MAY 12, 1997

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Landmarking of Sorenson discussed

landmark status by Andrew Walgamott, staff reporter
The Woodinville Planning Commission made a motion to have city staff review a historical land overlay for the old Sorenson schoolhouse after hearing from Julie Koler, a King County Historic Preservation Officer, on May 7.
   At the Wednesday meeting, Koler outlined the county's landmark preservation program to the commission. She said that since 1980, 70 sites have been designated landmarks in King County. Through the county council's "largesse," $7 million in grants had been given to the Heritage Corridor preservation program. She also said that the focus on the program was mainly on unincorporated sections of the county, but that nine cities were participating, as well.
   In addition to landmarking sites, the Heritage Commission provides cities with technical assistance and grants for their historic features. Koler also cited low interest loan funds and hotel/motel taxes that are used for preserving historic sites.
   Planning Commissioner Gareth Grube asked if the city could itself declare landmark areas. Koler replied that it was possible, and that the city of Seattle did have a preservation office.
   Phyllis Keller, the Woodinville Historical Society president, has worked at the county level preserving historical items, and said that currently Woodinville didn't have the staff to establish a commission. She said commission volunteers would be difficult to find. She recommended entering into an interlocal agreement with King County to preserve local historic sites.
   The Planning Commission moved to have staff review a possible historic overlay and make a recommendation back to the commission.
   Currently, the city leases the Sorenson complex from the Northshore School District for City Hall. With positive feedback from a March telephone survey of Woodinville residents, the city is moving forward on negotiating a purchase for the Sorenson site. The city has a first right of refusal sale option through December 1997.