present appeal it is good to remember this earlier SHB appeal and thank those who are still around for their efforts.
NIMBYISM? Was this previous appeal NIMBYISM (Not In My Back Yard)? It could appear so, but the concern was backed up by the scientists who agreed that the Illahee location was not appropriate. The Illahee group did not fight against fish pens when they were later located in Kitsap County where there was sufficient tidal movement.
SHB Hearing This Week. Two residents attended a SHB hearing on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week regarding the Harper Road Widening and Outfall Project. Tuesday the Board met at Long Lake and then met at the SHB headquarters in Lacy on Wednesday. The Illahee residents feel it is a benefit to get out of Kitsap County and before a board that is trained to handle these kind of issues. They also noted the importance of expert witnesses, and that the Harper group had some very good ones.
Lessons From Past Hearings. One of the lessons learned from talking with those involved with recent hearings is that the expert witnesses can cost as much or more than the lawyer. The fact is that these appeals cost significant dollars and emotional energy and a group or individual to take a leadership role in coordinating the efforts. The Illahee Community is fortunate to have an active Illahee Community Club board to take on these issues, not to mention the Port of Illahee who has filed papers to prohibit the running of the proposed outfall through the community dock’s foundational structure.
Status of Appeal Funds. We understand approximately $3000 came in from the first email appeal that asked for 60 individuals to contribute $150. Many wanted more information regarding the appeal and asked if it was a wise use of their money, especially with the Timbers Edge project expected to be approved by the County soon. (Timbers Edge was a concern a few years ago and the community funded studies that showed the project would cause problems along the slopes, would affect the underlying aquifers, and could decrease the flow in Illahee Creek by 20% thereby jeopardizing salmon rearing. It appears at this point that the County has ignored or discounted those studies and is moving ahead to approve the project. This will likely be another fight with our County officials who are supposed to be watching out for our streams, aquifers, and salmon.)
Additional Financial Support is Needed! The Illahee Community Club needs additional significant support for appeals like the Illahee Outfall Project, though gifts of any amount will help. The goal is to spread out the costs among community members so no one takes too big a hit on their pocketbook. These fights are not what many of us want to be involved with, but since our County officials are not supporting us, we are left with no choice.
Periodic Updates. We have been asked to provide periodic updates, such as this one, on the status of Community Club’s legal fund, and will try to do so every week or so. Let us know what questions you have and we will try to get answers.
>County Notice. Many in the community received the official notice a week ago that the County Commissioners denied the Illahee Community Club’s appeal of the placement of a 42 inch diameter stormwater outfall at the base of the Illahee Community Dock. If you didn’t receive it, we have attached it as a pdf file to this update.
The Club’s Response. The Illahee Community Club responded quickly when the decision was first made with a letter to the editor (see attachment) that appeared in the CK Reporter and the Bremerton Patriot. The decision was also the covered by the Kitsap Sun, which is linked. http://kitsapsun.com/news/2008/may/19/appeal-over-illahee-pipe-denied-by-kitsap/
Community Appeal to the Shorelines Hearings Board. We have been asked by the Illahee Community Club to pass on their request to solicit donations for their appeal of the Illahee Outfall decision to the Washington State Shorelines Hearings Board (SHB).
Spreading the Appeal Costs. Following the hearing before the County Commissioners, one of the residents suggested that if they lose they need to appeal this to the next level, which was thought to be Superior Court. The person said if they could find 60 community members who would each contribute $150 they should have enough money to do so, which would be $9,000.
Why the SHB? When the results of the hearing were published in the Kitsap Sun we were advised by an interested county resident that we should be appealing the results to the SHB and that he had successfully argued before them earlier. A check of this avenue appears promising and thus the desire by the Board to move ahead with the appeal.
Legal Representation and Costs. The Community Club has retained Ryan Vancil to represent them in the SHB appeal. His estimate is that the case could cost between $7,000 and $12,000, which equates to finding 60 people who would contribute the $150.
Can the Funds be Raised? That was evidently the concern of the Board also. When the possibility of an appeal was first discussed in an Illahee Community Update there were about 20 people who indicated they felt the decision should be appealed and they were ready to contribute financially. So now the Community Club is asking for those initial 20 residents, plus 40 more to contribute to the Club’s legal fund, and noted that any help is appreciated.
Where to Contribute? The Illahee Community Club, P.O. Box 2563, Bremerton, WA 98310-0332.
Other Community Projects? Let us know if you have a community project that you would like us to report on.
>Important Illahee Community Plan Meeting 6/2/08. The Illahee Community Plan is in its final stages with just two or three meetings left and a number of important decisions will be finalized. On 6/2/08 the agenda will likely include finalizing view protection overlays, zoning, and discussing what to do with tax-title strips and unused right-of-ways. The community is also hoping to get more information on greenbelts. See this linked story. The meeting is at the Unitarian Church and goes from 6-8:30 pm.
Illahee Outfall Appeal. The community has been very vocal about the locating of the 42in diameter outfall at the base of the community dock, with many wanting to appeal the decision to the next level. The Illahee Community Club is reportedly considering an appeal to the Shorelines Hearings Board (SHB) and that is about all we know at this point. We will pass on more information as it becomes available. Kitsap Sun story on appeal denial.
Gilberton Creek Washout Meeting Report. There were several reporters at the meeting last Thursday and we have attached the links to their reports. It was interesting to note that several people asked the county about the excavation work along 3rd Street at the headwaters of Gilberton Creek. The county reps said they would look into the project.
CK Reporter article
Kitsap Sun article
Illahee Birding. “We conducted a bird survey of the upland forested area of Illahee Preserve on Saturday morning, May 31st. A total of 30 different bird species were identified. Highlights included sightings of Wilson’s Warblers, Townsend’s Warblers, and baby red-breasted nuthatches. Periodic bird surveys are conducted within Illahee Preserve. These tours are quite informative and geared for people with all levels of birding experience including those new to birding. If anyone has an interest to join such a tour and learn more about our local birds, then feel free to contact Vic Ulsh at email@example.com or 479-6900.”
Lowest Tides of the Season. Wednesday is the lowest tide of the season and an opportunity to see what is normally under water.
Salmon along the Nearshore. One way that biologists determine what is happening along the nearshore areas is to conduct regular beach seinings. It was reported that during beach seines at 5 stations in Kitsap County on Friday that there are enormous numbers of small pink salmon fry migrating through the area, Attached is a photo of the results of a dip net at the Brownsville Marina showing some pink salmon feeding along the breakwater. Other small salmon fry observed during the seining were chum salmon. A few coho and chinook along with one cutthrout trout were also observed during the seines. More on the results of other fish and marine life caught in the seinings later.