>Miscellaneous Items – 6/3/10

>Back In Illahee. Seems like lots has happened recently in Illahee and we will try to catch up now that we are back. Thanks to all who provided us links to various stories. We know that a number of you do not take the Kitsap Sun, and others live elsewhere and want to keep up with what is happening in Illahee, so we have tried to provide links to keep everyone informed.


Missing Person. We read about a person missing after going jogging near Illahee State Park and assume the story is still active.

Trail Goes Cold in Search for Missing Bremerton 19-Year-Old


http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/may/25/trail-goes-cold-in-search-for-missing-bremerton/


Fish Pens. We noted with interest the move of Rich Passage fish pens from the Bainbridge side to the Manchester side of the channel. Many were not around when fish pens were approved for Illahee, and had local residents not successfully appealed to the Shorelines Hearings Board, we would likely be dealing with some of the same issues. (Note that one of the reasons some feel we were successful is because of the lack of sufficient tidal action to take away fish droppings.)


Illahee Preserve/Illahee Creek Restoration Project. In 2003 the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee established a master plan for the Illahee Preserve and with the help of the Park’s department and various grants increased the the Preserve acreage to approximately 460 acres. All of the acquisitions and conservation easements were voluntary and supported by all involved. When it became obvious that the 1999 culvert under Illlahee Road was filling with sediment, Kitsap County Public Works noted that a detailed watershed study was needed to determine how best to control the sediment, and so the Port of Illahee, who was also being adversely affected by the sediment, successfully applied for a Department of Ecology grant. The grant report findings were then used as the basis for updating the master plan, which has been titled “Illahee Preserve/Illahee Creek Restoration Project – Master Plan for Acquisitions and Easements.” The plan has been approved by the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee, the Illahee Forest Preserve (the non-profit group supporting the Preserve), and endorsed by the Illahee Community Club, and with the acknowledgement and support of Kitsap County Parks and the Port of Illahee. The plan is the basis for many of the actions that have followed.

Port Habitat Plan. The Port of Illahee is applying for next step grants to the Department of Ecology grant, to support the grant report findings, and their own master plan which is called the Port of Illahee Habitat Conservation Plan. The draft of the plan is available for reading and commenting on at http://tinyurl.com/Port-of-Illahee. We copied the following information from the link:

The Port of Illahee is applying for 2 grants from the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office. As part of these applications the Port needs to adopt a habitat conservation plan and needs to show that the community is supportive of the plan. So we are asking that the residents read this plan and submit comments. These comments, positive or negative will be submitted as an appendix to the plan as evidence that the community weighed in on the process.

Your comments are very appreciated and since the schedule is very tight for the grant process we ask that your comments be emailed as soon as possible. Like this week sometime.

Thank you,

Kitsap Sun Article. The recent article in the Kitsap Sun about the Port’s response to a community petition (which was passed on in an earlier Update) evidently didn’t register very well with some and a few days later a “Community Columnist” by the name of Larry Croix had the following article:


We don’t know anything about Larry and whether he is a Illahee resident or not. We have been told he is a Port Orchard resident, but have not verified it. He certainly didn’t have anything nice to say about the Illahee Community Club.

Port of Illahee Response. And in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun was a response from the Port of Illahee, which is linked below.


Tuesday Port Meeting. And in this morning’s Kitsap Sun was the latest article about the Port meeting that was held on Tuesday evening.

Few Turn Out to Hear More on Illahee Port’s Proposed Land Purchase

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/jun/02/few-turn-out-to-hear-more-on-illahee-ports-land/


Our Thoughts? We are holding our thoughts until we have had time to gather some more information. If you have thoughts we will pass them on. We only note a person’s name if they give us permission. While we have our thoughts, we want others to be able to have theirs presented, and will pass on what you provide.

Jim Aho

>Report of Monday’s Meeting – 5/18/10

>Illahee Community Meeting Monday Evening (5-17-10). We attended the Illahee Community meeting on Monday and found out that many have been working quietly behind the scenes to protect and preserve Illahee interests.


Meeting Times Discussed. This meeting was held on a weekday (Monday) evening rather than a weekend and it was the consensus of most that they preferred a weekday evening over a weekend meeting.

Storm Surge Area Identified. Over the years many Illahee residents have wondered where the storm surges originated from that were polluting Illahee Creek and Puget Sound. We saw a map of some 130 acres of land north of the golf course with roads and approximately 400 home/trailer sites where most of the storm water from that area is piped directly under McWilliams Road to the ravine in front of the golf course bridge. When that surge of storm water hits the deeply incised canyons of Illahee Creek it picks up sediment that is carried down Illahee Creek and out into Puget Sound where it can be seen for miles. Many had no idea of the size of that area that was draining (being tight-lined) into Illahee Creek and it helped explain where the surges were coming from and why they had such a devastating impact on the creek and the Sound.

Rain Garden Target Area. Portions of that area are now being targeted for rain gardens to see if they can start to mitigate the surges. The Kitsap Conservation District (KCD) has a Rain Garden Cost Share Program that will help reimburse residents in unincorporated Kitsap County with up to $500 per rain garden (applications and details are available from KCD).

Map of Master Plan. Also presented was an updated Master Plan map showing Phase 1 (completed) and Phase 2 (future) Acquisitions and Conservation Easements, which are needed for the Illahee Preserve/Illahee Creek Restoration Project. (Note that the map is part of the attached partition.)

Illahee Creek Restoration Project. The purposes or goals of the Illahee Creek Restoration Project were presented as they realized many are unaware of the extent of the project. We have included that information below:

The purposes (goals) of the Illahee Creek Restoration Project are: (1) to acquire Illahee Creek riparian corridor properties including those that constitute prime salmonid spawning and rearing habitat; (2) to restore salmonid use to near historic levels; (3) to restore the natural ecological processes of the riparian corridor and the watershed; (4) to control the storm water surges and excessive sedimentation that plague Illahee Creek and Puget Sound (through retention and bio-retention facilities); (5) to raise the height of the Illahee Creek culvert to compensate for the raised flood plain in the lower reaches of the stream and to prevent the possible washout of the culvert and Illahee Road; (6) to eliminate fecal coliform sources that pollute Illahee Creek; (7) to restore aquifer recharge to levels that support the base flows in Illahee Creek necessary for salmonid use and survival; (8) to inform and educate the local community and the public at large regarding the above issues and involve them in the restoration processes, and(9) to facilitate public use and enjoyment of the anticipated restored natural features and ecological processes of the Illahee Preserve and Illahee Creek.

While Illahee Creek is only a small salmonid player in the West Sound Watersheds area, with only small runs of chum and coho in a good year and intermittent use by steelhead and cutthroat, it is a major polluter of Puget Sound with excessive amounts of sedimentation being deposited into the Sound during storm events. And although much of its stream corridor and watershed consists primarily of prime habitat (65% undeveloped with most of that protected), a relatively small area of early development, constructed before storm water mitigation regulations went into effect, has resulted in over 40 years of excessive sediment pollution of Illahee Creek and Puget Sound. Additionally, Illahee Creek is also impacted by diminishing low base flows during times of low precipitation, along with the presence of fecal coliform pollution in the stream.

Note that significant progress has been made over the last few years to begin to document the issues and accomplish some acquisitions and some restoration, primarily through earlier grants (Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO), National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Coastal Protection Fund (CPF), and Department of Ecology (DOE)). It is estimated that roughly 15 -20% has already been accomplished.

Note also that the Illahee Community, the Port of Illahee, the Illahee Preserve support groups, and Kitsap County have additionally committed resources and are working collaboratively to accomplish the purposes and goals of the restoration project, with financial support, volunteer labor, inter-local agreements, etc., and by applying for available grants to keep the project goals moving toward completion.

Legal Issues. The appeals by the community to Superior Court and the Shorelines Hearings Board (SHB) were discussed with both being settled and dismissed. We will cover the SHB dismissal because it affects what happened next in the meeting.

SHB Dismissal. The dismissal order from the Shorelines Hearing Board was issued earlier this month along with a copy of the “Settlement Agreement.” The “Settlement Agreement” had a number of items associated with it and we will try to give a brief summary of the document. There are two main items with the first being that the developer will gift the open space lands to the Illahee Preserve if the SHB appeal is dropped. The second item being the developer will give the Port of Illahee an option to purchase the Timbers Edge properties and they will not begin development until later this year to give the Port time to decide whether they are interested.

Port Position. The Port Commissioners have stated that as elected officials they want to support the community so they need to know what the residents want. The community asked them what they needed and they responded that if over half of the number of voters in the last elections agreed that they should purchase the property which would necessitate raising the tax rate, they would consider it. Roughly half of the residents voted in the last elections (1000 out of roughly 2000 registered voters). This means that the Port would be looking for 500 plus residents to say they would support the Port’s actions necessary to purchase the property.

Port Petition. As a result of Port’s position, the Illahee Community has come up with a petition drive to see what the will of the people is with regards to the Master Plan and with Timbers Edge. We have attached the complete petition to this email and have included the petition verbiage below:

Petition to Help Save Illahee Creek & Puget Sound

+++ Request for Citizen & Port Help! +++

Background:

Illahee is endowed with unique natural features that have resulted in a state park, a community dock, a salmon stream, a large park/nature preserve, and a golf course.

Illahee State Park and the Illahee Preserve purchases were the results of community campaigns to preserve these areas.

The Illahee Preserve was recently expanded (from 352 to 460 acres) through grants and community action (Phase 1) to help protect Illahee Creek.

Excessive sedimentation nevertheless continues to destroy salmon habitat, pollute Illahee Creek and Puget Sound, and threatens to wash out the culvert under Illahee Road. Immediate action is needed to obtain critical watershed properties to help protect the stream and Sound (Phase II).

Fish are also threatened by low base flows (during non-rainy periods). Critical aquifer recharge areas, such as the Timbers Edge properties, are needed to support rain water infiltration necessary to resupply the aquifers and help keep Illahee Creek a viable salmon stream.

Petition:

We call on citizens to sign this petition and request the Port of Illahee to take the following actions:

That the Port look at grants and means to control the storm water surges that plague fish, Illahee Creek, and Puget Sound, and will impact the community if Illahee Creek culvert washes out.

That the Port pursue grants and other means to protect/secure Illahee’s critical aquifer recharge areas, such as the purchase of the Timbers Edge properties (a willing seller).

That the Port pursue grants and other means to restore Illahee Creek as a fish bearing stream.

That the Port look at means to perpetuate Rolling Hills as a community golf course open to the public.

We understand the “other means” will necessitate temporarily raising Port taxes (a maximum increase of $126 per $250,000 assessed value) for several years, but that the property purchased from these additional taxes will produce revenues that will then decrease Port taxes in the future.

We need to have approval from 500+ residents before the Port will act.

Please return ASAP to:

ICC Petition to Port of Illahee, PO Box 2563, Bremerton, WA 98310

Or give to an Illahee Community Club member who will forward it on.

————————— Please tear off and return the section below, and keep the map & write-up as a reference. ———————-

_____Yes! I agree with the petition and add my signature in support of the Port taking these actions.

_____No! I am sorry but I cannot support the petition. (Please let us know your reasons.)

Comments: ______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

NAME _____________________________________SIGNATURE__________________________________

ADDRESS __________________________________________EMAIL__________________________________

CITY, STATE, ZIP ___________________________________________________PHONE__________________


500 Plus Signatures Needed. As you can see this will be an ambitious task to obtain 500 signatures from the registered voters within the Port of Illahee boundaries (which are essentially the Illahee Community boundaries, with a few exceptions).

Meeting Vote. After a lengthy discussion time with many questions asked, a vote was taken, which passed unanimously. The Port Commissioners stated they would hold additional meetings to give other opportunities for residents to ask questions.

Your Thoughts?. This is a crucial decision point in the life of Illahee and we would like to get your thoughts, whether your agree or not with those who attended the meeting.

Jim Aho

>Legal&Related Issues – 2/26/10

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When is the SHB (Shorelines Hearings Board) Appeal Hearing?

When is the Timbers Edge Superior Court Hearing?

When is the Fairness Doctrine Appeal Hearing?

Why Haven’t You Put Out An Update On These Items?

What Happened at ICC Meeting Last Saturday?

Questions?  Above are some of the questions being raised that we have been asked to answer.  Also, we had a number of people who couldn’t be at the ICC meeting on February 20th who have asked that we put out an update on the meeting.  So we will try to provide some answers.

The Legal Questions on Hold?  The short answer on the three appeal questions is that they are all on hold as negotiations are taking place between the lawyers to see if they can come up with mutually satisfying solutions that will be agreeable to the Illahee Community and the other parties.  During the negotiation process many of the details remain confidential and will be presented when there is an agreement that we can share.

Tens of Thousands of Dollars Spent.  We realize that the community has spend many thousands of dollars to protect the community and there is hope in the eyes of the Illahee Community Club Board members we talked with, that the community can put some of this work behind them through the negotiations.  Board members can’t say much else at this point but do ask that we be patient a little longer.

ICC Meeting Last Saturday.  In addition to discussions regarding the above legal issues, a related issue was a report that the Illahee Forest Preserve (the non-profit corporation supporting the Illahee Preserve) met on February 16th and voted to push for a Phase II Plan to continue to acquire or obtain conservation easements on specific properties next to the Preserve and along Illahee Creek.  The Plan will probably require a number of grants from various sources to make this happen, including support from the county and the Port of Illahee.  Evidently the county has been approached as the next grant cycle for the state begins soon.  After the presentation there was a motion that the ICC support the Illahee Preserve Phase II Plan, which was followed by another motion that the Port of Illahee be asked to help with aspects of the Plan.

What Was Phase I?  We realize that many are unaware of the Phase I Plan that acquired just over 100 acres of land through purchases, delayed purchases, or conservation easements.   The Preserve started out with 352 acres of the formerly Department of Natural Resources (DNR) land and with the Phase I purchases now consists of approximately 460 acres.

Phase I Acquisitions.  We have attached the map that shows many of these acquisitions.  The light blue parcels in the middle of the map are the 66 acre trade made with North Perry Water District for the water tower and pump house properties in the Preserve.  That land was once the water source for historic Illahee and was give the the water district when it was no longer needed as a water source.

Phase II Plan Map Needed.  We will be requesting a new map showing the Phase II targeted properties and will provide it when we get it.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 1/10/10

>Response to White-Fronted Goose Report.  We are amazed at the responses we often get to our updates, and also where they are read.  The attached is an example.


That appears to be the same white-fronted goose that appeared in our waterfront Poulsbo yard on November 4.  He was with a larger flock of Canada geese.  They hung around for three days, then left.  I assumed that they had resumed their southward migration.  Evidently, they did, but only as far as Illahee. 

Whitefronts are the first North American goose species to head south in the fall.  They typically winter in deep southern California, Mexico and the Gulf Coast.  I was surprised to see one still here as late as November.  Now here it is January and he is still here!  Evidently, he plans to stay with the local Canadas through the winter.


Small Squid Being Caught.  We were at the Illahee Community Dock the other night and saw some of the smallest squid we’ve ever seen being caught.  Attached are a couple of photos.  These photos were taken the same night North Perry Water had shut down the water for a couple of hours while they fixed a leak on the waterline going along Illahee Road.



Mussel Testing at the Illahee Dock.  We were info’d on the attached request and hope to get some pictures of the collecting of mussel sample at the Illahee dock on Tuesday evening.  The Port approved the request and asked that they share the results with the Port.

As part of the Navy’s ENVVEST ambient monitoring program for Sinclair
and Dyes Inlets we are coordinating with the Puget Sound Mussel Watch
Program to establish additional mussel sampling stations within the
Sinclair/Dyes system and would like to establish a mussel sampling site
at the Illahee Port District pier.  We would like to collect mussel
specimens from the pier for residue analysis of heavy metals, PAHs,
PCBs, stable isotopes, and lipids to assess long term environmental
quality trends in the area. We are currently targeting the sampling at
the Illahee Dock for the evening of Jan 12 (during low tide). I have a
scientific collection permit from WDFW and we will be following the NOAA
Mussel Watch sampling protocols.

Appeal Hearing Dates.  The dates for the two upcoming appeal hearing have now been established.  The Shoreline Hearings Board appeal date was established earlier as April 12, 2010 and the Superior Court hearing date was set on Friday as April 20, 2010.

Appeal Questions Being Asked.  The most frequent question asked is whether the developer has responded to the Community’s most recent letter requesting a lower density?  The answer is NO.

Next Question Asked.  The next most asked question is do you think the Community has a chance of winning?   Our response is we certainly hope so as some of the issues, like the fairness doctrine, is clearly stated in Washington State statutes and was clearly violated, though the county will likely argue otherwise.

Favorite Questions.  The questions we think the Community likes best are the ones we have heard like who do I make the check out to? and what is the address of the Illahee Community Club (ICC)?  The ICC has informed us that they do need additional financial support for the two appeals and contributions can be sent to the ICC, P.O. Box 2563, Bremerton, WA 98310.

Costly Appeals.  We just heard that this years financial report for the ICC indicated over $15,000 was received and roughly the same amount was expended in 2009, with most of the costs for legal expenses.  In 2008 the amount was roughly $20,000 with most of that going toward legal expenses that resulted in a mediated settlement to eliminate the proposed outfall at the dock.  

Another Possible Mediated Settlement?  We talked with some who are hoping the latest Timbers Edge appeals will also end up with a mediated settlement beneficial to the community, and that the legal battles in Illahee will soon end so we can move on to more productive projects.  We couldn’t agree more.

Thoughts or Comments?  We welcome your thoughts and comments on these Updates.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 12/6/09

>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.


Bear Report in Gilberton?  We are very late on getting the following email report out.  It came in on Nov 25th.

We didn’t see him but are sure a bear attacked our bird feeders last nite.  Stole the suet –broke a bolt tearing a rebar down to get it.  We are on Sandy rd. in Gilberton.


Missing Great Dane?  We had a call about the possibility of the missing Great Dane being in Illahee.  We called and relayed the message and didn’t heard anything back.  

White Trash Bags Along Illahee Road.  We noticed lots of white trash bags along Illahee Road and are wondering what group did the trash pick up all the way to Brownsville.  It appears they did a great job as there are lots a bags along the road.  If anyone knows please let us know so we can thank them.

Christmas Ships Coming on December 18th.  We heard the Christmas ships from Brownsville will be coming along the Illahee shoreline on December 18th.  More on that later as we get more information. 

Timbers Edge.  We were out of town when the Kitsap Sun reported about the Illahee Community Club (ICC) appealing the Commissioner’s Timbers Edge decision.  The link to the article is attached below.

Appeals Dependent on Community Funding.  As we understand it the ICC filed the appeal when it appeared the pledges to fund the appeal began to come in.  The appeals are costly and we have been asked to remind residents that funds can be sent in to the Illahee Community Club, P.O. Box 2563, Bremerton, WA 98310.

Court Date.  We spoke briefly with the ICC lawyer before the Thanksgiving holiday and remember the first appearance before the Superior Court as being on January 10, 2010.

Shorelines Hearings Board Appeal.  We also understand the ICC has also filed an appeal of the Timbers Edge project with the Shorelines Hearings Board (SHB).   We will see if we can pass on these appeals in a future Update.

Illahee Dock Outfall Appeal.  It was approximately a year ago that the ICC filed the Illahee Outfall appeal with the SHB, which was eventually resolved to most every ones satisfaction, and possibly with less construction cost to the Canadian developer.  We think this was as close to a win – win situation for most parties as we could get, and a great win for Puget Sound waters.  The finishing touch to that project, which is not the developers responsibility, would be to install a rain garden on Fern Street and an infiltration pit at the second cell of the Illahee North detention pond, and that would nearly fully protect the Sound for that drainage area.

Community & Developer Agreement?  We were provided a copy of a letter addressed to Mr. James, the developer, and Mr. Kuhlman, his engineer, stating that the Community would like to see if an agreement could be reached, similar to the Outfall settlement, rather than going forward with appeals and litigation.  Since the letter was also sent to the press we felt we should pass it on to the community, so it is attached at the end of the Update.

Rain Garden Response.  We had a number of people volunteer to help with the Native Plant  Demonstration Rain Garden project being proposed at the new Illahee Preserve parking lot at Almira.  We will keep you apprised of how this project is progressing. 

Jim Aho
Illahee Community Club
P.O. Box 2563
Bremerton, WA 98310
November 18, 2009
Mr. James, Beach Drive Development
3538 Beach Road East
Port Orchard, WA  98366
Mr. Kuhlman, Team 4 Engineering
5819 NE Minder Rd 
Poulsbo, WA 98370
Mr. James and Mr. Kuhlman:
The Illahee Community Club appreciates the response of September 16, 2009 to the Community’s proposal request of August 5 and August 31, 2009.  We hoped to respond to Mr. Kuhlman’s email earlier, but wanted to wait until the appeal to BOCC was decided and disseminated, which happened on or about October 29, 2009. 
The Illahee Community Club had met earlier this year with community members to determine what the community wanted with Timbers Edge.  It was a long process to get everyone to agree with what was eventually decided upon, and was forwarded to you on August 5, 2009. As stated in the proposal, the majority of the community is not against development, but is desirous of a development that conforms to its existing neighborhoods and without negative impacts to existing roadways, streams and aquifers.
The Illahee Community Club Board left the decision of whether to appeal the BOCC ruling or not with the community.  We are informing you that the community, with the ICC Board’s concurrence, has decided to appeal the BOCC decision to Superior Court and to the Shorelines Hearings Board and expect those appeals to be filed soon.
While those appeals go forward, we would like to continue to seek a settlement and would like to begin by responding to Mr. Kuhlman’s email of September 16, 2009.  We also want to thank Mr. James for looking at diminishing the impact on Illahee Creek through infiltration attempts, and fault the Commissioner’s for allowing the use of ambiguous language in the new conditions. 
However, in addition to infiltration, a major issue for the greater community and specifically those around the development is that of sewers.  Mr. Kuhlman implies in his email response that sewers are required by the Health District while the opposite is the case as county code and the Health District allows for septic systems in this area, albeit with the current zoning designation. 
The community feels that the change to septics will result in such a reduction in the infrastructure costs that the profit margin will be similar.  Our estimates are based on the new sewer line installation going under Illahee Creek, rather than in the roadway above the creek, along with the elimination for roadway requirements and modifications, and possibly the elimination of a shoreline outfall.  Also eliminated are the costs of further studies and much of the infrastructure engineering charges.
The community has asked that we convey to you that they hope we can come to an agreement.
                                                                                                                Barney Bernhard, President
                                                                                                                Illahee Community Club
Copies:  Ryan Vancil, Ron Templeton, DCD, Kitsap Sun

>Status of Hearings&Appeals – 10/18/08

>

Update Request. We have been asked to provide an update on the status of the Hearings and Appeals being funded by local residents through the Illahee Community Club (ICC).

SHB Appeal. The Shorelines Hearings Board Appeal is going through the interrogatory process at the same time the parties are trying to come to a possible resolution. We think the two parties are very close to finding a way to resolve many of the problems now and in the future and are waiting on the county to make sure they are supportive. If the county concurs with the plans, the ICC Board will need to approve, along with the Port of Illahee. Having seen the plans, we think both groups will be happy with the proposed resolution.

Timbers Edge Hearing Status. This one is going to be a little more difficult to explain, so we have broken it down as follows:

The Plan on August 28th. If you remember, the Timbers Edge Hearing was rushed by the applicant and the county. The ICC was only able to obtain one expert witness for the Hearing and the Hearing Examiner gave the community until September 30th to get written expert testimony into the record. The plan was for the applicant to then have until October 15th to rebuttal the expert testimony, and final arguments were to complete on October 30th.

Written Expert Testimony. The ICC was able to get four written expert witness reports into the file by September 30th.

Applicants Response by October 15th? We didn’t hear that the applicants met their October 15th response date and will need to report on that latter. We will contact the ICC attorney on Monday to find out what happened.

The Sewer Notice Problem. The sewer issue that was addressed at the beginning of the August 28th hearing was the lack of sewer notice to residents along the sewer line. A stipulation agreement between the two lawyers was for the county to issue a new notice to residents along the new sewer line and if anyone requested a sewer hearing it would be scheduled.

Notice to Some Residents. A sewer and stormwater notice went out, but it didn’t go to all the residents it was supposed to according to the stipulation agreement, but instead went to only about half of the residents. Evidently the county interpreted the notice recipients differently from the stipulation agreement.

Sewer Hearing Requests. The notice that went out also went out late. It was dated on September 18th, but not received by local residents until September 26th, with some out of town residents receiving it on October 1st. In spite of the county not giving the necessary 14 day notice, several residents along the way evidently did request a sewer hearing and a sewer hearing date of November 14, 2008 was scheduled.

Another Notice Required? Many residents are confused with what is happening. We talked with a resident on Saturday who was not notified and yet lives in the area where notices were to be sent. We will check on that situation on Monday. Those who were at the August 28th hearing thought the Hearing Examiner made it clear that residents along the sewer line should have been notified and that was the reason he asked the two lawyers to work on the stipulation letter. We therefore feel a new notice needs to be sent to all the residents along the new proposed sewer line.

A New Hearing Date? If a new notice is sent out then it would seem like a new hearing date might be needed? This is where it becomes even more confusing.

Plan for November 17th. We have been told to nevertheless plan for the November 17th hearing date. While it seems like a long time, there are many sewer issues that need to be researched and understood and the time will go fast.

Sewer Town Hall Meeting Requested. As other residents learned of the sewer plans for Illahee, some requested a Town Hall meeting for the county to explain the sewer infrastructure plans for the Illahee Community. The request was reportedly made on October 13th at the County Commissioner’s meeting. We are attempting to get a copy of that request.

We Support A Town Hall Meeting. We support a sewer town hall meeting and would hope the county would schedule one very soon.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Upcoming Items – 8/1/08

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Illahee Outfall Appeal the the Shorelines Hearings Board. The two groups are reportedly going to try to work out their issues over the next 30 days which puts the hearings process on hold. More on this in a later update.

Illahee Community Plan Meeting Delayed? There is an Illahee Community Plan meeting showing on the county’s website for Aug 6, 2008 that is unlikely to happen since we have not received the Draft County Plan that needs to be reviewed by the citizens advisory group. We presume the county will let us know next week.

Planning Commission Meeting 8/12/08. The Illahee Community Plan is scheduled to be discussed at the 8/12/08 Planning Commission meeting. We are anticipating a possible CAG meeting on Monday 8/11/08 if the briefing schedule for the Planning Commission is maintained. We wanted to give you a heads up as the Planning Commission review will be an interesting evening meeting for the community to attend, presuming the schedule remains.

Timbers Edge SEPA Letter Out. The Timbers Edge project is officially approved by the county staff with the SEPA letter supposedly going out on 7/31/08. It evidently did not get in Friday’s mail so we anticipate it will be arriving on Saturday (8/2/08).

File Incomplete? Two Illahee residents went to look at the Timbers Edge file on Friday (8/1/08) and reported the file was not complete with at least one important exhibit still not entered. If those reports are correct, the county appeared to be in a rush to get the SEPA letter out. This makes it hard for the community to get the information they need to determine the impacts of the development, especially with the large size of the file (over 260 exhibits).

Hearing Date Already Scheduled. The county has already scheduled a hearing date of August 28, 2008, which doesn’t allow much time (8 working days) from the SEPA appeal deadline (8/15/08) to get prepared for a possible complex hearing. Some of the residents are already wondering if this is allowing sufficient time for due process. We are attaching the county’s SEPA letter for your information.

No Time Allowed for Community To Discuss Issues? We have heard the Illahee Community Club wanted to meet with the county to work through some issues before the legal process began, but were not given an opportunity. We have been told they are working on a response and we will possibly hear more on this issue.

Wetland Expert to Look at 3rd Street Wetlands. We have been told that the Department of Ecology’s wetland expert for Western Washington will be in town on August 5th to look at the wetland area between McWilliams and 3rd Street that are the headwaters for Gilberton Creek and the North Tributary of Illahee Creek. In addition to looking at the wetlands on the 3rd Street side, he will reportedly be looking at the wetlands on the McWillams side where there is an applicant wanting to build in the wetland area as part of a reasonable use permit.

From your input this is something you want us to keep you informed on. Let us know if you have any other information on this subject.

Illahee Day is Next Weekend. Just a reminder that Illahee Day is next Saturday, from 10-4, in the vicinity of the Illahee community dock.

Keep sending us information and we will keep passing it on.

Jim Aho

>Illahee Outfall Appeal Update -7/26/08

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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.

This link is to the 6/19/08 Update that described the SHB appeal.

Where to Contribute? The Illahee Community Club, P.O. Box 2563, Bremerton, WA 98310-0332.

>Illahee Outfall Appeal to the SHB – 7/10/08

>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.

Jim Aho

>Miscelllaneous Items – 6/27/08

>Wetlands Questions. We received the following questions regarding the 3rd Street wetland issue and hope someone has the time to respond to them.

“What is wrong with digging out a wetland area if it provides another building site and that great black soil is used elsewhere? Aren’t people more important than a few displaced ducks? I watched wetlands being removed in Minnesota when I was a kid and it gave the farmers more crop land. I think I know the answer to my questions, but I’m not sure others do. Please tell us why we should be concerned.”

This person has articulated some good questions that need to be answered. Please forward any responses to these questions and we will pass them on. And, if you have any good websites that may answer the questions, we can pass them on also.

Appeal Funding Questions. There have been a number of questions as to whether the Illahee Community Club was going to follow through with the Shorelines Hearings Board (SHB) appeal if the necessary funds do not come in. As we understand it, the Board of Directors decided to appeal the decision trusting that the money would come in and that the community is behind them on these issues. There was one abstention in the voting by one board member who wanted the money to be in place before the appeal was filed, showing that the concern of the possibility of inadequate funding. On the other hand, the community funded a $6000 hydrology study a few years ago when Illahee Creek was being threatened, which showed community financial support on that issue. We will report on the amount of donations coming in in future updates. When we asked one of the ICC board members what happens if not enough money comes in, they said the board members may need to dig deeper into their pocket books.

Deer Reports. We are getting a number of deer reports, from those getting run over to new young ones. Let us know what you are seeing, along with any photos, and we will pass them on.

Jim Aho