Sequim council leaves rules intact; Beitzel won't resign
SEQUIM -- The City Council won't be adjusting its rules governing decision-making actions on issues coming before it for the first time.
But council members want to straighten out confusion among themselves -- and diffuse criticism from the public -- about an apparently inconsistent pattern of taking votes on matters without at least two rounds of discussion.
A lively discussion at Wednesday's study session revisited a controversy arising last week, when Councilman John Beitzel threatened to resign over the council's failure to observe a ``three-touch'' rule, providing for at least two discussions of a given issue before it goes to a council vote.
Beitzel has decided not to resign, Mayor Walt Schubert said Wednesday.
``I talked privately with John,'' Schubert said.
``John's not going to quit. John's not a quitter.''
Beitzel could not be reached for comment Wednesday, and he did not submit a letter of resignation at the council's study session or indicate verbally that he intended to leave.
At issue was an application for a 314-unit housing development in east Sequim that Beitzel felt needed more deliberation.
The development, called The Highlands at Sequim, was the subject of a June 28 public hearing at which the council voted to uphold Planning Director Dennis Lefevre's preliminary permitting of the project, despite the fact that a letter of opposition from the state Department of Fish & Wildlife was received that day and council members had no opportunity to review it prior to the meeting.
Fish & Wildlife expressed concerns about the development's impact on the Roosevelt elk herd, which uses the proposed subdivision's land as a migration path.
Though it was too late for the department to weigh in on the environmental
portion of the application's review -- the state Environmental Protection
Act, or SEPA, portion -- the project would require a rezone, which
left it open as a public hearing in which anyone can comment up to
the time the council moves to close the hearing.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]