City of Sequim sets special Saturday meeting to consider changes to appeals process

Sequim City Council to host special meeting Sept. 26 to consider changes to appeals processes.

The Sequim City Council has set a special meeting to talk about a proposed interim controls ordinance amending Chapter 20.01 of the Sequim Municipal Code-Appeals Process, at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26.

The meeting will be held virtually through Microsoft Teams. Members of the public can listen to the meeting by calling 253-363-9585, conference ID 165 939 349#, or listen via a web page on the city website: www.sequimwa.gov/669/City-Council-Boards-Commission-Media.

There is no public comment scheduled for the meeting.

For more information, contact city clerk Sara McMillon at 360-912-3701 or smcmillon@sequimwa.gov.

A week before a hearing was set to begin addressing appeals for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s proposed medication-assisted treatment (MAT) application, the City of Sequim’s appointed hearing examiner Phil Olbrechts cancelled the hearing because of perceived issues with the city’s code.

In an email to parties of record on Sunday, Sept. 20, Olbrechts wrote that he does “not have jurisdiction over consolidated permit hearings that include a (State Environmental Policy Act, SEPA) appeal.”

A virtual, three-day hearing was set for Sept. 28-30 to hear six appeals from four appellants including Robert Bilow, Parkwood Manufactured Housing Community, LLC, Save Our Sequim (S.O.S.), and the tribe.

Their appeals were collected into one hearing, per city code, for three aspects — the classification of the project (city staff review versus city council review), the environmental Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance (MDNS) SEPA review, and the application as a whole.

Olbrechts wrote he was disappointed to make the ruling, “but unfortunately, there is little room for reasonable disagreement on the jurisdictional issue.”

He added that if he retained jurisdiction on the proposed 16,806-square-foot medical facility’s application, a “reviewing court would very likely overturn my final decision and remand the appeal back to the city council to do the entire process over again.”