Laurelhurst Community Club                                                     

Serving 2800 Households and Businesses in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood



Urban Development and Planning Committee

Resolution and Memorandum of Agreement Regarding

Children’s Master Plan Advisory Committee

July 25, 2007


            Good afternoon.  The Laurelhurst Community Club has submitted detailed comments on the proposed resolution relating to the Children’s Hospital Master Plan Advisory Committee and the proposed Memorandum of Agreement with Children’s.  We have suggested four amendments that we hope you will adopt.  They address strict adherence to the Major Institutions Code, preserve the independence of the Department of Neighborhoods in filling vacancies on the advisory committee and ensure oversight by the City Council when vacancies are filled.  


            Amendment 1:  This amendment is technical in nature and simply tracks the language of the Major Institutions Code in the fourth “Whereas” of the resolution regarding selection of a balanced, independent and representative committee.


            Amendment 2:  This amendment addresses two issues—the size of the committee and filling vacancies on the committee.  Laurelhurst recommends adhering to the Code in keeping the number of voting committee members at 12, rather than 15 as recommended by the Mayor.  The other portion of the amendment addresses filling vacancies and is technical in nature.  It merely says that DON is to fill vacancies from the list of alternates that the City Council has approved in the Memorandum of Agreement with Children’s.  This part of the amendment is consistent with the language in the Memorandum of Agreement before you.  The language addresses your important oversight role.


            Amendment 3:  This amendment preserves the independent role of DON in appointing members of the Standing Advisory Committee that will be appointed or reappointed after the Council approves the Master Plan.  The draft language of the Memorandum of Agreement states that DON must have the agreement of Children’s to appoint or reappoint members to serve on the Standing Committee.  There is nothing in the Code that allows joint appointment of standing committee members or veto authority of any applicant by Children’s.  This language is deleted.  Because no Council approval is required for appointment or reappointment of the Standing Committee, we have added language to require that those selected to serve to be chosen from the list of committee members and alternates approved by the council to serve on the initial advisory committee.  Again, this addresses the Council’s oversight role. 


            Amendment 4:  This amendment Memorandum of Agreement with Children’s and addresses the list of individuals that will serve as voting members and alternates of the Advisory Committee.  We recommend that the person named as the citywide representative on the committee be substituted with someone else because she did not meet the application deadline to serve on the committee.  We also recommend that representatives from View Ridge and Montlake not be on the committee because they are not “directly affected by the activities of the institution” as required by the Code.  They do not live in adjacent neighborhoods, as “adjacent” is generally defined to mean “nearest in space or position, immediately adjoining without intervening space.”  They are not directly affected because they are too far removed.  In her memo to the Mayor, the DON Director agrees with this assessment.  These two individuals were not included in the initial list of voting members agreed upon by DON, Children’s and Laurelhurst.


            It has been suggested that there be broad representation on the advisory committee because Children’s is a regional facility.  Even excluding a representative from View Ridge and Montlake, there is a broad diversity of skills and backgrounds of those nominated to serve on the committee.  They come from Laurelhurst, Ravenna-Bryant and Hawthorne Hills and include a citywide and hospital representative.  Children’s should not be treated any differently than any other major institution, unless, of course, you amend the Major Institutions Code to allow so or set up a separate set of rules as has been done for the University of Washington.


            We urge you to accept our recommendations.  In the alternative, we ask that you remand the matter back to the Department of Neighborhoods for further action.  If you have questions about the meaning of any portions of the Major Institutions Code, we encourage you to contact the Law Department, as DON has done, to seek your own independent legal advice.  As with any attorney-client relationship, it should be remembered that the client may seek advice, but makes the final decision as to whether to follow that advice.


            Thank you for considering our comments.




                                                                        Jeannie Hale, President

                                                                        3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE

                                                                        Seattle, Washington  98105

                                                                        206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631