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By Rodger Nichols
For The Sentinel 

City says hut can be built

 

September 20, 2017

City of Goldendale

HOT OVER HUT: The design for a Quonset hut garage proposed to be built on High Street. The building has encountered fierce resistance from neighbors.

What's the definition of compatible? That was the big question for several residents of High Street, who complained to the Goldendale City Council two weeks ago about a building permit granted to Michael Gallagher for a Quonset-shaped garage. Led by Dr. Lyle Ferch, the group contends the structure is not compatible with a residential neighborhood and would lower property values.

The city council at its Sept. 5 session agreed to pose the question to the city attorney and get a reply. That reply came Monday night as attorney Quinn Plant made a trip from Yakima. Contained in the board packet for Monday's meeting was a three-page response which he summarized by pointing out that this was a "Type 1" building permit, which did not require notification of neighbors, that there were no restrictions in the neighborhood covenants nor in city ordinances prohibiting such structures, that only the applicant or the city had standing to appeal any Type 1 permit decision, and that even if the neighbors had standing, they had passed a deadline for filing an appeal.

That did not sit well with the group. "They are historically a commercial and industrial application, or farm-related," Steve Johnston told the council. "It is about aesthetics, it's about design, it's about architecture." And he noted that pictures of existing metal buildings around the city included in the packet were of straight-sided metal buildings. "None of them look like this Quonset that's going in."

Ferch said that it appeared the city was only considering square footage and not shape. He said that he supposed he could build a corn silo or a pyramid or "two buildings with 12 foot diameters that are 452 feet apart, connected by a joiner ten feet wide, because I like the looks of a dog bone or a dumbbell."

Dennis Mesecher, hearing that the Gallaghers told the city they were considering painting the garage to match their home, noted that galvanized metal takes a special process that is very expensive, and he doubted that would happen.

Residents raised several other objections, but ultimately, the council voted to look at revising the relevant ordinances to clarify what was permitted and what was not, though only for future developments.

Other news from Monday's meeting included word from Chief Reggie Bartkowski that the police department would shortly begin the process of getting re-accredited. He said the process would take a full year and examine every aspect of policy and oprations.

Public Works Director Karl Enyeart announced that Central Washington Asphalt was the low bidder for the city's portion of the Bickleton Highway overlay in the amount of $76,814.

 

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