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Injunction illustrates enforcement challenges

A permanent injunction issued by Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Anna Laurie on July 8 stopping all work on 1542 Madrona Point Drive marked the climax of a 17-year dispute over development on the property.

Neighbors had a history of complaints to the city’s department of community development about the property, which is owned by Don and Lora Holtz, since November 1989 and the city became actively involved on May 6, 2005.

According to the complaint, “Prior to May 6, 2005, and continuing to the present, defendants have violated the above provisions of the Bremerton Municipal Code and Shoreline Master Program.”

Those provisions set the standards for work on slopes greater than 25 percent and require a State Environmental Policy Act review on steep slopes of 40 percent or greater. The city’s shoreline master program also requires a letter of exemption or a substantial development permit for all development activity within 200 feet of the ordinary high-water mark.

On May 6, a stop work order was issued by city inspector Jim Svensson because among other things “no city permit was posted” and it was a “probable violation of the city of Bremerton shoreline, critical areas and building regulations.”

The Holtzes were notified in writing by Community Development Director Chris Hugo that to lift the order the city would need to know more about their proposal and its compliance with the Bremerton Critical Areas Ordinance and the Shoreline Master Program.

However, court documents state that an inspection on June 28 revealed that there had not been compliance with the stop work order.

For that reason, the city specifically asked the court to issue a permanent injunction “prohibiting the defendants, their agents, servants, employees, attorneys and all persons in active concert and participation with defendants from vegetation removal, grading and development on 1542 Madrona Point Drive...until permits are obtained.”

Seeking an injunction was a measure of last resort that the department of community development seldom uses, Hugo said.

“Our intent in code enforcement or code compliance as we prefer to call it is to get people to comply with our codes,” he

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