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Radio Hankook will appeal ruling
"Radio Hankook plans to appeal the city's decision that the Korean language radio station must move out of a home in a residential neighborhood, according to the owner's attorney.Community Development Services Director Kathy McClung announced on Jan. 20 that the city was denying the radio station's request to remain in the house as a home occupation business.The entire director's decision is erroneous according to the law, said attorney Rhys Sterling, who represents Radio Hankook. The city made a gross error and mistake in denying Mrs. Suh's application for home occupation. The city was extremely selective in what evidence they looked at and ignored in making their decisions.Owner Jean Suh has until Feb. 5 to appeal the decision to the hearing examiner. If she doesn't, she must move the radio station out of a house, located at 2011 S. 330th St., by March 19. Suh moved the station into the house in May, 2000 from a commercial location on South 336th Street near the corner of Pacific Highway South. Suh declined to comment for the Mirror's Jan. 20 story on the decision, which the city announced Jan. 18. Sterling did not return a phone message in time to be included in the article.Suh again declined to comment on Monday, turning the phone over to her daughter, Nancy Haan, who works at the station. Haan said her mother was upset at the way other newspapers interviewed her but left her comments out of articles about the city's decision. She doesn't want to say anything more, Haan said. We're going to take care of this. We're going to appeal it. We're not going to talk to anymore reporters.City officials learned Suh was operating the 24-hour radio station from a home after a neighbor complained. The city issued a notice of violation on July 10. Suh appealed the notice of violation on July 21.If Sterling appeals this month's decision, both that and the appeal of the notice of violation will go before a hearing examiner, McClung said. The city allows businesses to operate in residential neighborhoods but they must meet specific criteria. Among other things, home occupation businesses are expected to be run exclusively by a family member who lives in the home, require no pickup or delivery by commercial vehicles and result in no more than four people a day coming to the home for goods or services.City code also requires that business activities not adversely impact the neighborhood and that the business use of the home be incidental to its main use as a residence.The city concluded Radio Hankook didn't meet several criteria. Several employees work there who don't live there and aren't related to Suh. The city has also questioned whether Suh lives there. All of the house, except for the master bedroom and bathroom, a dining area and kitchen, are used for radio station operations, according to city employees.Sterling disputes that and questions the way the city consulted records and interviewed neighbors to try to determine Suh's residence.They invaded Mrs. Suh's privacy to an unparalleled level in investigating her and her background and her private affairs, Sterling said. They went way beyond the application and the decision criteria they were supposed to apply.He said Suh has lived in the house since May. About 19 percent of the house is exclusively used for the radio station's operations while another 17 percent is used for both radio station and home uses, he said. Suh's grandchild, for example, plays at a desk that is used by reporters other times.(Radio Hankook) is clearly incidental to the rest of the house, Sterling said.City officials believe if the home is being used as a residence at all, that use is incidental to its chief operations as a 24-hour radio station, McClung said. Home occupation businesses, such as an psychologist or attorney working out of a home, might have a desk and a computer used for both work and play.But when there are seven desks in your living room and your bathtub is filled with soundproofing material, then we count it as a business usually, she said. "