Town Council mulls design standards

A June 14 discussion by members of the Eatonville Town Council regarding removing or severely cutting Chapter 19 — design standards — from the Eatonville Municipal Code ultimately ended with approval of a motion to add a review of said chapter to the agenda of the June 21 meeting of the Eatonville Planning Commission.

With Town Council staff and the Planning Commission working on revising in some form Chapter 19 —long regarded as too restrictive and too subjective and thus hard to work with — and plans for a code review of Chapters 17, 18 and 19 of the municipal code, it wasn’t immediately clear on how to proceed in making it so design standards don’t make it harder and more expensive for applicants to get a project finished.

“Are we wasting time?” Councilmember Bill Dunn asked of multiple efforts regarding Chapter 19.
“There is a reason design standards are the last chapter — Chapter 19 — because this chapter is a festering boil on the backside of our municipal code,” said Councilmember Robert Thomas, adding that as written it can’t be practically applied in Eatonville.

He recommended scrapping Chapter 19 and starting over.

“I think that would be much less painful than our present process,” Thomas said.

Councilmember Emily McFadden said she supported getting rid of 90 percent of Chapter 19, thus “minimizing it down to the bare minimum, and removing those roadblocks from citizens."

Other items on the amended agenda of the Eatonville Planning Commission’s June 21 meeting include a review of EMC Chapter 18.04, District Regulations, and a review of EMC Chapter 18.08, Accessory Dwelling Units.

In other business, the town council approved Resolution 2021-T, an employee recognition policy that allows the expenditure of funds for a token of appreciation, plaque or years of service award that is limited to no more than $150 total per employee per year. The expenditure of funds for an award recognizing retirement shall be limited to $250 per employee. These limits do not include sales tax, shipping and handling and engraving charges.

“This is one of those areas that we did not have a policy on, but we have been having a recognition — usually at the first week of May — for public employee recognition week that we have for those milestones at five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 years,” Mayor Mike Schaub said.


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