Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

UPDATE - Ronald School Hearing

What Happened Last Night? 
A few interesting outcomes -

Historic Ronald School Front Portico
February 28th, the Shoreline City Council Hearing took place on the Ronald School appeal of the 
Certificate of Appropriateness by the Shoreline Preservation Society.  But, there were several surprises. 

The Council chambers were full of interested citizens. The Shoreline Landmarks Commission had held a hearing November 17th and approved the Certificate that is required in order for a significant alteration of the Landmarked Historic
School Building.

The full City Council spent the entire meeting listening to attorney's and staff opinions on the matter of the fate of the oldest public building in Shoreline. The Shoreline School District plans to gut the Landmarked Ronald School building and attach it to the new HS Complex. 

First the Council decided NOT to deliberate in "Executive Session". Doing this would have been a controversial move, since the public would have been excluded from hearing the reasoning and process the Council went through to consider the proposal.  It would have been controversial, because of the 
OPMA considerations. (Open Public Meetings Act).

There were presentations by both attorneys for the appellant, Shoreline Preservation Society and the applicant/owner, Shoreline School District.  And questioning by the Council.

The second unexpected outcome was a from a questions raised by Councilmember Chris Roberts and Terry Scott, and the answer from City Attorney Ian Sievers. Roberts' question was about the recusal of Landmarks Commissioner Brian Rich, and whether there had been a quorum of the Shoreline Landmarks Commission to make its decision on the Certificate of Appropriateness for altering the Ronald School.

Ian Sievers answer was that "There was no quorum".  

Much of the evening afterwards was spent arguing about this point and what the council should do. 
There were concerns expressed about what might happen if the Council remanded the case back to the "Shoreline Landmarks Commission". (One problem is that there still is no "Shoreline Member" of the Commission appointed as required by the interlocal agreement between Shoreline and King County.) 
Would the Commission's decision be then revoked, or reversed? Would they have to go back to square one? No one seemed to know. The City Attorney recommended, it might be well to postpone a decision for a week to research the issue. He said that the "common law" consideration on "Robert's Rules of Order" would make the fact that only 3 members of the Commission out of a 7 member board, had been there to vote, would seem to indicate there was NOT a quorum. 

There were many other issues raised by appellants. These were matters of "Errors of Fact, Judgement, and Conclusion".  

But the Council was focussed on the quorum matter. They ended up voting 4-3 to table the matter till the next council meeting to give time for the City Attorney and parties to brief the issue of quorum. 
The Council vote was as follows -
FOR: Roberts, Scott, Eggen and MacGlashen AGAINST: Hall, Winstead and McConnell

The matter will be taken up again at the next Council meeting. Since it is a closed record, quasi-judicial matter, the Councilmembers will not be allowed to discuss this matter together or with anyone until a decision is made.

Stay tuned to more updates in near future.

1 comment:

  1. thanks to the Preservation Society for holding the Council's feet to the fire!
    It shows that Shoreline does care about the fate of the Ronald School Building!