More Perseverance Required

Update on rezone battle:

Sunrise September 23, 2014

Sunrise September 23, 2014

My presumed victory and end point of last week was swept away when the Four Horsemen (Councilmen) of the Shopalypse showed up this week to rescind last week’s decision. The word got out this was about to happen and I was encouraged by the public outcry in the press and a capacity crowd at the Council meeting. The last time that happened was clear back at the beginning of the process, four years ago. About 15 people gave very articulate, impassioned shame-on-you speeches—the gist of which was, “You’ve already spent a ¼ of a million dollars of our money for the benefit of one property owner’s attempt at a rezone which almost nobody wants and the City certainly does not need. STOP!” But, of course, these guys have no shame. They went into executive session for an hour, so the public could not hear what they were saying, came out and voted to rescind on the grounds that the importance of the issue demanded a Council decision, not a tie-breaker by the Mayor. Also, they needed “more information on the cost of continuing,” putting a vote off until next week when I’m sure they are hoping the crowd does not reappear. The property owner was there– an enormous guy, dressed all in black, down to his cowboy boots– but he never said a word. It seemed rather Godfather-ish, as if he were only there to make sure his minions towed the line. On the other hand, I can see why he didn’t speak—most of the people there didn’t know who he was and he was definitely in an unfriendly crowd. The back story on this whole thing is the stuff of novels where it all seems too outrageous to be true. As you can see, Tuesday morning was lovely, but it turned to rain by the time of the Council meeting. Stay tuned, it ain’t over.



Perseverance Pays Off

Update on our commercial rezone fight—WE WON!!!!!

It is the dawn of a new day in the Skykomish Valley

Dawn Of a New Day

Sunrise–September 17, 2014

As the result of our appeal, on August 26 the Growth Management Hearings Board invalidated the rezone based on the inadequacy of the Environmental Impact Study. Although we won on the EIS issue, we could not convince the Board to overrule the City on the location issue. This left the City with three options: (a) Challenge the Board’s decision in Superior Court; (b) Try to fix the EIS to the Board’s satisfaction; (c) Forget about it. Fortunately, at this last Tuesday night’s Council meeting, a Councilman who would have voted for option B was absent, and the other votes were split 3 for and 3 against. This allowed the new mayor  to cast the deciding vote–option C was approved! It took four years and a new mayor, but common sense has triumphed over cronyism.