Kitsap County idling over private dock decision

PORT ORCHARD — After hearing testimony from all sides June 13 regarding a private dock proposal for Port Gamble Bay, Hearing Examiner Stephen K. Causseaux Jr. is now determining whether to close the file and rule on the final decision or allow the county further time to examine the environmental effects and length concerns.

Both issues were raised during the public hearing, by the proponent, Charles Peters, and the Friends of Port Gamble Bay and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe. Now, all are waiting for Causseaux to either close the project file or leave it open allowing for more work time. Once closed, he has 30 days to make a decision.

“The Peters’ dock is still with the hearing examiner in review before he issues a decision,” said Kitsap County Department of Community Development shoreline planner Lisa Lewis. “I understand from (State Environmental Policy Act county coordinator David Greetham) he is responding to a SEPA appeal and challenges to the environmental review.”

During the hearing, Peters testified the county restricted the length of the original 220-foot dock to 100 feet in its recommendation and did not give him a chance to appeal the decision. Causseaux is reviewing this information along with presentations from a tribal biologist relating the different ways such a project could damage the bay, at either length. A tribal fisherman explained how the dock would impend fishing in the area and the FOPGB had several residents testify about how it would restrict their recreational use of the water.

“That’s his decision,” Greetham said of allowing additional time for Peters to appeal the changes to his proposal. “A week ago (Monday) we gave opinions about reopening the SEPA. We expect his decision to be soon, we have not heard yet.”

Both the tribe and the FOPGB filed for appeals after a Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance was issued Feb. 8, and the original hearing was slated for mid-April. It was postponed after Peters learned of the changes to his project and requested more time to respond.

The Peters did not return phone calls for comment on the issue by press time.

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