Motel in sheep’s clothing?

Motel in Sheep’s Clothing
Opinion by Kathryn Grosz
The Issue
A wolf has arrived in Sequim Bay and is trying to slide a business-sized building into a residential neighborhood.  The controversy began when a corporation, represented by Judy Lee of Los Angeles, applied to build a 32,000 sf structure at 695 East Sequim Bay Road, claiming it is a bed and breakfast inn (B&B).  Zoning is R2 Rural Moderate.  This structure will be 15 times the average size house in the neighborhood.  A second structure, the same size, is shown on ancillary plans.
Lee is threatening to sue the county if Mary Ellen Winborn, Director of Community Development for the county, does not issue a permit. 

County commissioners, the county prosecutor’s office, and the Risk Pool (the county’s insurer) are now involved.  Winborn has received angry phone calls from neighbors.  The neighbors may sue if a permit is issued, especially if their property values are compromised?
There are no size limits for single-family residences or B&Bs.  Code changes for size might only apply to future structures.  The current code requirements for residential appearance and limited overnight accommodations fly in the face of this project?  Winborn states she wants to do the right thing and does not believe the structure meets the current code requirements.
Current Code Requirements
Clallam County Code 33.03.010 says: “(13) “Bed and breakfast inns” means a single-family dwelling on property occupied by the owner or manager which is constructed or converted partially or entirely into an overnight, short-term boarding house which does not detract from the residential appearance of the structure, and has five (5) or fewer rooms for overnight accommodations.”
This structure does not appear to meet these requirements.
Detracts From Residential Appearance
I viewed the plans at DCD.  Residential appearance is about shape, style, material, size, use and what is typical for the character of that neighborhood.
Size does matter for the “does not detract from the residential appearance” requirement when the size is so outrageously out-of-character for the neighborhood.  This is a 32,000 sf, 4-story building: 3 stories above ground, one below. Every floor of the proposed structure is 8,000 sf. For reference, 8,000 sf equals 20 garages (20’x20’).  For reference, Sequim’s Quality Inn is 29,787 sf.
It defies logic and common sense to think this structure meets the “does not detract from the residential appearance” requirement.  How can it?  The average size of 30 neighboring houses is 2,050 sf.  This structure is 15 times that average house size.  This is not a neighborhood of gigantic mansions.  A mansion 15 times the average house size simply does not have the residential appearance of this specific neighborhood.
Shape, Style, Material
A steel and glass building that looks like an office building/motel simply does meet the “does not detract from the residential appearance” requirement, especially considering this neighborhood of northwest style homes.
The blueprint of the building’s front has the appearance of either a motel or an office building.  It is all glass.  There are seven doors on the front: two sliding glass doors on the ground, 2nd, and 3rd levels, which open unto balconies or patios, plus the front doors. This makes the structure look like a motel.  Are there any neighboring houses have seven exterior doors on the front?
Surely the intent of the “does not detract from the residential appearance” requirement is to ensure that B&Bs fit flawlessly into the neighborhood, match the style and character of the other homes in the neighborhood, and do not stick out like sore thumbs.  It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out.
5 or Fewer Rooms
Does this structure have 5 or fewer rooms for overnight accommodation?  This is what I saw:  The guest level has five suites:  four two-room suites with full baths, plus one three-room suite with full bath.  This totals 11 rooms labeled for guests.  The code says “five (5) or fewer rooms for overnight accommodations”, not 5 or fewer suites each with multiple rooms that can be slept in.  

The third floor family sleeping rooms are laid out the same as the guest floor: 5 suites totaling 11 rooms.
B&B Really?
The cost to build a concrete, steel, and glass building is $400 to $500 per square foot.  This building will cost $12.8 million to $16 million.
Why would anyone want or need to take in boarders if they can afford to build two, or even one, $12.8-$16 million building?  As a B&B, the project does not make sense.  
What B&B has two huge exercise rooms, two huge studies, two huge massage rooms, and a huge business center?  What is the real intended use?
Is this a B&B in name only because B&Bs, not motels, etc., are allowed in R2 zoning?  If this building is used for something other than a simple B&B, the county will end up spending tax dollars on code enforcement when neighbors complain.
Will the septic derail this project?  Two lots were purchased.  There is not enough room on one.  The driveway, septic drain field, and leach lines are on the adjacent lot.  The maximum size septic that fits is for eight rooms, meaning 16 people.  This building has ten suites (22 rooms) labeled for sleeping (20 to 44 people).  How can the septic accommodate that?  Will sewage leak into Sequim Bay, contaminating shellfish beds?  The house for sale at 871 E Sequim Bay Rd says it has deeded access to a 300’ beach for clamming.  
The gigantic 3,624 sf entry/living room on the ground level looks like a lecture hall, exhibit hall, wedding venue, or conference site.  Are huge events planned?  For reference, a 2,300-square-foot hall could seat up to 150 people for a dinner party, or 200 people standing up at a cocktail event. Will the septic be overwhelmed?
This Is Important
Zoning is a promise, a guarantee to property owners, businesses, and citizens.  It should not be perverted.  This corporation should purchase land that is properly zoned.
This issue is important to everyone. We want the character of our cozy neighborhoods to remain intact.  We do not want business income to be eroded by blight. We do not want hotels, slaughterhouses, smelly noisy feedlots, or wrecking yards in residential zones.  Zoning is supposed to protect us from these blights to our cozy homes or businesses.
It is your tax dollars.  Is it the Lange case all over again?  The county permitted illegal structures resulting in twenty years’ ligation and ending with a half-million dollar settlement paid by taxpayers.
Faith in local government erodes when people believe government does the wrong thing and fails to protect them.

If you do not speak up for your neighbors, then who will speak up for you?  
The commissioners’ e-mails addresses are:  Mark Ozias,; Mike Chapman,; Bill Peach,  The DCD Director, Mary Ellen Winborn’s is:


  1. Rose Marschall

    I do not understand the conflict. It does not meet the room requirement. No permit.

  2. greg madsen

    As an East Sequim Bay Road neighbor, I think I speak for all in decrying this Californication of Sequim Bay. There are significant wetlands on the property at 695 ESBR, not to mention a Class 4 stream. Further, there are multiple easements that cross this property, both north-to-south and east-to-west. Frankly, I think they plan on taking advantage of the current weak enforcement of bed and breakfast rules paying what fines can be imposed as a cost of doing business.

  3. Bryan Frazier

    If the county allows this first monolithic non-conforming “motel” to be built in East Sequim Bay it will set a precedent for allowing the second 32,000 sq/ft building and other non-conforming structures to be built.

    This all comes down to a bully developer and her attorney utilizing semantics and propaganda by calling this monstrosity of a building a Bed & Breakfast or “mansion” to achieve their desired effect on the public and we’re not buying it. This project is a Hotel/Motel and changing what they call it doesn’t change that fact no matter how much they threaten to “sue” the county.

    I for one do not trust the county to enforce the county codes. I have heard from the county for the last ten years now “we don’t have the resources to enforce the codes” as we have complained loud and clear about the non-conformity of the Carlsborg Industrial Park and the total lack of sight and sound buffers, total lack of downward facing and shielded lighting and the glare emanating into the residential neighborhood at night. This lack of enforcement has led to devaluation of our properties by hundreds of thousands of dollars. The residents of East Sequim Bay have every right to be worried about their property values.

    What would make anyone trust that this county would enforce the same restrictions and county codes on this “motel”? Once the precedent is allowed and set, the county will have no avenue to prevent further destruction of yet another neighborhood like residential Carlsborg.

  4. Jimmy

    You want jobs. You want economic vibrancy. There is already a similar facility on East Sequim Bay known as Sunset Marine Resort just a short distance north on the water side of East Sequim Bay (40 Buzzard Ridge Road).

    I say let them build and create competition and jobs and bring in revenue to the county to pay for services you all want.

    1. Bryan Frazier

      Oh, by the way Jimmy, Sunset Marine Resort consists of 8 STICK BUILT CABINS not a 32,000 square foot “PROHIBITED LAND USE” concrete, glass and steel MOTEL in an R2 zoned RESIDENTIAL neighborhood. How about we let them build it in your back yard?

    2. Bryan Frazier

      For your further enjoyment; 33.10.015 Rural Neighborhood Conservation (NC). (3) Conditional Land Uses. The following land uses are permitted in the NC zoning district subject to a conditional use permitting process with public input and a determination that the proposed use is consistent with applicable land use regulations and the character of the neighborhood


      Child day care center.


      Commercial greenhouse or nursery.


      Home-based industries.



      Mineral extraction.

      Outdoor-oriented recreational activity

      Primitive campgrounds.

      Private schools with less than 50 students.

      Public buildings and facilities.

      RV parks (Western Planning Region and western portion of the Straits Planning Region only).

      Veterinarian clinic.

      Timber labor camps.

      Wood manufacturing (small-scale).

    3. Greg Madsen

      There is absolutely no similarity between Sunset Marine and the proposed monstrosity. SM blends in and is Eco- conscious. The 695 ESBR “B&B” is hideous in it’s every aspect.

    4. Chris B

      This is NOT a traditional B & B. It is NOT open to the general public as stated in an email to DCD in response to a number of questions they had for the Dzogchen. The Dzogchen is a Buddhist organization looking to build a retreat here on Sequim Bay. It will NOT create jobs. The size and scope of this facility will do irreprearable harm to the environment.

  5. Bryan Frazier

    Nice try Jimmy, Much farther North and in a different zoning where Outdoor-oriented recreational activity is a “conditional Use”… Educate your self so you don’t look foolish.

    33.10.015 Rural Neighborhood Conservation (NC).

    (1) Purpose. Maintain low density rural residential areas and associated uses consistent with the local character of the distinctive regions and neighborhoods found within the Rural Neighborhood Conservation (NC) zoning district. Lands within the NC zone, or vicinity of such areas, are generally characterized by an existing wide range and variety of rural residential lot sizes and densities and rural uses. The NC zone is also intended to direct development in small, isolated rural areas located along the limited transportation corridors of western Clallam County otherwise dominated by forest and park lands. These western NC zones are vital for accommodating rural lifestyles and supporting rural based economies that enable residents to both live and work in rural areas.

  6. Kathryn Grosz

    To Rose: You are right. The answer is simple. But, what happens in this and similar situations is that the corporation or person, that wants to do something outside the rules, hires an attorney to file lawsuits, make threats, and try to redirect attention away from what is really happening in order to force officials to do the wrong thing and allow the project.
    To Jimmy: I am sure if the real purpose of this project would be revealed, there would be some place in our county where zoning allows for it. The issue is not to block it. We want progress and jobs. The issue is simply zoning and putting the project in a location where the zoning is set up for that particular activity. They are welcome here if they would just follow the law and purchase property in the right place. How hard is that? Because B&Bs are allowed in R2, does not mean the rest of the B&B requirements can be ignored. It is like telling a child they can have a piece of cake and when you look in the kitchen, the entire cake is gone. Mom said you could have a piece. The entire cake is not one piece.

  7. greg madsen

    I believe the horror underlying this preposterous wart on the landscape is that Clallam Co. has no means to prevent the building of the proposed structure (assuming that all setbacks, wetland protections, wildlife protections–eagles nest in a tree on this property,tideland and bank protections are met (which would be impossible considering this beached ark has more square footage than the Quality Inn and would require a septic system for not 8 but 16+ bedrooms if you just change the names of a few rooms.)

    We have laws that control the use of the structure as a B&B, but none to prevent the actual construction of a blight upon the land.

  8. jimmy

    Air B&B the facility and no one is the wiser.

    1. Bryan Frazier

      Now we are….Thanks Jimmy.

      1. Jimmy


        Check-mate. While you whine about fluoride, vacancies in PA, lacking jobs, the pieces have fallen into place throughout Clallam Co.

        Look at traffic on 101 at Blyn every Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Look at homes being built throughout. Look at the investments coming in from outside.

        They (outside) will certainly vote for change, jobs, and solutions to all the ills you’ve demanded the politicians change.

        Thank you – Jimmy

        1. Bryan Frazier

          Jimmy, this isn’t a chess match and you have won nothing. No the pieces are not “falling into place” as you put it or Clallam County would not still have a 7.9% unemployment rate compared to 7.8% last month and 7.3% last year and compared to the state unemployment rate of 5.8% state wide. Check your facts man.

          According to the 2010 U. S. Census Carlsborg had a population of 995 and according to the American Community Survey published in November 2015 the population of Carlsborg is 627. That’s a 37% decrease in population just for Carlsborg where the county is spending millions for a sewer system because, you know, Growth. Sequim saw only a 3.3% increase in growth (retired seniors) and Clallam County 2.9% growth for the same time period. While the Sequim School District had a 10% decrease in enrollment since 2010. Yep, things are really “falling into place” Get a grip Jimmy.

          1. Jimmy

            You are crazy pick the facts that you want to support your agenda. Employment is up.
            Non farm employment
            June 2014 = 22,520
            June 2015 = 23,030
            June 2016 = 23,270

            Oh yeah and don’t let them put a hotel in because that would create more jobs.

  9. greg madsen

    Anonymous Jimmy–

    The “R” in R2 Zoning stands for “Residential”.

    Despite your glib–and ill-informed–arguments, the rules are the rules. A high traffic, enormous beyond all reasonable scale, glass and tin sheathed structure has no place in a residential neighborhood. Please, go get smug somewhere else.

  10. Bryan Frazier


    Sorry dude but your still wrong. I didn’t “pick” facts. The FACTS I provided are directly from the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and the U S Census ACS ( American Community Survey)as I stated in my last reply to you. Facts are Facts whether you like them or not. I just double checked my resources and I am STILL correct and you are not. Clallam County STILL has 7.9% unemployment.

    Learn how to read Jimmy.

  11. Bryan Frazier

    Oh, Jimmy,

    Just for your reference this is the reference DATA SET Series ID that I used from the BLS so if you don’t like the FACTS take it up with the BLS and tell them they are wrong. Good Luck with that oh smug one.

    Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages:

    Series Id: ENU5300910010
    State: Washington
    Area: Clallam County, Washington
    Industry: Total, all industries
    Owner: Total Covered
    Size: All establishment sizes
    Type: All Employees

  12. Jimmy

    Ohhhh Bryan,
    The Unemployment rate is higher because the labor force is growing in step with the job creation. But I am sure you don’t understand statistics any more than you understand … gravity.

    1. Bryan Frazier

      Jimmy, You’re comment is hysterical. Are you by any chance on the local EDC? Just curious, that would explain a few things.

  13. Jimmy

    keep censoring the conversation dale. only print what servers your agenda.

  14. Bryan Frazier

    Jimmy, Unless I have somehow hacked the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics),the U S Census ACS ( American Community Survey)websites and the U S mean time atomic clock to reconfigure time to “censor the conversation date” and their statistics, your comments are as illogical as ever.

    Pardon me while I assist my wife up off the floor where she collapsed in hysterical laughter at your suggestions. (Gravity works)

    Now that we have both stopped laughing at you and caught our breath. Logically speaking (which logic is obviously something you lack)concerning “statistics”, the unemployment rate should be declining in step with “job creation” not increasing as the BLS and ACS statistics clearly show.

    Statistical number of people in the population (ACS),fixed number of jobs available to that population (BLS) if there were an increase in the number of available jobs the unemployment percentage for that population would be declining not increasing. (Logic 101) because a greater percentage of that population would be employed by these hypothetical new jobs.

    Since there is factual and “statistical” evidence of an increase in the unemployment rate, up from 7.3% last year to 7.8% to 7.9% currently in conjunction with the increased number of empty store fronts and buildings that would suggest very strongly that there are no new jobs being created and that it is YOU who does not understand how statistics work. Bad attempt at statistical inversion on your part.

    Simply put, more jobs equals less unemployment, fewer jobs equals higher unemployment. People do not move from areas with lower unemployment rates to an area with a higher unemployment rate in search of a job.

  15. Jimmy

    Bryan – disagree all you want. Houses are being built in record numbers for the area, more people working every year for the past three years, more visitors to the park, on and on.

    We know where you come from a dark unearthly place where misery is the religion, fluoride is a poison, and you need paralysis to maintain dales advertising rates.

  16. Jimmy

    Statistics lesson for Bryan Frasier

    From the BLS

    Date Workers Empl. Unempl. Rate
    6.16 27,276 25,111 2,165 7.9%
    6.15 26,648 24,711 1,937 7.3%
    6.14 26,383 24,427 1,956 7.4%

    The BLS includes all workers showing 684 (+2.8%) more workers employed (more jobs) than in 2014. The number of eligible workers has increased by 893 (+3.4%).

    There are more people working. There are more people in the work force. More jobs are being created and bringing more people into the community. Growth is foreign to the guy who lost the election isn’t it?

    So keep your glass half empty, keep pimping for the Port o Call. Your broken analog clock will be correct twice a day for a second or two.


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