Tort claim could end in repeal of emergency measure against large buildings in rural Clallam areas

Claimant is a woman who wants to build a 32,000-square-foot bed and breakfast on East Sequim Bay Road.

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County commissioners this week are expected to take steps to repeal an emergency ordinance that put a moratorium on large buildings in rural areas.

The decision was prompted by a tort claim filed by a woman who wants to build a 32,000-square-foot bed and breakfast on East Sequim Bay Road.

Ordinance 909 limits the size of structures in rural areas to 10,000 square feet.

Commissioners passed the 60-day emergency ordinance by 2-1 vote July 26 over Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols’ reservations, with Mike Chapman and Mark Ozias voting yes and Bill Peach voting no.

After an executive session last Tuesday, the full board voted on the record to direct staff to take necessary steps to repeal the ordinance.

The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office requested the closed-door session with the board, the Department of Community Development and the Human Resources/Risk Department to discuss potential litigation related to the ordinance.

The tort claim was filed on behalf of Judy Lee, who applied to build the massive bed and breakfast at 695 E. Sequim Bay Road near Old Blyn Highway.

Public hearing

This Tuesday, commissioners are expected to call for a Sept. 6 public hearing to consider repealing the ordinance.

Meanwhile, county planners have developed interim zoning controls under the Growth Management Act that would place a moratorium on large buildings for six months.

Commissioners this Tuesday will consider calling a Sept. 6 hearing on the proposed six-month zoning controls.

“The idea would be that the moment when 909 expires, the interim ordinances take effect,” Clallam County Civil Prosecuting Attorney David Alvarez told KONP radio.

“So there won’t be any gap in that regard.”

Mary Ellen Winborn, the elected Community Development director, has described the proposed bed and breakfast as a “hotel.”

It would be larger than the Quality Inn &Suites in Sequim and the new Clallam County Public Utility District headquarters in Carlsborg.

The four-story building would have 25 bathrooms and five overnight suites with 11 total rooms for guests, county Planning Manager Steve Gray has said.

Winborn is tasked with determining whether Lee’s application was vested before Ordinance 909 took effect July 26.

The ordinance was passed as Winborn was awaiting the applicant’s payment to begin a plan-check review for the project.

If the application is deemed to have been vested before the ordinance took effect, the six-month moratorium would not apply to the bed and breakfast, Alvarez said.

The East Sequim Bay Road property is owned by Dzogchen, Lee’s Los Angeles-based LLC. The parcel was purchased May 17 for $400,000, according to county records.

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

Timber sale, block grants discussed at county meetings

Government entities meet next week on North Olympic Peninsula

Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group

The Rev. ClayOla Gitane, rector at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, places signs and teddy bears in memory of the 21 victims of Tuesday's mass shooting in Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Church hosts candlelight service for Texas school shooting victims

Prayer vigil tonight will include an interfaith service

c
NWI: Purchase protects Discovery Creek headwaters

Ninety-one acres bought from Rayonier

Dr. Gib Morrow, Dr. Allison Berry and OESD Superintendent Greg Lynch.
Public health officers honored for COVID-19 work

Greg Lynch, superintendent at the Olympic Educational Service District 114,… Continue reading

Charges to be urged after report of toy guns at schools

Students allegedly pose on campuses over weekend

Memorial Day edition available online only

Memorial Day is a federal holiday and the U.S. Postal Service does… Continue reading

Memorial Day ceremonies set Monday

Flags to be placed on veterans’ graves on Saturday

Six-car collision sends two to hospital, closes road

A six-vehicle chain reaction wreck on state Highway 104 on… Continue reading

Most Read