Click the graphic to listen to the audio recording of the October 27, 2016 Planning
November 6, 2016 Sandy Robson
Whatcom County Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Royce Buckingham, addressed the County Planning Commission during its October 27th work session on the 2016 Docket Cherry Point Amendments. The attached photo shows an excerpt of the dialogue between Mr. Buckingham and a Planning Commissioner that I transcribed from the County’s posted audio recording of that meeting.
I sent an Oct. 31st email to Royce Buckingham and the Planning Commission, asking for clarification of his remarks in which he seemed to have stated to the commission (and to the public attending, or listening to, the meeting), that PIT’s pier application is now in litigation. I asked him:
“Is PIT/PIH’s 2011/2012 Shoreline Substantial Development Permit application and/or its Major Development Permit application for the GPT project currently under litigation?”
I feel it is important to get clarification on Mr. Buckingham’s statements made about this supposed litigation because his remarks can influence the commissioners making decisions/recommendations on the proposed Cherry Point amendments, especially regarding 4th pier language in the County Comprehensive Plan that Council member Carl Weimer’s proposed amendments (identified by PDS as the “Proposal”) to the 2016 Comp. Plan. seek to remove. And, Mr. Buckingham’s remarks can also influence the public commenting on those proposed amendments.
–Below, are my emails on this subject, including Mr. Buckingham’s reply–
From: Sandra Robson
Date: October 31, 2016 at 12:30:36 PM PDT
Subject: Following up on my previous email today
Dear Whatcom Planning Commission:
This is a follow up on my previous email this morning to you and to County Attorney Royce Buckingham. I received a prompt reply from Mr. Buckingham which I have forwarded at the bottom of this email.
While I guess he has reasons for replying as he did to me, I first want to be clear that I did not ask for his advice on anything. I asked him to clarify his remarks during the October 27, 2016, Planning Commission work session on the docketed 2016 Cherry Point Amendments, specifically when he said (at a public meeting), to my best knowledge, that there is currently litigation regarding the GPT pier application.
I asked him to clarify his remarks about that “litigation” in case it’s possible he may have misspoken, or in case I somehow misunderstood what he stated.
So, seeing as Mr. Buckingham said in his email reply to me that because he does not represent me, he cannot give me legal advice, which I guess includes simply clarifying his remarks, I strongly urge you commissioners, whom Mr. Buckingham does represent, to get clarification about his remarks about a GPT permit application being now, currently in litigation.
I would appreciate it if at least one of you commissioners would let me know what ultimately you find out on this issue as I believe since Mr. Buckingham made these remarks in a public meeting, that I, and others, deserve to know if his remarks were correct, or if he somehow misspoke.
Thank you very much.
From: Royce Buckingham <RBucking@co.whatcom.wa.us>
Date: October 31, 2016 at 11:34:56 AM PDT
To: Sandra Robson
Subject: RE: Asking for clarification on your remarks from the October 27, 2016 Planning Commission work session
I am sorry, but I do not represent you and cannot give you legal advice.
Civil Deputy Prosecutor for Whatcom County
From: Sandra Robson
Date: October 31, 2016 at 11:27:44 AM PDT
To: RBucking@co.whatcom.wa.us,PDS_Planning_Commission@co.whatcom.wa.us, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Asking for clarification on your remarks from the October 27, 2016 Planning Commission work session
Dear Mr. Buckingham,
I attended the October 27th Planning Commission work session on the docketed 2016 Cherry Point amendments, during which, you spoke to the commission.
I also listened to part of the audio recording of that work session and transcribed the interaction (shown at the bottom of my email) between yourself and a member of the Planning Commission. I tried to the best of my ability in transcribing the dialogue, but a few words were difficult to hear.
You were speaking about 4th pier language in the County Comp. Plan and a commissioner asked you if there is a pier that is in litigation. You replied, “Yes.”
You then referenced that GPT pier “litigation” numerous times in that dialogue with that commissioner. I am unaware of any current litigation regarding the proposed GPT pier in terms of the project’s current permit applications with the County.
Is PIT/PIH’s 2011/2012 Shoreline Substantial Development Permit application and/or its Major Development Permit application for the GPT project currently under litigation?
The only litigation regarding the GPT pier proposed by PIT that I am aware of is back when the County’s 1997 “Conditional Approval” granted for a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit and a Major Development Permit was appealed, and out of that appeal, the 1999 Settlement Agreement resulted.
Can you please read the brief transcription of your dialogue (shown below) with the Planning Commissioner who asked you about pier litigation, and then clarify this for me?
Not only do I want to make sure I understand what you were saying in that dialogue, but I also think it’s important that the Planning Commission and the public you addressed that evening have this important clarification from you.