The investigation of the illegal clearing of shoreline vegetation at Mar Vista Resort on San Juan Island continues.
Forester Bud Westcott from the Department of Natural Resources Forest Practices planned to visit the site Monday, December 23. However, due to the breakdown of the Sealth ferry and the holidays this week, his visit is delayed until December 30, 2013.
County staff directed the people who cut and burned vegetation along the shoreline to place the straw and erosion control on the area. MORE PHOTOS
After examining the site he will consult with staff from other state agencies who also make onsite visits. A determination of what action to pursue will be made.
San Juan County is also pursuing code enforcement against the property owners and the person(s) who did the actual clearing. The identity of the workers has not been determined as of Monday, December 23.
In April of this year, a Residential Pre-Application report was written, at the request of the property owner Dave Honeywell. A county planner visited the site and provided information and suggested ways to accomodate the construction of a new house. Boundary line adjustments were discussed. to make the necessary density possible. The completed RPA was discussed with current caretaker Bob Elford. The architect Michael Tranfo and Rich Petro were also invited to the meeting.
According to the RPA, the owners want to remove some of the eight existing cabins, fix or replace others, refurbish the circa 1900s Victorian house and build a new house.
The RPA report included the following:
There are two Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) that affect these parcels.
Marine Habitat Area: The shoreline and waters offshore of the subject parcel contains protected marine habitat areas, as such, any development proposal within 300 feet must mitigate to the maximum extent feasible any significant adverse impact to habitat functions and values and to habitat buffers (SJCC 18.30.160 (B) 1.a) and temporary and permanent erosion and sedimentation controls must be provided to prevent the introduction of sediments or pollutants to water bodies or water courses within the habitat area (emphasis mine - meaning the planner who wrote the report) SJCC 18.30.160(B)1.c
This means that regardless of the size of any proposed development, a full Storm Water Management Plan must be submitted for review that addresses the Western Washington Storm Water Management Manual Minimum Requirements 1-5. The use of herbicides and pesticides should be avoided and all chemicals should be contained in-doors or under cover as well. Additionally septic drain-fields must be at least 100 feet from the edge of the habitat. All Marine Habitats are presumed to extend up to Ordinary High Tide and measurements should be taken from that point, however, if the applicant believes the ESAs are further from shore they must provide evidence of that claim to this department.
An emergency stop work order was issued Tuesday, December 17 regarding the removal of trees and brush from the shoreline. Besides the vegetation removal, burning of the area was also done.
The emergency order states:
In THE MATTER OF COMPLIANCE By Orca Dreams LLC with chapters 18.30, 18.40, 18.50, 18.60 and Chapter 18.100 of the San Juan County code.
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN pursuant to San Juan County Code (SJCC) 18.30.160(B)c, 18.40.150 A)&(B), 18.50 et al., 18.60.07(D)2 and Chapter 18.100 et al that an EMERGENCY ORDER is issued to Orcas Sreams LLC & Dave Honeywell for violating the terms of San Juan County Code by:
A) Clearing and grading in the Shoreline Jurisdiction without benefit of permitting, or associated with an approved shoreline development.
B) Converting land to a non-forestry use by converting land to a non-forestry use without benefit of an approved Class IV General Forest Practice Permit that has received SEPA review.
C) Failing to manage a shoreline activity in a manner that minimizes adverse impacts to surrounding land and water uses, aesthetic compatibility, or to utilize effective erosion control methods.
D) Conducting land disturbing activity greater than one (1) acre without benefit of an NPDES permit from the Washington State Department of Ecology.
YOU ARE REQUIRED TO: IMMEDIATELY STOP All Clearing and Grading activity within the Shoreline Jurisdiction and properly install sediment and erosion controls pursuant to the Best Management Practices detailed in the Storm Water Management Manual for Western Washington to stabilize the cleared area.
DESCRIPTION OF VIOLATING CONDITIONS AND APPLICABLE RULES:
An inquiry of the above referenced property on 12/13/2013 & 12/16/2013 along with a further review of San Juan County records, noted the following violations of the San Juan County Code:
1. It is a violation of San Juan County Code 18.50.160(A) to clear and grade in the Shoreline Jurisdiction without benefit of permitting or associated with an approved shoreline development.
2. It is a violation of San Juan County Code 18.50.330(B)8 to remove trees in the shoreline beyond those required to construct a single-family residence without an approved tree removal plan.
3. It is a violation of San Juan County Code 18.40.150 (A)&(B) to convert land to a non-forestry use without benefit of an approved Class IV General Forest Practice Permit that has received SEPA review.
4. It is a violation of San Juan County Code 18.30.160(B)1c to fail to implement temporary and permanent erosion and sedimentation controls to prevent the introduction of sediments or pollutants to water bodies or water courses within Marine Habitat areas.
5. It is a violation of San Juan County Code 18.60.070(D)2 to engage in ground disturbing activity greater than one (1) acre without benefit of an approved NPDES permit from the Washington State Department of Ecology.
Under the county code, the fine for the first violation is $1000; for repeat violations the fine is $1000.