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Councilmembers attempt to change fire code that benefit themselves and make residents less safe

At the January 10, 2023 council meeting, councilmembers Hachamovitch and Moore lobbied to change the Clyde Hill fire code. With little due diligence, expert input, or public notice or input, Moore attempted to bring a motion to adopt Bellevue’s fire code. The mayor was able to pause the effort, citing conflicts that could result from the change.

Some history. In 2020, a fire hydrant was used to fight a house fire. Thankfully, the residents were able to escape without injury or death. This might not have been the case had the Bellevue Fire Code been in place for Clyde Hill.

Adoption of Bellevue’s Fire Code will remove a 150-foot hydrant visibility requirement that is in Clyde Hill’s code. The fire hydrant used to battle that 2020 fire is located within an easement on Councilmember Dean Hachamovich’s property. For years, Hachamovitch has been attempting to install a gate that would block access to the hydrant, but due to city code requiring a turnaround and access to the fire hydrant, he has been unable to.

One of the paths to getting his gate approved is using his power as a councilmember to remove all regulations standing in his way. Which is exactly what he’s been attempting to do. One of those regulations is the fire code. Hachamovitch knows that adoption of the Bellevue Fire Code would result in fire department approval because he received approval for his gate from Bellevue Fire based on the City of Bellevue’s fire code back in 2020. The only thing standing in his way was Clyde Hill’s Fire Code and other city codes.

There are many issues with lazily copy and pasting Bellevue’s fire code for use in Clyde Hill. They are too numerous to write out here. One only need to realize that a fire code written for a city of 150,000 people and a massive amount of commercial square footage would not work for a city of 3,000 and very little commercial space.

There is no reason to rush a code change this big without a study to understand the impacts on public safety, cost of new development or remodels, impacts to homeowners’ insurance rates, and more. Only one person is served by rushing this change: Dean Hachamovitch. Clyde Hill residents deserve a thoughtful process that ensures any changes increase, rather than decrease, public safety.

Below are some photos of the house fire and how Councilmember Hachamovitch blocks access to the easement and fire hydrant. He parks cars, posts signs, and places cones to limit access.

What can you do to ensure a thoughtful process is followed in updating the Clyde Hill Fire Code?  

  1. Email the City, the administrative branch, Mayor, City Administrator and City Attorney. Demand public input and council stop wasting taxpayer resources for Councilmembers personal benefit.
    Mayor Marianne Klaas: [email protected]
    Dean Rohla City Administrator: [email protected]
    Tom Brubaker Lighthouse Law Group City Attorney: [email protected]
  2. Email Councilmembers: Demand they get back to work for the residents, not their own personal benefit at expense of life safety and cost to taxpayers. Click link to email all councilmembers: All Clyde Hill Council Members Email

Agenda Packet Link page 49: Ordinance re: Fire Hydrant Visibility

Hydrant not visible from 150 feet.
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