Jefferson County and Port Ludlow Associates (PLA) are set to share details with the community of an agreement reached in December over timber harvesting done by PLA in 2015. The county said the …
Jefferson County and Port Ludlow Associates (PLA) are set to share details with the community of an agreement reached in December over timber harvesting done by PLA in 2015. The county said the harvesting was illegal, but now says there is no evidence that PLA acted in bad faith.
The Port Ludlow Village Council is sponsoring an informational meeting at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 25 at The Bay Club, during which senior officials of both the county and PLA are to lay out the nuts and bolts of the agreement aimed at ending the dispute.
Dave Jurca, Dave McDearmid and Bill Dean, all representatives of the three community associations that represent homeowners in Port Ludlow, spent more than a year and a half bird-dogging what they considered an illegal timber harvest by PLA of roughly 70 acres.
McDearmid represented the Ludlow Maintenance Commission. Jurca represented the South Bay Community Association, and Dean represented the Port Ludlow Village Council. They called themselves “The Three Amigos” because they worked closely to push the county to take action.
All three men say they are disappointed with the agreement. They also say they want the community to move forward, not backward.
“It’s the agreement we’re all going to have to live with. The issue is to make sure residents understand it and ask how PLA and the county are going to implement it,” said Jurca. “I wish it had some other provisions and covered other issues, but wishes don’t always come true.”
“We’re not very happy with the agreement. It did not accomplish what the three organizations asked the county to accomplish,” acknowledged McDearmid. “We recognize that this is the agreement and at this point, we’re concerned about how PLA will comply with it.”
McDearmid said the county has taken on more responsibility than it has had in the past, and he and others would like to know how the county is going to monitor the agreement to ensure that it’s being followed.
Dean, who was invited to sit in on some of the negotiations, said he sees the agreement as a framework that the county and the community can use to move forward.
“It’s good to have the agreement done. We should have gone further,” Dean said. “We need to make sure we’re all comfortable it’s being followed.”
More than anything, Dean said, he hopes that the community can be brought back together.
“Now that I’m president of PLVC [Port Ludlow Village Council], the emphasis is on bringing the community back together. That’s PLVC’s mission,” Dean said.
“No one is going to take superglue and put those trees back. You can’t do that. But to protect the future and bring the community back together, that we can do. That’s what’s most important,” Dean said.
Like Jurca, Dean noted that PLA did agree to protect the 500 acres in the open space reserve, which was what the three were most concerned about in the summer of 2015.
The settlement agreement addresses areas zoned as “open space reserve,” areas zoned for future residential development for which preliminary or final plats have already been approved by the county, and areas zoned for future residential development for which no plat approvals have been obtained yet.
The three men note that the purpose of the meeting Wednesday, Jan. 25 is not to renegotiate the settlement, but to explain how the county and PLA are to implement it.
The agreement is posted online with this story at ptleader.com.