Snohomish officials shoud explain units’ building permits

In 2014 Snohomish Mayor John Kartak along with a cousin and Snohomish City Council member Larry Countryman, also a relative, purchased a building at 618 Maple Avenue. Countryman purchased the 614 Maple building by himself.

At the Sept. 21 council meeting the mayor admitted the 614 building at the time of purchase contained two unpermitted apartments. Councilman Countryman took out a construction permit for a duplex. The city specifically advised Countryman in a formal written letter dated Dec. 19, 2014 that the lot size was too small for a legal duplex. The letter recommended Countryman complete a boundary line adjustment (BLA) to meet minimum lot size for a duplex.

The letter specifically warned Countryman that under Municipal Code, “The BLA must be completed before any occupancy of the building will be allowed.”

After citizens’ lengthy research, Countryman finally recorded the BLA this August. Yet, for years, he personally occupied duplex unit B, rented out unit A, and operated a 5-car storage garage business he labeled “Apt. C,” now recently changed to “Suite C.”

It appears to me, the Planning Department — to protect Countryman and Kartak from the penalty provisions of city code and to protect its own reputation — is trying to whitewash the violations.

This July, the director and code enforcer visited 618 Maple Avenue and reported no apartment residence there, but found four businesses operating. When a citizen asked for the four city business license numbers, the planning director in an email on Sept. 27 recanted and said he was wrong, there’s “one business, not four, at 618 Maple Ave.”

On Sept. 1, the building inspector reported Countryman doesn’t operate a garage business at 614 C Maple Ave, contradicting Countryman’s own admissions during the Aug. 17 council meeting. (The audio is posted in the City’s Agenda Center).

Morgan Davis

David L. Clay

Snohomish

Talk to us

More in Opinion

The A-8 proposal for Everett City Council districts, which were approved by voters in 2018, will be presented for public input in six virtual meetings over a week starting Thursday, Sept. 10. (City of Everett)
Editorial: Everett’s future depends on voters’ council choices

With five seats on the ballot, and at least three new members, voter participation is key.

toon
Editorial cartoons for Friday, Oct. 15

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2020, file photo, a voter turns sideways as he eyes the opening of a ballot drop box before placing his ballot inside it in Seattle. A record number of voters participating in November's election was among Washington state's top stories for 2020. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Editorial: Ballots are in the mail; mark ‘em and get ‘em in

Your vote in the Nov. 2 election will determine who represents your voice regarding local issues.

Election
Editorial: Nehring, Mead, Low for Snohomish County Council

The incumbents for Districts 1, 4 and 5 have worked together effectively for county residents.

Sign painter Mack Benek created this design to replace the existing Edmonds welcome sign. It is one of four designs that will be reviewed at an open house on Wednesday. The other three designs were by Clayton Moss, whose firm was hired by the city to create a sign.
(Mack Benek)
Editorial: Crank, Chen, Fraley Monillas for Edmonds council

The Edmonds City Council can benefit from the election of two new-comers and an incumbent.

Schwab: Don Trumpleone: Leave the lies, take the cannoli

Backed by his media wiseguys, a nationwide criminal organization moves to take down democracy.

Check PDC website to see who’s giving to candidates

One factor I use when determining who to support for public office… Continue reading

Marysville schools’ rule on Thin Blue Line Flag inconsistent

In a letter to parents on Sept. 27, Dr. Chris Pearson, Marysville… Continue reading

Unvaccinated risking others’ lives by flooding hospitals

The unvaccinated are the people most likely to contract the covid virus… Continue reading

Most Read