Hearing Examiner Barbara Dykes had been criticized by the development community for her rulings on planning and development issues.
The County Council earlier this month gave Barbara Dykes a $10,000 contract to allow her to finish work in August.
responsibilities will pass on to someone else.
"In the end, it wasn't a good fit for her
Councilman Dave Somers said.
seemed frustrated with PDS (the planning department) and with the council, and I think it was a time to make a change there."
, 51, couldn't be reached for comment Friday.
Dykes was named hearing examiner in 2007.
Before that, she worked as a Snohomish County deputy prosecuting attorney and helped write many of the laws she would later interpret as hearing examiner.
tenure was marked by a series of complex, contentious issues.
Though the development community strongly criticized her
also won the respect of people who believed she
was one of the few officials willing to challenge county planners for being too lax with building rules.
biggest decision in 2008 by denying an application to build two radio towers outside Snohomish for use by KRKO radio, citing health concerns for nearby residents.
The County Council
ruling and a Superior Court judge backed the council's decision.
The same year, she
turned down a senior center's plan to build apartments near Warm Beach.
In that decision, Dykes
accused county planners of deliberately misreading the code in a way that allowed the group trying to build the apartments to unfairly transfer allowed building densities among different parcels.
later apologized for using such strong language.
had wanted more study because the developers were trying to build several other subdivisions on parcels adjacent to the one with 49 homes.
In total, there would be hundreds of homes.
reasoned that to be allowed to build the 49-home subdivision, the developers should be required to study impact of all the others.
Some on the County Council
still believe the type of cumulative analysis for adjacent developments that Dykes
requested should be part of county code.
Thank you, Barbara Dykes
Your service to Snohomish County
will be greatly missed.
Dykes, if you were to ever run for County Council or Executive, you'd have my vote.
You had done a much better job in your role than these so-called "representatives of the people".
It is very sad to see the way that Ms. Dykes
has been handled by County officials from the Executive's odious management of PDS to the County Council's underappreciation of what Ms. Dykes was clarifying for them.
I believe that that Ms. Dykes
, as a former member of the prosecuting attorney's staff, wrote the language of much of the land use code, that as hearing examiner she
was trying to enforce.
In case after case she
demonstrated full understanding of code complexities in relation to state enviromental laws (SEPA).
It is terrible that she
was constantly villified by the Master Builder's for doing her
well-written rulings were always entirely defensible.
, an Honest Hearing Examiner
As a former County Employee, I am saddened to hear that Barbara Dykes
has been the scapegoat for angry developers who have a vested interest in seeing that the Planning Department remains lax with its implementation of County Land Use Code.
knows the law like few others and did her
best to enforce its provisions through her
office of the Hearing Examiner
The citizens of the County
are not well-served by her
dismissal, nor is the natural environment and quality of life enjoyed by all County residents.
The need to examine cumulative impacts under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) is a crucial element of that law, that only makes sound land use sense.
If this is not done, the environment suffers through the death of a thousand cuts, as will be situation in the Seven Lakes area.
My hat is off to you Barbara
for standing up for what is right under the law........
Re: Barbara Dykes
, an Honest Hearing Examiner
got ahead of the law, and it was too costly when her
incorrect decisions lost in court, and were over-turned by Judges.
If Ms. Dykes
had learned to play golf and booze and schmooze with the Master Builders, or, foster an atmosphere of sexual harrassment in PDS, or, exchange collusional e-mails between the county exec. and certain council members over Fully Contained Communities, maybe she
would have more friends in PDS and the council.
is the latest and largest casualty of Snohomish county's STUCK land use system.
is, or should I say was, a breath of fresh air who actually LISTENED to the citizens who took time to participate in Hearings.
Those citizens were trying to address the betterment of their community with legitimate issues that were ignored at the county level in favor of developer's promises and the long standing 'good ol' boy' system of doing business in Snohomish County
fought the GOOD FIGHT on behalf of the land, her
citizens, the law, and the future of this county.
The same cannot be said of the developers, PDS, and those who think the status quo is 'good enough' and it's OK to ignore the people who already live here.
Thank you, Barbara
for all you did!
SnoCo Mom | Aug 02, 2010 10:08 am | Request removal
break out the rubber stamp...
This woman obviously didn't go along with the "special relationship" our planning dept. has with builders and developers....see ya . She
will be replaced by a rubber-stamper who will not make any waves and allow our land use codes to be circumnavigated by those who have enough money to pay for the privilege.
At first blush, this action with Barbara Dykes
would seem to confirm the description.