PORT ANGELES — Yet again, a proposed manufactured home development in Carlsborg for residents who are 55 and older sits before the Clallam County Hearing Examiner Andrew Reeves.
His latest decision on the binding site plan on the 66-lot property is expected by Feb. 22. He previously denied two forms of the proposal.
Reeves heard testimonies on Feb. 7 in the Clallam County Courthouse from Department of Community Development staff, builder Chris Anderson and his engineer Tracy Gudgel, and opponents of the projects under the group name Concerned Atterberry Neighbors (CAN).
County staff recommend the plan move forward again after they said they feel Anderson has addressed Reeves’ concerns from previous denials, along with meeting 34 conditions for the development slated for the corner of Atterberry and Hooker Roads.
For this application, County senior planner Donella Clark said staff held a stream classification meeting on Nov. 14, 2018, with multiple agencies to determine if neighboring Matriotti Creek was a Type 2 or 3 stream. They determined it was a Type 3 stream and requires a 100-foot buffer.
Nearby residents continue to say it should be a Type 2 stream requiring a minimum 150-foot buffer because it houses important habitat for endangered/threatened fish.
Reeves asked county planner Greg Ballard if under state law (WAC 222-16-031) if opponents of the stream classification should have been on site too because they offered testimony from experts on stream typing.
Ballard replied that typically it’s only government agencies allowed and that staff for state Department of Natural Resources makes the final determination. Contesting parties typically include staff from the Department of Fish and Wildlife and/or an impacted Native American tribe, he said.
“This process is pretty much how it’s always been,” Ballard said. “If you review the criteria, it’s always been my experience you let the agencies make the interpretation.”
Those involved in the stream typing “informal conference” were Ross Goodwin with Natural Resources, Ballard, Chis Waldbillig and Danielle Ziotmer with State Fish and Wildlife, and Hilton Turnball with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.
Anderson said he and Gudgel were on the premises during the discussion but weren’t part of discussions.
Alex Sidles, attorney for CAN, told Reeves on Feb. 7 that the group feels opponents should have been a part of the discussion as part of state law, and that the “informal conference note” provided by the county didn’t go into enough detail about how a decision was reached.
Last summer Reeves agreed to reconsider the 66-site project and not include stream buffers in his reconsideration because Anderson and county staff said stream buffers classifying Matriotti Creek a Type 2 or Type 3 requiring either a 150-foot or 100-foot setback had minimal effect on the project either way.
Despite omitting stream typing from his decision on the reconsideration, Reeves denied the request citing issues with the project’s sidewalks, overflow parking and critical aquifer recharge area.
Both county staff, Anderson and Gudgel said they feel they’ve addressed the concerns.
Gudgel said the third iteration of the project added eight overflow parking spots with no street parking but two parking spots in the garage and two in each driveway.
Anderson also submitted a Critical Aquifer Recharge Area Report that county staff said won’t affect the aquifer/surface water including Matriotti Creek.
Gudgel said pipelines will be bored under the creek up to five below the existing culvert.
“They will not disturb the stream in any shape, way or form,” he said.
Sidles and his law firm Bricklin & Newman contest multiple elements of the plan, saying they don’t feel parking is adequate and not enough right-of-way is in place for the access points to Atterberry Road.
They also contest the plan’s SEPA, State Environmental Policy Act Report saying it fails to address any steelhead and other threatened/endangered fish in the creek.
If permitted, Anderson would need to widen the north side of Atterberry Road 20 feet and provide a landscaping screen 15 feet wide along the west and south property lines.
The proposed 66 homes could go on 8.66 acres of a 15.5-acre lot varying from 1,200 to 1,700 square feet and sell for about $150,000, with each property being leased out.
The first phase would include 36 homes.
At the hearing, Reeves asked for an additional week to read new exhibits from opponents of the project, but Anderson rejected the extension.
“This has been dragged on long enough,” he said.
County officials said Anderson has spent $5,347 with the county to file his three applications and it’s taken “significant staff time” to work on.
Reeves denied Anderson’s initial 73-site proposal on Aug. 17, 2017. The second proposed 66-site was denied July 26, 2018.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].