Skip to page contents
Contact Us Site Map
You are here: Home) Government) Council) Meeting Materials) May 07, 2012


RECORD OF PROCEEDING OF CITY COUNCIL

CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON


COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL
Monday, May 07, 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
    Cathy Lehman, Council Member, Third Ward
    Gene Knutson, Council Member, Second Ward
    Terry Bornemann, Council Member, Fifth Ward
    Michael Lilliquist, Council Member, Sixth Ward
    Seth Fleetwood, Council Member, At Large

Excused:
    Stan Snapp
    Council Member
    Fourth Ward

ANNOUNCEMENT(S)
    Additional City Council Meetings have been added to the Council's schedule on May 14. Committee Sessions begin at 1:00 PM and the Regular Meeting at 7:00 PM.
    On Monday, May 14, at 7:00 PM, in City Council Chambers, there will be a public hearing to consider an amendment to the City's Comprehensive Plan to add a new Environment Chapter.
    On Monday, May 21, at 7:00 PM, in City Council Chambers, there will be a public hearing regarding the Draft 2013-2018 Transportation Improvement Program (6-year TIP).
    On Saturday, May 19, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, at Lairmont Manor, 405 Fieldston Rd., the City Council will hold a retreat to discuss City Departments and City Council work plan priorities in preparation for 2013 budgeting.
    On Monday, June 4, at 7:00 PM, in City Council Chambers, there will be a public hearing regarding a Fairhaven Neighborhood Plan Amendment and Urban Village Plan.

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

There was a question regarding a motion. Council directed staff to review the record and clarify the motion at the next regular council meeting.


15 - MINUTE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Karl Kleeman, Bellingham Railway Museum, [AB 19543, Parkade Tenant] have plans that would use the space very effectively and would like to work with the city so that they can continue to provide this public service.

Jill MacIntyre Witt [AB 19560] spoke in opposition to the development of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point, then read and submitted a letter of opposition from the Columbia Neighborhood.

Bill Geyer [AB19573, Padden Trails] asked Council to uphold the Comprehensive Plan Infill Growth Strategy #4, designating 4 units per acre with a goal to grow to 6-8 units per acre. The Planning and Development Commission upheld that mandate with their review of the Padden Trails Rezone Proposal. City staff have upheld this mandate in the recent past and the Council used that same strategy when it advocated before the County Council to remove a portion of Yew Street from the UGA. He asked Planning Committee members to support this proposal.

George Huston [AB19573] asked the Planning Committee to reconsider the Padden Trails proposal. If their proposal does not meet affordable housing standards, then they would like to understand why it’s not going to work on this site.

Terry Wachsler [AB 19560] submitted a packet, which included a letter from Protect Whatcom, a list of signatures, letters from Governor Kitzhaber of Oregon and the City of Mosier, Oregon along with resolutions from Hood River, Oregon and Mulkiteo, Washington; all in opposition to transporting coal and the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal. Additionally, she encouraged the city to ask for the broadest possible scoping of an Environmental Impact Statement.

Public Comment suspended until after public hearings.


PRESENTATION(S)

AB19560 1. Presentation to Council by Communitywise Bellingham

Shannon Wright, introduced the briefing regarding the Gateway Pacific Terminal Train (GPT) impacts on the Bellingham waterfront. Based on Washington State Department of Transportation documents and other official reports with verification from Transit Safety Management, Communitywise Bellingham presented the following key findings:
    1. GPT will require increasing rail capacity through Bellingham.
    2. Add siding along Bellingham waterfront (a second track along the main line).
    3. A new siding will affect public access to the Bellingham waterfront parks, recreation and businesses.
    4. GPT train traffic will impact passenger rail and local business use.

Jack Delay, President described how a waterfront siding solves the GPT rail bottleneck by creating increased capacity. By adding a siding to the mid-point (Bellingham), trains can depart at both endpoints (Bow/Ferndale), therefore doubling the capacity. Potential impacts are the affect on car crossings with more frequent crossing closures that are longer in duration.

Mr. Delay projected a map of the Bellingham waterfront and described impacts which would include: permanent closures of crossings, impacts at Boulevard Park, South Bay Trail and Wharf Street

Council President Bornemann noted that because of the importance of the scoping for the Environmental Impact Statement, he has scheduled an additional worksession for the Transportation Committee on May 14th so that council members will have time to review the materials in depth.

Council Member Lilliquist asked about the estimated cost of the siding.

Mr. Delay replied that $102.6 million was the last estimate but believes those are 2002 dollars.

Information only.


AB19561 2. Medical Marijuana and Collective Garden status report

Peter Ruffatto, Interim City Attorney explained that the goal of this presentation was to provide clarity because of questions both internally and externally in relation to the roles and authorities in terms of the jurisdictions involved.

He said there are a series of conflicting laws between federal, state and local jurisdictions and internal conflict in terms of the history about the law that is currently in the state statues. Any discussion has to be a fact specific application of the law. Additionally the city has a confined policymaking authority as it comes down from the federal and state jurisdictions due to some of the conflicting laws. Mr. Ruffatto reviewed the statement of purpose of the Medical Cannabis Act and the legislative background.

Shane Brady, Assistant City Attorney provided the Federal, State and Local law:

Federal Law: illegal under Controlled Substances Act
State Law: affirmative defense available to those charged with crimes; dispensaries clearly prohibited; collective gardens authorized for qualifying patients.
Local jurisdictions: role is to enforce law as it stands; authorized to enact zoning regulations.

Mr. Brady reviewed the limits a qualifying patient or designated provider may possess and the definition and requirements of a Collective Garden.

Information only.


PUBLIC HEARING(S)

AB19562 1. Consideration of surplus property declarations for properties located on Meridian and Peabody streets

Leslie Bryson, Development Manager reviewed the Deets properties: 2416 Meridian (Fountain Drug Building) and two adjacent lots across the alley fronting on Peabody Street; and 2404 and 2406 Meridian. Mr. Deets stipulated in his will that those properties, or the proceeds from their sale, be used to make improvements to, or enlarge, Fountain Plaza Park.

Council President Bornemann opened the public hearing.

Jill McIntyre Witt inquired as to the process for the sale of the lots and if there would be an opportunity for public input.

Ms. Bryson explained that through a negotiated sale, they would be listed and any offers would be considered; or another process might be through special disposition.

Alan Marriner, Assistant City Attorney explained that most likely, consideration of offers on these properties would occur during executive session.

There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed

KNUTSON / LEHMAN moved to declare the four properties located on Meridian and Peabody Streets, surplus. MOTION CARRIED 6-0

KNUTSON / LEHMAN moved to direct staff to proceed with a negotiated sale with no additional appraisals needed. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.


AB19563 2. Consideration of a Site Specific Comprehensive Plan and Neighborhood Plan amendment and rezone within the Happy Valley and Fairhaven Neighborhoods

“A RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE BELLINGHAM PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION OF DENIAL FOR A SITE SPECIFIC COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN AMENDMENT AND REZONE WITHIN THE HAPPY VALLEY AND FAIRHAVEN NEIGHBORHOODS.”

Kurt Nabbefeld, Senior Planner reviewed the request by Briar Development Company LLP (Haggen) and the process to date. The applicant has requested that the property, which is currently zoned Residential Single have the boundary line moved between the Fairhaven Neighborhood and the Happy Valley Neighborhood and rezoned to Commercial. The Planning and Development Commission and staff recommend denial of the proposal.

Staff and council members discussed and clarified various portions of the request.

Rick Haggen, applicant explained that the Fairhaven store building is reaching the end of its useful life and believes that it will be three to five years before they would be remodeling the store.

Don Kerher, Planning Consultant working with Haggen, briefly reviewed the application and noted that no timeline has been set for an expansion of the store. However, by purchasing the property behind the store, Briar Development has acquired the only property available to allow for an expansion of the store building at its current location. At the suggestion of city staff, Briar Development submitted a separate application for a Comprehensive Plan rezone [from the Fairhaven Urban Village Neighborhood Plan], with the understanding that the separate application would track with the city’s Fairhaven planning process and that each would inform the other. Unfortunately, he said, that has not happened as the application was considered by the Planning and Development Commission and the City Council ahead of and outside of the context of the draft Fairhaven Plan. The applicant believes the connection with the Fairhaven Plan needs to be re-established in order for the Council to arrive at a final decision on this application. The applicant requests that the City Council postpone any decision on this application until the council’s review of the Fairhaven Plan documents has been completed.

Following a lengthy discussion between the council and staff the following points were made:
    Staff: melding this request into the Fairhaven Neighborhood and Urban Village planning process would be counterintuitive to what was discussed when both proposals were considered for docketing in 2011.
    Staff: stressed the importance of considering the two blocks plus the right-of-way of 13th street as a whole; figuring out how it all fits together and the best transition from this potentially larger commercial site and 14th Street with the Happy Valley Neighborhood.
    Applicant: at the end of the pre-application meeting, staff said that the development of the rezone area may require the vacation of 13th Street and the vacation could be considered during the rezone review process.
    Applicant: without a specific plan the costs of the street vacation would be burdensome.
    Staff: the Comprehensive Plan amendment and rezone should be separate from the Fairhaven planning effort.
    Staff: without the street vacation and going through the evaluation of the street vacation criteria and not knowing the outcome of that, and without a proposal, this would simply be a rezone of single family land to commercial.
    Staff: this land is not part of the Fairhaven Neighborhood.
    Staff: supports language in the Fairhaven Neighborhood and Urban Village Plan that supports the importance of a grocery store at this location.

Council President Bornemann opened the public hearing.

James Spaich expressed concern over the uncertainty of the plans, this significant boundary with the Happy Valley Neighborhood and changing zoning from Residential Single to Commercial. He said the Happy Valley Neighborhood supports a grocery store at this location but this property is pivotal in protecting the neighborhood. He described in detail how a buffer could be placed with tree plantings and pedestrian walkway connections between South Hall and the Fairhaven Park trailhead.

Bill Geyer described other instances where grocery stores have meshed with adjoining residential areas within the city. He feels the urban village plan needs to have a clear policy direction of keeping the grocery store intact and concurred that buffering would need to occur to preserve the residential area to the east.

There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed

WEISS / KNUTSON moved to keep the application open for four months. If an application for a street vacation has not been received, then staff is to bring the proposal back to council for further action; if application for vacation has been received, keep the application open until the conclusion of the vacation process. After further discussion and clarifications from staff, the motion was withdrawn.

It was the consensus of the council to direct staff to schedule a worksession on Monday, May 14th to further clarify impacts and options.

LEHMAN / WEISS moved to reopen the public hearing for written public comment until May 14, 2012. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.


BREAK
Council President Bornemann called the meeting back to order at 9:27 p.m.


PUBLIC COMMENT RESUMED

Johnny Grames discussed the full moon, the Coal Conference rally and encouraged people to enjoy the arts in this beautiful community.

Butch Kvamme [AB 19483, Padden Trails] asked what the positive contributions to the city are by the council Planning Committee recommending denial of this rezone.

Brooks Anderson expressed her appreciation to council members and Mayor Linville.

Bonnie Fong, a patient of Starbuds Cooperative dba The Joint Cooperative at 1131 11th Street addressed the necessity of medical cannibas access points in Bellingham.

Kevin Probasco asked council to prepare a resolution for June 4 expressing opposition to the Supreme Court decision regarding Citizens United, and submitted over 100 signatures in support.


REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

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

AB19564 1. Financial report, 1st quarter

Council Member Lilliquist reported on the presentation made during committee. Information only.


AB19565 2. An Ordinance amending the 2012 budget recognizing a $2,500,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology to provide certain remedial actions at the R.G. Haley site and appropriating related expenditures in the Environmental Remediation Fund.

“AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE 2012 BUDGET RECOGNIZING AWARD OF A $2,500,000.00 GRANT FROM THE WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY TO PROVIDE CERTAIN REMEDIAL ACTIONS AT THE R.G. HALEY SITE FOR SAFETY, AND APPROPRIATING RELATED EXPENDITURES IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION FUND.”

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


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

AB 19543 1. Proposals from potential Parkade Tenant

KNUTSON / WEISS moved to postpone to May 21, 2012. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.

Staff will provide criteria to help guide decision making.


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

AB19573 1. Authorization for the Mayor to enter into a contract for a Puget Sound Partnership grant for Invasive Aquatic Species prevention

FLEETWOOD / LILLIQUIST moved to authorize the Mayor to enter into a Puget Sound Partnership Grant agreement for Invasive Aquatic Species prevention. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.


Planning & Community Development
Jack Weiss, Chair
Michael Lilliquist; Cathy Lehman; Seth Fleetwood

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

WEISS / LEHMAN moved to close the written record. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.

Council Member Weiss reported that during committee, the council directed staff to prepare the necessary documents modifying the Planning Commission’s recommendations, as proposed during committee.

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

AB19566 1. An Ordinance to amend Bellingham Municipal Code Chapter 6.17 relating to Cable Television

“AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON AMENDING BELLINGHAM MUNICIPAL CODE CHAPTER 6.17 RELATING TO CABLE TELEVISION.”

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

          2. Approval of City Council Committee and/or Special Meeting minutes
None submitted at evening meeting.

          3. Old/New business

Council Member Fleetwood reported that during committee, council had directed staff to prepare a resolution of interest relating to placing a tax on the November ballot that would be dedicated to funding affordable housing.


Executive Session – Report and action only.
    1. Labor Relations Update: Staff provided an update on labor negotiations. Direction given. No action taken.

    2. Litigation: In re the Estate of Dorothy Deets: Staff provided an update on a litigation matter. Direction given. No action taken.

    3. Litigation: Squalicum Road Appeals: Staff provided an update on a 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 and staff will be reworking the letter to the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

    Mayor Linville and staff will prepare criteria for considering below-market-based city owned property leases.

    AB19567 2. Mayor's reappointment of Steve LeCocq and appointments of Vale Hartley, Terri Clarke, Dick Conoboy and Cheryl Kelly 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.

    AB19568 1. Bid Award for Brass Service and Threaded Fittings, Bid #23B-2012

    AB19569 2. Noise Variance for Post Point Waste Water Treatment Plant Improvements

    AB19570 3. Authorization of checks issued for pay period April 13, 2012 through April 19, 2012

    AB19571 4. Authorization of checks issued for pay period April 20, 2012 through April 26, 2012

    AB19572 5. Authorization of checks issued for payroll April 11, 2012 through April 25, 2012

    KNUTSON / WEISS moved approval of the consent agenda in its’ entirety. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.


    FINAL CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES

    AB19545 1. AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM WASHINGTON AMENDING BMC 15.08.200, BMC 15.08.230(B), BMC 15.12.165 AND BMC 15.12.170 REGARDING FEES RELATED TO REACTIVATION OF ABANDONED WATER AND SEWER SERVICE

    LILLIQUIST / 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, WEISS
    NAYS:
    ABSTENTIONS:
    EXCUSED: SNAPP

    MOTION CARRIED 6-0 and was thereafter named Ordinance #2012-05-025


    AB19552 2. AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE VACATION OF CLINTON STREET BETWEEN C AND DIVISION STREETS, ABUTTING LOT 8, BLOCK 1 AND LOT 1, BLOCK 2, WHATCOM SUPPLEMENTAL, ALL WITHIN THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM

    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, WEISS
    NAYS:
    ABSTENTIONS:
    EXCUSED: SNAPP

    MOTION CARRIED 6-0 and was thereafter named Ordinance #2012-05-026


    AB19553 3. AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2012 BUDGET RECOGNIZING A $20,658.00 GRANT FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT SERVICES (DVSAS) IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE BELLINGHAM POLICE DEPARTMENT AND APPROPRIATING RELATED EXPENDITURES IN THE GENERAL FUND

    LILLIQUIST / 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, WEISS
    NAYS:
    ABSTENTIONS:
    EXCUSED: SNAPP

    MOTION CARRIED 6-0 and was thereafter named Ordinance #2012-05-027


    AB19554 4. AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2012 BUDGET REALLOCATING EXPENDITURES IN VARIOUS FUNDS TO PROVIDE FOR A REORGANIZATION OF THE HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT STAFF, AND PLACING THE ESTIMATED $42,359.00 SURPLUS FOR 2012 IN ENDING RESERVES

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

    MOTION CARRIED 6-0 and was thereafter named Ordinance #2012-05-028




    ADJOURNMENT
    There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:06 p.m.


    Terry Bornemann, Council President

    ATTEST: Linda D. Anderson City Clerk Representative
    APPROVED: 05/21/2012



    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.

    Top of Page ^ Top of page