Who Owns Woods View?

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.

17 thoughts on “Who Owns Woods View?

  1. Sounds like the neighbors will not know who owns the property until something happens and they or the County sue whoever the real owners are. It makes you wonder how many other properties have this amount of confusion as to ownership. It makes you wonder how the property taxes are paid when no one person or organization seems to claim ownership.
    Must be the lawyers who are profiting from this boondoggle.
    Roger Gay
    South Kitsap

  2. Roger – Here’s some basic information on trusts that I got from an online dictionary. It would appear to me that while Woods View II LLC is the legal owner, Beckett Trust is ultimately responsible for payment of taxes. I welcome edification from the legal community.

    Chris Henry, reporter


    A relationship created at the direction of an individual, in which one or more persons hold the individual’s property subject to certain duties to use and protect it for the benefit of others.

    Individuals may control the distribution of their property during their lives or after their deaths through the use of a trust. There are many types of trusts and many purposes for their creation. A trust may be created for the financial benefit of the person creating the trust, a surviving spouse or minor children, or a charitable purpose. Though a variety of trusts are permitted by law, trust arrangements that are attempts to evade creditors or lawful responsibilities will be declared void by the courts.

    The law of trusts is voluminous and often complicated, but generally it is concerned with whether a trust has been created, whether it is a public or private trust, whether it is legal, and whether the trustee has lawfully managed the trust and trust property.


  3. Thanks Chris, for all of your follow up information. Something sure doesn’t seem “right” but that should be no surprise…Jackie

  4. Let’s see … a lawyer whose name is on the owning trust and now representing a previous lawyer who once owned the property but is now taking legal action against the County.

    Some key facts missing are when was trust set up, and does the trust carry more scope than just Woods View.

    I can easily imagine the trust being set up between the two lawyers to avoid creditors a preserve a good name for Piper in the community.

    Piper didn’t say when she sold her interest in the property … that would have had to have been recorded. If the trust was established in the same relative timeframe, then it may well be n illegal trust.

    But, then again, this might all be on the legal up and up. Lawyers have access to legal loopholes, and that’s why they get paid the big bucks.

    This could get interesting.

  5. This gets VERY interesting. Who owns this project? Would a real name please come forward? If Piper is no longer the “single owner” of the Woods View development, and Beckett isn’t either, and it really is getting shoved off to a homeowners association, then the Large Onsite Septic System (LOSS) permit is no longer valid. The LOSS permit which was approved by the Washington State Department of Health states that the LOSS, land (and any future homes, I believe) must be retained in “single ownership”. This must be why Piper tried to pass this off as a “Condominium development”. The reason they went with “single ownership” for this LOSS is because the portion of the RCW pertaining to the use of a LOSS does not allow a LOSS at the current (rural, RR5) Woods View development location to be used for a “Residential housing development”. Now, if the LOSS permit will be nulified, that will also nulify the SEPA permit approval, which was contingent on the approval of the LOSS permit. Oh dear me! It certainly seems like most the county-issued permits would need to be re-applied for.

    Who is the current owner of this debacle? …Some contractors (who would like to get paid) would also like to know the answer to this question. We know who started it. Oh yes, it would also be nice to know the answer to the first question posed in this blog: “Who would be held accountable to protect Beaver Creek from run-off from the site while negotiations on the foreclosure are still in progress?”

    Another strange thing I noticed today while perusing the Kitsap County Auditor’s website: Darlene Piper signed over a large portion of her Bethel Avenue mall to Guy Beckett (for a buck, yep that’s $1) back in July of 2009 to avoid foreclosure. Seems to be a pattern here.

  6. Ms. Piper’s lawsuit finally clarifies for certain the answers to my questions. Her lawsuit states that under the current requirements of the permit by WA DOH for the LOSS, whomever the “owner” is CANNOT sell the lots. Piper claims that the “single ownership” requirement makes the lots “nearly valueless” because individuals cannot own the land. The lawsuit also reveals that she has approached WA DOH to revise the permit for the LOSS to allow for public entity management even though Kitsap County has stated that is not allowed. That, in fact, is much of the basis of her lawsuit against the County it seems, e.g. that the County has been outrageous and capricious and caused her emotional and financial harm. Mr. Beckett’s brief on Ms. Piper’s behalf is a public document, available from the Pierce County Superior Court’s website. And interesting read indeed.

  7. To Roger Gay and others interested in the topic:

    Even though the site is in foreclosure and upon foreclosure any opportunity for this developer to develop the site will be extinguished, the developer is funding the maintenance and monitoring of the site in accordance with Kitsap County requirements. Storm discharge samples have been taken and logged, also in accordance with Kitsap County requirements. All maintenance and monitoring obligations are current.

    Guy Beckett

  8. This is directly in response to “Concerned Citizen’s” comment. Your allegation is completely false. I have never had any ownership interest in any building in the “Bethel Avenue mall.” No one has ever signed any portion of any building, much less “a large portion” of the development, to me for any amount of money (much less a dollar)to “avoid foreclosure” or for any other reason.

    That is the danger of anonymity in these blog postings. Anyone can say anything he or she chooses, without regard for the truth, without attribution, and without consequence.

    Chris, I appreciate your interest in this story. It is an issue of substantial controversy. I am not and have never been an owner or beneficiary of Beckett Trust, but the reality is that who currently is the owner of Woods View II, LLC is irrelevant — the property will likely be owned by a bank soon by foreclosure, and the neighbors will have a new target for their ire. No one can know now what the bank’s plans for the property are.

    An important part of this story is what the County did behind closed doors. This is the story that has yet to be told. Please keep following the story. Thank you.

    Guy Beckett

  9. This is in response to the Guy Beckett:

    This is directly in response to “Concerned Citizen’s” comment:
    “Your allegation is completely false. I have never had any ownership interest in any building in the “Bethel Avenue mall.” No one has ever signed any portion of any building, much less “a large portion” of the development, to me for any amount of money (much less a dollar)to “avoid foreclosure” or for any other reason.”

    Everyone reading this: Check the Kitsap Auditor’s website for deed 200907160200, grantor Piper Development Project, Piper, Darlene, grantee: Beckett Trust. You can click onto “PDF”, and you can read the document.

    If that’s not you Mr. Beckett, it certainly is strange that there is another individual with your name involved in this morass. I advise anyone reading this blog to check out the deed for yourself. It’s there in black and white.

  10. Again, concerning Beckett’s claim that, “I have never had any ownership interest in any building in the “Bethel Avenue mall.” No one has ever signed any portion of any building, much less “a large portion” of the development, to me for any amount of money (much less a dollar)to “avoid foreclosure” or for any other reason.”

    Since it’s a little difficult maneuvering through the Auditors website to see the particular deed of interest, here’s the website that should get you to the deed (The title of the deed is ,”DEED IN LIEU OF FORECLOSURE”):


    This site will give you the tax parcel number, which you can plug into the county’s website to get the details on what building(s) are involved in the “DEED IN LIEU OF FORECLOSURE”. From here you can see that Piper turned over the west portion (roughly half) of the main building facing Bethel Avenue to Beckett Trust. Use the “Map it” function to see the actual layout(s).

    OK Mr. Beckett, if you’re not the recipient (and have no interest) of this particular real estate, perhaps you can explain what this deed is all about.

    Why would Piper turn over a large part of her mall as a “DEED IN LIEU OF FORECLOSURE” to YOUR trust? I see similar parallels in the Woods View fiasco that you are intwined in, so please enlighten us.

  11. Dear Concerned Citizen:

    Woods View II, LLC is the current owner of the Woods View property. Beckett Trust is the owner of all membership interest in Woods View II, LLC. As Ms. Henry quoted me in her original article, and as I explained in my earlier post to this blog site, I own no interest in, and am not a beneficiary of, Beckett Trust. It is not my trust and I do not stand to benefit from it other than as any other attorney stands to benefit from a client. You can believe me or not, but given the tenor of your posts, it appears that nothing I post here will “enlighten” you in the manner you wish to be “enlightened.”

    What this “deed is all about” appears to be just as you described: Ms. Piper signed a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure in favor of Beckett Trust (again, an entity in which I have no interest) to a portion of the property. Nothing more and nothing less, and certainly not nefarious or part of a conspiracy to defraud any person or entity. Who exactly do you think is being defrauded by this transaction, and why are Ms. Piper’s private financial matters your concern in any event? They certainly are not matters of substantial public importance. Ms. Piper has no obligation to explain her financial affairs to you.

    As far as my “intwinement” (do you mean “entwined in,” by the way?) with the Woods View matter, I am the attorney for the Plaintiffs in the lawsuit that has been filed against the County and some of its officials. I represent the Plaintiffs in litigation about the Woods View development. That is my involvement, and all my involvement, in the Woods View matter, notwithstanding your implicit suggestion to the contrary.

    And lastly, why hide behind a pseudonym? Again, no attribution means there are no consequences for false statements.

    Guy Beckett

  12. Concerning Beckett’s comment: “Beckett Trust is the owner of all membership interest in Woods View II, LLC.”

    This is exactly as I suspected.

    And to quote Beckett again, “And lastly, why hide behind a pseudonym? Again, no attribution means there are no consequences for false statements.”

    (1) “Why hide behind a pseudonym” – Definition of pseudonym, “n.) A fictitious name assumed for the time, as by an author; There is nothing fictitious about “Concerned Citizen”. It’s what I am and if you think I am giving you my real name so you can use it in to your litigious world, you can file that in your “fat chance” brief.

    (2) “no attribution means there are no consequences for false statements”
    Definition of attribution: The act of attributing, especially the act of establishing a particular person as the creator of a work of art.

    Thank you Mr. Beckett for referring to my writing as “a work of art”.

    I will give you one though Mr. Beckett. I did mean “entwined” instead of “intwined”. Your spell check must be working. However, in retrospect a better word would have been “intertwined” which means, “to unite or be united by twisting or twining together”, as a ball of worms, which pretty much describes the Woods View fiasco, with all of it’s lawsuits, foreclosures and liens.

    But I must ask again, WHO (real name(s) please, not a pseudonym) owns Woods View II ?????

  13. Mr. Beckett, thank you for providing some information for us but I’m still confused. You’ve said you do not have any “interest” in the Beckett Trust although it has your name. OK. You have also said Darlene Piper no longer owns Woods View. So I think the question Concerned Citizen seems to be asking is what are the names of the people who run, monitor, are involved with, have any financial interest in “Beckett Trust”?

    Can a trust just sit out there in the wind as a piece of paper with no human beings “attached” or supervising the assets? So, yes, I’d still like you to explain WHO is involved because it is hard to understand as a “regular” person, i.e. “non-lawyer” how a “Trust” can own something but be totally lacking in human involvement.

    I think we want to know who are the humans?
    And, will the Beckett Trust stop owning 100% membership interest in Woods View II when “it” forecloses?

    Maybe there is a buyer out there who would want to know who to contact to buy the project? Is there a phone number for the Beckett Trust?

  14. June Garrett-Groshong, whose concerns I reference in the blog post, has asked me to clarify that, while she is a member of the Beaver Creek Conservation Group, she is not a spokesperson for that group.

    Chris Henry, Reporter

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