City expands application building notification process

Manufactured home, condominiums now included

Owners of local condominiums and manufactured homes will now be notified when construction projects are proposed near them in the City of Sequim.

Previously, land and property owners within 300 feet of the proposed project would be notified of an application and pending meetings and comment periods.

City staff said they’ve received requests for the change as condo and manufactured homeowners own the structures but not the land — so they weren’t being notified.

Sequim city councilors unanimously approved an ordinance change at their Jan. 9 meeting to update Sequim Municipal Code (chapter 20.01).

Councilors directed staff on Dec. 12 to make the change.

Steve Lachnicht, former director of community development, said drafting a proposed change “seemed straightforward enough.”

City staff said the building applicant will gather accurate resources through the Clallam County Assessor’s office to reach residents within that proximity when an application goes through city processes.

Staff also said they’re working on step-by-step guide for the development community for this process.

Lachnicht said owners of manufactured home parks may or may not have notified the homeowners about pending development.

“This ensures they will get that notice,” he said.

This latest approved update does not mention renters in apartment buildings.

In recent months, manufactured home residents have turned out to city council meetings seeking support from the city to advocate for legislation to control rents and make the process more transparent.

Some manufactured home park residents in and around Sequim said they’ve received increased rents on land leaving them with less money to live.

Chris Walker, a resident of Carlsborg’s Parkwood Manufactured Housing Community, told city councilors on Jan. 9 that a few bills were coming up this legislative session, such as HB 1124 (that had a public hearing on Jan. 12 with the House’s Housing committee) that would require a notice to be distributed at least six months notice prior to rent increases, and the ability for residents to terminate tenancy without penalty and limiting late fees.

Another bill — HB 1129, which was scheduled for a public hearing on Jan. 16 with the House’s Housing committee — looks to preserve existing manufactured/mobile home parks by encouraging park owners to involve local nonprofit/community agencies prior to selling and require at least three years notice before closing or converting a park to something else.

Vehicles approved

City councilors unanimously approved on Jan. 9 the purchase of two new vehicles for Sequim Police Department for up to $160,000 as part of routine replacement of older vehicles.

One vehicle will be for patrol and the other for a sergeant, according to city documents.

The city will go through Washington’s bid program to purchase new Ford Interceptors. Deputy police chief Mike Hill said their intent is to purchase hybrid versions but none were currently up for bid as of the Jan. 9 meeting.

The new vehicles would include light bars, siren boxes, partitions, radios and consoles, according to city documents.