MAT clinic hearing to begin Nov. 16

Tribe objects to environmental review mandates

On Monday, Phil Olbrechts — the City of Sequim’s appointed hearing examiner — will consider city-imposed conditions for possible environmental impacts for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s proposed medication-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic.

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s appeal was the only one of six not dismissed by Olbrechts on Oct. 8. He said the other five “lack standing” against the proposed 16,806-square-foot medical facility on 3.3 acres off South Ninth Avenue. There, doctors would dispense daily doses of methadone, Suboxone and Vivitrol for patients with opioid-use disorder.

Olbrechts will consider the tribe’s appeal of the Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance (MDNS) State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review.

The virtual meeting begins at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 16, and continues the same time on Nov. 17. Participants can listen/view the appeal hearing on the web at zoom.us/j/99685756052, or by calling 253-215-8782, or 206-337-9723 with the webinar ID 996 8575 6052.

Find more information at www.sequimwa.gov/964/MAT-Clinic-Appeals.

With interest high in the proposed clinic, Olbrechts has limited testimony and public comment only to matters on the MDNS review.

City and tribal attorneys plan to call three witnesses between them, including: Barry Berezowsky, Sequim’s director of community development, Brent Simcosky, the tribe’s health services director, and Sequim Police Chief Sheri Crain.

Andy Murphy with Miller, Nash Graham and Dunn Attorneys at Law, wrote that the tribe objects to three city-required conditions with the MDNS, and they “feel the clinic will not cause any adverse impact to public services. Consequently, there is no impact to mitigate, and none of the conditions relating to public services are allowed under SEPA.”

He argues that community concern is not an environmental impact saying that, “(we) understand why the City took this approach, but SEPA forbids it. It is settled law in Washington that community concern is an improper basis to impose conditions on a permit.”

Another condition the tribe objects to relates to the City of Sequim seeking reimbursement for emergency service personnel if the property is taken off the Clallam County tax roll for emergency services.

“We are aware of no basis that allows a city to require a tribe to forfeit its sovereign immunity, even in a limited capacity, or reimburse a city for ‘lost tax revenue’ in order to receive a permit, especially when the permit is for a project that is permitted outright and causes no probable adverse environmental impacts,” Murphy wrote.

The hearing will begin with Murphy, followed by City Attorney Kristina Nelson-Gross, public comment with non-expert comments, expert testimony, Nelson-Gross’ rebuttal, Murphy’s rebuttal, and cross-examinations.

For more information about the hearing, call 360-683-4908 or visit www.sequimwa.gov/471/Current-Projects.

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