Jefferson: County erred in allowing Port Ludlow cottage industry in residential area, hearing examiner rules

PORT LUDLOW — The county erred in allowing an electrical engineering company to operate on a residential parcel off Oak Bay Road, a hearing examiner has ruled.

An “erroneous interpretation of policies and standards” led up to Double D Electric being qualified as a cottage industry operating at 6684 Oak Bay Road, county Hearing Examiner Irv Berteig wrote.

Berteig issued his decision Monday on an appeal of the permit.

Covenant Mortgage Corp. of Bellevue, which owns residential property near Double D, filed the appeal Sept. 30, 2003 — 12 days after the county issued the use permit.

At times, Berteig’s 26-page document is critical of how the county Department of Community Development went through the permitting process.

“The basic error on the part of the staff was to focus primarily on the achievement of the county’s economic goals,” Berteig wrote.

He added that the county comprehensive plan notes cottage industries as “small-scale, wholly incidental and subordinate to the residential use, and an accessory to the residence.”

That wasn’t the case with Double D, according to Berteig.

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