Liberty Shores to restore stream, wetland buffer
By MEGAN STEPHENSON
June 21, 2012 · Updated 5:00 PM
POULSBO — If Liberty Shores Assisted Living restores the stream and landscaping in a wetland buffer on its property to its original state, the City of Poulsbo will put the whole situation behind them.
The city put a stop work order on the property in October, finding that a wetland and wetland buffer had been altered illegally. The City Council on Wednesday approved a mitigation restoration plan with Liberty Shores.
City planner Keri Weaver said as long as the restoration is complete and the facility does not conduct any more work without a permit, there will be no penalties.
A guest of a resident reported the disturbed activity to the city in October. This guest, being a biologist, noticed the landscaping had been altered in a wetland buffer — Liberty Shores cleared and graded without permits, within the shoreline zone, planted non-native plants, and diverted a stream to avoid erosion and flooding, according to Weaver.
After the city checked on the site again in November, it found that work had continued. The city attorney wrote another stop work letter, informing the owner to contact the city for a mitigation plan or risk civil or criminal penalties.
Thomas Johnston, president and CEO of Northwest Care Management, the owner of Liberty Shores, and the city’s planning department have agreed to a plan to resolve the violation, including replanting of native plant species and restoring the original stream configuration, beginning in September. The city will check in with the property to ensure the work is done and no more violations occur.
Liberty Shores manager Sigrid Howard said she could not comment, and Johnston did not return calls for comment.
Contact North Kitsap Herald Megan Stephenson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-779-4464.