Skip to page contents
Contact Us Site Map
You are here: Home) Government) Council) Meeting Materials) August 16, 2010


RECORD OF PROCEEDING OF CITY COUNCIL

CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON


COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL
Monday, August 16, 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 Cal Leenstra.

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 Thursday, September 9, at 10:00 a.m. in City Council Chambers there will be a Special Meeting to discuss Comcast Franchise Renewal Agreement.
    On Monday, September 13, at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers there will be a Public Hearing related to the adoption of an ordinance to implement the Fountain District Urban Village Subarea Plan and development regulations.
    On Monday, October 11, at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers there will be two Public Hearings related to 1) a City-initiated Comprehensive Plan Amendments to modify the existing Meridian/Cordata Neighborhood Plan and 2) A Comprehensive Plan Amendment and site-specific rezone for Area 23 of the Meridian/Cordata Neighborhood.

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


APPROVAL OF MINUTES

SNAPP / BUCHANAN moved approval of the August 9, 2010 minutes of the regular Council Meeting as submitted. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


15 - MINUTE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Lynne Swan, 2594 Yew Street Road explained that she and her husband have brought forward this annexation and are pleased that the council will postpone the decision so that more information may be obtained.

Meredith Lutherman asked if a city water fountain has chlorine or lye filters.

Ted Carlson, Public Works Director replied that city water is chlorinated.

Ali Taysi, 900 Dupont Street spoke on behalf Lynne Swan and the other property owners who are in support of the Yew Street Annexation request. He supports the Planning Committee taking more time to understand the process and financial impacts. Financial and other costs should not be prohibitive issues for initiating as it creates an opportunity for a more thorough analysis of the issues. He believes the city will find, with further analysis, that the financial costs are not as significant as the preliminary analysis shows and that solutions exist to mitigate the impacts. He noted that:
    Oak Street is not vacated and is the logical extension of access to the east portion of the site.
    The vast majority of property owners in the platted portion are in favor of the annexation and it is unlikely they would oppose the extension of rights-of-way and utility services.
    Density has been underestimated in the area. The estimate of 125 new homes is extremely conservative (1.05 units/acre) when there is an existing approved preliminary plat of 5 acres with 23 homes (4.6 units/acre) and which, is consistent with adjacent developments in the UGA and single family development in the Whatcom Falls neighborhood to the north. An increase in density would result in significant increases in revenue generation for the city.
    There are $1.6 million in park acquisition fees associated with this proposal. These costs are basically a need to acquire new park acreage to meet the city's Level of Service, however, there are 50 acres of city parkland two-thirds of a mile to the west and 40 acres of city parkland immediately adjacent on the east. In addition, the Comprehensive Plan identifies neighborhood parks that the city already owns in the area to the east and the Capital Facilities Plan for Parks has allocated $2.5 million over the next four years for acquisition of parklands in developing areas.
With a more detailed review, this annexation could turn out to be much less intimidating for the council and the city from a cost perspective. Mr. Taysi and the applicants believe that if it is initiated, and an opportunity is provided to engage with the affected owners, real solutions to the problems that have been identified can be found. He encouraged the council to consider the request further and initiate the annexation.

Johnny Grames discussed issues in the Central Business District including the children’s festival at the library, abstract art, the cost of parking tickets and losing two restaurants: Guiseppes (moved) and Nona Rosa’s (closed).

Cal Leenstra, 514 South State Street spoke in favor of the proposed annexation area along Yew Street, which is served by city water and sewer and has sidewalks/curbs/gutters. He added that:
    • the property is in the UGA; it’s not in the watershed; it is not suitable for farming and it is not a resource land;
    • a good portion of the property is served by a fully developed urban street and a recently completed (Wade King) elementary school, and would provide additional support for mass transit in the area;
    • it would bring conformity to the neighborhood (Woodbine Estates);
    • it would reduce the county’s high rate of road development and the resulting rural sprawl, result in commute trip reduction and preserve ag land; and
    • eco-boomers (now between ages 15 and 28) can be expected to become homeowners by their mid-thirties which equates to about 35.5 million new households.

Bruce Deile shared his opinions about the Alcoholics Anonymous organization.

Nick Sherwood, cofounder of www.bancams.com spoke in opposition of photo enforcement (red light/traffic cameras).

Pete Chamberlin cofounder www.bancams.com also spoke in opposition of photo enforcement (red light/traffic cameras).

Johnny Weaver President, Young Americans for Liberty at Whatcom Community College, spoke in opposition of photo enforcement (red light/traffic cameras).

Justin McKay spoke in opposition of photo enforcement (red light/traffic cameras).


REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

COUNCIL STANDING COMMITTEE MEETINGS:

PLANNING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
MEMBERS: CHAIR, TERRY BORNEMANN; SETH FLEETWOOD; MICHAEL LILLIQUIST; JACK WEISS

AB18946 1. CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST TO INITIATE THE REVIEW PROCESS FOR AN ANNEXATION OF APPROXIMATELY 120 ACRES LOCATED IN BELLINGHAM’S YEW STREET URBAN GROWTH AREA KNOWN AS THE YEW STREET ROAD EAST ANNEXATION

Council Member Bornemann reported that the committee had agreed to keep this item in committee and postponed further consideration to a date to be determined.


PUBLIC WORKS / PUBLIC SAFETY
MEMBERS: CHAIR, BARRY BUCHANAN; STAN SNAPP; JACK WEISS

AB18879 1. DISCUSSION REGARDING EXPANSION AT THE POST POINT WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT

Council Member Buchanan reported process to date and explained that the presentation made during committee was to update the council on the status of the project as it relates to the expansion of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) load capacity at the treatment plant and to discuss the current modified site layout and phasing options.

The proposed Phasing Level options are:
    0 to 3 years $34M estimated project cost Minimum Phase 1
    9 to 16 years $47M estimated project cost Intermediate Phase 1
    20+ years $55M estimated project cost Full Phase 1

The committee directed staff to look at historic levels of population growth and historic BOD loading; project the best-case scenario and present a fourth recommendation. There was a mixed recommendation from committee.

Council Member Bornemann clarified that direction from council would simply move the discussion forward for further study and would not lock in an option.

Ted Carlson, Public Works Director explained that:
    1) before staff can finish the facilities plan and have it adopted by the Department of Ecology (DOE) the city will need to select a preferred phasing option.

    2) because of the complexities of the scope of this project, staff will be looking at using General Contractor Construction Management (GC/CM).

He anticipates that once the facilities plan is approved then staff could move forward with the final design of the preferred alternative. Council will have an opportunity to check in at that time and confirm direction or give different direction. In order to move forward with the GC/CM, staff will need to come to council to authorize the GC/CM process, which will help our design engineer move from the 30% design phase to final design.

BORNEMANN / BUCHANAN moved to direct staff to proceed with the Intermediate Phase 1 option.

Council Member Bornemann said that Bellingham will continue to grow when the economy gets moving again. The city is almost at capacity right now so if the city goes with the minimum phase it will be faced with building again in a few years.

Mr. Carlson displayed a graph showing BOD loading projections.

Council Member Weiss is opposed to the motion. He feels it is more important to deal with the maximum monthly average each month rather than an overall average. This is an enormously expensive project and the city needs to be very thoughtful about how this is dealt with. Additionally, the city has not really entertained the best available technology when it comes to issues regarding reduction in the amount of BOD loading. The projections are substantially lower than what is shown on the graph that Mr. Carlson has provided.

Mr. Carlson asked to keep in mind that:
    • the permit that the city has through the DOE is based on maximum monthly loading;
    • there were a series of three consecutive months where the city was at 85% of its maximum permitted amount of BOD capacity (in 2009 there were 6 months that were over our 85% of our maximum permitted amount);
    • the plant is at capacity now;
    • it takes years to design a Wastewater Treatment Plant (if we move forward now we'll have a plant by 2014); and
    • any measures the city can take to reduce BOD loading, or if growth does not reach the levels projected in the Comprehensive Plan, will extend the life of the treatment plant.
Council Member Lilliquist said that it is a good design principle to build for peak, which intentionally provides capacity and reliability. Although it is a huge decision, he feels that the Intermediate Phase provides reliability along with an enormous jump in capacity.

Council Member Snapp said that he does not think anyone wants to revisit this in two or three years so the city is looking at $47 million. He thinks that the city will probably gain more time than 9-16 years so his comfort level is, at least, the Intermediate Phase. However, he feels there are too many questions and not enough answers, with regard to capacity, BOD loading, permits and dumping. There is an established relationship with the DOE and he is confident they will work with the city to help address these issues.

Council Member Weiss asked if bond interest is included in the figures.

Mr. Carlson replied that the figures represent total construction design costs but does not believe they cover the debt service. He will provide that information.

Council Member Weiss feels this is just one part of an overall package. There is the expansion program and there is also the conveyance system and a reduction program with the goal of reducing the BOD load by 6,200 lbs. per day. He is concerned that it is not clear what the overall package is going to cost.

Mr. Carlson summarized that there is the BOD capacity issue and the hydraulic capacity. They are tied together in the blending process. Additionally there is the treatment and conveyance which were addressed in the Sewer Comprehensive Plan. He said, we are trying to be good stewards of the environment and operating a wastewater utility that is reliable. Right now, it would be an emergency situation if repairs are needed. We’re trying to be proactive with planning and meeting our permit requirements in addition to being comprehensive in our presentations to the council. It is a very complex issue and a huge capital expenditure.

Council Member Snapp asked why “we don’t know how much water or BOD comes from each facility”.

Mr. Carlson replied that water to the users is metered so we know the water going in; the issue is that we don’t know the BOD loading, partially due to piping from individual sources that merge into one pipe.

Council Member Weiss feels that it would be cheaper for the users to do pre-treatment rather than paying surcharges.

Mr. Carlson responded that staff is having conversations with the industrial users on the options including the cost of pre-treatment.

MOTION CARRIED 5-2, WEISS, SNAPP OPPOSED.

WEISS moved to ask staff to come up with a program of how to accomplish the 6,200 lbs. per day reduction in BOD loading and determine costs for that program. There was no second.

Mr. Carlson said that after they are able to do more work with the industrial users, they will have a better idea of costs involved in relation to what the programs would look like to get reduction measures, enforcement and the staff components. Once reviewed with the Mayor he would then provide a report to the council.


TRANSPORTATION
MEMBERS: CHAIR, JACK WEISS; STAN SNAPP; MICHAEL LILLIQUIST

AB18947 CB 13640
1. AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO BMC 2.44, TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION TO AUTHORIZE THE TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION TO SERVE AS A CITIZEN ADVISORY GROUP TO THE TRANSPORTATION BENEFIT DISTRICT.

AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO BELLINGHAM MUNICIPAL CODE CHAPTER 2.44, TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION, AMENDING SECTION 2.44.010 B. PERTAINING TO MEMBERSHIP AND ADDING A NEW SECTION 2.44.050 (11) TO AUTHORIZE THE TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION TO ADVISE BELLINGHAM TRANSPORTATION BENEFIT DISTRICT NO. 1.”

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


COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
CHAIR, GENE KNUTSON

AB18874 1. COMCAST FRANCHISE RENEWAL: PROJECT UPDATE PRESENTATION OF CABLE TELEVISION RENEWAL INFORMAL NEEDS ASSESSMENT REPORT

Information only.

          2. APPROVAL OF CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE AND/OR SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES

None submitted at evening meeting.

          3. OLD/NEW BUSINESS

Council Member Lilliquist reported that the Lake Whatcom Natural Resources Committee has added Council Member Fleetwood as a member.

Council Member Bornemann noted that PBS Television has included Bellingham in a film for a program regarding sustainability, to be aired in November.


EXECUTIVE SESSION - Report only
    1. Potential Litigation: Staff provided information on a potential litigation matter. Direction was given. No action taken.
    2. Potential Litigation: Staff provided information on a potential litigation matter. Direction was given. No action taken.
    3. Property Acquisition: Staff provided information on the potential acquisition of a .16 acre parcel on North Samish Hill for trail development for $3,000. The property is located in the vicinity of platted Bennett Road and Chester Street.
LILLIQUIST / SNAPP moved to authorize the purchase of said property at a purchase price of $3,000. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

    4. Litigation: Port of Bellingham v. City of Bellingham: Staff provided an update on a pending litigation matter. Direction was provided to staff. No action taken.


MAYOR'S REPORT

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

The Mayor noted that PBS Television has included Bellingham in a program highlighting sustainability, which will be aired in November. Information only.


AB18948 2. MAYOR’S APPOINTMENT/REAPPOINTMENT FOR THE MAYOR’S NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMISSION OF RAY BALLWEG, CHRISTOPHER GRANNIS, HOWARD STEINER, ADRIENNE LEDERER, AND KIRSTI CHARLTON

Information only.


FINAL CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES

AB 18930 1. CB 16363
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING BELLINGHAM MUNICIPAL CODE SECTIONS 16.55.080, 16.55.130, 16.55.230, 16.55.270, 16.55.330, 16.55.340, 16.55.420, 16.55.460, AND 16.55.510 OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM’S CRITICAL AREAS ORDINANCE CREATING AN EXEMPTION FOR DEMOLITION AND CERTAIN DEVELOPMENT IN GEOLOGICALLY HAZARDOUS AREAS AS WELL AS IF SAME DEVELOPMENT IS NON CONFORMING, ALLOW CERTAIN PERVIOUS FEATURES IN SETBACKS, ADDITION OF A DEFINITION FOR CRITICAL ROOT ZONE, RELIEF FROM BUFFER STANDARDS IF BUFFER AREAS ARE FUNCTIONALLY DISCONNECTED BY A PUBLIC ROAD AND OTHER NON-SUBSTANTIVE CLARIFICATIONS AND CORRECTIONS.

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

MOTION CARRIED 7-0 and was thereafter named Ordinance #2010-08-050


AB 18931 2. CB 13637
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING BELLINGHAM MUNICIPAL CODE SECTION 16.60.070 TO MAKE THE MAXIMUM AREA EXEMPT FROM THE CITY'S CLEARING ORDINANCE CONSISTENT WITH THE AREA EXEMPTIONS FOR THE CITY'S STORMWATER AND CRITICAL AREAS AND LAKE WHATCOM RESERVOIR ORDINANCES.

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, BUCHANAN, FLEETWOOD, KNUTSON, LILLIQUIST, SNAPP, WEISS

NAYS:
ABSTENTIONS:

MOTION CARRIED 7-0 and was thereafter named Ordinance #2010-08-051


AB 18932 3. CB 13638
AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2010 BUDGET RECOGNIZING RECEIPT OF AN $888,551.00 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY “SAFER” GRANT IN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, GENERAL FUND.

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

MOTION CARRIED 7-0 and was thereafter named Ordinance #2010-08-052


AB 18933 4. CB 13639
AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2010 BUDGET APPROPRIATING $110,228.00 FROM ESTIMATED ENDING DESIGNATED RESERVES IN THE GENERAL FUND TO PROVIDE FOR THE ADDITION OF FOUR NEW FIREFIGHTER POSITIONS IN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.

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

MOTION CARRIED 7-0 and was thereafter named Ordinance #2010-08-053




ADJOURNMENT
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:33 p.m.


Gene Knutson, Council President

ATTEST: Linda D. Anderson City Clerk Representative
APPROVED: 09/13/2010



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.

Top of Page ^ Top of page