Tarboo Ridge Coalition asks county to open process on Fort Discovery

The Tarboo Ridge Coalition, in a letter signed by Peter Newland, their legal and government affairs chairman, has asked the Jefferson County Commissioners to end it’s mediation agreement with the Fort Discovery Corporation and open all documents related to it’s previous negotiations.

It is clear at this point, with the determination of the Growth Management Board that the County ordinance that was the outcome of this secret negotiations was a failure on behalf of the Commissioners, that something must change. While they may have gone along with their legal guidance in doing this, it’s time to call it what it is and take a different tactic. The county, instead of simply assuming that Fort Discovery would sue, forced the citizens of this county who are fighting the proposal, Tarboo Ridge, to sue. This contributed to an appearance of favoring the proposal by Fort Discovery, who, as the letter below states, “The fact that the corporation is continuing its practice of building without permits while the County fails to restrain the illegal construction or issue stop work orders works an impossible hardship on the public’s trust and confidence in the fairness of its government.”

I have included the letter in it’s entirety below. The Olympic Peninsula Environmental News supports the ideas conveyed in this letter. It’s time to change tactics at the Commissioners meetings, and accept that there is no easy way out of this mess. Stop putting the opponents of this project at a disadvantage. It won’t help resolve this. The goals of this corporation appear to be at odds with the goals of the County  and the majority of it’s citizens, given the actions that have taken place.  Hard decisions must be made, regardless of the consequences.

 


October 8, 2019

Jefferson County Board of Commissioners The Honorable Kate Dean, Chair

RE: Preparations to comply with GMHB Final Decision and Order Dear Commissioners,

On January 16, 2018, prior to any hearings or officially adopting a moratorium on shooting range permit applications, the BoCC entered into a mediation agreement with Fort Discovery Inc., ostensibly to discuss how the moratorium might affect the corporation’s nascent concept to build a shooting compound near Tarboo Lake.

As Jefferson County prepares to draft a new shooting range ordinance, TRC respectively requests that the BoCC terminate Jefferson County’s mediation agreement with Fort Discovery Corporation and release all the documents and records related to it.

You’ll recall that, as allowed by law, TRC asked to observe but not participate in, the mediation. Our request was summarily denied and thus began 20 months of secret discussions between Fort Discovery officials, the county Deputy Civil Prosecutor, and occasionally other county representatives. In nearly two years of mediation meetings the parties have yet to appear before the mediator.

Numerous meetings between the parties were held behind closed doors throughout 2018 while the (now invalid) ordinances were being written and while the BoCC was holding public hearings and receiving testimony. Public Records Requests for minutes and other records of those private meetings have yielded hundreds of pages of documents, nearly all with redactions-many pages are almost totally blacked out. The County claims the documents are the work product of ”preparing for mediation” and thus eligible to be shielded from public review.

However well-meaning the County’s intentions were, the goal of avoiding litigation was not successful and the secret meetings have tainted the process with the stigma of favoritism.

The stigma is exacerbated by Fort Discovery’s history with Jefferson County. The fact that the corporation is continuing its practice of building without permits while the County fails to restrain the illegal construction or issue stop work orders works an impossible hardship on the public’s trust and confidence in the fairness of its government.

As we begin anew, the public interest is best served by a full understanding of the facts. Closed­ door meetings with Fort Discovery officials should not be allowed to taint the redrafting of Title 8 and 18. The GMHB has given our community a second chance. We urge the BoCC to clear the air and start the redrafting process on an open, trustworthy, positive path.

Local gun facility sited in Spokane article

Interesting article helping to put the controversy over the firing range here at Tarboo Lake into a larger context. I’ll leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions.

“An apocalyptic book series shows the type of society Rep. Matt Shea and his allies dream of rebuilding”

Today, Overstreet is an attorney for Security Services Northwest and Fort Discovery, two organizations run by a Joe D’Amico — a man who’s been tangled up with various legal and regulatory battles in Jefferson County for nearly 15 years. The latest conflict stems from D’Amico’s planned Cedar Hills Recreational Facility, a proposed 40-acre gun range and recreational facility on the Olympic Peninsula.

And at first, a group of property owners opposing the project formed the Tarboo Ridge Coalition, simply worried about the disruption from guns and helicopters.

But then, Tarboo President Scott Freeman says, his nephew stumbled across the 299 Days series. And they figured out that Tate had clearly based the character “Joe Tantori” on Joe D’Amico.

“Very, very quickly we realized the issue was much deeper,” Freeman says.

https://www.inlander.com/spokane/an-apocalyptic-book-series-shows-the-type-of-society-rep-matt-shea-and-his-allies-dream-of-rebuilding/Content?oid=18345627&fbclid=IwAR2FQ-bYcCyqitLytHF6LQwo5WXIZBeh8Ntj8WFGDh7lK5VzjtNN0fLdJfM

Growth Management Hearings Board Sides With TRC – Jefferson County’s Commercial Shooting Ordinances Invalidated

It is indeed sad that our county could not have understood this to begin with, rather than force the Tarboo Ridge Coalition to file a lawsuit for something so clearly out of line with the law. This is probably the low point for our county commissioners in my mind. A true failure to do the right thing and expect the courts to clean up the mess. I would like to have a county commissioner get interviewed to explain themselves.

NEWS FLASH 9/16/2019

Growth Management Hearings Board Sides With TRC

Jefferson County’s Commercial Shooting Ordinances Invalidated

 

Tarboo Ridge Coalition’s appeal of Jefferson County’s “commercial shooting facility” ordinances, passed in late 2018, were struck down by the GMHB in a 21 page report issued late today.

The Board agreed with TRC that both ordinances (Title 8-Health and Safety Code and Title 18- Land Use Code) were indeed land use regulations that expand the size, scope and types of land allowed for gun ranges. The Board further noted that the cross references in the two ordinances between the definitions and the permitting and appeals processes also make them both land use regulations.

The Board also found that Title 8 was adopted without SEPA review, in violation of the law. The Board found that the failure to conduct SEPA review resulted in a substantial interference with the Growth Management Act’s environmental goals, in that the County didn’t even ask what the environmental impacts of Title 8 would be.

The County was instructed to take action by March 2, 2020 to fix its violations and report to the Hearing Board on March 16, 2020 what actions it took.

TRC is grateful for the opportunity to start over and is dedicated to keep working with all of you for a sensible and fair ordinance that includes specific siting criteria with bright line rules about the location, size and intensity of new gun facilities. We also believe any proposed new ordinance must pass muster with the Planning Commission following rigorous environmental review.

THANK YOU TO THE HUNDREDS OF SUPPORTERS WHO HAVE CARRIED US THIS FAR. TODAY YOUR EFFORTS WERE REWARDED! **

**The full 21 page decision is posted on our website. We will provide additional information there and by e-mail in the days ahead.

 

 

 

EVENT: Beyond Waste Action Group 9/10

Beyond Waste Action Group – Local 20/20 – Tues  September 10th
The Beyond Waste Action Groupmeets the second Tuesday of each month at either 10:30 a.m.-12:00 or 7pm-8:30pm, depending on the month.  The group looks at a number of issues including food-waste composting, plastics reduction and recycling, reduction of garbage on an individual and community level, and various other waste-related topics that spontaneously come up during the meeting.  Newcomers are always welcome. Email Lisafor info on monthly agenda and meeting time and venue. Location: Uptown PT.
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Location:  contact Lisa.

Northwest Watershed Institute meets goal to fund Tarboo Forest addition.

From Peter Bahls.

Dear Friends of Tarboo Creek and Dabob Bay,

I am happy to report that thanks to your generous support, Northwest Watershed Institute has raised the remaining funding needed to conserve the Tarboo forest addition. We could not have done it without you! THANK YOU!

As you may recall, Northwest Watershed Institute purchased the beautiful 21-acre forest last fall with private loans to prevent it from being clearcut and developed. Your contributions combined with grant funding from the Jefferson County Conservation Futures fund will allow us to pay off the loans and secure it as a permanent part of NWI’s Tarboo Wildlife Preserve. Thanks to your help, we plan to move ahead with putting a conservation easement on the property in November 2019 to preserve wildlife habitat, store carbon, and sustain selective harvest of forest products.

For more background on the project – please see news article at https://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/nwi-seeks-to-add-forestland-store-carbon/

Regards, Peter Bahls, Executive Director

Northwest Watershed Institute

3407 Eddy Street

Port Townsend, WA 98368

 

EVENT: State attorney general Ferguson, DNR commissioner Franz to speak Aug. 25 at Democrats’ annual Fish Feast

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, undefeated in 22 lawsuits so far against the Trump administration, will be one of two keynote speakers Sunday, Aug. 25, at the 25th annual Fish Feast in Port Townsend of the Jefferson County Democrats. Its theme this year: “There’s a Lot on the Line.”

Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, who spearheaded the development of a 10-year statewide plan to fight and prevent wildfires, will be the other keynote speaker.

Tickets for the event at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds are available for $60 at jeffcodemocrats.com and by mail at Jefferson County Democrats, P. O. Box 85, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Tickets will also be available at the door (cash, check or card).

Doors open at 4 p.m. for the bar and socializing in the Erickson Building. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., and speakers begin at 6 p.m. The party donates one dollar of each ticket to the Jefferson County Fair Board.

“The Fish Feast is our major fundraiser of the year,” said party Chair Marty Gilmore. “Each ticket purchase supports the vital work we do year-round to elect Democrats! It’s also an opportunity to hear the latest on current issues from our guest speakers – and fun time to see friends.”

Recent successes by Ferguson’s office include the largest-ever trial award in a state consumer protection case, debt relief from predatory lending for hundreds of students, and defense of the constitution by defeating the Trump administration’s attempt to add a discriminatory citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Franz’s office has led state efforts to make Washington’s lands resilient in the face of climate change, investing in carbon sequestration and clean energy with wind, solar and geothermal infrastructure. Her office has also allocated millions of dollars to struggling rural communities to spark economic opportunities.

Fish Feast attendees will also hear from U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, state Sen. Kevin Van de Wege, state Reps. Mike Chapman and Steve Tharinger, state party chair Tina Podlodowski, and local Democratic elected officials.

Before the feast is served, guests can mingle with candidates, campaigns, and organizations in Campaign Alley outside the Oscar Erickson Building.

Rep. Kilmer has sponsored tickets for 20 Young Democrats (under 35 years old). Contact Libby Wennstrom (360-301-9728) or Chelsea Pronovost (425-256-0626) to pre-register as a guest.

“We’re also offering 20 discounted tickets at our cost,” said Fish Feast organizer Claire Roney. “$25 each – first come, first serve.” For more information—or to volunteer for the Fish Feast, contact Roney at (360) 531-1177.

The Fish Feat menu will include sockeye salmon from Key City Fish, BBQed by chef Larry Dennison; shellfish from Taylor Shellfish; greens and veggies from local farms; rolls from Pane d’Amore; and cake. Beverages will include wine from the Wine Seller and beer from Port Townsend Brewing Co.

For more information about the Jefferson County Democrats, visit its website at jeffcodemocrats.com or its Facebook page, @jeffcodemocrats.

Public meeting set to discuss Duckabush River estuary restoration | Peninsula Daily News

This is great news. The old Hwy 101 bridge across this beautiful estuary is clearly at the end of it’s life. Being able to remove the highway as it is and re-engineer it’s approach and crossing can only be helpful to the estuary ecosystem. This is just south of where the Black Point development is going to go in (barring some miracle last minute issue, like an economic slowdown). The road there certainly could use widening, as well as a way for bicyclists to navigate it when traffic is heavy.

This is the kind of work that getting funds from the Federal government spreads the costs across a wide swath of the population, lowering the costs to all of us locally. In addition to this project, the causeway to Marrowstone Island is under re-engineering this summer and fall, allowing for the free flow of water between Scow Bay and Oak Bay again, for the first time in almost 100 years.

The bonus for the Duckabush re-engineering is that it should help the salmon returns to some degree. Fixing the Hood Canal Floating Bridge is going to make a huge difference as well, once they come up with an engineering solution to that problem.

Read the whole story at the PDN.

Fish and Wildlife officials to be in Brinnon on Saturday
— Read on www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/public-meeting-set-to-discuss-duckabush-river-estuary-restoration/

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