By Chris Henry
With foreclosure pending on the Woods View development, proposed for 78 homes on 12 acres along Woods Road, neighbors are wondering who is responsible for the land.
Earlier this week, neighbor June Garrett-Groshong, a member of the Beaver Creek Conservation Group, questioned who would be held accountable to protect Beaver Creek from run-off from the site while negotiations on the foreclosure are still in progress. The site is partially cleared and covered with straw.
The Kitsap County auditor’s office shows the legal owner of the property as Woods View II LLC. Darlene Piper, who owns a law firm in Port Orchard, formerly owned Woods View II LLC but said on Tuesday she is no longer the owner.
According to Guy Beckett, a Seattle attorney representing Piper in a legal claim against Kitsap County related to the development, the legal owner of Woods View II LLC is Beckett Trust. Yes, Beckett said, it’s no accident his name is on the trust, but he is not the legal owner of Woods View II LLC either.
Beckett explained that the trust was set up some time ago as “an estate planning” tool and that it had nothing to do with the legal and logistical morass Woods View, the development, has become.
A significant issue is an on-site, self-contained sewer treatment system that will serve the single-family homes. One lender backed out over the appearance that the system classified the development as a condominium project, said Dave Walden of John L. Scott in Port Orchard, who has worked with Woods View since 2005.
According to Walden, a new potential lender has been identified, and a semantic change names the entity responsible for the system as a homeowners association.
Woods View II LLC owes First Citizens Bank and Trust Co. of Tacoma more than $1.2 million. Terrence J. Donahue, the attorney representing First-Citizens in the foreclosure, did not return calls from the Kitsap Sun this week.
Walden on Tuesday said that negotiations which could avert the foreclosure were under way with potential buyers for the project, including NeuBuilt Homes of Tacoma. Rick Neumann of NeuBuilt was out of town and unavailable for comment. On Friday, however, Neumann said that while he at one time had a conversation with Walden about the possibility of purchasing Woods View, he had never made a commitment to do so.
Neumann, whose company was set to build homes on the property, said he would not consider such a purchase unless certain problems, including the septic issue, were worked out. He has “moved on” to other projects, he said.