Appeal before the Hearing Examiner for the City of Redmond regarding LAND-2014-01610

Standard

Appeal before the Hearing Examiner for the City of Redmond; appellants Keith Brewe, Curtis Nelson, Rosemarie Ives, The Nokomis Club and Redmond Historical Society regarding “162TEN” {Natural and Built Environments (NBE)}; File Nos. LAND-2014-01610 and SEPA 2015-00017.

The appeal regarding LAND-2014-01610 was heard on July 9 and 10th, 2015 and will be decided by Sharon Rice; Hearing Examiner for City of Redmond, Washington on August 7th, 2015.

There is also a SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) appeal SEPA 2015-00017 in the works.  An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is in the process of being written.

Please refer to “Source Documents” below for detailed information regarding the appeal.

The appeal is based on several factors in dispute between the Appellants, the City of Redmond and the developer of the proposed residential complex.

  • Appellants have charged that the proposed complex will destroy a building and property that has historic significance to the city; based on guidelines set forth by the National Historic Preservation Program.  The building and site were evaluated and recognized in a 1998 inventory by the NHPP; however the property has yet to be included among the recognized historic properties by the City of Redmond.
  • The building is one of only 3 buildings in the state of Washington that has been recognized by the NHPP as being built through the donations or organization of women’s civic clubs; was the first dedicated building housing the library for Redmond and for many years housed meetings and activities of both the Nokomis Club and, later the Redmond Chamber of Commerce.  The appellants maintain that destruction of the building and property would cause a loss of historic value to the city and significant loss to future generations.
  • Appellants also maintain the City has not observed due process, nor allowed for active civic communication regarding the approval of the building project and demolition of the site and building.  There are also concerns about the size of the proposed project, parking and impact to neighboring residents and businesses.
  • Legal counsel for appellants have submitted documentation regarding historical nature of the building and property, as well as various documents questioning the dissolution of Redmond Chamber of Commerce (the last deeded owner of record for the property).

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In my discussions with Alexa Munoz, President of Redmond Nokomis Club she acknowledged the appeal was a difficult process that necessitated Redmond citizens and civic organizations (Nokomis and Redmond Historical Society) to hire legal counsel for representation.  This is a difficult and expensive process that no citizen or organization should have to go through in order to have their opinions and rights upheld regarding private or civic ownership of land and it’s destruction.

With regards to the recommendation of the National Historic Preservation Program’s (NHPP) evaluation process; there are very high standards of evaluation to be considered and recommended for the program.  These are National standards and do not vary from state to state.

The choice for criteria is not a local decision and is not evaluated by local administration; therefore it is unbiased and adheres to the criteria of the national standards.  The National Standards were created in 1966 and called the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966; Public Law 102-575.

King County’s Historic Preservation Program was established in 1978;  the City of Redmond established a Historic Preservation Program in 2000. In 1998, preparing for the City of Redmond ordinance; 200 properties were evaluated.  12% of those inventoried were documented as qualifying for significance (32 buildings).  The Nokomis Building at 16210 NE 80TH ST REDMOND, WA 98052 was included in these properties.   16 buildings were registered as historic by the City of Redmond; there have been no properties listed or registered by the City since 2000.

Even though the City continues to attempt to outline a Historic Core in the downtown Redmond area; the map only contains 14 buildings of historic significance and does not include the Nokomis Building or property.

Although qualifying a landmark as historic is not protection or preservation, it is an important part of the process of evaluation and safeguarding the property for future generations.

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With regards to the ownership  of the site and building; the Redmond COC remains the last deeded owner.  As the organization dissolved, but left no legal documentation regarding dissolution or bequest of the property/site; the legality of OneRedmond’s sale to NBE may also be in question.  One document from the Office of the Secretary of State, Corporations Division gives evidence that no dissolution of assets are listed for Redmond COC.

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I asked Alexa Munoz what would be done regarding the appeal if the appeal was denied or approved.  Alexa stated that the decision would likely be appealed by NBE if the judgment was made in favor of Nokomis/Historical Society; and that Nokomis/Historical Society would appeal if the judgement was made in favor of NBE.  It is highly likely the case will end up in Superior Court for decision.

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Other interesting facts regarding the case:

  1. As ownership is in dispute (see above), that may challenge some decisions during the appeals and other legal proceedings.
  2. The Nokomis organization has not been contacted or consulted at any point during the preceding decisions made by the City of Redmond Planning Department, Council and Mayor until the appeal was filed by Nokomis/Historical Society and citizens of Redmond.
  3. Although the City maintains that the building is in disrepair; documentation by Gregory Griffith, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer states that the repairs to the building are cosmetic and under the scope of normal maintenance for a building.  These repairs include ADA ramps, fireplace/chimney, gutters and doors/window modernizations.
  4. The Council and Mayor have agreed to donate park land to place the building on (See Redmond City Council Meeting July 7, 2015).  According to Gregory Griffith; moving the house to a separate location would devalue the building and impair the historic significance of the building and its meaning.
  5. Research is being conducted on the WPA participation and documentation for the Nokomis building.

Nokomis Club of Redmond needs to raise approximately $25-$50,000 in order to pay for legal fees and representation as they appeal the decision to deny the historic significance of the Nokomis building in Redmond. 

If you are interested in helping, please consider donating funds via PayPal on the Nokomis Club website or through their Crowdrise site (both listed below).

Nokomis Club of Redmond
P.O. Box 7012
Bellevue, WA  98008-1012
Website:  www.nokomisclub98052.com

Crowdrise site:  https://www.crowdrise.com/HistoricRedmondsFirstLibrary/fundraiser/kristenbryant

Source Documents:

National Historic Preservation Guidelines and Program 

Appeal    Appeal document 2

SEPA DNS

Notice of Appeal Hearing

Site Plan 
Vicinity Map
Notice of Application
Process Flow Chart 

Appeal Description

SEPA Determination
Technical Committee Notice of Decision  

Order Requiring Pre-Hearing Conference 

Appellant Keith Brewe  (Parking)
Appellant Rosemarie Ives  (History, oversized for site, impact to neighboring buildings)
Appellant Nokomis Club/Redmond Historical Society  (History)  — Includes Historic Property Inventory Report from 10/1/1998, July 28, 2005.  Other attachments include letter from Gregory Griffith Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer (Washington); letters from Joe Townsend, Cathy Wickwire
Appellant Curtis Nelson 

NHP Act of 1966; Public Law 102-575

King County’s Historic Preservation Program  (p. iii)

City of Redmond Historic Significance Map

Other Blog posts on Nokomis Property:

Letter to Redmond Reporter (Nokomis Club)

Letter to Redmond Reporter (July 15, 2015)

July 7, 2015 City Council Meeting Notes (Nokomis only)

History and Remembrance

June 3, 2015 Paige’s Prattle Post 

May 29, 2015 Statement of Fact 

April 20, 2015 Russ Norman Letter 

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