Tracyton area residents petition county regarding development

A petition with the signatures of 43 residents who oppose a proposed residential development in Tracyton was presented to Kitsap County Commissioners recently.

The petition, which was circulated by Ron Gillespie, is asking that the county's department of community development not grant a technical deviation to developer SMCI.

Jeff Reed, of SMCI Corporation based in Gig Harbor, submitted a request to the county’s department of community development requesting a technical deviation to infiltrate on fill dirt. The developer is proposing to build nine home subdivision near Tracyton.

In May of last year, the county denied developer Jeff Reed’s original application to build nine single family homes on a single 1.85 acre lot which he plans to subdivide.

The county said his plans for storm water detention didn’t meet the county’s code. The property in question sits near Tracyton Boulevard and a private road, NW Gillespie Way.

Reed had appealed that decision to the county's hearing examiner who asked that Reed and the county meet to discuss the development's storm water detention plans.

Since that time, Reed has withdrawn his appeal and is now asking the county for a deviation to the county's development code.

But the residents who oppose the development say that to offer Reed a deviation would put their homes in danger because of the storm water run-off that could potentially flood their properties and possibly enter their well water.

"Those of us who live in the area down gradient of the proposed development have collectively spent tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours dealing with damage caused by repeated flooding both outside and inside our homes," the petition reads. "We strongly see your duty as one to properly interpret and provide us protection from any deviations of county regulations, specifically those regarding storm water infiltration and drinking water safety that will harm the neighboring properties and jeopardize wellness of the current residents."

Copies of the petition were also sent to Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge and Larry Keeton, director of the county's department of community development.

Neighbors, who formed the Tracyton Wetlands Preservation Society, have been opposed to the development from the beginning. They say they already are dealing with storm water run-off from the property and are concerned that development would increase the risk of flooding throughout the neighborhood.They contend that the developer has excavated natural soil and replaced it with fill dirt and that that has already impacted the neighborhood by exacerbating water run-off issues.

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.

The group has hired their own hydrogeologist and engineer to do independent tests and identify where the proposed development doesn’t meet county code.  As for the recent petition, Keeton said as citizens the group has the right to petition their elected officials.

"As for the SMCI project, they submitted an updated application last week, which includes the request for a technical deviation," Keeton said. "The application goes into our review cycle, like any other project and it will be reviewed per the county’s code. The decision on the technical deviation will be made at the time of review."

The review time could be up to three months, he said.

County commissioners have not yet responded to the petition.



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