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Monday, October 22, 2012, 07:00 PM
Book: 66, Page: 1


Called To Order The meeting was called to order by Council President Terry Bornemann who led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call
    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


    · On Monday, October 22, @ 3:00 - 5:00 PM in the Mayor's Board Room, there will be a worksession to discuss the 2013 Budget regarding the Human Resources; Planning and Community Development, and the Public Works Departments.
    · On Monday, October 29, @ 1:00 - 4:00 PM in the Mayor's Board Room, there will be a worksession to discuss the 2013 Budget regarding the Legal, Finance, Information Technology and Library Departments.
    · On Monday, November 5, @ 7:00 PM, in City Council Chambers, there will be a public hearing regarding an extension of the Demonstration Program for Innovative Permanently Affordable Home Ownership (BMC 20.27)
    · On Monday, November 19, @ 7:00 PM, in City Council Chambers, there will be a public hearing regarding the 2013 Preliminary Budget.

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


KNUTSON / SNAPP moved approval of the October 8, 2012 minutes of the regular City Council meeting as corrected. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


Leonard Lindstrom discussed his Navy experience and social issues.

Yoshé Revelle discussed the death of a 15 year old girl who was shot in Pakistan advocating rights for education for women.

George Dyson asked that, when exchanging land with the Port of Bellingham and planning for the waterfront, to remember to keep Old Town in the big picture. The Public Development Authority (PDA) had a good plan for revitalizing the area.

Marcy Mjelde owns property in Old Town and is very supportive of the idea of the PDA using whatever funds they can come up with to make something happen in that area. She has plans for a boutique hotel and feels it would be great to move forward without having to wait for the Port of Bellingham to do anything down below.

Sheri Wright owns property and a business on West Holly. She and her partners have put together a plan to upgrade the area. She would love to see things move forward and revitalize the downtown area.

Alex McLean concurred with potential rate increases for the Storm and Surface Water Utility and would like to see increased incentives for installing stormwater mitigation and low impact development on private property.


AB19709 1. Whatcom Smart Trips Program mobility report

Information only.


AB19710 1. Resolution declaring certain real property surplus to the City of Bellingham (Waterfront)


[Editor’s note: This resolution was amended and restated at the November 5, 2012 regular council meeting].

Ted Carlson, Public Works Director presented the details of the properties to be surplused, which include 900, 902, 907, 909 and 1001 C Street and Marine Trades Area Parcels (area commonly known as Colony Wharf).

Mr. Carlson explained that the overriding concept of this exchange is to align the interest of the two governments with both parties getting true and fair value in accordance with RCW 43.09.210.

Council President Bornemann opened the public hearing.

Patrick McKee felt it difficult to comment on this important Interlocal agreement because there are no facts and figures on the property values in question. He asked, “are the people of Bellingham getting a good deal?” and encouraged the council to slow down and consider this further.

Mary Therese Boettner has a vision - an inclusiveness for a multitude of residents and visitors; a magnificent structure following the lines of Lummi Island; easy access and millions of dollars coming into Whatcom County from tourist money. She believes this can happen with bonds, private investors and memberships. She asked, “what can you and I do to make this happen?”

Wendy Harris said this proposal does not protect Bellingham Bay and feels it is not in the public's interest to do a land swap.

George Dyson noted that the old Bolster Tug property (on the corner at the head of the waterway) is an incredibly important piece of property. He said the city owns the true footprint of the waterway into Old Town. Giving that up is a very big issue because it’s the only leverage the city has to ensure that it actually gets good public access between the water and Old Town. He feels this property is very valuable and he hopes it was given a high figure in the rankings.

There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed

Staff and council discussed the issue at length.

John Carter, Finance Director addressed the negotiations, questions, strategies and valuations with regard to the surplus of these properties.
    · There are current 20-year bonds outstanding, issued in 2005, for the acquisition of these properties. The bonds are being paid out of the solid waste fund.
    · The Port of Bellingham and the City of Bellingham own public property for the benefit of the public. The basis of the negotiations was to try to align the interest of the two parties and to work toward a strategy where the benefit of the public would be maximized through the expertise of the two public agencies involved.
    · The Port operates marine facilities throughout Bellingham and in Blaine. They have the expertise in marine trades activities.
    · The Colony Wharf property was measured based upon the defined use, which is for marine trades and which, is the entire area not just the Port’s property.
    · To continue to utilize and to maximize the value of the Colony Wharf property in the marine trades area, for employment and for the benefit of the citizens, it was felt it would be in the best interest of City to have that property managed, operated, infrastructure built and maintained by the expertise of the Port.
    · It was agreed early on that the Port and City would try to equalize the value, as best we could, through the measurement of the interest of both parties; not just in monetary terms, which would have been difficult to do because of the compromised properties.
    · To a large degree none of these properties, until they are cleaned up, are going to be very valuable to the private sector.
    · The consolidation of Army Street and the tidelands are a valuable piece to the city if cleaned. The City is the owner of an adjacent Army Street site. The parcels are small and narrow and have nominal value to the Port. None of this property, from an investment standpoint and in its current condition, would justify a return on that investment over the short term.
    · The city currently earns $80,000 a year for the lease at the Colony Wharf site. The investment, cleanup costs and infrastructure would not provide a return on that investment. The City felt the investment could best be maximized by the Port, which already has other marine trade activities throughout Bellingham Bay.
    · On the Cornwall site, it was difficult for the Port and the City to agree on what the use of that property is. The City owns the adjacent site (R.G. Haley). That site is highly contaminated and is going to need a long term cleanup plan. That plan needs to be coordinated with the Cornwall Avenue Landfill and was complicated because the Port has ownership on one side but not both sides. Having the whole site will help with the cleanup of that site and make it a more valuable property with regard to the overall size of that development, which will then be maximized by future development. The original Cornwall Landfill is fairly small. It would be very difficult to develop, particularly if there was a contaminated site next door. By doing the cleanup of both properties under one entity, the City can ensure that it is a better development site. It would maximize the size of the investment and provide a bit more land to work with for private sector development.
    · The process was primarily to align our interests because both the City and Port realized that the future value of these properties would be obtained at a higher level for the public agencies if they were in the hands of the agency that had the interest of developing it for their own purposes.
    · It would be in the best interest of the City to surplus these properties and to look toward the next step in waterfront redevelopment.
Amy Kraham, Assistant City Attorney explained that the Parks Department was the catalyst for wanting to acquire lots for possible mitigation for the overwater walkway project and possible railroad issues.

Mayor Linville believes the properties are surplus to the City. And, that it will be in the best interest of the public to surplus these properties and then look toward the next step in our waterfront redevelopment. Additionally, the roles of the City and Port are clarified. The City’s mission is managing the properties in this swap and continuing to build our partnership with the Port.

KNUTSON / SNAPP moved final approval of Resolution #2012-28.

Ms. Kraham made the following clarifications and comments regarding these properties:
    · The city is a potentially liable party on the Consent Decree for the Whatcom Waterway. As part of this transaction and it is very much a part of the full and fair value, the City is released from its’ liability for the Whatcom Waterway cleanup by the Port.
    · The City can never be released in the eyes of the Department of Ecology nor can any potentially liable parties, such as GP; but expenses can be covered by another party as the Port has generally covered GP and as they are proposing to do, in this transaction with the city.
    · Much of the work that is going to be done on the shoreline is actually not considered to be part of the Whatcom Waterway cleanup but is above the line where the mercury is contaminating the sediment and is actually part of the Central Waterfront cleanup.
    · The Central Waterfront site is a consolidation of four sites.
    · The city by agreement with the Port is a 54% liable party for the Central Waterfront site.

    · Marine trades would have shallowed the shoreline and limited boat traffic as the draft for the boats would not have been deep enough. The city felt strongly that it wanted to protect the jobs and the tenant(s) and to preserve the area for future marine trades.
    · This agreement aids the goals of the City and many people who work in that area and relieves the City of the cost to bring that cleanup into the arena where those things would be possible.

Council Member Weiss expressed concern that these actions are happening prior to the adoption of the master plan.



Waterfront/Downtown Development .
Gene Knutson, Chair
Cathy Lehman; Michael Lilliquist; Jack Weiss

AB19714 1. Request for authorization for the Mayor to enter into an Interlocal Agreement for the exchange of real property by and between the Port of Bellingham and the City of Bellingham

KNUTSON / LEHMAN moved approval to authorize the Mayor to enter into an Interlocal Agreement for the exchange of real property (in the Waterfront District) by and between the Port of Bellingham and the City of Bellingham.

Ted Carlson, Public Works Director clarified that any mitigation would be the same for both entities and all of the properties. They will be discussed and will inform the Master Planning process.

Amy Kraham, Assistant City Attorney noted that the Department of Ecology (DOE) is the regulatory agency with jurisdiction over all the sites in the waterfront district. She added that this agreement does have one caveat for the city’s release from liability for the Whatcom Waterway and that is, if the DOE were to come back and reopen the Consent Decree that has been entered into because it found that there were some new contamination coming in that the City had caused, then we would potentially be liable for that but not for anything that's contemplated by the current cleanup. The Whatcom Waterway cleanup is the first one slated to occur in its entirely. The designs for Phase 1 of the Whatcom Waterway cleanup have been prepared. Phase 1 includes the inner-waterway and the shorelines and is scheduled to occur one year from now.

Ms. Kraham noted changes to Exhibit I, Temporary License for Public Trail and Parking, which the Port of Bellingham has agreed to:

In the Now, Therefore section:
1. Add “possess, control” after the word maintain.
1.1 Add “possess, control and” to the second sentence.
1.2 Add “The sole exception to the City’s right to possess and control the parking area and trail is as follows:” after the subject line.


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

AB19711 1. Financial Report - 3rd Quarter

Information only.

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

AB19712 1. Scope, process and budget for the 2016 Comprehensive Plan update

Information only.

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

AB19713 1. Lake Whatcom Watershed capital projects funding

Information only.

Waterfront/Downtown Development [moved to follow public hearing AB19710].

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

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

None submitted at evening meeting.
          2. Old/New business

          3. Mayor Linville submitted a draft of a letter to the Whatcom County Council regarding an ordinance amending the Whatcom County Zoning Code to create Chapter 20.51 Lake Whatcom Watershed Overlay District.
WEISS MOVED / KNUTSON SECONDED a motion to direct that in the last sentence, “Lake Whatcom Management Committee” be replaced with “Interjurisdictional Coordinating Team (ITC)”. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

Executive Session - Report and action only.
    1. Litigation: David Carlsen v. City of Bellingham re GMA appeal of the Fairhaven Neighborhood and Urban Village Plan: Staff provided information on a litigation matter. Information only. No action taken.

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

AB19715 2. Mayor's appointment of Alice Shilhanek to the Lake Whatcom Watershed Advisory Board for Council's approval.

WEISS / LILLIQUIST moved approval of the Mayor’s appointment of Alice Shilhanek to the Lake Whatcom Watershed Advisory Board, term ending October 22, 2015. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

Mayor Linville submitted an update on the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) Team, which includes:
      · GPT Team has received preliminary comments from Public
      Works, Parks and Fire Chief.

      · GPT Team members will attend the scoping meeting on Saturday October 27 at Squalicum High from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
      · GPT team and Public Works have arranged for an Association of Washington Cities webinar to be shown in Council Chambers on October 31 from 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
      · A staff proposed scoping letter will be presented at City Council on November 5 and anticipates Council’s comments and suggestions. Staff’s work will be informed by Council Resolution passed on July 2, 2012 [Resolution 2012-17]. Information only.

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.

AB19716 1. A Resolution of the City Council sponsoring the Whatcom Transit Authority's request to join the Association of Washington Cities employee benefit trust.


AB19717 2. Bid Award for Multi-hearth Incinerator #1 Repair at Post Point, Bid #65B-2012

AB19718 3. Authorization of checks issued for pay period September 29, 2012 through October 4, 2012

AB19719 4. Authorization of checks issued for pay period October 5, 2012 through October 13, 2012

AB19720 5. Authorization of checks issued for payroll September 26, 2012 through October 10, 2012

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


There were no ordinances for Final Consideration.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:54 p.m.

Terry Bornemann, Council President

ATTEST: Linda D. Anderson City Clerk Representative
APPROVED: 11/19/2012

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.