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Third Black Diamond council member steps away from The Villages and Lawson Hills hearing - no quorum
The drama kicked up another notch in Black Diamond tonight when Councilman Bill Boston announced he was recusing himself from the hearings on the two master planned developments, The Villages and Lawson Hills.
The City Council is in the process of considering the approval of permits for the YarrowBay developments.
Boston stated at the opening of the hearing at the Black Diamond Elementary School he had reconsidered his relationship with the Lake Sawyer Community Club, and now felt he needed to recuse himself.
Boston had faced a challenge at the Tuesday, June 22 hearing, regarding his ability to fairly consider the projects because of his association with the club.
YarrowBay attorney Nancy Rogers stated the club donated $5,000 to a fund to challenge the development.
Council women Leih Mulvihill and Kristine Hanson had already recused themselves at the Tuesday hearing.
With Boston removing himself, two council members are left, Craig Goodwin and William Saas, which does not make up a quorum. With a five member council, three are needed for a quorum.
According to the city officials, because a quorum no longer exists, all the council members may return to the proceedings, but they are not obligated to join.
Hanson, Mulvihill and Boston will be contacted to see who will return and if a quorum can be brought together to decide on the permit applications.
At the Tuesday hearing, Mulvihill faced challenges to her ability to fairly judge the projects from six people, Sheila Hoefig, Cindy Proctor, Cindy Wheeler, Robert Taeschner, Mike Irrgang and Vicki Harp. The six implied she was biased in favor of YarrowBay.
Mulvihill began defending herself, but decided to leave the proceedings after the six spoke.
Hanson stepped away next stating her property abuts The Villages development site.
City officials noted the members who return will not face appearance of fairness challenges from members of the audience again during the proceedings.
Rogers challenged both Boston and Councilman Craig Goodwin about their impartiality at the Tuesday hearing.
Rogers pointed out both were members of the Lake Sawyer Community Club.
Goodwin said he was a member, but was not aware money was donated. He said would stay in the hearing.
Boston said his membership in the club ended in December 2009. He said he could be fair and would stay in the hearing, but Wednesday he changed his mind, throwing the proceedings into a stall until a quorum can be formed.
The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the school.
The Kirkland-based YarrowBay is planning to build 4,800 residences in The Villages and 1,250 in Lawson Hills.
The MPDs have been aggressively challenged by a group of residence.
According to the city website the current population of Black Diamond is about 4,000.