Once again, development of a proposed 66-lot manufactured home park in Carlsborg is moving forward.
Clallam County Hearing Examiner Andrew Reeves approved the 55-and-older development at the corner of Atterberry Road and Hooker Road by builder Chris Anderson on Aug. 19.
His latest decision follows an appeal under the Land Use Petition Act (LUPA) by neighbors, called the Concerned Atterberry Neighbors (CAN), in Kitsap Superior Court. They appealed Reeves’ previous approval of the project.
Reeves had rejected two prior applications on the property featuring 77 homes and a similar, 66-home project.
Earlier this year, Melissa Hemstreet, a Kitsap County Superior Court judge, reversed or remanded six alleged violations for the development.
For the application to be approved, Reeves had Anderson and Clallam County staff address six issues for the binding site plan.
• if Matriotti Creek is properly classified as a Type 3 stream, requiring a 100-foot buffer
• whether the Habitat Management Plan addresses wildlife species and habitat on site
• if the geotechnical report addresses potential geological hazards
• if materials address a mapped wetland area to the east of the property
• if road widths and right-of-way widths for the private roadways meet code requirements
Stream typing remained a top issue in court.
Hemstreet reversed Reeves’ earlier decision to allow the classification as a Type 3 and 100-foot buffer, as opposed to a Type 2 and 150-foot buffer.
Neighbors contested that a county Critical Areas Map designated Matriotti Creek a Type 2 and Hemstreet felt county officials’ evidence wasn’t strong enough to reclassify it.
To counter this for the latest approval, Clallam county staff amended the Critical Areas Map to show that the creek is a Type 3 stream.
In his decision, Reeves said Hemstreet did not prohibit him in the remand from reviewing additional evidence supporting the finding that the creek is a Type 3, which he felt had been addressed again.
Reeves also said he felt Anderson and the county addressed the court’s issues with a Habitat Management Plan, geotechnical report, wetlands, road widths and right-of-way.
In his decision, he said the court found his previous approval on the plan did not include a detailed analysis of the Habitat Management Plan, and that Anderson didn’t mention threatened species on-site like steelhead.
However, Anderson submitted a new plan that Reeves said addresses wildlife. It also addresses a mapped wetland on the east side of the property.
Reeves said that county staff reviewed it and found the buffer for Matriotti Creek would exceed any wetland buffer required.
A geotechnical report addressing seismic hazards on site was also submitted prior to the July 16 remand hearing, which Reeves said suffices.
Anderson also modified the project’s roads to be 24-feet-wide with at least 50 feet of right-of-way opposed to 20-feet-wide roads at the request of the court.
Appellants have 10 days, or until Saturday, Aug. 29, to appeal Reeves’ decision.
Whether Concerned Atterberry Neighbors will file is unknown.
Representatives said they are “understandably disappointed in the Hearing Examiner’s recent decision, and are still considering whether to appeal.”
“It seems unreasonable to us that Clallam County’s desire to downgrade a stream-type could be accomplished so quickly and administratively by simply changing and re-publishing the stream’s formal depiction on a county map,” they wrote.
“A more reasonable process for properly characterizing a stream-type, in our view, would necessarily involve a science-based fish study to count and identify the specific species actually present from season to season in Matriotti Creek.”
For more information about the Clallam County Hearing Examiner, visit www.clallam.net/Permits/hearingexaminer.html.