City hosts multiple hearings Monday for budget, small dwellings

Legislators to hear council, school district priorities

Monday’s Sequim City Council meeting is filled with public hearings, including the citys’ 2021 budget and potential changes to the municipal code for accessory dwelling units (ADUs), along with a meeting with legislators about next year’s legislative session.

At 5 p.m. on Nov. 9, city councilors host a virtual joint meeting with Sequim School District’s board directors to share their 2021 legislative priorities with local legislators.

City councilors unanimously agreed to their priorities list on Oct. 26 to seek final funding for the US Highway 101 East Corridor Improvement Project, starting a federal funding exchange program for rural cities and an increase in broadband accessibility.

City of Sequim-contracted lobbyist Davor Gjurasic said on Oct. 26 that city leaders and partners continue to push the state to connect the east corridor project with a planned 2022 Johnson Creek fish passage project.

“It only makes sense and saves the state money,” he said.

As for the funding exchange of federal funds to local jurisdictions, Gjurasic said the paperwork becomes less onerous to complete $200,000-$300,000 road projects. He said Oregon and California already have similar programs and he thinks Washington state could too.

Following the hour-long discussion, multiple public hearings are held at the 6 p.m. session.

Some of those tentatively scheduled include the first of two hearings on the city’s $33.5 million budget for 2021, a proposed 1-percent property tax increase, rates and fees changes for 2021, and potential ADU changes.

Of note

• City councilors agreed on Sept. 26 not to increase water or sewer rates in 2021.

• Barry Berezowsky, Sequim director of the Department of Community Development, said an ADU is a secondary structure subordinate to the primary structure that typically houses an aging family member or is rented to an unrelated party. They are often used as affordable housing options for a variety of people.

Berezowsky estimates about 16 ADUs in the city but believes there may be significantly more.

Berezowsky said there are already regulations for the dwellings but the update includes recommendations from the Sequim Planning Commission, with some of them including:

• prohibiting manufactured and mobile homes and RVs from serving as ADUs

• prohibiting ADUs from serving as short-term rentals for less than 90 days

• removing two-bedroom limitation

• broadening architectural choices beyond that of primary residence

• increasing max square footage from 700 to 850 square feet

• removing limitation of the number of people allowed in home

To participate in Monday’s meeting, visit sequimwa.gov/669/City-Council-Boards-Commission-Media or facebook.com/sequimwagov. Residents can also call 253-215-8782 (meeting ID 912 3546 4249). Written public comment can be sent to smcmillon@sequimwa.gov prior to the meeting.

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