Denny/Sealth appeal: The ruling, from the person who appealed

Two weeks ago, we published a short report from the city Hearing Examiner‘s chambers in the Municipal Tower, after listening to arguments from both sides in the appeal of the decision granting “departures” crucial to the Denny Middle School/Chief Sealth High School co-located-campus project (rendering above). At the end of that hearing, deputy hearing examiner Anne Watanabe promised to publish her ruling in two weeks. Though the ruling is not yet available online, we got a call tonight from the person who filed and argued the appeal, West Seattle-based district watchdog Chris Jackins. He has received a copy of the decision and tells WSB that while the ruling upholds the city’s granting of the “departures” – allowing the project more height and less parking than city code otherwise would have required – he says “we did get two of the things we wanted”: One, a stipulation that the two schools’ start/dismissal times must be staggered by at least 30 minutes; two, a stipulation that a certified arborist be present for any future “tree removal activities.” (Jackins had documented the removal of trees on the site while a different appeal was still pending, as we reported last August.) “I’m happy about those two things,” he added. We will check with the Hearing Examiner tomorrow to seek a copy of the full ruling so we can add it here.

4 Replies to "Denny/Sealth appeal: The ruling, from the person who appealed"

  • Charlie Mas May 11, 2009 (12:53 pm)

    The separation of start/end times will blow a big hole in the District’s plan to have standardized transportation and start times at all of the middle and high schools. Hale has already been allowed to start a half-hour later (at 8:30 instead of 8:00), so I guess the District will now extend that privilege to Chief Sealth High School as well.

  • barb May 11, 2009 (5:35 pm)

    Please. Only a seattleite would consider staggered start times and supervised tree removal a victory. Mushing together middleschoolers — as vulnerable a crowd as there ever was — with teenagers, many of them seven years older than the sixth graders, is insanity that only a number cruncher could love. But true to seattle form, let’s focus on the trees and efficient use of vehicles. If the city started counting the dollars lost from parents abandoning city schools for private middle schools, maybe they’d made different decisions. But that would require a focus on people, and the city doesn’t seem oriented that way.

  • zero-to-life in West Seattle May 12, 2009 (7:36 am)

    Barb, I get what you are saying. This whole process of Denny/Sealth has frustrated me. I know that Chris Jackins has spent hundreds (if not thousands) of hours fighting this project. I am certain he would have wanted to get more than staggered start times and tree protection out of it. Very much like the initial decision, we were tossed little scraps…

  • Valkyrie May 12, 2009 (12:55 pm)

    It will be interesting to see how the district squirms its way out of this one. There will be consistency in transportation times, except for elementaries, K-8’s and secondaries.

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