The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Renaissance town proponents speak at county commission

 

October 4, 2018



` Proponents of a Renaissance theme cooperative farm in the Elochoman Valley presented their plans to concerned neighbors Tuesday before the county board of commissioners.

JD Honoré and his wife, Shira, purchased a farm from Margaret and Dale Strueby, taking possession just before the end of September. A website and Facebook page presented their concepts for a Tudor style village, Taylor Town.

Word of the plans quickly spread on social media, and citizens expressing concerns ranging from traffic and noise to environmental pollution and cult activities converged before the county commission last week to ask what could be done to stop the project.

At that time, David Hicks, county building inspector and planner, commented that the project would have a variety of building codes and permits to satisfy before there could be any construction.

They were back Tuesday, and Honoré and his wife joined them.

The Honorés attempted to address the concerns, adding that they've worked with the Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce to schedule a community meet-and-greet event October 18 at the Wahkiakum Community Center in Cathlamet.

JD Honoré said the process would take a couple years to achieve initial goals. They'll have security and medical staff on site during fairs which will be located far from neighboring residences. The Renaissance village would be comprised of 14 shops with apartments on the upper story and community center.

"It wouldn't be incorporated," JD Honoré said, "It's more like a living history museum."

Actual development would be on 1 1/2 acres of the 40 acre farm, Shira Honoré said.

Some concerns were personal.

Valley resident Rick Selby accused the Honorés of driving slowly in front of his house several times.

"That's stalking," he said. "We didn't sleep good all weekend. It's putting me in the position where I'm going to start packing a gun."

"That wasn't us, sir," JD Honoré said.

Others commented that the couple should have presented their plans to neighbors much earlier, and that their actions seem deceptive.

"You should have presented it to the neighbors first," said Paul Walton. "That's respect."

JD Honoré pointed out that someone had broadcast their plans on social media before the couple had a chance to meet neighbors.

Several speakers expressed support for the couple and urged patience.

 

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