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You are here: Home) Government) Council) Meeting Materials) October 25, 2010


RECORD OF PROCEEDING OF CITY COUNCIL

CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON


COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL
Monday, October 25, 2010, 07:00 PM
Book: 64, Page: 1


REGULAR MEETING


Called To Order The meeting was called to order by Council President Gene Knutson with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Nicole Oliver.

Roll Call
Present:
    Jack Weiss, Council Member, First Ward
    Gene Knutson, Council Member, Second Ward
    Barry Buchanan, 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, October 27, at 10:30 a.m. in City Council Chambers there will be a Planning and Community Development Committee Worksession regarding rental property licensing options.
    On Monday, November 1, at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers there will be a Public Hearing regarding amendments to the Multi-family Tax Exemption ordinance.
    On Monday, November 8, at 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. in the Mayor’s Boardroom there will be a Special Worksession regarding the 2011 budget.
    On Monday, November 15, at 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in the Mayor’s Boardroom there will be a Special Worksession regarding the 2011 budget.
    On Monday, November 22, at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers there will be a Public Hearing regarding the Silver Beach Neighborhood Plan Amendment.
    On Monday, November 22, at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers there will be a Public Hearing regarding the extension of the Demonstration Program for Permanently Affordable Homeownership Program.
    On Monday, November 22, at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers there will be a Public Hearing regarding the 2011 Preliminary Budget.

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



APPROVAL OF MINUTES

None submitted.


15 - MINUTE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Eric Hirst has resigned from the Greenways Advisory Committee because of problems that he sees with the Fairhaven Highlands purchase. He took issue with the council’s failure to either approve or reject the south area greenways strategic plan [Strategic Plan for South Area Greenway 3; AB 18626] citing: delay benefits the bank; incomplete project applications from the developer; an incomplete draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS); deadline extensions with respect to completing the EIS. If the city stands up for its citizens by enforcing the law he sees one of two possible outcomes occurring: the city could choose to buy the 80 acres for only a few million dollars because that’s all it’s worth under the new rules and the developer might propose and build a much smaller project that could protect and set aside wetlands and steep slopes, and mitigate traffic impacts. Either outcome would be wonderful for the residents of Bellingham and he urged the city council and the administration to approve the plan.

Johnny Grames agreed with Mr. Hirst with regard to approval of the strategic plan and expressed interest in asking Comcast to open their channels and BTV10 to public forums and public debate.

Bruce Deile supports Proposition No. 1, Transportation Benefit District No. 1 Sales & Use Tax for Transportation Improvements and hopes it will bring back the Sunday bus service. Additionally, he is concerned that the Whatcom Transportation Authority has voted to end using transfers on their buses.

Julie Guy is disappointed that the strategic plan [Strategic Plan for South Area Greenway 3; AB 18626] has been held up. She feels that the citizens who support Greenways need to see this done and encouraged the council to get this program moving.


PRESENTATION(S)
    AB19001 PULLED FROM AGENDA

      PUBLIC HEARING(S)

      AB19002 1. CONSIDERATION OF AMENDMENTS TO THE YORK NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN, ZONING TABLE AND OTHER ASSOCIATED CODE AMENDMENTS

      Jeff Thomas, Interim Planning Director summarized the issue and process to date.

      Nicole Oliver, Department Communication Manager presented the proposal. The main goals of the proposals are historic preservation and protection of neighborhood character. The key issues are Area 9 downzone and Area 2 expansion of the reduced parking overlay district.

      Rezones:
        Area 1 Rezone - James Street from Light Industrial to Public: staff and Planning Commission recommend denial and would add policy language regarding future use and design.
        Franklin Street adjacent to the existing Franklin Park: staff and Planning Commission recommend denial and would add policy language regarding future use and design.
        Area 9 Rezone - Ellis Street: staff and Planning Commission recommend denial. However, the Planning Commission recommended amending the existing height limit from 45 feet to 35 feet to reduce potential impacts of possible four story office buildings. Existing downtown and multi-family design guidelines will apply to three or more units. Keeping the existing zoning would continue to encourage the infill housing toolkit along the smaller lots on a main arterial at the entrance to town.
        Area 2 - Reduced Parking Overlay: extend to vacant Wilson’s Toyota site: [York Neighborhood asks that this be considered in-tandem with downzone to Area 9]. Staff and Planning Commission recommend approval as a stand-alone provision.
      Policy Language:
        • Chapter 5: add a clear statement that the neighborhood will promote historic designations in Areas 4, 5 and 9 due to pre-existing historic stock. Staff and Planning Commission recommend approval.
        • Design objectives: additions under neighborhood character to highlight the encouragement of historic preservation, new open space, parks and recreation opportunities as well as sustainability. Staff and Planning Commission recommend approval.
        • Transportation Polices: add policies to guide future transportation improvements. Staff and Planning Commission recommend approval.

      Anne Mackie, President York Neighborhood Association (YNA) presented on behalf of the Association and urged support for the amendments in their entirely. She noted that Area 2 [Reduced Parking Overlay] needs to be approved in-tandem with Area 9 [Ellis Street] density rezone as they contribute to the comprehensive plan for their neighborhood and one should not be approved without the other. She noted the intense effort of the neighborhood as they have done a survey, held multiple public meetings, evaluated the responses of the survey and used that to help craft the proposals and vision. Their priorities were identified as: protect historic housing, create more open space and parks, put infill in appropriate locations without destroying historic homes and improve traffic and pedestrian features.

      Area 1 - James Street from Light Industrial to Public: the neighborhoods' proposal is not a rezone but a statement that ‘as ownerships change, the city should attempt to acquire properties for open space, trail, park and riparian corridor purposes. She clarified that this is a vision for the future as it is a critical link for the trails and the system that come from Whatcom Falls Park down to the bay.

      Area 2 - Reduced Parking Overlay: this would incentivize development and encourage urban infill in appropriate places without destroying historic housing and it discourages large suburban style parking lots.

      Area 9 Rezone - Ellis Street: the neighborhood will be applying for historic status which will include: the new, York National Historic District (north of Lakeway); the southern section where nearly all properties qualify for national designation; combine that section of Ellis Street with the Franklin Park area neighborhood as well as Area 4 (near Garden Street Methodist Church). Area 9 retains residential multi/mixed use in their proposal and YNA have added selected commercial uses if they are housed in historic structures.

      She said, that if the current density prevails and lot combinations occur for the purpose of bulldozing historic homes the surrounding historic homes are devalued. Three or four story apartment and office complexes would destroy the abutting property views and create parking and access problems.

      The neighborhoods’ proposals support design guidelines and consolidation of lots for the purpose of retaining historic homes. She said their proposal supports preservation and offers potentials for live/work opportunities, affordable small businesses in close proximity to Samish Way Urban Village and downtown.

      Ms Mackie noted that the alley behind Ellis Street is very narrow and there is concern that if Ellis Street is allowed to develop there are no curb cuts allowed and residents would have to access the apartment buildings through this very narrow alley.

      She believes that Historic Districts need protection through zoning. The neighborhoods vision is to retain a sense of place and neighborhood and the YNA appreciate the council's serious consideration

      Council President Knutson opened the public hearing.

      Kirsti Charlton recapped the neighborhoods’ work on these amendments and spoke in support of the approving the amendments.

      David Hopkinson reiterated the concerns regarding the narrow alley behind Ellis Street and said that although new housing is going to be needed, the existing housing stock needs to be preserved. He supports the entire York Neighborhood rezone proposal, including Area 9.

      John Wiley spoke in support of the amendments and following the recommendations of the Historic Preservation Commission (letter dated 9/15/10).

      Charles Dyer, President Sehome Neighborhood Association. On behalf of the Board of Directors he reported that the board, at their August 3, 2010 meeting, had voted unanimously to support the York Neighborhood’s Plan amendments.

      Michael Neville supports reduced parking in Area 2, the density rezone in Area 9, and preserving the nature of the neighborhood.

      Mary Newman spoke in support of the amendments.

      Vince Crocker said that current zoning in Area 9 is appropriate and maintains sufficient reserve residential capacity to help satisfy future goals and mandates. He feels the area is well suited for gradual infill strategies complying with design review criteria, is efficient and environmentally sound. He supports staff and Planning Commission recommendations to retain existing zoning in Area 9.

      Jonathan Sitkin, Attorney representing Wilson Motors supports the proposed extension to parking overlay in Area 2.

      Vale Bates supports the plan and in particular the Area 9 rezone. She feels it aligns with the current zoning, historic plan and retains housing stock.

      Helen Jackson spoke in support of the YNA proposal.

      Don Hilty-Jones spoke in support of the YNA proposal. He stressed that nothing today can replace the old craftsmanship and materials.

      Dietmar Schwarz spoke in support of the YNA proposal.

      Gabriel Mast spoke in support of the YNA proposal.

      Aaron Bundstra spoke in support of the YNA proposal and noted the need for sidewalk improvements. He added that a change for the Bellingham school bus property would be good for the neighborhood and a mixed use of parkland and housing would be very positive.

      Carolyn Mulder spoke in support of the YNA proposal because it invites intentional growth and infill in the spirit of sustainability and allows for long term planning for increased open space and walkability.

      Tom Scott, Board Member, YNA supports the plan in general and noted specifically that the proposals for Areas 9 and 2 are linked together as they were the result of a single motion and should not be considered separately..

      Robert Cunningham, 1442 Ellis Street addressed Area 9. He noted that most of the properties in that area are investment properties. His home is owner occupied and he is opposed to the rezone. He feels that Mr. Crocker’s project is appropriate and with a downzone it could not happen.

      Steve Giordano owns five rental properties on Ellis Street and feels this process has a great fear of development. He took issue with the survey that resulted in 97% in favor of preservation/rezoning and which, allowed him only one vote for his five properties. He sees no reason to downzone Area 9.

      Cal Leenstra has seven properties in the Ellis Street area. He described multiple commercial properties and multi-family units currently in the area and disagrees with the downzone to one unit per 3,000 square feet. He supports the Planning Commission recommendation to deny the downzone for Area 9.

      Lisa Anderson spoke in support of the YNA proposal for the rezone of Area 9.

      Kirsti Charlton requested and received approval to speak again and made the following points: The Bellingham Housing Authority on York Street does not overshadow any buildings; it is her understanding that the Albright house has six units (not eight) and there is only one vote allowed per person in the survey responses.

      Judy Hopkinson spoke in support of the YNA proposal.

      There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed.

      WEISS / SNAPP moved to direct staff to continue discussion to November 22, 2010. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


      BREAK
      Council President Knutson called the meeting back to order at 8:58 p.m.


      REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

      FINANCE & PERSONNEL
      MEMBERS: CHAIR, STAN SNAPP; BARRY BUCHANAN; MICHAEL LILLIQUIST

      AB19003 1. REVIEW OF 3RD QUARTER 2010 FINANCIAL REPORT

      Information only.


      AB18989 CB 13650
      2. 2011 PROPERTY TAX ORDINANCE

      AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON RELATING TO THE LEVYING OF TAXES AND ESTABLISHING THE AMOUNT TO BE RAISED IN 2011 ON THE ASSESSED VALUATION OF THE PROPERTY WITHIN THE CITY.”

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


      AB18993 3. 2011 DEPARTMENTAL BUDGET PRESENTATIONS - FIRE DEPARTMENT & PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT

      Information only.


      COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
      CHAIR, GENE KNUTSON
              1. APPROVAL OF CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE AND/OR SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES

      None submitted at evening meeting.

              2. OLD/NEW BUSINESS

      Council Member Snapp noted that he had inquired of Paul Leuthold, Parks Director if the city would be interested in assuming the Roeder Home from the county. Mr. Leuthold said that there is no interest at this time.

      SNAPP / BUCHANAN moved approval of the 2011 Council Calendar. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


      EXECUTIVE SESSION - Report only.

        1. POTENTIAL LITIGATION: Staff provided information on a potential litigation matter. Direction was given. No action taken.

        2. LABOR RELATIONS UPDATE: Staff provided information on labor negotiations. No action taken.

      MAYOR'S REPORT

              1. Standing time for briefings, updates and reports to Council by the Mayor, if needed.
      Mayor Pike acknowledged and thanked the delegation of Bellingham’s Sister City, Cheongju, South Korea.

      AB19004 2. APPOINTMENT OF ANNE-MARIE FAIOLA TO THE BELLINGHAM PUBLIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

      WEISS / SNAPP moved to authorize the Mayor’s appointment of Anne-Marie Faiola to the Bellingham Public Development Authority, term ending July 31, 2013. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


      AB19005 3. REAPPOINTMENT OF JAMES GEBHARDT AND TIM HOSTETLER TO THE TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION

      SNAPP / LILLIQUIST moved to authorize the Mayor’s reappointment of James Gebhardt and Tim Hostetler to the Transportation Commission, terms ending October 31, 2013. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


      AB19006 4. APPOINTMENT OF SARAH ROSE AND TERESA SCHMIDT TO THE WHATCOM MUSEUM FOUNDATION BOARD

      SNAPP / BORNEMANN moved to authorize the Mayor’s appointment of Sarah Rose, term ending March 1, 2011 and Teresa Schmidt, term ending March 1, 2013, to the Whatcom Museum Foundation Board. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


      AB19007 4. APPOINTMENT OF CATHERINE CHAMBERS TO THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY BOARD

      Information only.


      AB19008 5. REAPPOINTMENT OF STEVE PAUS AND KATHY WALKER TO THE WHATCOM COUNTY LAW AND JUSTICE COUNCIL

      Information only.


      AB19009 6. APPOINTMENT OF PAUL DE JONG TO THE MAYOR’S NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMISSION AS THE CORNWALL PARK NEIGHBORHOOD REPRESENTATIVE

      Information only.


      AB19010 7. APPOINTMENT OF SARAH HOLLIDAY TO THE TOURISM 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.

      AB19011 1. AUTHORIZATION OF CHECK ISSUE FOR ACCOUNTS PAYABLE FROM OCTOBER 1, 2010 TO OCTOBER 8, 2010

      AB19012 2. AUTHORIZATION OF CHECK ISSUE FOR ACCOUNTS PAYABLE FROM OCTOBER 8, 2010 TO OCTOBER 15, 2010

      AB19013 3. AUTHORIZATION OF CHECK ISSUE FOR PAYROLL FROM SEPTEMBER 16, 2010 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2010

      BORNEMANN / BUCHANAN moved to approve the Consent Agenda in its entirety. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


      FINAL CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES

      AB18994 1. CB 13649
      AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON AMENDING CHAPTER 6.54, TO ADD A NEW SUBSECTION IN 6.54.020 C. TO DEFINE THE TERM "COMPENSATION" FOR PURPOSES OF THIS CHAPTER. [Taxi-cabs.]

      WEISS / BORNEMANN 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, BUCHANAN, FLEETWOOD, KNUTSON, LILLIQUIST, SNAPP, WEISS
      NAYS:
      ABSTENTIONS:

      MOTION CARRIED 7-0 and was thereafter named Ordinance #2010-10-059




      ADJOURNMENT
      There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:11 p.m.


      Gene Knutson, Council President

      ATTEST: Linda D. Anderson City Clerk Representative
      APPROVED: 11/22/2010



      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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