Tracyton developer appeals county denial

Developer Jeff Reed has appealed the county’s decision to deny his short plat for nine new homes on 1.65 acres near Tracyton Boulevard and Kint Drive.

Reed’s representative William Lynn filed the appeal with Kitsap County on May 16.

In the appeal, Lynn, an attorney with Gordon Thomas Honeywell in Tacoma, stated that the county acted inconsistently when it denied the short plat based on the claim of stormwater and drainage requirements.

Lynn said the decision was the first that the applicant had heard of these concerns and hence, that was improper procedure. At best, Lynn said, the applicant should be given the opportunity to modify its design to meet county requirements.

“The county’s decision to deny the short plat rather than providing the normal opportunity to make corrections constitutes a denial of the appellant’s vested rights,” the appeal states.

The applicant also stated that officials of the Kitsap County Department of Community Development, the Department of Ecology and the US Army Corps of Engineers had met on site and were aware of the fill (dirt) that lawfully was placed on the property.

Neighbors took their concerns to the Central Kitsap Community Council citing the area already had significant water problems.

They informed the county that native soils had been removed and fill dirt had been placed on the property years ago which apparently had a negative affect on the already high level water table.

After those concerns were aired, county officials told neighbors that they would continue the process of checking the application to determine whether it met the necessary county regulations regarding stormwater runoff.

Following several weeks of study, the county Department of Community Development denied the application on May 3.

Neighbors have yet to decide what their next move will be, said Ron Gillespie, who has been their spokesman throughout this process.

“As you can assume, I am disappointed about Reed’s choice to appeal the decision of the Department of Community Development,” Gillespie said. “I am not conversant with the county codes or the RCW’s but I do know what is and is not appropriate for my neighborhood and the proposal presented by SMCI (Reed’s company) is not appropriate or compatible with the community.

“The DCD decision took into account the impact of the proposal, codes and the history of the property to make an informed decision.  I find the first paragraph of the appeal very disturbing.  It gives me the impression that the community input process is insignificant to the developer.  If input from the community is not provided until the final stage then how can the county take them into consideration during the initial meetings with the developer.  This means that nothing said at the initial meetings can be altered later on in the input process thus making the input process mute.”

The appeal is expected to be heard before the Kitsap County Hearing Examiner on July 11.


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