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County Council

Posted on: June 6, 2023

Council Meeting Review: June 6, 2023

Council meeting review

This meeting included an update on PFAS water contamination, multiple public hearings, a presentation about the Shoreline Cumulative Effects Evaluation draft report, and more.

This document is a review of the County Council meeting, Tuesday, June 6, 2023. Information related to agenda changes, Consent Agenda, and Public Comment are on the County website. For additional information about what was discussed, please refer to the recording.  




APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 5/22/023, 2/7/2023, 3/6/2023, 3/7/2023


  • The Auditor’s office requests approval for warrants issued the week of May 8, 2023, May 22, 2023 and payroll expenditures and associated benefit expenditures for the pay period ending 5/24/2023.


  • Comment letter to the Canadian Government on the proposed Robert’s Bank 2 Shipping Terminal from the County proposed by M.R.C.


  • Norman Gollub, Interim Director Department of Community Development.



  1. To approve resolution authorizing the granting of utility easements for fiber internet on a portion of tax parcel 141822009000, known as Lopez Island Public Works Operations Center property located at 25 Calle Aquila on Lopez Island, Colin Huntemer – Public Works Director and Mackenzie Sims – Public Works Project Manager

Orcas Power and Light Cooperative (“OPALCO”) provides power and communication services in the County and requires that the County grant an easement for these services.

San Juan County currently has power services from OPALCO at 25 Calle Aguila Lopez Island without easements. Changes are being made at this location to add fiber optic for communication services.  OPALCO requires the County to grant easements to make this change.

County Code contains procedures for the sale of real property generally at SJCC 2.104.050 and SJCC 2.104.070. These procedures have been applied to the granting of the proposed easements.

As required by SJCC 2.104.070, a duly noticed public hearing regarding the direct sale of the utility easements is being hearing regarding the direct sale of the utility easements.  

Council voted to approve the resolution authorizing the granting of the Communication Easement for portions of tax parcel 141822009000 on Lopez Island.

2. Discussion/Action: To request and re-schedule a public hearing on June 27, 2023 for Bailer Hill/Douglas Road Improvements, Jacob Heinen –Public Works Project Manager

CRP 011303 Douglas Rd/Bailer Hill Road Improvements is a part of the Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (2023-2028) adopted by Resolution 29-2022.  The project provides for the improvement of 1.30 miles beginning at Douglas Road MP 3.15 to Bailer Hill Road MP 4.45.    

These roads provide the primary access for motorists and bicyclists between Friday Harbor and the West side of San Juan Island.  The route is narrow, has some vertical and horizontal sight distance issues and little to no road shoulder.  

The proposed improvements include shoulder widening, horizontal and vertical sight distance corrections, drainage restructuring and realignment of the road to be centered within the right-of-way.    

I move to re-schedule the public hearing for the Douglas / Bailer Hill road improvements regarding the centerline location and accepting of easements by the County to June 27, 2023. 

3. Discussion/Action: Shoreline Cumulative Effects Evaluation Draft Report, Sophia Cassam –Planner III.

The Shoreline Cumulative Effects Evaluation (CEE) assists the County in understanding the effect of shoreline development on the shoreline environment. The purpose of the CEE is to ensure that the County's shoreline development regulations meet the standard of no net loss of ecological function in the shoreline required by the Shoreline Management Act (SMA). DCD has been working with Herrera Environmental Consultants to conduct the first iteration of this study in 2022-2023. The project is funded by a Shoreline Master Program grant from the Department of Ecology. The County is required to conduct a CEE every four years (SJCC 18.50.020(E)(3)).  

Staff briefed the Council on the draft report, answered questions, and gathered the Council's feedback to share with the consultant for incorporation into the final report.

4. Discussion: PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) water system contamination update, Kyle Dodd –Environmental Health

Kyle Dodd provided an update on the PFAS water contamination. The County and State have been working together to take and test water samples in the affected area around Hannah Heights.  The extent of contamination doesn’t appear to be as broad as the department’s initial potentially affected area. 

The homeowners in Hannah Heights have moved entirely to hauled water as the back-up well has seasonally dried up. They are working to identify other potential water sources.   

5. Discussion/Action: Request to schedule a public hearing for June 27, 2023 for amending the Dangerous Dog San Juan County Code Chapter 6.08, Sheriff Eric Peter.

Due to confusing language in the ‘appeals’ and ‘definition’ sections for dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs, it is not clear on how a person can go through the appeal process and when their dog is declared dangerous or potentially dangerous. The Sheriff’s Office plans to clarify this language in addition to what restrictions apply.   

The Council voted to set a public hearing for 9:15 on June 27, 2023 to amend the San Juan County code for dangerous dogs.

6. Discussion: Juneteenth draft acknowledgement

The Council discussed and edited the Juneteenth acknowledgement in advance of its approval at the June 13 meeting. 

7. Discussion: Legislative session roundup with our LD40 Delegation, County Council, Senator Liz Lovelett, representative Debra Lekanoff and Representative Alex Ramel.

Council discussed ongoing projects and legislative priorities including the housing crisis, education funding, emergency structures, drug possession, health and dental care, and more. 

8. Discussion: Public Works Survey Findings, Erin –Wygant –Communications Coordinator, Grant Carlton –Management Analyst, and Colin Huntemer –Public Works Director

After the 2022 Road Levy campaign, County staff determined that a community survey was needed to determine the public's interests and the County's next steps. To gain a better understanding of what residents are experiencing on County roads, while using marine facilities, or traveling on or near road shoulders, staff developed a 26-question survey hosted on the Engage San Juan County platform.

The survey included a variety of question styles and was live for 36 days. It was advertised via a number of channels including social media, press releases, posters around town, direct email campaigns, and targeted community-group outreach. The survey received 1,002 responses thanks to a concentrated outreach campaign. 

This was an opportunity for staff to present the survey's findings, highlight common themes found in the data, and discuss next steps.

9. Discussion/Action: LTAC Awards made in 2022 for expenditure in 2023, County Council

Council heard from the San Juan Community Theater director, Nathan Kessler-Jeffrey, who applied for an LTAC fund. Council accepted his explanation of the application and approved his LTAC grant. The other two applications received by the Department of Environmental Stewardship – one for the Cattle Point interpretive site and the other for Environmental Stewardship training – are under consideration.   

The Council voted to reconsider the LTAC Award recommendations for 2022. The Council voted to award the grants for 2022 awards as recommended by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with the exception of two awards for the Department of Environmental Stewardship - one for the Cattle Point interpretive site and the other for Environmental Stewardship training. 

10. Discussion: Initial review of County Code, Chapter 2.04 

The Council reviewed the Chapter 2.04 of the County Code along with ordinance 44-2008, ordinance 21-2007, and ordinance 6-2013. Council is checking that charter references are correct, rules of procedure are up to date, and more. 


Council Update: 

  • Christine
    1. Attended the monthly sex offender policy board meeting 
    2. Attended the canoe journey arrival at Jackson Beach 
    3. Attended typical board and staff meetings 
    4. Attended the WSAC virtual assembly 
    5. Attended open house to celebrate the HolliWalk Neighborhood completion 
    6. Plans to present at Friday Harbor Town Council
  • Jane
    1. Attended broadband meetings and the formation of the broadband access plan 
    2. Met with stakeholders regarding transportation issues
    3. Plans to attend the Washington State Transportation Commission meeting
    4. Met with County constituents 
    5. Plans to visit Decatur Island 
  • Cindy
    1. Attended marine Resources Committee meeting 
    2. Attended canoe journey 
    3. Working with the Public Works Director and Communications Coordinator regarding the Killebrew Lake Rd porject 
    4. Attended the Veterans Advisory Board meeting  
    5. Planning the Orcas Meeting on June 13 

Manager Update: Mike Thomas, County Manager 

  • Discussed committee staffing 
  • In the process of recruiting multiple high-level positions including a DCD director 
  • Working on an internal draft of the Argyle Lots agreement to send to the Home Trust 
  • Working on union negotiations 

Council Clerk Update: Sally Rogers, Clerk

  • Review Agendas & Council Calendar Items:   Next scheduled Council meetings; June 13th(Away meeting on Orcas Island)June 27thJuly, 11thand July 25th(Away meeting on Decatur Island.)

  • Advisory Committee Appointments/ Reappointments: To approve the appointment of Jason Bradshaw to the Eastsound Planning Review Committee. 

12.EXECUTIVE SESSION: To discuss with legal counsel litigation or potential litigation pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(i), Amy Vira–Prosecuting Attorney.

13.EXECUTIVE SESSION: To discuss with legal counsel litigation or potential litigation pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(i), Jon Cain–Sr. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney.

14.  CLOSED SESSION: To discuss matters pertaining to collective bargaining pursuant to RCW 42.30.140(4)(b)



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