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You are here: Home) Government) Council) Meeting Materials) June 04, 2012


RECORD OF PROCEEDING OF CITY COUNCIL

CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON


COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL
Monday, June 04, 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)

    No special meetings scheduled for June at this time.

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


APPROVAL OF MINUTES

WEISS / SNAPP moved approval of the May 21, 2012 minutes of the regular City Council meeting as submitted. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


15 - MINUTE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Leonard Lindstrom discussed meetings of the VFW and Robert’s Rules of Order.

John Harmon, Executive Director, Bellingham Whatcom County Housing Authority, spoke in support of the Low Income Housing Levy Ordinance [AB19583].

Cheri Kilty, YWCA, spoke in support of the Low Income Housing Levy Ordinance (AB19583).

Steve Abell addressed the rezone request from Padden Trails, LLC [AB 1948]). He has concerns related to traffic and safety with increased site density to the area and took issue with the density increase allowing 348 units. He said, residents who oppose this density increase deserve to hear more than just a statement that 348 units 'feels right'. He hopes the council will give as much weight to the concerns of the neighborhood as it has to the needs and demands of the applicant.

Johnny Grames discussed No Coal, community based policing; and potential for an algae bloom in Lake Whatcom.

Randy Elmore thanked Mayor Linville that no red light [traffic safety] cameras were installed.

Public Comment continued after Public Hearing


PRESENTATION(S)

AB19589 1. Joint Resolution for the continuation of county-wide Whatcom Medic One services

“A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM AND WHATCOM COUNTY ADOPTING THE JOINTLY RECOMMENDED BUSINESS MODEL FOR COUNTY-WIDE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES (EMS).”

Mayor Linville and Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws presented the resolution.

SNAPP / KNUTSON moved final approval of Resolution #2012-13. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


PUBLIC HEARING(S)

AB19590 1. Consideration of the Fairhaven Neighborhood and Urban Village Plan, development regulations and design standards.

Jeff Thomas, Planning & Community Development Director introduced staff who have been involved with this proposal: Greg Aucutt, Senior Planner; Chris Behee, Senior GIS Analyst and Katie Franks, Development Specialist. He reviewed the proposal and process to date.

The project goals include completing the city's first combined neighborhood and urban village and to revamp and improve development regulations and design review standards.

Staff supports the majority of the Planning and Development Commission (PC) recommendations with three exceptions:
Height,
Floor to Floor Heights, and
Sandwich Board* signs

*Because of other sandwich board issues happening citywide, the Mayor has asked staff to look at developing a citywide solution. Staff is asking that council consider taking action on the Fairhaven proposal without the section of the code relating to sandwich boards so that a citywide solution can be prepared for consideration at a later date.

Mr. Aucutt reviewed key planning goals which include environmental, economic, historical character, pedestrian and parking and reviewed the zoning map of the area as it currently exists.

Due to the high number of zoning rules in the area, one of the charges to staff was to look at those rules and try to simplify where appropriate. The primary differences are in the Commercial Core.

He noted that staff concurs with the PC recommendations to the plan including the formation of a Fairhaven Parking Task Force, a policy statement dealing with regional storm water planning and policy and directive language about the importance of having a grocery store in this urban village.

Katie Franks reviewed proposed changes to the development regulations, design standards and the design review process and reviewed slides illustrating the changes. She pointed out that in addition to the existing design review areas of ‘approach’, ‘influence’ and ‘core’, staff proposes adding the following areas:
    Historic District::
        o Encourage preservation of historic buildings.
        o New buildings compatible.
        o Parking waived for historic buildings.
        o Encourage local historic district designation.
    Historic Influence:
        o New construction compatible with context.
        o Commercial and residential forms, wood, varied scale.
        o Urban design principles.
        o Adaptive use of historic buildings is encouraged.
        o Same standards for properties abutting or across the right-of-way from Historic District.
    Industrial & Maritime Influence:
        o New Commercial Buildings: Industrial-type materials allowed.
        o New Industrial Use Buildings: emphasis on pedestrian-friendly street.
        o Adaptive use of historic buildings is encouraged.

Staff asked for careful consideration of:
    5’ wide landscape buffer for surface parking (PC recommends 2’ wide),
    Residential Transition (RT)-4: 2,000 square feet per use (PC recommends >2,000 square foot per use on upper floors), and
    Height Limits

Chris Behee and Katie Franks reviewed maps and drawings replicating existing heights, staff and PC recommendations for proposed heights, view simulations, Floor to Floor heights and setbacks.

Council President Bornemann opened the public hearing.

David Moody supports staff recommendations for height.

Connie Shannon, Owner, Fairhaven Village Inn, supports staff recommendations and the multimodal circulation plan. She asked that the city consider expanding the design and safety measures that it takes to support multimodal transportation.

Barbara Zielstra, supports the Planning and Development Commission recommendations.

Vince Bichunas supports the Planning and Development Commission recommendations. She feels that a parking plan should be in place before height limits are raised and that taller buildings and infill should go downtown first.

Barbara Lancaster supports keeping height limits down and agrees that parking is a problem and should be addressed.

Stuart Plotnik referenced a survey that was done in Fairhaven, whose results reflected little interest in taller buildings. He added that while it is extremely important to listen to the business community, it is equally important to listen to the people, whose opinions are expressed in the survey.

Don Kehrer, Land Use Consultant for Briar Development (Haggen). Mr. Kehrer said he has noted provisions in the plan that could have a detrimental effect to expanding the existing Fairhaven Market at its current location. Both staff and the Planning and Development Commission have responded to those concerns. The PC’s recommended version of the Fairhaven Urban Village now includes language that supports the continued viability of the Fairhaven market and makes it possible for a future expansion of the store to be considered in the context of the plan. In addition, the plan now contains language that provides for flexibility in the application of design standards. Briar supports both these provisions as adopted by the PC and ask that the City Council approve their inclusion in the Fairhaven Plan.

David Starr Owner, Papa Sweets. Mr. Starr highlighted items from a letter he has submitted with suggested changes to the general policies and a parking plan.

Bill Geyer, representing Shannon Properties LLC, supports staff and PC recommendations for Commercial Core designation and supports staff recommendation for the 66’ height limit on the Shannon property.

Steven Newmark supports maintaining the 35’ height limitations that currently exist in the Historic Influence area. If there is a special request for a higher limitation, the permitting process would allow for consideration through the variance process.

Sylvia Goodwin, Port of Bellingham Planning Director. The Port generally supports the staff recommendations. She noted two issues dealing with Planning Area I-2:
    West of Padden Lagoon uses are restricted to Marine Industrial and Light Industrial. Offices and retail are not allowed unless it is accessory to marine industrial use. Current offices in the train station are small and are not suitable for marine or light industrial use.
    East of Padden Lagoon the Fairhaven Marine Industrial Park is mostly occupied by marine industrial uses.

The Port requests that offices also be allowed accessory to the light industrial uses so that light industrial use, (like Brenthaven Packs), could sell or have offices to support their light industrial uses. Adding a bit of flexibility by having accessory retail and offices for light industrial uses would be useful. The Port also supports the staff recommendation for heights.

Jim Turk feels the height limits should not exceed 35’.

Denis Hayner supports a 35’ height limit west of 11th within the central core.

Lynette Felber supports the PC recommendations.

Josselyn Winslow supports the PC recommendations.

Jody Finnegan, Owner, 12th Street Shoes supports the staff recommendations.

Biff Dickerson supports the PC recommendations.

Gene Shannon, Owner, Fairhaven Village Inn and owns a building site north of the Fairhaven Village Inn and West of the 10th Street Right-of-Way. It is not possible to build a financially successful 35’ building on this site and he would like it to remain at the higher designation. This is a prime site for infill and great opportunity to clean up that intersection. Additionally he asked the council to consider creating a Railroad Quiet Zone in the Fairhaven district.

Phyllis McKee, Finnegan's Alley, support staff's recommendations.

John Servais asked that the commercial district be allowed to thrive and the ambiance of surrounding residential neighborhoods protected. Tall buildings of five to six stories will not block any view from the Fairhaven residential area, which looks west while the commercial district lies to the north. He would like guidelines designed to protect the residential areas from noise, light pollution and traffic impacts as the commercial district thrives and builds up. Let the buildings be tall enough to allow profitable businesses and let more people live in a fine urban area. The area needs connectivity with the waterfront and docks so boaters can visit and parking management should be left to the commercial district organizations. He added that currently there are 14 parking garages with a capacity of over 500 cars in Fairhaven.

Jan Adams supports the PC recommendations.

Robin Robertson, Owner, Bellingham Tennis Club spoke on behalf of the Old Fairhaven Association in supporting staff’s recommendation allowing higher building heights to promote density and fulfill the charter of the Comprehensive Plan. She submitted signatures in opposition to the Transportation Commission’s proposed resolutions regarding pedestrian-only streets. It’s an attractive idea but it needs to have ancillary parking and a transportation plan to support a pedestrian mall. In addition the Association supports the development of a parking task force within two years of the adoption of this plan.

Doug Robertson supports staff’s recommendation for a higher height level as 35' is not feasible for building in an economically feasible manner. He said, design guidelines protect ambiance and there is not a significant view analysis that shows view loss. He also supports a timeline for a parking task force and the need for a grocery store.

Brooks Anderson supports the PC recommendations.

Paul James said that a minority of the people in Fairhaven have property sales but the majority are people who would like to maintain Fairhaven as it is. To maintain what is there now, the city just needs to clarify the details of the plan to bring it into compliance with the Comprehensive Plan. There are four areas where the existing proposed plan still has some problems: 1) design review guidelines for the waterfront properties: work on the aesthetic value, 2) heights: keep current maximum, 3) pedestrian safety and 4) parking.

Bill Geyer, representing Haskell Corporation, referenced a letter he had submitted and addressed the Haskell Property in Area I-3. On behalf of his client he asked that the PC recommendations of 56’ across the entire site be adopted. In addition he asked that a residential component be added to the mixed use capacity.

David Carlson said the parking supply in the Commercial Core is severely limited. Without corrective action the draft plan would allow Fairhaven parking to sink to less than the 60% less than standard Bellingham Municipal Code supply. He would like to promote alternative transportation to reduce auto dependence.

There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed, however, the written record will remain open.

Worksessions scheduled for June 6, June 11 and June 13.

Information only.

BREAK
Council President Bornemann called the meeting back to order at 10:34 p.m.


Public Comment Continued

The following citizens support the resolution expressing opposition to the Supreme Court decision in Citizen United v. FEC [AB 19593]:
Vince Bichunas
Sheena Sisal
Kevin Probasco
Jane Lindaloff

Bob Diehl, Whatcom Rowing Association, addressed the revision of the Bloedel Donovan Park Master Plan [AB 19592] and expressed concern about a delay on the decision. Some issues would be all right with a delay but the Meridian High School wants to build the building for the Association, which they have to do during the school year, so a delay of any length could be a problem.

Charles Law noted that June 5 is International Environment Day and asked council to join other city governments showing opposition to a commodities port.

Jill McIntire Witt submitted a City of Seattle resolution in opposition to transporting coal and asked that the Council consider a similar resolution.

Greg Winter, Opportunity Council, spoke in support of the Low Income Housing Levy Ordinance (AB19583).

Brooks Anderson handed out window clings for No Coal Exports.




REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

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

AB19591 1. Set financial parameters for establishing 2013-2014 General Fund budget

LILLIQUIST / KNUTSON moved to approve the financial parameters. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


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

AB19547 1. Update on Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention Program

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


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

AB19592 1. Bloedel Donovan Park Master Plan Amendment Adoption

Worksessions to be scheduled between June 15 & 25.


Transportation
Cathy Lehman, Chair
Jack Weiss; Gene Knutson

AB19579 1. Resolution to adopt the 2013-2018 Transportation Improvement Program (6-year TIP)

“A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON ADOPTING THE 2013 – 2018 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM.”

LEHMAN reported that this item has been postponed to June 18th.


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

AB19370 1. Update and modification to approved City of Bellingham Performance Measures

FLEETWOOD / SNAPP moved to approve the modified City of Bellingham Performance Measures. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


AB19593 2. A Resolution expressing opposition to the Supreme Court decision in Citizen United v. FEC and supporting an amendment to the United States Constitution

“A RESOLUTION EXPRESSING OPPOSITION TO THE SUPREME COURT DECISION IN CITIZEN UNITED V. FEC, AND SUPPORTING AN AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.”

FLEETWOOD / LILLIQUIST moved final approval of Resolution #2012-14. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


AB19583 3. Low income Housing Levy Ordinance

“AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM RELATING TO LOW-INCOME HOUSING; REQUESTING THAT A SPECIAL ELECTION BE HELD CONCURRENT WITH THE NOVEMBER 6, 2012 GENERAL ELECTION FOR SUBMISSION TO THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF THE CITY OF A PROPOSITION TO LIFT THE LIMIT ON REGULAR PROPERTY TAXES UNDER CHAPTER 84.55 RCW FOR LOW-INCOME HOUSING; DECLARING THE EXISTENCE OF AN EMERGENCY UNDER CHAPTER 84.52.105 AND REQUESTING VOTER APPROVAL OF AN ADDITIONAL PROPERTY TAX FOR VERY LOW-INCOME HOUSING; PROVIDING FOR THE EXPIRATION OF THE ADDITIONAL LEVIES AT THE END OF SEVEN YEARS; SETTING FORTH THE BALLOT PROPOSITION; DESIGNATING A CITIZEN LEVY ADVISORY COMMITTEE; AND PROVIDING FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAMS WITH FUNDS DERIVED FROM THE TAXES AUTHORIZED.”

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

          4. Old/New business

None presented.


Executive Session – Report and action only.

    1. 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.
    The city will be hiring a Natural Resources Manager which will provide an opportunity to pull all the environmental programs together.
    Chuckanut Ridge: the Mayor noted that there are a wide variety of options that are being considered to repay the loan.


AB19594 2. Approval of Mayor's Appointment of Peter Ruffatto as the City Attorney

WEISS / SNAPP moved to approve the appointment of Peter Ruffatto as City Attorney. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.



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.

AB19595 1. Authorization of checks issued for pay period May 11, 2012 through May 17, 2012

AB19596 2. Authorization of checks issued for payroll May 11, 2012 through May 25, 2012

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



FINAL CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES

AB19585 1. AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE 2012 BUDGET RECOGNIZING AWARD OF A $750,000.00 FEDERAL INDIRECT GRANT THROUGH THE WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR CONSTRUCTION OF THE NORTHWEST / MCLEOD ROUNDABOUT, AND INCREASING RESERVES IN THE SECOND QUARTER REAL ESTATE EXCISE FUND. (STATE & FEDERAL FUNDING SWAP)

KNUTSON / SNAPP 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:
EXCUSED:

MOTION CARRIED 7-0 and was thereafter named Ordinance #2012-06-032



ADJOURNMENT
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:14 p.m.


Terry Bornemann, Council President

ATTEST: Linda D. Anderson City Clerk Representative
APPROVED: 06/18/2012



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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