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Woodinville pet adoption center is seeking new home

  • Written by Laura Guido
Alyssa Hajek (far left) and her parents Tracy and Eric meet the newest member of the family, Salty, at Homeward Pet Adoption Center in Woodinville. Photos by Laura Guido

 

Thousands of dogs and cats have passed through the kennels of Homeward Pet Adoption Center on their way to their new homes. 

Now, the Woodinville nonprofit adoption center is looking for its new home after being notified by the site’s landowner the lease could not be renewed when it expires next September. 

“We really want to stay in Woodinville,” Homeward CEO Nanette McCann said.

The adoption center has operated in the area for nearly 30 years, and has been in its current location at Northeast 177th Place since 2001, McCann said. Homeward Pet’s leadership had been hoping to lease for another five years while trying to raise money to build or buy a location before the news came that they’d have to move, she said. 

However, the situation might also offer new possibilities for growth. 

“We love this building, but I think we’ve outgrown it a little bit,” Operations Director Jim Keller said. 

In addition to housing dogs and cats until they’re adopted, the center has a spay and neuter clinic, offers behavioral training, runs a pet food bank and helps rescue unwanted or sometimes abused animals. So far this year, more than 400 animals have been adopted from the center, McCann said, and nearly 55,000 pounds of pet food has been dispersed through the food bank. 

Lately, Homeward Pet’s operations look a little different due to considerations made to keep staff and visiting families safe amid the pandemic. Most animals are currently in foster care, and adoptions are done by appointment to limit the number of people in the building. The spay and neuter clinic is also open by appointment, and a free behavioral support hotline is open to the public who might be having issues with their animals while at home, McCann said. 

There are approximately 50 animals in the center’s care as of July 6. 

Like so many other nonprofits, fundraising has also had been affected. The center’s major event the Fur Ball Auction and Dinner had been scheduled for May 16, but it ended up being switched to a virtual event this year, McCann said. 

The nonprofit brought in about half of what it usually does at the event, she said. 

Despite these challenges, none of the 25 full-time or five part-time staff members have had to be laid off or furloughed, she said. 

Homeward Pet Adoption Center staff member Lindsey Swan gives Oliver a good head scratch.

When the center gets closer to moving into a new location, McCann said, the organization will likely need to host another fundraising campaign to cover the costs of relocating and building out the new facility to meet its needs. 

As Homeward Pet continues to grow, the group is looking for a location with at least 15,000 square feet. The added space would allow for more isolation space for anxious animals, a larger clinic, space to walk the dogs, and to design the kennels in a way that reduces interactions and triggers between the animals, McCann said. 

Homeward Pet has grown tremendously in the 11 years Keller has been with the organization, he said. When he started, the center operated out of the back of Clearwater Spas, and limited space meant the dogs had to be walked through the cat room to go outside, he said. 

“We want to keep the feel of this place,” Keller said, standing in the adoption center. He noted the conscious decision to paint the warehouse with bright colors and keep the animals very accessible to the people who visit them. 

“But I think there are things we can do just to provide better for our animals,” he later added. 

Tree harvest draws ire of Hollywood Hill residents

  • Written by Bob Kirkpatrick

Photo by Bob Kirkpatrick

 

What was supposed to be a fairly routine falling of a few Cottonwood trees on private property and on Hollywood Hill Association (HHA) land in 10 Acre Park in early June, has turned into an eyesore. The incident left a barber chair stump on a cedar tree, foliage scattered about, and violations filed against the homeowner who contracted the work.

“As I walked through the park, I couldn’t believe the destruction and the mess of so much debris left without being removed,” said Marilyn Nelson. “It didn’t seem like the trees that were near the homeowner’s property were diseased or needed to be taken down. A lot of neighbors were appalled and outraged as I read their postings on  the Hollywood Hill Neighbors Group on Facebook.”

Hollywood Hill residents were also left questioning if the HHA granted the homeowner permission to harvest the trees, wondering if he had filed a permit to do so, if trespassing was an issue and why he didn’t clean up the mess. 

“He (property owner) was given permission to cut several cottonwoods inside the 10 Acre Woods,” said Michael Tanksley, president of HHA. “I count a total of nine cottonwoods cut — three were on the HHA property — four were on his property, and two are essentially straddling the property line, as best we can tell without a formal survey.” 

Tanksley said the homeowner wasn’t authorized, however, to fall the trees in the manner in which they were.

“There was no permission granted to fell trees from his property into the HHA property in any manner, much less how they were felled,” Tanksley said. “It was a tree felled from outside the property into the HHA property that caused the most collateral damage by knocking over a large cedar.” 

On June 5, King County Code Enforcement Officer LaDonna Whalen stationed with the Department of Local Services Permitting Division in Snoqualmie received a letter informing the agency of a complaint about a bunch of trees that appeared to be cut down inside the 10 Acre Park tract. 

The complaint also stated the trees felled left debris strewn about, that there had been no obvious effort to clean up the mess, and hinted the harvesting of trees may have happened without permission and questioned if permits were filed to take the trees down. 

After making a trip to the scene to get a first-hand look and assess the situation, Whalen sent out letters on June 19 addressed to homeowners Michael and Danielle Wagner, 14339 172nd Ave NE in Redmond, and to the Hollywood Hill Association informing them an inspection of the property confirmed violations had taken place confirming neighbor’s suspicions.

The letter stated that clearing and/or grading without the required permits, inspections, and approvals within a Native Growth Protection Easement (NGPE) and/or its buffers violated King County Code Sections 16.82.050, 16.82.051, 16.82.150, and 21A.24.045.

The letter also listed means to correct the violations, which included applying for and obtaining the required permits, inspections and approvals, and gave specific deadlines to meet each one.

The first obligation Wagner has to meet is arranging for a pre-screening meeting with the Department of Permitting for Environmental Review (DPER) by August 19.

The second obligation requires Wagner to complete a clearing permit application within 30 days of the pre-screening meeting.

Whalen said applying for a permit does not ensure that a permit will be issued. She noted the applicant should be aware that permit fees can be expensive and zoning or critical area restrictions may require a variance or reasonable use exception to county regulations to legalize work done without permits.

She added application for a variance or reasonable use exception can be an expensive and time-consuming option and there is no guarantee that approval will be obtained. 

The alternative, Whalen said, is to obtain a clearing/grading permit to restore the site to its original condition or as close to that condition as possible. 

The letter also states her office will follow up to make sure the deadlines are met. If they are not, Wagner will be served a legal notice, also known as a Notice and Order, that requires compliance by a specific date.

If he fails to meet that date, Wagner will be subject to civil penalties that will be recorded against his property title. Whalen said Bedford can avoid the Notice and Order by entering into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement acknowledging the violations and agreeing to come into compliance by a specific date.

If Wagner does not meet that deadline, the county would hire a contractor to correct the violation and Wagner would have to incur the cost to do so or a lien would be filed against his property.

Tanksley said even though he permitted Wagner to cut some trees down on 10-Acre Woods property, the way he felled trees from his property onto HHA land could constitute trespassing. But he is willing to forgo the violation.

“Because the homeowner who contracted this work has been working diligently to rehabilitate the area, the HHA has no plans to file any charges,” Tanksley said. “It would seem that significant responsibility for how this action was carried out should fall on the contractor who, as a professional in the field, certainly knew better. But we are leaving that to the homeowner to pursue, if he chooses, at this point. 

“Our objective is to clean up the site, on which significant progress has already been made, and plant this fall. If this is carried out properly and follow-up is accomplished to assure success with the plantings, then this site will recover quickly and be healthier for the removal of the grove of aging cottonwoods.”

School construction projects expected to be completed this month

  • Written by Bob Kirkpatrick
Ruby Bridges Elementary School. Courtesy photo

 

BOTHELL — Ruby Bridges Elementary School, the Northshore School District’s newest facility is in its final stages of construction, and is set to open for the 2020-21 school year. 

“The school received a temporary certificate of occupancy in June and is expected to receive a full certificate of occupancy at the end of July,” Northshore School District Director of Communication Lisa Youngblood Hall said in a July 1 press release. “During June, the first set of furniture was delivered, as was custodial equipment. 

“Commissioning continues to be ongoing for the school’s HVAC system. Additionally, the kitchen hood permit was approved and the fully accessible playground was completed.” 

Youngblood adds the punch list for the Washington State Department of Transportation has been completed, which included adding striping to the roundabout and sidewalk improvements. She said the construction team continues to work through the remainder of the school’s punch list. 

According to the release, the Skyview and Canyon Creek Expansion Project will be complete by mid-July. The new Skyview Middle School sign has been installed and the landscaping is finished. The final sealing of the asphalt in Canyon Creek’s parking lots is expected to be complete in the next couple of weeks. 

“The unprecedented health crisis postponed the project’s grand opening, originally scheduled in March,” Youngblood said. “Once it is safe to gather, a new date will be set and shared with the community to celebrate this project.”

Woodinville Police Beat: June 25-July 2

CRISIS CALL 

18500 156 AVE NE: On June 25, deputies assisted a person in crisis at a business. Deputies located and checked the welfare of the person’s children while assisting the person in crisis to get medical attention.

ATTEMPTED SHOPLIFT 

14000 NE WOODINVILLE-DUVALL RD: On June 26, deputies located an adult female who had attempted to shoplift items from a business. The deputies issued the female a formal trespass to stay away from the business.

VEHICLE THEFT 

15200 WOODINVILLE-REDMOND RD NE: On June 27, at about 2 p.m., a vehicle parked near the Tolt Pipeline trail was broken in to and a purse was stolen. 

RESIDENTIAL BURGLAR

16300 126 AVE NE: Between June 27 and 28, a bicycle was stolen from a garage which was left overnight with the roll up door open.

THEFT FROM VEHICLE

17200 127th PL NE: Between June 27 and 28, items were stolen from inside two separate unlocked vehicles parked in the area.

ATTEMPTED SHOPLIFT 

17600 GARDEN WAY NE: On June 28, deputies contacted an adult male who attempted to shoplift items from a store. The deputies issued the male a trespass warning to stay away from the business.

FIRE INVESTIGATION 

18500 135 Pl NE: On June 29, KCSO Fire Investigators responded to a reported electrical fire outside a residence which destroyed one trash can, damaged another, and damaged the exterior of the house. Investigators determined the fire was accidental in nature, most probably caused by improperly discarded smoking materials.

THEFT FROM VEHICLE 

14200 NE 181st PL: Between June 29 and July 1, a vehicle was broken in to and a purse was stolen. The victim’s credit cards were later used in Lynnwood. Detectives are investigating.

PUBLIC DRUNKENESS

17800 GARDEN WAY NE: On July 1, at about 9 p.m., deputies were called to reports of a male in traffic dangerously chasing cars on foot. Deputies located and identified the male. He was sent to a medical facility for detox.

ATTEMPTED VEHICLE THEFT

17800 146 AVE NE: Between July 1 and 2, unknown suspects entered two unlocked cars and rummaged around but did not take anything. The unlocked cars were parked next to two locked cars which appeared undisturbed.

BUSINESS VANDALISM 

17400 140 AVE NE: Late night on July 1 or early morning on July 2, an unknown suspect threw a large rock through the front window pane of a business.

ATTEMPTED VEHICLE THEFT

17800 146 AVE NE: Between July 1 and 2, unknown suspects entered two unlocked cars and rummaged around but did not take anything. The unlocked cars were parked next to two locked cars which appeared undisturbed.

VEHICLE THEFT 

19000 WOODINVILLE-SNOHOMISH RD NE: A trailer was stolen from a parking lot. Video footage shows a black quad cab pick-up truck arrived and towed the trailer out of the lot.

County sets moratorium as beverage ordinance battle continues

  • Written by Madeline Coats
Cougar Crest Tasting Room is one of nine facilities in Woodinville in violation of Washington State and King County code requirements. Photo by Bob Kirkpatrick

 

King County has filed an appeal against the Growth Management Hearings Board’s decision to invalidate the Adult Beverage Ordinance, continuing an age-old battle between the county and community members seeking to preserve the Sammamish Valley farmland.

“We are severely disappointed that the county has decided to pursue this special interest legislation with an appeal,” said Serena Glover, executive director of Friends of Sammamish Valley. “It is against the will of the people and a complete waste of taxpayer dollars when there are many other higher priorities for public spending.” 

The county council declared a six-month moratorium Tuesday, June 23, prohibiting the establishment or expansion of wineries, breweries, distilleries and remote tasting rooms until the county has clear regulations to enforce.

Councilmember Rod Dembrowski submitted the walk-on legislation at the Tuesday council meeting, resulting in a 9-0 unanimous vote. Councilmembers Claudia Balducci and Kathy Lambert, long-time supporters of the Adult Beverage Ordinance, also jumped on board as co-sponsors of the moratorium during the meeting. 

“We’re not adjusting the ordinance, but right now it’s a little bit of a Wild West situation given the status of the law here in this moratorium,” Dembrowski said.

Dembrowski said this legislation aims to pause licensing and permitting activities for wineries, breweries and distilleries in unincorporated King County until the ordinance is sorted out. The moratorium was established to provide clarity for residents, business owners and code enforcement staff while clear regulations are determined. The measure also prohibits temporary use permits for adult beverage establishments under the King County Code. 

The widely contested Adult Beverage Ordinance was found in violation on a dozen grounds related to the Growth Management Act and the State Emergency Management Act. The ordinance was unanimously invalidated by the state’s Growth Management Hearings Board at the end of May. 

The board remanded the ordinance back to the county for a proper environmental study, which was never completed in the first place. The council also passed a motion directing the executive branch to evaluate the necessary steps to comply with the GMHB’s order regarding the ordinance. Once the county completes this assessment, the board will then determine if the environmental impacts were adequately addressed.

“The GMHB’s decision has left the code in a place where it is really unclear what the rules may be for somebody applying,” Balducci said during the virtual council meeting.

Jim Chan, division director for permitting in King County, aims to work with existing adult beverage businesses on a case-by-case basis. He said existing business that are not compliant with the old code, or now the invalidated new code, are going to be on hold pending the outcome of the actions taken within the next six months.

Glover said FoSV is hoping to raise $40,000 by July 17 to cover legal fees for the appeal work to ensure the invalidation of the ordinance. She said the county should be “allocating scarce resources” to critical issues, such as the pandemic, social unrest, homelessness and transportation infrastructure.

“We wonder why they are appealing the order, when at the same time they are spending yet more money in an to attempt to come into compliance with the order,” Glover said. “They need to let this ordinance go and move on.”

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