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You are here: Home) Government) Council) Meeting Materials) March 12, 2012


RECORD OF PROCEEDING OF CITY COUNCIL

CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON


COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL
Monday, March 12, 2012, 07:00 PM
Book: 66, Page: 1


REGULAR MEETING


Called To Order The meeting was called to order by Council President Terry Bornemann, who led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call
Present:
    Jack Weiss, Council Member, First Ward
    Gene Knutson, Council Member, Second Ward
    Cathy Lehman, Council Member, Third Ward
    Stan Snapp, Council Member, Fourth Ward
    Terry Bornemann, Council Member, Fifth Ward
    Michael Lilliquist, Council Member, Sixth Ward
    Seth Fleetwood, Council Member, At Large

Excused:

ANNOUNCEMENT(S)
    On Wednesday, March 21, 6:00 PM in City Council Chambers, there will be the annual Joint City of Bellingham & Whatcom County Councils and Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District Commissioners meeting.
    On Monday, March 26, 7:00 PM in City Council Chambers, there will be a Public Hearing regarding a proposed development agreement associated with Whitworth Park.

Bellingham City Council meets all requirements of the State of Washington Open Meetings Act.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES

SNAPP / KNUTSON moved approval of the February 27, 2012 minutes of the regular City Council meeting as submitted. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.



15 - MINUTE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Bruce Deile spoke in opposition to legalization of marijuana and dispensaries.

Leonard Lindstrom addressed social issues.

Michael Reed resident of Cordata area advocated for a neighborhood park in the Cordata area and said it is his understanding that the developer that owns the property is willing to negotiate with the city so a park could be built there.

Terry Garrett read a poem by Rob Lewis which supports the NoCoal issue.

Julie Guy Chairperson, Friends of the North End Parks, stated that although there is now park land in the north end, not one has been developed. She has submitted a letter from the Friends of the North End Parks urging the City to work with the Parks Department to purchase 16 acres that are available and protect a community garden that has been built up there.

Alice Bell Coordinator of the Cordata Community Garden, urged the city to buy the 16 acre plot and community garden at the north end of the Cordata parkway.

Dee Andrews, representing Cordata Neighborhood Association and Cordata Community Garden, supports the purchase of 16 acres to protect the community garden there.


PRESENTATION(S)

AB19482 1. Mayor’s 60-day report

Mayor Linville presented her 60 day report in which, she focused on: opportunities, challenges, financial sustainability, economic development, waterfront development, Lake Whatcom, Emergency Medical Services and capital facilities. Opportunities lie ahead with clear council goals and performance measures, excellent city staff and teamwork, shared values throughout the organization, the Mayor’s commitment to leading the administration and daily operations, an engaged City Council and community and committed strategic partners. Challenges noted are unresolved business and policy issues; economic downturn and overall financial sustainability, unfunded liabilities, discipline to focus on priorities and rebuilding relationships. The Mayor is committed to fair and respectful interactions, open and transparent processes and responsible, accountable government. Information only.



PUBLIC HEARING(S)

AB19483 1. A Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Rezone for approximately 113 acres in Areas 5 and 6, Samish Neighborhood. Applicant: Free Spirit Enterprises, LLC. Owner: Padden Trails, LLC.

AB19484 2 Development Agreement associated with a Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Rezone for approximately 113 acres in Areas 5 and 6, Samish Neighborhood. Applicant: Free Spirit Enterprises, LLC. Owner: Padden Trails, LLC.

Public hearings on AB19483 and AB19484 held concurrently. Written public comment will remain open. Worksession scheduled for March 26, 2012.

Kathy Bell, Planner II, briefly summarized the proposals for the Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Rezone (AB19483) and the Development Agreement (AB19484)

George Huston, Managing Partner, Padden Trails LLC. Mr. Huston thanked city staff and noted that their vision for Padden Trails is: to be dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle, to operate Padden Trails in a way that actively recognizes the central role a community can play in society, to provide the best housing value in Bellingham and to operate Padden Trails on a sustainable financial basis. He asked for the council’s support of this project.

Bill Geyer, Geyer & Associates, representing the applicant reviewed process to date including their public outreach and noted that the Planning Commission has recommended approval. He explained their vision, design principles and objectives. Mr. Geyer identified sixteen sustainable things about the project, which include: green building, porous pavement, a variety of housing types, sidewalks, trails and paths, affordable housing via smaller, energy efficient homes, community spaces, economic growth for local businesses, transit shelters, etc. He reviewed maps and property history, the current zoning of Residential Single and the proposed zoning to Residential Single, Cluster.

Mr. Geyer than made detailed remarks supporting the following conclusions for approving the Padden Trails Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Rezone:
    Complies with Bellingham Comprehensive Plan
    Implements city’s mandate for infill
    21st Century zoning - Pocket Neighborhoods
    Infill per Samish Neighborhood Plan
    Adopts best zoning tool to implement infill
    Environmental protection
        o Padden Creek Gorge conservation area doubled
        o Padden Creek flooding controlled by weir
        o Padden Creek water quality protected by city and state law
    Dedicates trails and open space
    Existing major traffic problems resolved
        o Traffic signal I-5 Northbound, 4-way stop Connelly at 34th, 33rd Street one way in-only at Connelly
    All utilities available adjacent to site
    Applies the Infill Toolkit

Mr. Geyer submitted a letter with a proposed language change for the development agreement.

Kathy Bell followed up on Mr. Geyer’s presentation and described the work process for the applicant and staff. Staff concludes that this proposal does: provide maximum opportunity of 492 units; provides infill development within the city limits; provides increased densities in one of the three identified areas in the city, creates housing choices, enables use of infill tool kit, mitigates transportation impacts, extends open space and network trails.

Ms. Bell reviewed aerial photos and maps and explained that the city does not have a readily available mixed residential development. She then noted that this proposal does not: increase environmental impacts as staff does not feel it will impact water drainage, create an undesirable neighborhood, create safety hazards or burden taxpayers as the developer is required to pay for public infrastructure.

Jason Napier, Fire Marshal, addressed the single point of access. The Fire Code doesn’t apply until there is a project, site specific discussion so the Fire Department has been silent on whether or not this should move forward. The Municipal Code allows the Fire Department to mitigate for the single point of access depending on the types of units but the applicant has not yet submitted a site specific application.

Single family residences, over 30 homes, require sprinkling of all the residences if there is a single point of access. Mr. Geyer made it clear that there’s really no other way to get another access point into this site so that’s probably going to be the only option for them. The same rules apply for over a certain amount of multi-family units, which is sprinkling over 100 with a maximum of 200 multi-family on a single dead-end road. If this is single family and multi-family in the same area, this would be the Fire Department’s first venture in dealing with this type of mitigation on a single access road. Once there is a project-specific, then the Fire Department will look at the details of how the applicant wants to build this site.

Council Member Snapp asked if there is an upper limit to the number of units to the point that the Fire Department would want a second access.

Mr. Napier replied that the city’s code for single family does not have an upper end but it becomes very subjective as to how much risk we want to put the public in. This site is difficult to serve now, and would be compounded with increased units, so staff will have to work that out with the design.

Council Member Weiss asked what criteria is being used.

Mr. Napier said the 30 home limit is a prescriptive number that was given to the Fire Department by council which is how Appendix D of the Fire Code is written. The slope on this property, the grades and effects of grades during inclement weather on the fire engines, will all be taken into consideration. These numbers are based on the published Fire Code of the State of Washington. The State does not adopt road standards; those are left to the local municipalities to establish.

Brent Baldwin, Development Manager addressed drainage and transportation:
    the Padden Creek Daylighting project is in Happy Valley and has no direct connection to this project;
    recommendation #4 of the Planning Commission, regarding the installation of a 4-way stop at 34th and Connelly does not recommend that this specific condition be kept in the rezone proposal and suggested that providing appropriate mitigation would be a better way to go about it.

He said, one of the issues that has not been analyzed is the close proximity of a 4-way stop and the adverse impacts on a signalized intersection.

Council Member Weiss asked if there are alternatives to a 4-way stop.

Mr. Baldwin replied that there are a number of alternatives including a one way right in-only lane off 33rd street, which would drop the demand on the intersection.

Council Member Lilliquist asked if there are opportunities or other circumstances where the road width could be used in beneficial ways.

Mr. Baldwin responded yes; that through design there are always opportunities to redesign an intersection to improve site distance, both up and down hill.

Kathy Bell. Staff is recommending that the City Council not enter into the proposed Development Agreement that is presented in the packet. Staff will be seeking direction to move and negotiate a Real Estate/Stormwater Agreement at the worksession. She noted differences between the staff and Planning Commission recommendations, which include:
    the inclusion of the 4-way stop sign at 34th and Connelly;
    the Planning Commission recommends that residential uses by restricted to Infill Toolkit only, while staff is recommending a wider range of residential uses; and
    the Planning Commission is requesting a concurrent review of the Development Agreement.
    Council Member Lilliquist asked Ms. Bell why the Planning Commission recommends concurrent review of the Development Agreement.

    Ms. Bell said she believes the primary purpose for the Planning Commission’s recommendation is that they wanted to ensure the development being proposed to them would actually be built as proposed. Staff does not disagree with the Planning Commission recommendation but does disagree with the timing. Staff feels that the timing is too premature to say what the layout is. We don’t have all the environmental information or traffic information. There is not enough information, right now, to say ‘this is how the property should be developed’. She said, that staff does not disagree with the potential tool but believes the timing is not appropriate and should come with a specific project.

    Council Member Weiss asked if there is enough time between now and third and final (approximately July 2nd) to get to that level.

    Ms. Bell said she is hesitant to vest the proposal when staff does not yet know what it’s going to look like. It takes an application to get the level of information needed. She feels the biggest benefit is the Real Estate/Stormwater Agreement because it will allow the developers to begin their planning effort.

    Jeff Thomas, Planning & Community Development Director said that staff is confident that the city would be able to get a Real Estate/Stormwater Agreement worked out in time to be concurrent with Third & Final.

    BREAK
    Council President Bornemann called the meeting back to order at 9:11 p.m.

    Council President Bornemann opened the public hearing.

    Joe Carpenter President, Samish Neighborhood Association spoke in opposition to the proposal citing:
      no one has experience dealing with a development like this;
      the geographic isolation of this makes it very unique;
      the pocket neighborhood showed a throughway;
      it is almost a mile to reach the development, then another mile to the end of the property;
      the Coalition of South Neighborhoods voted against this;
      Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission (MNAC) voted against it twice;
      this is not infill; it’s ‘edgefill’ with no infrastructure for public transportation;
      need for housing has declined over the last 5 years;
      his recollection is that there was to be no development on that hill until San Juan Boulevard or Governor Road went through; and
      there is no single family detached.

    Mr. Carpenter added that the Neighborhood Association understands the pressure on the community given the recent land that’s been taken off the market for development. With the single access and geographic isolation we just don't think it’s the right plan, he said. It will be difficult to build on and difficult to get to.

    Steve Abell, Samish Neighborhood Association, expressed concern about the Connelly & 34th Street intersection. He supports the one way in-only on 33rd. The real problem occurs with outgoing traffic at 34th & Connelly where a 4-way stop is critical. With the single access road as proposed, he expressed unease if a fire should start, and the road could be blocked with fire suppression equipment coming in and residents trying to leave. Mr. Abell quoted Title 17.20.030.5031.2 adapted from the International Fire Code, which grants the city the authority to require more than one access road based on the potential for impairment of a single road by traffic congestion to rain or weather. He urged the council to think carefully about this issue and to apply good judgment as to whether a single access road is sufficient to approve this proposal.

    Gary Vodopich, Samish Neighborhood Association, said that the current zoning of Residential Single is acceptable but Residential Multi-family as proposed, is not acceptable. He said, Padden Trails will empty into Padden Creek and he cannot be convinced that 492 residences will not change the dynamics of Padden Creek. He feels this development would destroy the lower part of the Samish Neighborhood. He reiterated that this is an isolated area, has limited exits, will pollute Padden Creek and will be a traffic nightmare.

    The following citizens spoke in opposition to the proposal:
    Greg McCracken
    Steve Hood
    Dick Conoboy
    Tim Wynn
    Kathleen Brook
    Elizabeth Prescott
    Chris George
    Tonya Lockman
    Christopher Grannis
    Susan Scanga
    Jim McCabe
    Shirley Forslof
    Richard Sullivan
    Christopher Morrison
    James Spaich
    Karl Punch

    The following citizens spoke in support of the proposed rezone.
    John Shuravloff
    Butch Kvamme
    Lynne Nelson
    David Nelson
    Matt Mullette
    Karen Stuen
    Tom Stuen
    Perry Eskridge
    Brian Evans
    Tom Wolf
    Bruce Sherman
    Pauline George
    Andrew Nelson
    Ron Effn
    Merilee Erchinger
    Jed Brewer
    Rudy Erchinger

    Kurt Baumgarten offered suggestions and ideas for councilors to keep in mind as they go through this process.

    Information only.

    WEISS / SNAPP moved to keep written comment open. MOTION CARRIED 7-0


    REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

    Finance & Personnel
    Michael Lilliquist, Chair
    Cathy Lehman; Stan Snapp

    Council Member Lehman left Chambers.

    AB19485 1. Approval of Mayor’s appointment of Interim City Attorney

    LILLIQUIST / WEISS moved to approve the appointment of Peter Ruffatto as Interim City Attorney until further notice. MOTION CARRIED 6-0


    AB19486 2. Executive Department reorganization

    “AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2012 BUDGET PROVIDING FOR A STAFFING REORGANIZATION IN THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT BY REALLOCATING $341,943.00 IN EXPENDITURES IN THE GENERAL FUND AND PLACING $83,927.00 IN SAVINGS IN ESTIMATED ENDING UNDESIGNATED RESERVE.”

    LILLIQUIST / SNAPP moved approval for first and second reading. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.

    Council Member Lehman returned to Chambers.


    AB19487 3. An Ordinance relating to the 2012 Budget appropriating $220,000.00 from Estimated Ending Designated Reserves in the General Fund for payment to a third party auditor

    “AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2012 BUDGET APPROPRIATING UP TO $220,000.00 FROM ESTIMATED ENDING DESIGNATED RESERVES IN THE GENERAL FUND FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING OUR CONTRACTOR FOR THIRD PARTY AUDIT SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH A UTILITY TAX AUDIT OF PUGET SOUND ENERGY, INC.”

    LILLIQUIST / WEISS moved approval for first and second reading. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


    AB19488 4. An Ordinance to create a new fund, Federal Building Fund 125

    “AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2012 BUDGET CREATING A SPECIAL REVENUE FUND TO ACCOUNT FOR THE REMAINING U.S. DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR GRANT RECEIVED FOR THE RESTORATION OF THE FEDERAL BUILDING.”

    LILLIQUIST / SNAPP moved approval for first and second reading. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


    AB19489 5. An Ordinance relating to the 2012 Budget authorizing the appropriation of $450,000.00 in the Claims & Litigation Reserve Fund to satisfy a Settlement Agreement and related outside counsel and litigation costs.

    “AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2012 BUDGET AUTHORIZING AN ADDITIONAL $450,000.00 OF EXPENDITURE IN THE CLAIMS AND LITIGATION FUND FOR PAYMENT OF A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT, DEFENSE COUNSEL FEES, AND LITIGATION EXPENSES RELATED TO A CIVIL CASE PENDING AGAINST THE CITY.”

    LILLIQUIST / SNAPP moved approval for first and second reading. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


    Parks And Recreation
    Seth Fleetwood, Chair
    Stan Snapp; Jack Weiss

    AB19490 1. Resolution authorizing the City to apply for a Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program Grant for Squalicum Creek Park Phase Three

    A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM AUTHORIZING THE CITY TO APPLY FOR A WASHINGTON WILDLIFE AND RECREATION PROGRAM GRANT FOR SQUALICUM CREEK PARK, PHASE THREE.”

    FLEETWOOD / SNAPP moved final approval of Resolution #2012-04. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


    Lake Whatcom Reservoir & Natural Resources
    Seth Fleetwood, Chair
    Michael Lilliquist; Cathy Lehman; Stan Snapp

    AB19491 1. Natural Resources Committee Quarterly update

    Information only.


    AB19492 2. Purchase of 47.55 acres of land in the Lake Whatcom Watershed

    FLEETWOOD / SNAPP moved to approve the purchase of 47.55 acres in the Lake Whatcom Watershed from Patrick Uy. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


    AB19493 3. An Ordinance for a budget amendment for the purpose of allocating funds to purchase 47.55 acres of land in the Lake Whatcom Watershed

    “AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2012 BUDGET AUTHORIZING A LOAN OF UP TO $2,200,000.00 FROM THE FLEET FUND TO THE WATER FUND WATERSHED LAND ACQUISITION DEPARTMENT AND APPROPRIATING $2,200,000.00 IN THE FLEET FUND FOR THE INTERFUND LOAN AND APPROPRIATING $2,700,000.00 IN THE WATER FUND WATERSHED ACQUISITION FOR THE PURCHASE OF LAND AND 2012 PAYMENT ON THE INTERFUND LOAN.”

    FLEETWOOD / SNAPP moved approval for first and second reading. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


    Public Works / Public Safety
    Stan Snapp, Chair
    Seth Fleetwood; Gene Knutson

    AB19494 1. Request for sewer service at 1151 Mt. Baker Highway

    SNAPP / KNUTSON moved to direct staff to proceed with entering into a contract for retail sewer service at 1151 Mt. Baker Highway. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

    AB19495 2. Request for sewer service at 1165 Mt. Baker Highway

    SNAPP / WEISS moved to direct staff to proceed with entering into a contract for retail sewer service at 1165 Mt. Baker Highway. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


    Committee Of The Whole
    Terry Bornemann, Chair
    Jack Weiss, Gene Knutson, Cathy Lehman, Stan Snapp, Michael Lilliquist, Seth Fleetwood

    AB19370 1. Community Indicators and City Performance Measures - update on recent results

    Information only.

            2. Approval of City Council Committee and/or Special Meeting minutes

    None submitted at evening meeting.

            3. Old/New business
    City Council and Department Head retreat scheduled for May 19, 2012.

    Council Member Lehman announced that there has been a call for participation to The EcoDistricts Institute in Portland, Oregon on May 8-10, 2012
      Executive Session – Report and action only.

        1. Potential Property Acquisition: Staff provided information on a potential property acquisition. Direction given. No action taken.

        2. Potential Property Acquisition: Staff provided information on a potential property acquisition. Direction given. No action taken.

        3. Potential Litigation: Staff provided an update on a potential litigation matter. Information only. No action taken.

        4. Litigation: Squalicum Ridge Road Appeals: Staff provided an update on this litigation matter. Information only. No action taken.

        5. Litigation: Janke v. City of Bellingham: Staff provided information on a litigation matter involving the City’s denial of residential water service to a property located outside the City limits in a former water service zone.

      SNAPP / KNUTSON moved to authorize settlement of this matter under the following terms:
        The City will provide one inch water tap to the property as ordered by the Skagit County Superior Court pursuant to a 1961 easement agreement;
        Plaintiffs will pay approximately $2,350 for all construction costs associated with installing the water tap;
        Per the Court’s order, the City will not collect system development charges, permit fees, or transportation impact fees.

      MOTION CARRIED 7-0.



      MAYOR'S REPORT

              1. Standing time for briefings, updates and reports to Council by the Mayor, if needed. Information only.

      AB19496 2. Mayor’s appointment of Cerise Noah as the Central Business District Representative and Cindy Madigan as the Puget Neighborhood alternate representative to the Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission
      Information only.



      CONSENT AGENDA
      All matters listed on the Consent Agenda are considered routine and/or non-controversial items and may be approved in a single motion. A member of the Council may ask that an item be removed from the Consent Agenda and considered separately.

      AB19497 1. Resolution to set a public hearing date of April 11, 2012 before the Hearing Examiner for a vacation petition for a portion of Clinton Street within Maritime Heritage Park

      Res. 2011-05A RESOLUTION FIXING THE TIME FOR A PUBLIC HEARING ON A STREET VACATION PETITION FOR VACATION OF CLINTON STREET BETWEEN C STREET AND DIVISION STREET (ALLEYWAY BETWEEN C AND D STREETS).


      AB19498 2. Ordinance relating to the 2012 Budget authorizing the appropriation of $64,000.00 for special legal services for contingent costs of outside counsel and related professional litigation services

      “AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2012 BUDGET APPROPRIATING $64,000.00 FROM ESTIMATED ENDING UNDESIGNATED RESERVES IN THE GENERAL FUND TO BE USED FOR CONTINGENT COSTS IN THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT.”

      AB19499 3. Authorization of check issue for accounts payable from February 10, 2012 to February 16, 2012

      AB19500 4. Authorization of check issue for accounts payable from February 17, 2012 to February 23, 2012

      AB19501 5. Authorization of check issue for accounts payable from February 24, 2012 to March 1, 2012

      AB19502 6. Authorization of check issue for payroll from February 10, 2012 to February 24, 2012

      KNUTSON / SNAPP moved approval of the Consent Agenda in its’ entirety. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.



      FINAL CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES

      AB19474 1. AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2012 BUDGET RECOGNIZING A $6,550.00 GRANT FROM THE WASHINGTON ASSOCIATION OF SHERIFFS AND POLICE CHIEFS TO THE BELLINGHAM POLICE DEPARTMENT AND APPROPRIATING RELATED EXPENDITURES IN THE GENERAL FUND

      WEISS / KNUTSON moved approval for third and final reading. Upon motion, said bill was placed on final passage and approved by the following roll call vote:

      AYES: BORNEMANN, FLEETWOOD, KNUTSON, LEHMAN, LILLIQUIST, SNAPP, WEISS
      NAYS:
      ABSTENTIONS:

      MOTION CARRIED 7-0 and was thereafter named Ordinance #2012-03-011




      ADJOURNMENT
      There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 12:24 a.m., March 13, 2012.


      Terry Bornemann, Council President

      ATTEST: Linda D. Anderson City Clerk Representative
      APPROVED: 03/26/2012



      This is a digital copy of an original document located at Bellingham's City Hall. The City of Bellingham specifically disclaims any responsibility or liability for the contents of this document. The City of Bellingham does not verify the correctness, accuracy, or validity of the information appearing in this document.

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