Winter weather isn’t slowing down the City of Sequim at the end of the year. At the city council’s last meeting it approved height exemptions for certain peripherals on three-story buildings; meanwhile, city staff looks to go social networking, install street signs and more.
Sequim city councilors went to new heights on Dec. 10 to approve exemptions for some buildings.
They voted 5-1, with Erik Erichsen opposed, to allow exemptions for elevator towers, heating and cooling equipment, and solar and wind energy structures on top of buildings that make them taller than the 35-foot height limit.
Previously, the city code didn’t allow for additions on top of these taller buildings; the exemption legalizes buildings like the Holiday Inn Express and Conference Center.
Erichsen maintained his stance against the exemptions because he feels raising the height limits could lead to an increase in limits later on.
“If people want to live in high-rise communities, then so be it,” he said.
“The way it’s been is how citizens want it. I believe the city should remain a small town without a skyline up as high as the mountains.”
Chris Hugo, director of community development, said the concerns for buildings’ heights are off the table.
“They would have pass a vote to break the code,” he said.
The amendment also allows for a gazebo, or open structure, on top of a roof so long as it’s not bigger than 5 percent of a roof, not more than 256 square feet, not taller than 12 feet high and no more than 4 feet wide.
Mayor Ken Hays said the amendment was generally good, but Sequim does have some height problems in certain areas and that people generally prefer a low-rise community.
The amendment allows for the exemptions mentioned unless the structures “significantly impact access to light, air and views by neighboring properties as an inducement to the efficient and practical design of development encouraged in these districts.”
Interviews for Don Hall’s vacant Sequim City Council seat have been pushed back to 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, in the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St.
Applications will be accepted through 4 p.m. Jan. 7, to the city clerk in city hall.
Current candidates include Ron Fairclough, John Jensen, Karen Pritchard and Genaveve Starr.
The Sequim City Council position expires Dec. 31, 2013. Its salary is $150 per month and applicants must be registered voters of the City of Sequim, have a one-year continuous period of residence in the City of Sequim and hold no other public office or employment under the city government.
Applications are available at Sequim City Hall, 152 W. Cedar St., by calling 683-4139 or online at www.sequimwa.gov.
City crews are installing new, larger street signs, which use the city’s logo, across downtown Sequim.
The project is ongoing due to budget constraints and signs will be replaced by the end of the year on Sequim Avenue between Fir and Hemlock streets, and on Washington Street between Brown Road and Fifth Avenue.
Staff estimates three to four years to replace all of the city’s signs.