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Newspaper Archive of
The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
October 26, 1983     The Issaquah Press
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October 26, 1983
 

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The Issaquah Press, Wednesday, October 26, 1983 - Page 13 and threats fly as Seattle developer ies to 00kpuild a home on a narrow creeks h=. lot Terry McLafferty of lssaquah land that was as useless more ago is now be- for a high- home, in one of t curious planning Come before the officials. ease centers around g the equal of two adjacent OWners, the defini- building lot, the nature of the creek's anks and the prob- town faces in a high-powered speculator who this time he has nay ways." Council mem- already called the Street and 3rd N.W. "unbuilda- Hoppler, the city coordinator, the first En- Impact State- town's history residence. of such a study, "scoped," or required by the has been between $5,000 and could re- of public hear- 45 agencies and will be asked to e EIS findings. Seminoff, who "more than a Such odd-sized or lots, according assessor's of- newcomer to the SPA SALE ItTA, 78"x86"x37" FREE DECK PACKAGE Include To Build Filter 'ECK WITH SPA ASk .00 Preplurnbed 31, lo. N.E, And Seminoff says he has only just begun to fight. "The city is painting me as a fast buck artist who is go- ing to build on this land and then get out," he said recent-' ly. "1 plan to be around a long time. I am going to fight forever and eventually 1 am going to live in that house." In order to do so, Seminoff has decided, he will have to challenge the city in court. "I am going to sue the city because they are bending over backwards to try and stop me," he says. "1 have spent two years on this pro- ject just trying to get a build- ing permit." Seminoff claims city Plan- ning Director Dwight Hart- man "wanted the property for the city and the city turn- ed him down. "Since then Hartman has thwarted me at every turn, forcing me, through over-ad- ministering the rules, to not be able to use my property. • "And therefore, he ends up being able to have it for free, to keep as a green belt or open space," Seminoff charges. "That's called tak- ing without due process of law, and forcingme to aban- don my land." The land Seminoff con- trols is an oddly-shaped par- cel along Issaquah Creek, near the Issaquah School District Administration Building. Before the land was annex- ed to the city, it was part of two farms on the west side of the creek. The owners had i . ,-,, ., the east-of-the-creek parts segregated off for tax pur- poses, and then defaulted on even the lesser assessments. Through a series of pur- chases and at least one and possibly two county fore- closure sales, the land came into Seminoff's control for $460. Oddly enough, some- one bid against him for the parcels, driving the price above the $280 back taxes and fees the county was seek- ing. But county tax sales in- volve quitclaim deeds, and carry no warranties or title searches. In a quitclaim deed, a seller sells any interest he may have in the property. If later the buyer finds the seller had no claim, the buyer has no claim either. And a tax deed transfer only the real estate, the dirt and the rocks. It remains subject to all local building and zoning regulations, ac- cording to the assessors' of- rice. Hartman says he wanted the land for the city. He did what he does at every tax sale: looked for parcels that might carry a city lien, or that might be a source of trouble for future building plans of the city or other developers. If Hartman can make a case to the county, the coun- ty will pull the land off the block and sell it to the city for taxes. If he can show no pressing need, the city must enter the bidding as any other buyer. When, the land Seminoff II Fasano's COFFEE SHOP, DINING ROOM & LOUNGE CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN WEEKEND WITH US!, SONICS SUPERCHANNEL Sonics vs. Golden State Warriors First regular season game, Friday, Oct. 28. Watch on our Giant TV Screen. Free hot buttered popcorn during gametime. LIVE MUSIC & DANCING Last week with Dan Carter! inmt,mt at its te,,;t! T ursday and Saturday in the lounge. Entertainment at its best! Thursday, Friday HAPPY HOUR Monday-Friday, 4:30 to 6 p.m. - 85˘ well drinks and complimentary hot hors d'oeuvres p was to buy came up, how- ever, informal conversations with city administrator Leon Kos, and parks director Ker- ry Anderson decided against the buy. It was, they decided, too small for a mini-park. Hartman says today he was surprised when the land was sold and he had not yet heard back from his boss or his colleague. He was even more surprised when Wayne Seminoff arrived in town and began attempts to make his new land more buildable. Writing long, folksy letters with a felt-tipped pen on legal notepads, the 40-year- old real estate developer with a masters degree in business administration began asking for the special "favors" the city's administrative code permits. First he asked the city to trade the narrowest portion of his new land for a part of Holly Street that the city had never built (because it ran in- to the creek) but retained title to. His request was denied and so was his appeal. A year later he returned seeking a much smaller piece of the same street. Again he was denied, this time by an administration which said his first request and denial settl- ed the matter. quired in front, behind and to the sides of his proposed home, one member of the board excused himself from the consideration. This man was, perhaps, the most professionally qualified member to judge the effect a Seminoff building would have on Issaquah Creek. He was a hydrologist for King County Flood Con- trol and soon to become a member of the city's Rivers and Streams Board. Unfortunately, Robert Schroeder would also be- come Seminoff's closest neighbor if the house was built. And just a year before, Schroeder had obtained a variance from this same board, again with himself ab- staining, to modify his own home. His patio, reached within 11 feet of the creek bank. Schroeder's home has been built there long before the ci- ty controlled the land and long before any setbacks had been considered. He needed the variance not to stretch closer to the creek, but to enclose a patio that ended 11 feet from the bank and turn it into a room. He also wanted to build two room ex- tensions which stuck out into the setback zone, but less far In the meantime, Seminoff than the deck did already. had gone to the city's board of adjustment, which sits as a "fairness" court on zoning variances. Before the board on adjustment heard Seminoff's request for multiple variances from setbacks re- In recommending that variance, Dwight Hartman told city decision makers that it. would not in any way en- danger the creek, promote extra water erosion or un- necessarily threaten plants. Before Seminoff's request Join us at our annual Pre-Christmas Sale October 27-28.29 Sales in every department,,, plus fall and Christmas ideas See our coupon in this issue for an additional 10% savings! (00raft (00stl˘ °::!:,;'n:!::F.. TOLE PAINTING CLASS-- Pre-register now! Classes begin Nov. 3. Thursdays 10-12:30, 1 to 3:30 or 7 to 9:30 6 lessons - $25. for a variance could be heard, the city staff, led by permit coordinator Colin Quinn, presented a shocker to the board. Acting on the basis of a 19-page photo- copied section of the Revised Codes of Washington and a verbal agreement with the then city attorney, John Hackett, the staff asked that the board decide it has no jurisdiction on the Seminoff case. Seminoff had already ask- ed for a continuance, to rebut city material presented to the board, and so the meeting adjourned 30 minutes after it began. It was to be a fateful delay. For while Seminoff was preparing additional material to rebut city particulars in the report to the board of adjust- ment, Dwight Hartman was doing a little writing of his own. On June 6, 1983 Hartman wrote Seminoff "the variance application on this parcel will be considered in- active until and unless the parcel receives the status of a legal lot by short subdivision action of the city of Issa- quah." Hartman was telling the developer that "a tax lot is not a building lot." Just be- cause previous owners aban- doned the lots, and the balance of the original farms were sold in contracts that excluded Seminoff's re- mainders, no legal lot had been created since the city an- nexed the land in 1959. As the assessor explains, Seminoff had the dirt and rocks but no building rights. Seminoff exploded. "This again confirms to me that you are doing everything in your power to stop me from making use of my property," % S.E. 72nd • SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION BUILDING he wrote back two days later. He continued, to make his prime contention about the land: "My parcel was annex- ed by the city... If the por- tion of lots 5 and 6 east of the creek are substandard lots that do not conform to the lssaquah code, then what the city did was to take my land by annexation, deny any possible future use and there- fore illegally perform a tak- ing without due process of law." "It is my believe that an- nexation automatically grandfathers a substandard lot and gives it the same rights as any other lot in the area," Seminoff continued. The termination of the variance hearing, he charged, was "arbitrary," and the suggestion of short plat pro- cedure meaningless. "The courts will not allow you to do this to me," Seminoff warned, "you as a city official are required to treat me fairly and equally." Eight days later Seminoff appealed to the City Council to overturn Hartman, and to INTRODUCTORY OFFER 2 F O R ..1 qoup'on explres 11-30-83. BRING A FRIEND- SI71.A, RE f! E S,'!TTING FEE i • I GILMAN VILLAGE ISSAQUAH CREEK grant a variance hearing directly. Hartman replied on June 23, speaking for the ad- ministration to whom Seminoff had addressed his request. It was a rehash, with point- by-point explanations. For the first time, however, Seminoff's past was referred to. "The end result may not be what you desire, however, your background in real estate sales has certainly pro- vided you with the know- ledge that parcels of land sold by the assessor's office for unpaid taxes are usually not choice properties with no developmental limitations." Thirteen days later Wayne Seminoff applied for a short plat, a process that would turn his two non-legal lots in- to one legal lot. The city promptly inform- ed him he would need to fill out an "Environmental Checklist" to determine the possible consequences of any building on the land. One month later, CarOl Hoppler, citing the proximity of the proposed home to the bank of the river and the sen- sitivity of the shoreline, ordered Wayne Seminoff to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. Seminoff finally appeared before the City Council to protest the EIS requirement. Dressed in a tailored three- piece suit and speaking in a calm and persuasive manner, he impressed several council members with his case. He ch:,r,,,d .bt ,. EIS had ever before been re- quired for a home, that he wanted this to be his resi- dence, that his house could meet every requirement -- in spades -- except the setback from the creek. He described a beautiful, high-technology honle buih on piers and pilings to pro- tect the creek from erosion and permit rain water to es- cape into the soil. The park- ing area wouJd be "grass- crete," an ultra-modern sys- tem for permii;: heavy traffic on ftass utrkmg !,.,ts. He said theze wt;..4d bc no Continued on Page 18 GLAMOUR PORTRAITURE LET US MAKE YOU L.OOK YOUR BEST! SITTING FEE ALLOWS YOU 3 CHANGES OF CLOTF,IN AND 15 PROOFS TO CHOOSE FROM $60 SITTING FEE oshley FO, APPOINTMENT CALL eompbell 392-9287 photoqrophy Cascade Bus. Park OFFICIAL NOTICE: following proposed constitutional amendments are to be submitted to the voters at the state general election to be on November 8, 1983. The ballot titles and explanatory statements were prepared by the office of the Attorney This is a legal publication as required by law from the office of the Secretary of State. Joint Resolution 103 Ballot Title: = a Commission be appointed by leaders to redistrict legislative districts each decade on equal population? Iw as it now exists: J ,, te of Washington is divided into congressional and  u:Stricts for thepurpose of electing members of the .ngress and the state legislature. Under the "'one- ve'' rule, those legislative and congressional dis- re • %. qunred to be basucally equal un population as .tl by the last precedin federal census. ; existing state law the function of establishing the t, • of legislatuve and congressional dnstncts Js vested in - le ' . • tie guslature, If the legaslature fads to act in a , _nally-valid manner, the federal cour may take over 'rl the function as occurred in this state in 1972, ffect of SiR 103, into law: Constitutional amendment would provide ot a redistricting commission after each census, The commission would be of five members, four of whom would be he legislative leaders of the two largest political house of the state legislature, Those four, in then select the lifth" member as a nonvoting If appointments are not made as required, then Court is directed to make the appoint- would be responsible, on the basis of by the particular census, for the and legislative redistricting to meeting the standard of population by the commission would be of contiguous territory, be compact and from adloining district's by natural artificial barriers, or political subdivision extent reasonable. "[he commission's plan must provide for the number of legislative districts established by the legislature• Further, the plan is to be drawn so as not to purposely favor or discriminate against any political party or group• The legislature could amend such redistricting plans, but only by a two-thirds vote of the members of the legislature Any such amendment would also have to be passed by both houses no later than the end of the thirtieth day ot the first session convened alter the commission has submitted its plan to the legislature. Vote cast by the members of the 1983 Legislature on final passage: HOUSE: Yeas, 85; Nays, 10; Absent or not voting, 3. SENATE: Yeas, 42; Nays, 4; Absent or not votin 8, 3. Senate Joint Resolution 105 Official Ballot Title: Shall the state constitution be amended to increase from thirty to fifty-five years the maximum term for state harbor leases? The law as it now exists: 1he Washington State Constitution provides for the establishment of state-owned harbor areas which are located in navigable waters bordering incorporated cities These harbor areas are reserved for landinRs, wharves, streets and other conveniences of commerce and navigatnon. The legislature, pursuant to the Constitution, has established general laws for the leasing of these areas. The Constitution now limits the maximum term of such leases to thirty years, while existing law permits leases ot state-owned tidelands and shorelands for up to fifty-five years. The effect of SIR 105, if approved into law: This proposed amendment of the Washington State Constitution would increase from thirty to fifty-five years the maximum allowable term tor leases of state harbor areas, This change would make the maximum allowable term for harbor area leases consistent with the present fifty-five year maximum for state-owned tide and shorelands. Vote cast by the members of the 1983 teslature on final passage: HOUSE: Yeas, 88; Nays, O; Absent or not votin$, 10. SENATE: Yeas. 45; Nays, 1; AI;Yent or not votins, 3. Senate Joint Resolution 112 Official Ballot Title: Shall local governments marketing energy be permitted to use funds or credit to, finance energy conservation by individuals and corporations? The law as it now exists: A 1'479 amendment to the state Const,tution allows until January I, !990, counties, cities, towns and other munucipal corporations which engage in the sale or distribution of energy Io use public monies or credit derived trom operating revenues to assist owners of residential structures in financing the acquisition and installation of materials and equipment for conservation or more eHective use oi energy That Constitutional arnendment requires a chargP-back lor the extension of public monies or credit and lurlher prov0des tor a lien against the residential structure or equ0pment benefited The effect of SiR 112, if approved into law: This Constitutional amendment, if approved, would expand the constitutiora; eligibility for energy conservat0on public financing beyond the currenl restriction (only to owners of residential structures) Io any individual, associatuon or corporation using the funds for energy conservation purposes. This measure would also constitutionally permit local governments marketing energy Io issue debt inslruments repayable Irom revenues to finance these energy conservation purposes. the amendment also removes references in the current Conslilution to "more effective use of energy", leaving "'conserving energy" as the sole slandard ol eligibility. It further removes Ihe constilulional requirement that a lien or other adequate security be provided for Ihe financing of energy conservation purposes for residential structures, The expiration date of lhe constitutional provision aulhorizing Ihis program would be changed from 1990 Io 2005. Vote cast by the members ot the 1983 Lelslature on final passage HOUSE: Yeas, 88; Nays. 8; Absent or not votin 2, SENATE: Yeas, 34; Nays, 14; Absent or not voting, 1. [ I I IIII]II:iII:II I II IIiIIII IXXIIIIII] - : OUTFI' :ACH '83 .' IN A DYNAMIC, SINCERE EFFORT TO INTRODUCE THE LIFE CHANG- i,, ING POWER OF dESUS CHRIST TO THE COMMUNITY IN WHICH WE LIVE, NEW LIFE CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP BRINGS THESE CONTEM- x PORARY MEN & EVENTS TO YOU. x 1,1 N N LI/'tE a.LL ,, NOV. 11th -- BILL KLEIN In Concert zl . uv, q ln Friday, 7:30 p.m., Pine Lake Community Center . With featured Songs on Marantha's "Praise 4" & "Best of Praise" Bill is a " F R I DAY girted, well known minister of Worship and Praise. II #NOV. 19th- GEORGE LAK- Russia 11 " ROCK 'N ROLL =THECOMMING HOLOCOST 1.1 i. ,, SEMINAR Sat., 7:30 p.m., New Iss. Library Assem. Hall 111 I  Noted West Coast artist and speaker, George will share his experience N ,,, ,  behind the Iron Curtain to Revelations. Paintings will be on display.   NOV. 25th - CHRISTMAS ALTERNATIVES  ; Friday, 6:30 p.m. -- Pine Lake Community Club 1 Various speakers will present ways to get off the "merchandise merry-go- I round and on to a Christ-centered Christmas. Also live musical entertain- I = ' ment and a chili dinner. Do something different the day of Thanksgiving. Eric Cowley/Evangelist , DEC. 2nd- KEN TABLOT- INPUTS Eric will expose the depth A Matter of Lifestyle & Deathstyle , 11 of rock muslc's Influence upon Friday, 7:30 p.m., New Iss. Library Assembly Hall us. Highlighted by"back-masking" Noted Northwest author and recent candidate for U.S. Senate Ken will iii i=i and other subliminal deceptions, speak on mass media's effects upon our lives and what we can do about it. x 7:30 p.m.  DEC. 9th- STEVE LIGHTLE- EXODUS II Let My People Go . " PINE LAKE Friday, 7:30 p.m., Pine Lake Community Club " COMMUNITY CLUB International director of F.G.B.M.I. for the Middleast, Steve will relate his vi- ON THE CORN ER OF sion of the upcoming Jewish exodus from Russia. MI IN 212th & 20th , DEC. 16th - SPECIAL EVENT IN Pine Lake Plateau Friday, Pine Lake Community Club IN of Issaquah A concluding event for the season, a very special time with further details to M be given the first of December. II A MINISTRY OF NEW LIFE CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP -- FOR MORE INFO. 392-7354 or 392-9823 [ IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIl N