Disco Bay Alliance appeals subdivision | Letter to the editor

Posted 6/9/21

The unknown owner of Wefore LLC has instigated a development plan on 40 acres adjacent to Discovery Bay Golf Course; an area designated Rural Residential (1:5 - one dwelling per five acres) on the …

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Disco Bay Alliance appeals subdivision | Letter to the editor

Posted

The unknown owner of Wefore LLC has instigated a development plan on 40 acres adjacent to Discovery Bay Golf Course; an area designated Rural Residential (1:5 - one dwelling per five acres) on the Quimper Peninsula.

The owner’s plan: 48 high end homes with 48 ADUs possible;  suburban density with urban infrastructure requirements and costs. This person promises to mitigate the logging, grading, paving, water/sewage/stormwater treatment, electrification and lighting. He promises the golf course as open space.  

The Jefferson County Department of Community Development (JCDCD) has accepted that promise; the impacts of almost 100 dwellings compensated and made tolerable by the appearance of cultivated green golf links with degraded natural functions. There’s no document indicating the adequacy or perpetuity of this promise.

The JCDCD determined the project will have little significant impact to the rural character; habitats and functions of forests and wetlands; natural water infiltration and recharging groundwater and “the pond”; sequestering CO2. A Determination of Non-Significance (MDNS) has been issued and is now being appealed by the Discovery Bay Action Alliance  (www.dbaa.support/faqs).

The land use designation of “Rural Residential” took years of citizen participation identifying values and needs for this small, rural area on the Olympic Peninsula. Rural is a view, an aesthetic, a landscape and ecology with functions and attributes, an economy. Big chunks of land with barns and small  houses, treed roads passing fields and pastures, horses and cows, orchards, rusty tractors and pick-up trucks, creeks and wetlands. Some live it, some steward it, some visit it on the way to...

The hum of rural is very different from the beat of (sub)urban: trash pick-up, water bills, street lighting, sidewalks, dog parks, stop lights. 

Jefferson County has established Urban Growth Areas (UGA) for dense development to accommodate a housing mix, low income to high end; provide conveniences: safe drinking water, storm water and sewage treatment, public bathrooms, someday broadband.

UGAs and crossroads require expensive infrastructure. Lands designated as rural, agricultural, and critical areas have unique natural functions, sounds and smells, historical and cultural uses.  

Julie Jaman
QUIMPER PENINSULA

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Tom Thiersch

How is it legal to have this kind of high-density development outside of a UGA? No sewer = no project. Isn't that the point of the county being subject to the GMA?

Thursday, June 10