Skip to page contents
Contact Us Site Map
You are here: Home) Government) Council) Meeting Materials) May 13, 2013


RECORD OF PROCEEDING OF CITY COUNCIL

CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON


COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL
Monday, May 13, 2013, 07:00 PM
Book: 67, Page: 1


REGULAR MEETING


Called To Order The meeting was called to order by Council President Seth Fleetwood with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Julie Fleetwood.

Roll Call
Present:
    Jack Weiss, Council Member, First 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:
    Gene Knutson
    Council Member
    Second Ward

ANNOUNCEMENT(S)
    On Monday, May 20, at 7:00 PM, in City Council Chambers, there will be a public hearing to consider the 2014-2019 Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program.
    On Monday, May 20, at 7:00 PM, in City Council Chambers, there will be a public hearing to consider a Development Agreement between Green Valley Holdings, LLC; Aldrich Park, LLC and the City of Bellingham regarding the West Cordata Green planned 344-unit development located on both sides of June Road in Area 12 of the Cordata Neighborhood.

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


APPROVAL OF MINUTES

SNAPP / WEISS moved approval of the April 22, 2013 minutes of the regular City Council meeting as submitted. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.


15 - MINUTE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Abe Jacobson addressed the port development and the management of that development. He expressed his concern that the financial commitments for the development have never been through an ordinance enacted by council or put to the voters through a ballot measure; only an Interlocal agreement sign by the City and Port executives.

Carole Jacobson stated that the waterfront district offers an opportunity to improve the economic well-being of the citizens of Bellingham. A living wage provides a sufficient income for affordable health insurance and affordable housing restoring dignity through independence from handouts. A living wage paid in the waterfront district represents an economic opportunity for regular folks to earn an adequate income to spend and be taxed in the local economy.

Betsy Pernotto said that development of the Bellingham waterfront could contribute to the demise of downtown Bellingham. The interest of the city and the port are not identical and it is in the interest of the city to assure that waterfront development does not occur at the expense of the downtown. Waterfronts are a scarce resource and marine related activities should be prioritized for this area and are more likely to yield the living wage jobs that Bellingham residents desperately need. Retail, commercial, restaurants and personal services can be located anywhere and should not be located on the scarce waterfront property. It is much better to support marine related activities around the waterfront and develop other businesses in the downtown and existing neighborhoods.

Gaythia Weis spoke about the boarding/rooming house ordinance, which may seem irrelevant, she said, but has suddenly been modernized by developers who are using it as a tool. She believes the city should look into this ordinance to see if there are ways to update and modernize the regulations. There is a trend among developers to utilize these regulations for rent by the room developments, sometimes called ‘micro’ or ‘pod’ facilities. The proposed University Ridge development now filed with Bellingham City Planning is such a development and is a 500 person (or so) proposal. The Bellingham Code does not seem to have minimum room size requirements and provisions that should be considered, including: locking, secure and fireproof doors, smoke detectors, a limit on the number of rooms that could potentially share a bathroom, shower and kitchen, maximum occupancy, or alley/parking requirements. Other cities do have these sorts of provisions. University Ridge is proposed to be student housing but she does not see how that can be required. There are other cities, Snohomish for example, that have worked on tightening and modernizing their boarding/rooming house ordinances. The company that’s proposing this particular proposal is called Ambling [Ambling University Development Group] . She wondered why the developers are insisting on building what they call student housing in areas where university officials are saying no student housing is needed. Another concern is the EB-5 Visa allowing immigrants to buy Visa rights by investing in businesses and how developers are catering to that with real estate packages so-called "student housing”.

Ken Bothman would like to see a street in Bellingham renamed in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.; he suggested changing the name of Boulevard.

Brooks Anderson encouraged council to consider Ken Bothman's request to rename a street in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Additionally, she requested a solution for community gardens and feels the city has a responsibility to administer them. There is an opportunity to make more community-wide gardens.

Marian Beddill discussed Lake Whatcom water quality protection and suggested solutions including the Household Improvement Program, infiltration capture and rain gardens.

Joseph McDonald asked the City Council and Mayor to encourage Animal Control and to actively ticket and enforce the leash law.



PUBLIC HEARING(S)

AB19956 1. Fountain District Urban Village Code Amendment

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING BELLINGHAM MUNICIPAL CODE (BMC) 20.37.230 FOUNTAIN DISTRICT URBAN VILLAGE - DEVELOPMENT INCREASING THE .6 FAR (FLOOR AREA RATIO) LIMIT TO 1.5 FAR FOR PROPERTIES THAT FRONT DUPONT STREET BETWEEN BROADWAY AND I STREETS.”

Katie Franks, Development Specialist, reviewed the amendment to the municipal code explaining that the amendment would increase the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) from .6 to 1.5 for properties that front Dupont Street between Broadway and I Streets. She reviewed maps of the area and noted that there would be no change to the height limit of 35’.

Council President Fleetwood opened the public hearing.

Jason Lobe, owner, 1315 Dupont, supports the amendment.

There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed

LEHMAN / BORNEMANN moved approval for first and second reading. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.


AB19957 2. Pacific Highway Aldrich Road annexation consisting of approximately 262.5 acres located within the City's Northern Urban Growth Area

Moshe Quinn, Planner introduced the proposal and reviewed the annexation proposal’s history along with maps of the area:
    The area has been in the Northern Urban Growth Area for 16 years.
    10% annexation petition submitted on November 29, 2007.
    Annexation initiated by City Council on January 28, 2008.
    75% annexation petition submitted on March 8, 2008.
    Boundary Review Board approved December 4, 2008.
    2009 the city adopted an annexation phasing plan and designated the area as a near-term annexation area.

Mr. Quinn explained why the Pacific Highway Aldrich Road annexation is important noting:
    Annexation is consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Countywide Planning policies and Urban Fringe Subarea Plan.
    An area is designated for Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) and if annexed, Purchase of Development Rights would be available in this area.
    The annexation creates a logical city limit boundary and is adjacent to city limits.
    The presence of existing urban levels of development.
    Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PRO) Plan, identifies the Bear Creek trail corridor as well as other trails and possible parks.
    81% support by affected property owners.
    The potential of the area to accommodate population growth.
    An opportunity for a regional stormwater facility and off-site wetland mitigation area.

Staff requests direction to bring back an ordinance for council consideration based on meeting the following: 1) land area for a regional stormwater facility and off-site wetland mitigation areas are located within the annexation area; 2) the water main on Northwest Road upgraded to meet fire flow requirements and 3) City land use and zoning designations assigned to the annexation area, which would be residential single and industrial planned (comparable zoning). If these three items are met, staff believes the Pacific Highway Aldrich Road annexation is in the city’s best interest and appropriate for annexation.

Based on inquiries from council, staff clarified:
    Under the URMX zoning designation the area is primarily residential single, 6-10 units per acre with a provision that allows for 25% multi-famly. Comparable zoning would be developed with residential single detached at 7,200 square feet per unit, allowing a cluster bonus provision at 4,300 square feet per unit and a mixed use qualifier, which would allow the infill toolkit. It’s the same methodology that applied in the King Mountain area.
    Population growth and land suitable for commercial/industrial development are considered equally important. It is estimated that the area has capacity for about 300 additional dwelling units and about 300,000 square feet of either retail, office and/or industrial warehouse development under comparable zoning. After annexation at comparable zoning, the applicant may be interested in a change in zoning.
    The proposed annexation would provide medium density development balanced by industrial zoning so the financial analysis projects an overall positive financial impact.

Council President Fleetwood opened the public hearing.

Ron Jepson, Engineer, spoke on behalf of 56% of the residential component, which is largely the area west of Northwest over to the industrial area, and testified in support of the annexation. The limitation when annexing property in the city is that the zoning has to be close to the zoning that it was in the county. This has been in the county for sixteen years and during that time critical areas regulations and buffers have increased. Given the critical areas limitations of the property, URMX is probably not very far off because: 1) you can use Transfer Development Rights (TDR's) and increase the density to ten and the proponents of the property plan on potentially availing themselves of that, 2) the infill toolkit can be used and the topography of this property lends itself to the toolkit with alleys and internal parks.

Because of the limitations perhaps the multiple component could be increased because of what has happened in critical areas legislation. Additionally, there is a park requirement that stipulates 24 acres. He said they have always contemplated the North Bellingham trail but did not necessarily anticipate a park requirement. However, with a higher percentage of multiples it would be easier to incorporate parks.

A master plan will come before council as a normal application for a project once the annexation is approved.

Ted Neufeld, owner, Northwest Fence and eight of the industrial acres. He has had city water since he purchased in 1998 but does not have city sewer. Owners cannot increase the industrial development in the area due to the lack of sewer, however, that may change if the annexation is approved.

Robert Hofman has property on Larrabee Road and expressed concern that if [June] Road is opened up (it is presently gated) it will provide access to the Cordata area. People will be racing through to get to Northwest or the freeway, which will be huge because Bakerview is so congested.

Devon Gylliland, representative of the Developer, Mersey LLC, owner of 108 acres of the annexation area. Her comments supplement those made by Ron Jepson. Their development team is looking forward to being part of this annexation into the City of Bellingham and working with city staff to be part of a regional solution to a variety of issues including stormwater drainage, wetland mitigation and transportation issues along with using standards allowed by the infill toolkit.

Ron Jepson in response to Mr. Hofman. June Road (that is almost built to Aldrich Road) will open this year. Aldrich Road will be widened on the easterly side. The proposed master plan for circulation has a potential connection that comes through to Dover by virtue of Division Street. The emphasis, long range, is not to use Larrabee but to create another link directly west from June Road through to Northwest and on through to Pacific Highway.

There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed

BORNEMANN / SNAPP moved to direct staff to continue to a worksession of the Committee of the Whole on June 3, 2013 or as soon as possible thereafter. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.


REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

Planning and Community Development
Jack Weiss, Chair
Michael Lilliquist; Gene Knutson

AB19958 1. Council update on 2012 Housing Levy Programs

Presentation made during committee. Information only.


AB19959 2. Amendment to 2012 Housing Levy Administrative and Financial Plan

A RESOLUTION AMENDING THE LOW INCOME HOUSING ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCING PLAN REGARDING THE USE AND EXPENDITURE OF HOUSING LEVY FUNDS AUTHORIZED BY THE VOTERS IN PROPOSITION NO. 1, LOW-INCOME HOUSING LEVY.”

WEISS / BORNEMANN moved final approval of Resolution #2013-05. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.


AB19960 3. Request for Amendment to the Cornwall Park Neighborhood Plan for the 2013 annual review docket consideration process

WEISS / BORNEMANN moved to approve adding an application for an amendment to the Cornwall Park Neighborhood Plan to the 2013 annual review docket consideration process. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.

[Editor’s Note: this action will add the proposal to the list of Comprehensive Plan amendments to be considered for the 2013-2014 docket.]

Finance and Personnel
Michael Lilliquist, Chair
Gene Knutson; Stan Snapp

AB19961 1. Ordinance adding authority of $41,000 to the Municipal Court General Fund budget to employ security services to the front lobby of the Bellingham Municipal Courthouse

“AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2013 BUDGET APPROPRIATING AN ADDITIONAL $41,000.00 IN THE JUDICIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT, GENERAL FUND, TO PAY FOR SECURITY SCREENING PERSONNEL AT MUNICIPAL COURT.”

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


AB19962 2. Financial Report - 1st Quarter

Presentation made during committee. Information only.


Parks and Recreation
Gene Knutson, Chair
Stan Snapp; Terry Bornemann

AB19963 1. Bid Award for Boulevard Park Shoreline Improvements, Bid #14B-2013

BORNEMANN / WEISS moved to award Bid No. 14B-2013 for Boulevard Park Shoreline Improvements to P&P Excavating of Bellingham, Washington as the lowest responsive, responsible bidder and to authorize the Mayor to enter into a contract with them for the amount of their bid which is $422,079.38, which includes the base bid, bid alternate 1 and WSST. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.

Waterfront/Downtown Development
Terry Bornemann, Chair
Cathy Lehman; Jack Weiss

AB19964 1. Presentation of parking study for the Downtown Subarea planning process

Presentation made during committee. Anticipate council review in 2014. Information only.


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

AB19965 1. Bellingham-Whatcom County Commission Against Domestic Violence annual presentation

Presentation made during committee. Information only.


AB19966 2. Annual Homeless Service Center report

Presentation made during committee. Information only.


AB19967 3. City Performance Measures - 2013 data updates, communications and outreach

Presentation made during committee. Information only.


AB19884 4. Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Bellingham and the Bellingham Public Development Authority regarding 2013 deliverables

WEISS / BORNEMANN moved to authorize the Mayor to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bellingham Public Development Authority (BPDA) regarding 2013 deliverables. MOTION CARRIED 4-1-1, LEHMAN opposed, SNAPP abstained.


AB19918 5. An Ordinance to Amend the Bellingham Comprehensive Plan to add an Economic Development Chapter

Discussion during committee. Council President Fleetwood reported that the discussion would be continued to the Committee of the Whole on June 3, 2013.


[Added to agenda]
AB19978 6. Bid award for 2013 Annual Overlay Program (ES-0475), Bid #26B-2013

BORNEMANN / LEHMAN moved to award Bid No. 26B-2013 for 2013 Annual Overlay Program, ES-0475 to Stremler Gravel, Inc. of Lynden, Washington as the lowest responsive, responsible bidder and to authorize the Mayor to enter into a contract with them for the amount of their bid which is $1,510,872.52, which includes WSST. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.

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

None submitted at evening meeting.

          8. Old/New business

Council Member Lehman would like to initiate discussion with regard to renaming a street and asked that staff present the process to the Public Works Committee on June 3, 2013.


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 Litigation: Staff provided information on a potential litigation. Direction given. No action taken.

3. Litigation: Herron v. City of Bellingham: Staff provided an update on a litigation matter.

WEISS / BORNEMANN moved to authorize the City to contract with attorney Kris Bundy to associate as counsel with the City in this lawsuit. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.

4. Litigation: Nash v. City of Bellingham, et al.: Staff provided information on a litigation matter. Information only. No action taken.

5. Litigation: West Cordata Green Hearing Examiner Appeals - Cancelled
    6. Labor Relations Update: Staff provided an update on the ratification of the Fraternal Order of Police (Police Lieutenants) bargaining agreement for 2013-2014.
      WEISS / BORNEMANN moved to approve the agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police with the following terms:

      Term: 2 years

      Wages: 3% June 1, 2013
      2 % January 1, 2014

      Additional
      Items: Longevity Pay, Education Incentive and Management Leave

      Benefits: Continue health insurance premium sharing at non-represented employee rates. Addition of High Deductible Health Plan with Health Savings Account (HDHP/HAS) as a third option.

      MOTION CARRIED 6-0.


      7. Potential Litigation: Staff provided information on a potential litigation matter. Direction given. No action taken.


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

      Mayor Linville addressed the following:
        There will be a Short Course on Local Planning, May 21, 2013, 6:30 p.m. presented by the Washington State Department of Commerce and the City of Bellingham. The course is free and will be filmed on BTV10.
        A Fireworks Ordinance will be introduced on May 20, with first and second vote on June 3 and Final Consideration on June 17, 2013.
        Staff is continuing to monitor the marijuana issues that are evolving at the state level and with the Association of Washington Cities. There is not a clear cut way to address these issues but the work continues.
        Continue to monitor budget issues at the state level along with developments with MTCA Cleanup dollars and the Public Works Trust Fund.
        Roger Christensen has agreed to remain as Interim Fire Chief for one year.
        The Planning and Development Commission will be conducting weekly worksessions with regard to the waterfront and are doing a good job of representing questions from the community. The Administration is discussing the potential of having a community information meeting before council begins to deliberate on the Waterfront Development Plan.
        The Mayor commended the public safety officials involved in the recent death at Whatcom Falls Park.
        Downtown strategies continue to evolve.
        The Administration will discuss the roles of the city and participants with regard to expanding community gardens.

      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.

      AB19968 1. Bid Award for Cornwall Maple Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Project, Bid #9B-2013; EU-0161

      AB19969 2. Bid Award for Brass Service and Threaded Fittings, Bid # 23B-2013

      AB19970 3. Riverside Fire Authority Interlocal Purchasing Agreement

      AB19971 4. Ordinance changing the name of Fund 235 from "Public Works Trust - Street Overlay" to "Governmental Debt Service Fund"

      “AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2013 BUDGET RENAMING AND EXPANDING THE PURPOSE OF AN EXISTING DEBT SERVICE FUND TO ACCOUNT FOR PRINCIPAL AND INTEREST PAYMENTS FOR GOVERNMENTAL LOANS.”

      AB19972 5. A Budget Ordinance to allow for receipt and spending of $16,012.00 for the Puget Sound Marine Firefighting Grant from FEMA Port Security Grant Program

      AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2013 BUDGET RECOGNIZING A $12,509.00 FEMA PORT SECURITY GRANT TO PROVIDE FOR LAND BASED MARITIME FIREFIGHTING TRAINING, AND APPROPRIATING RELATED EXPENDITURES IN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, GENERAL FUND.”

      AB19973 6. Ordinance relating to the 2013 Budget reclassifying one part-time position in the Finance Department.

      AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2013 BUDGET RECLASSIFYING ONE PART-TIME POSITION IN THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT, GENERAL FUND, WHERE NO ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION OR REALLOCATION OF FUNDS IS REQUIRED.”

      AB19974 7. Authorization of checks issued for pay period April 12, 2013 through April 18, 2013

      AB19975 8. Authorization of checks issued for pay period April 19, 2013 through April 25, 2013

      AB19976 9. Authorization of checks issued for pay period April 26, 2013 through May 2, 2013

      AB19977 10. Authorization of checks issued for payroll April 11, 2013 through April 25, 2013

      SNAPP / BORNEMANN moved approval of the Consent Agenda in its entirety. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.


      FINAL CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES

      AB19917 1. AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM RELATING TO CAPITAL FACILITIES, AMENDING THE CITY'S COMPREHENSIVE PLAN CAPITAL FACILITIES ELEMENT AND 2013 BUDGET TO ADD THE ASB (AERATION STABILIZATION BASIN) TRAIL AS A REET (REAL ESTATE EXCISE TAX) FUNDED PROJECT IN 2013

      SNAPP / 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, FLEETWOOD, LEHMAN, LILLIQUIST, SNAPP, WEISS
      NAYS:
      ABSTENTIONS:
      EXCUSED: KNUTSON

      MOTION CARRIED 6-0 and was thereafter named Ordinance #2013-05-030


      AB19947 2. AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2013 BUDGET REALLOCATING $57,293.00 IN EXPENDITURES IN THE LIBRARY DEPARTMENT TO PROVIDE FOR A REORGANIZATION OF STAFF AND PLACING SAVINGS IN THE AMOUNT OF $15,058.00 IN ESTIMATED ENDING UNDESIGNATED RESERVES IN THE GENERAL FUND

      SNAPP / LEHMAN 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, LEHMAN, LILLIQUIST, SNAPP, WEISS
      NAYS:
      ABSTENTIONS:
      EXCUSED: KNUTSON

      MOTION CARRIED 6-0 and was thereafter named Ordinance #2013-05-031


      AB19952 3. AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2013 BUDGET RECLASSIFYING ONE POSITION IN PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION, STREET FUND, WHERE NO ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION OR REALLOCATION OF EXPENDITURES IS REQUIRED

      SNAPP / LILLIQUIST 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, LEHMAN, LILLIQUIST, SNAPP, WEISS
      NAYS:
      ABSTENTIONS:
      EXCUSED: KNUTSON

      MOTION CARRIED 6-0 and was thereafter named Ordinance #2013-05-032




      ADJOURNMENT
      There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:02 p.m.
      Seth Fleetwood, Council President

      ATTEST: Linda D. Anderson City Clerk Representative
      APPROVED: 06/17/2013



      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.

      Top of Page ^ Top of page