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You are here: Home) Government) Council) Meeting Materials) August 09, 2010


RECORD OF PROCEEDING OF CITY COUNCIL

CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON


COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL
Monday, August 09, 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 Ed Bennett.

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 Monday, September 13, at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers there will be a Public Hearing regarding the Fountain District Urban Village Plan.
    On Monday, September 27, at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers there will be a Public Hearing regarding Happy Valley Neighborhood Plan Amendment Green Infrastructure Plan.
    On Monday, September 27, at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers there will be a Public Hearing regarding Seaview North Boatyard Rezone.

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


APPROVAL OF MINUTES

SNAPP / BORNEMANN moved approval of the July 26, 2010 minutes of the regular Council Meeting as submitted. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


15 - MINUTE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Cindy Madigan thanked the city for pedestrian improvements in the area of Lakeway Drive.

Council President Knutson adjourned the meeting while a citizen, who has abused the privileges of the 15-Minute Public Comment Period, was removed from the meeting.

Council President Knutson called the meeting back to order at 7:04 p.m.

John Servais voiced his concerns with regard to property negotiations of Chuckanut Ridge. He said, the Planning Department has been granting three month extensions of the Environmental Impact Statement to Chuckanut Ridge Developers while the city is negotiating to buy the property and that this has been going on for seven months. He asked that council please get a handle on this: the city has the Greenways Funds and seven months should be enough time to have negotiated a price. By granting these extension, the property is increasing in value, it’s delaying the purchase and it’s hurting the city taxpayers.

Johnny Grames shared concerns with regard to a private contractor that has worked for the city.


PUBLIC HEARING(S)

AB18930 CB 13636
1. PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS TO THE CITY’S CRITICAL AREAS ORDINANCE (BMC 16.55)

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 NONCONFORMING, 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.”

Council President Knutson opened the public hearing.
No citizens spoke and the public hearing was closed.

Council Member Lilliquist addressed a minor grammatical change. Staff will ensure that the ordinance is corrected.

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


AB18931 CB 13637
2. PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS TO THE CITY’S CLEARING ORDINANCE (BMC 16.60)

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.”

Council President Knutson opened the public hearing.
No citizens spoke and the public hearing was closed.

Council Member Lilliquist addressed a minor typographical error in the ordinance. Staff will ensure that the ordinance is corrected

BORNEMANN / LILLIQUIST moved approval for first and second reading. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


AB18869 3. PUBLIC HEARING REGARDING A DRAFT MUSIC ORDINANCE

Mark Gardner, Policy Analyst reviewed the process to date and explained the basic framework of the proposed ordinance, which includes: measuring decibel levels, sound limits by zone, type of area and time period. He showed maps of the areas included in the Downtown and Fairhaven Zones and briefly reviewed the penalties, which require a complaint before a violation is found.

The basic framework of the ordinance:
    Regulates music and amplified entertainment sound using decibel meters to measure sound levels. All other noise issues continue to be regulated by existing codes.
    Sound measured near the property line of the sound producing property - not at the recipient property.
    Creates two zones for regulation. In Downtown and small portions of Fairhaven, music sound can be at higher levels (85 db). Other parts of the City, sounds limited to 75 db.
    Different regulations for different types of areas:
        o Indoor venues (e.g. bars, clubs, restaurants, etc.)
        o Outdoor venues (e.g. beer gardens)
        o Parks, and street closure events

Additionally the ordinance allows for a late night extension and requires the Bellingham Police Department to report to the City Council after each of the first two full years of implementation. An annual permit would be required for regular outdoor music venues.

Council President Knutson opened the public hearing.

Ed Bennett owner, Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro has been in business in Bellingham for over 15 years. Mr. Bennett made the following points:

his business has had very few complaints, has never had a citation and has a good relationship with the Bellingham Police Department;
Austin, TX a city of over 700,000 is not a good comparison for Bellingham;
time periods described in the draft ordinance may be too early, due to the length of summer days at this latitude, for events that do not start until dark;
the decibel level may need to be set higher for certain types of performances and instruments, e.g. horns, bagpipes; and
it may be more appropriate to measure from point of complaint rather than curb of the roadway.

He believes the current code is working and should be kept in place.

Johnny Grames feels that live music and recorded music should be categorized differently as all noises cannot be held to the same standard.

Troy Greig is impressed and feels this is a good start and a reasonable ordinance.

Kat Bula cofounder of Bellingham’s Downtown Alliance for Music and Night-life (B’DAMN) discussed the proposed ordinance, and shared the following thoughts:
    • the standard of reasonability can be used in different ways depending on who is making the noise
    • if reasonability is the standard word then the standard needs to mean something (it’s reasonable to expect that if you move across the street from a music venue, there will be music/noise; it’s also reasonable to expect that if a music venue or neighbor is making excessive noise, more than one person would have a complaint);
    • not as many citations are being issued and it may be that decibel limits are not the right answer - if no one has a problem then the decibel limits create a problem where there wasn’t one; and
    • revisiting the idea of multiple-complaints before a citation can be issued, is a much cheaper and simpler way than decibel limits, of dealing with the problem.

Cat Sieh (a member of B’DAMN) said she would like to encourage critical discussion of how the current noise ordinance will interact with the proposed ordinance (who decides whether its music related sounds or other noises) and she cited the following:
    B'DAMN is eager to reach a compromise, whether decibel limits or other solutions, and ensure they work for music venues - especially outdoor venues like Boundary Bay.
    Decibel limits may not be the ideal solution for either venue owners or police officers in terms of how complicated and/or expensive that could get.
    Encourage the city to require multiple complaint before police respond.
    Music related noise is incidental to the operation of many businesses in the Central Business District (CBD).
    Residents in the CBD should not expect the same level of noise as they would in a primarily-residential community.
    Consider solutions such as requiring property owners/managers within the CBD to disclose to potential residents that they will be living in a multi-use, downtown area which experiences higher levels and longer hours of entertainment related noise. This would give potential downtown residents the opportunity to assess their choice of neighborhood and promote discussion of noise related issues between landlords, residents and venue owners before a problem develops.
    Consider the possibly of developing noise reducing construction codes for sound dampening elements in new multi-use buildings in the CBD and the waterfront district and strike a balance between over-regulating new construction and potentially driving out developers. Multi-use buildings with sound dampening elements would help to foster long term residents and a diverse night life.

Richard Harknell feels a noise ordinance will help keep venues open and cited the following:
    a permit to open and create noise will simply be passed on to the artists;
    decibel limit level may cause more problems;
    a reasonability standard would be difficult to enforce;
    an objective standard can be created by requiring multiple-complaints; and
    have downtown landlords notify tenants that they live in a downtown, urban area rather than creating an extra burden for venue owners for operating their long standing businesses.

He asked the council to keep strong, clear intentions toward favoring artists and venues in these areas where they have historically operated.

Christopher Stift, agrees that the regulations should be made more community and artist friendly and likened not having set [noise]levels to a city without speed limits.

Jess Perino shared the following thoughts:
    Overall, in favor of the proposal and feels it meets everyone's needs and encourages discussion.
    Is concerned about the possibility of imprisonment.
    Nominal fee should be defined.
    Reviewing the ordinance could be more flexible than reviewing each year for the first two years.

She feels the intentions are good and encouraged the city to involve Whatcom Dispute Resolution if there are particular individuals who have repeated complaints.

There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed.

The Council agreed that this should be returned to the Planning & Community Development committee and directed staff to schedule a separate worksession/discussion.

Information only.


TRANSPORTATION BENEFIT DISTRICT - Report only.

Council President Knutson reported that the Board of Directors for the Transportation Benefit District met earlier in the day and passed Resolution #2010-001 which will place the proposition on the ballot in the General Election. and Resolution #2010-002 appointing a committee to prepare pro and con statements for the Local Voters Pamphlet.


REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

FINANCE & PERSONNEL
MEMBERS: CHAIR, STAN SNAPP; BARRY BUCHANAN; MICHAEL LILLIQUIST

AB18932 CB 13638
1. AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE BUDGET TO ALLOW FOR RECEIPT OF FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY [FEMA] DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY [DHS] GRANT FUNDS OF $888,551.00

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 / BUCHANAN moved approval for first and second reading. MOTION CARRIED 6-1, WEISS opposed.


AB18933 CB 13639
2. AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE PAYROLL BUDGET TO RESTORE SALARY/BENEFIT EXPENSES FOR 4 FIREFIGHTER POSITIONS TO BE PAID FOR BY FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY [FEMA] DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (DHS) GRANT FUNDS

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.”

SNAPP / BUCHANAN moved approval for first and second reading.

Council Member Bornemann said this covers the salary and benefits for four firefighters for a two year period and feels there needs to be an understanding with those hired, that there is no guarantee that the positions will continue, if the finances are not available to fund the positions at the end of the two year period.

MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
MEMBERS: CHAIR, JACK WEISS; TERRY BORNEMANN; MICHAEL LILLIQUIST; SETH FLEETWOOD

AB18934 1. WATERFRONT REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT UPDATE

Council Member Weiss noted that the Waterfront Master Plan has been released in draft form and is being presented to various groups throughout the city, including the Transportation Commission, for review and comment.

Information only.


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

AB18930 1. WORKSESSION REGARDING PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS TO THE CITY’S CRITICAL AREAS ORDINANCE (BMC 16.55)

See action under Public Hearing section.


AB18931 2. WORKSESSION REGARDING PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS TO THE CITY’S CRITICAL AREAS ORDINANCE (BMC 16.60)

See action under Public Hearing section.


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

AB18935 1. NOISE VARIANCE REQUEST FOR NIGHT WORK ON THE 12TH STREET WATERMAIN REPLACEMENT PROJECT, EW-176

BUCHANAN / SNAPP moved to approve the noise variance request to BMC 10.24.120(4) to allow night work on the 12th Street Watermain Replacement project. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


AB18936 2. WORKSESSION REGARDING PROPOSED SURFACE AND STORM WATER UTILITY [SSWU] IMPERVIOUS SURFACE MAPPING AND BILLING CHANGES

Council Member Buchanan reported that during committee, the Council had directed staff to initiate the action to adjust those accounts with overcharges immediately. And, to adjust those accounts that were undercharged, starting in January 2011, with prior notification going to those residents.


AB18937 3. DISCUSSION OF BIOCHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND [BOD] AT POST POINT WASTE WATER TREATMENT PLANT AND PROGRESS UPDATE ON PRETREATMENT PROGRAM

Information only.


LAKE WHATCOM RESERVOIR & NATURAL RESOURCES
MEMBERS: CHAIR, MICHAEL LILLIQUIST; BARRY BUCHANAN; STAN SNAPP

AB18848 Resolution #2010-22
1. RESOLUTION TO ADOPT 2010 – 2014 LAKE WHATCOM MANAGEMENT PROGRAM WORK PLAN

A RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE LAKE WHATCOM MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 2010-2014 WORK PLAN.”

LILLIQUIST / BORNEMANN moved final approval of Resolution #2010-22.

The consensus of the council was that although this plan is not perfect, it is a start and the jurisdictions can go forward from this point. Council Member Snapp requested that there be a detailed breakdown of funding sources and Council Member Lilliquist said that he would schedule a separate worksession to do further study of the work plan and related issues.

MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
CHAIR, GENE KNUTSON
          1. APPROVAL OF CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE AND/OR SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES

None submitted at evening meeting.

          2. OLD/NEW BUSINESS

Council Member Weiss informed the Council and citizens on the good outcome the community has had in working with the Environmental Protection Agency and Oeser Company with regard to contamination in the Birchwood and Columbia Neighborhoods.


EXECUTIVE SESSION - Report only.


1. Litigation: PSE v. City of Bellingham: Staff provided an update on a litigation matter. Information only. No action taken.

2. Litigation: Whitworth Park v. City of Bellingham: Staff provided information on a litigation matter.

WEISS / SNAPP moved to authorize the assistance of outside counsel on this matter. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

3. Potential Litigation: Staff provided information on a potential litigation matter. Information only. No action taken.



MAYOR'S REPORT

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

AB18938 2. MAYOR’S REAPPOINTMENT OF DAWN STURWOLD AS THE HEARING EXAMINER FOR THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM

BUCHANAN / SNAPP moved to authorize the Mayor’s reappointment of Dawn Sturwold as the Hearing Examiner for the City of Bellingham. 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.

AB18939 Resolution #2010-23
1. A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF CONTINUING THE MULTI-AGENCY COORDINATION CENTER IN WHATCOM COUNTY

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON IN SUPPORT OF CONTINUING THE MULTI-AGENCY COORDINATION CENTER IN WHATCOM COUNTY.”

AB18940 2. AMENDMENT TO INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN CITY OF BELLINGHAM AND WHATCOM COUNTY TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE

AB18941 3. BID AWARD TO PROVIDE AND INSTALL SERVICE BODY AND CRANE ON EXISTING 2005 FORD F-550XL, 2WD CAB AND CHASSIS TRUCK

AB18942 4. BID AWARD FOR 40TH STREET RESERVOIR SEALING AND LINING OF THE STRUCTURE

AB18943 5. AUTHORIZATION OF CHECK ISSUE FOR ACCOUNTS PAYABLE FROM JULY 16, 2010 TO JULY 23, 2010.

AB18944 6. AUTHORIZATION OF CHECK ISSUE FOR ACCOUNTS PAYABLE FROM JULY 23, 2010 TO JULY 30, 2010.

AB18945 7. AUTHORIZATION OF CHECK ISSUE FOR PAYROLL FROM JULY 1, 2010 TO JULY 15, 2010.

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


FINAL CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES

AB18891 1. CB 13625

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM RELATING TO THE BELLINGHAM MUNICIPAL CODE, TITLE 20, LAND USE AND DEVELOPMENT CODE, ZONING APPENDIX, GUIDE MERIDIAN/CORDATA NEIGHBORHOOD TABLE OF ZONING REGULATIONS FOR AREA 17B TO ALLOW OFFICES AS DEFINED IN BELLINGHAM MUNICIPAL CODE 20.08.020 O. (1).

BORNEMANN / WEISS 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 #2010-08-045


AB18926 2. CB 13632
AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2010 BUDGET REORGANIZING STAFFING IN VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS IN ORDER TO PROVIDE AN OVERALL REDUCTION IN GENERAL FUND EXPENDITURES AND PROVIDING FOR ADDITIONAL STAFF AT THE WHATCOM MUSEUM TO BE PARTIALLY FUNDED BY $25,242.00 IN REVENUE FROM THE MUSEUM FOUNDATION; PLACING THE NET SALARY AND BENEFIT SAVINGS OF $255,278.00 FOR THE GENERAL FUND, $157,427.00 FOR THE STREET FUND, $2,843.00 FOR THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION FUND, AND $11,375.00 FOR THE HEALTH BENEFITS FUND IN ESTIMATED ENDING RESERVES; AND DECREASING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT RESERVES BY $4,300.00.

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 #2010-08-046


AB18608 3. CB 13633
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON, ORDERING THE IMPROVEMENT OF 34TH STREET SEWER BETWEEN TAYLOR STREET AND DONOVAN AVENUE, ALL IN ACCORDANCE WITH RESOLUTION OF INTENTION NO. 2010-16 OF THE CITY COUNCIL; ESTABLISHING THE LOCAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (NUMBER 1109) AND ORDERING THE CARRYING OUT OF THE PROPOSED IMPROVEMENT; DESCRIBING THE METHOD OF ASSESSMENT; PROVIDING THAT PAYMENT FOR THE IMPROVEMENT BE MADE BY SPECIAL ASSESSMENT UPON THE PROPERTY IN THE DISTRICT.

BUCHANAN / 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 #2010-08-047


AB18924 4. CB 13634
AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2010 BUDGET RECOGNIZING RECEIPT OF A $61,994.14 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY GRANT AND APPROPRIATING $61,994.14 OF GRANT EXPENDITURES IN THE GENERAL FUND.

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 #2010-08-048


AB18925 5. CB 13635

AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE 2010 BUDGET APPROPRIATING $14,665.81 FROM ESTIMATED ENDING UNDESIGNATED RESERVES IN THE GOLF COURSE FUND TO REPAIR THE CLUBHOUSE ROOF.

WEISS / 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 #2010-08-049



ADJOURNMENT
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
Gene Knutson, Council President

ATTEST: Linda D. Anderson City Clerk Representative
APPROVED: 08/16/2010



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.

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