Bellingham City Council

Compiled by Boris Schleinkofer

Action Taken at February 8, 2016 Meeting

Shall the council:
19. Authorize a redevelopment proposal for property located at 301 and 315 N. Samish Way? (Public hearing held) One complete proposal was submitted by the Bellingham Housing Authority for a mixed-use, mixed-income, multi-story project on the site. The Aloha Motel property was declared a neighborhood bright at the 10/27/2014 council meeting, vote #220. At the 7/27/2015 council meeting, vote #141, the council authorized the mayor to purchase the property. A Request for Proposals was issued in November 2015; it solicited offers to redevelop the property in a manner that implements the goals and policies of the Samish Way Urban Village Plan. Because the proposal meets the Housing Levy requirements, the developer is proposing those funds remain tied to the site via a loan agreement. This will be negotiated within the period allotted for the Exclusive Negotiation Agreement with the developer. (AB21134) Approved 7-0

20. Authorize the mayor to sign a modified agreement with the Port of Bellingham for facilities within the Waterfront District? City staff has been working with the port and Harcourt Development of Dublin, Ireland, the developer selected for the downtown waterfront area, and all have agreed on a refined alignment of Granary Avenue and Laurel Street, which better supports the redevelopment of both the Granary Building and the Boardmill Building, two priority redevelopment projects of Harcourt’s. Staff supports the alignment, and is recommending a reduction in the city’s future obligation to build a portion of Commercial Street to cover the increase in costs. The council previously authorized the agreement for facilities within the Waterfront District at the 12/2/2013 meeting, vote #253. (AB21139) Approved 7-0

21. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Lisa Anderson to the Planning and Development Commission? She has a M.Ed. in educational administration and serves as program specialist II – testing center (administrator) for Whatcom Community College. She has lived in Bellingham for 23 years and currently resides in the York neighborhood. This is a partial term, which will expire on 3/24/2018, at which time she may be reappointed. (AB21144) Approved 7-0

22. Appropriate $2,820,786 for payroll checks issued from January 9 through January 25, 2016? (AB21145) Approved 7-0

23. Appropriate $5,732,642 for goods and services checks issued from January 16 through January 29, 2016? (AB21146/21147) Approved 7-0

24. Support the mission of Planned Parenthood and stand up for the safety of the patients and staff? The council is concerned about the recent violence against Planned Parenthood offices and clinics around the country. Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood provides health services to over 5,000 women, men, and teens in Whatcom County each year, 60 percent of whom are at or below the federal poverty level. It is a community resource of inestimable value. AB21135 (Resolution #2016-04) Approved 7-0

25. Authorize the mayor to submit a $1.1 million grant application with Whatcom County’s Economic Development Investment Program for funding to construct arterial streets in the Waterfront District? The Waterfront project is projected to cost $10.4 million, requiring a phased implementation and partnerships with other agencies, including Whatcom County. In 2007, Whatcom County Council set aside funds for the development of an eligible Waterfront capital project in lieu of participating in the Local Infrastructure Financing Tool. This project will fund the construction of Granary Avenue and Laurel Street, and will make the area attractive to private investors and developers and further the objectives of the EDI program. AB21140 (Resolution 2016-05) Approved 7-0

26. Extend an emergency ordinance establishing interim zoning rules for facilities producing, processing or retailing recreational marijuana? The City Council has determined it needs additional time to conduct appropriate research to analyze the effects of the rules and regulations to be established by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board pursuant to I-502. The emergency ordinance was first passed at the 7/1/2013 meeting, vote #142, extended at the 8/12/2013 meeting, vote #176, 8/4/2014 meeting, vote #161, 2/9/2015 meeting, vote #34, 8/10/2015 meeting, vote #161, and 9/28/2015 meeting, vote #190. This proposed renewal makes no changes to the previously adopted interim rules and will continue to allow individuals to apply for licenses as authorized by I-502. Emergency ordinances must be renewed every six months. It is reported that the city should receive approximately $102,000 from the sales of liquor and marijuana sales as well as B & O taxes and sales tax revenue in the coming year. AB21138 (Emergency Ordinance 2016-02-004) Approved 7-0

27. Amend sections of the city’s Critical Area Ordinance? This batch of amendments are intended to incorporate state required updates and guidelines, clarify language and requirements, and streamline project review; the amendments address improved protection of certain wetlands, extend the timelines of certain critical area permits and include minor permits and directorial decisions as “Type 1” land use decisions. AB21114 (Ordinance 2016-02-005) Approved 7-0

28. Revise water service installation fees? Currently, an applicant pays a deposit at time of permit request, and is then either refunded or billed for further expenses at the time of completion. An average flat fee rate has been established by Public Works and practices revised. City crews will no longer be responsible for excavation or restoration of sites. Due to the change in the scope of work being performed by the city, the flat fee rate paid to the city by the applicant will be less than what is currently paid as a deposit.The sewer utility policy and water utility rates were last amended at the 12/10/2012 meeting, vote #260. AB21117 (Ordinance 2016-02-006) Approved 7-0

29. Appropriate $1,322,507 for phase 3 of the Squalicum Creek reroute and biotic integrity improvements project? A new stream channel will bypass Bug Lake to decrease stream temperatures and improve dissolved oxygen levels and the culverts that are presently a barrier to fish passage. Five to seven acres of native plantings will provide a 35-50 foot buffer on both sides of the new creek channel. In addition to improving water temperature/quality and restoring natural habitats, the project is expected to reduce flooding of adjacent properties. AB21120 (Ordinance 2016-02-007) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at February 22, 2016 Meeting

Shall the council:
30. Authorize the mayor to sign a $28,680 settlement agreement for water related damages? A city employee failed to close a valve on a fire hydrant. Water flooded the basement of a house at 530 Briar Road destroying flooring, lower walls and cabinets. Water from the hydrant caused flow channels that required the installation of a basement curtain drain and ground water diversion system. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0

31. Approve the higher population growth forecast recommended by the Whatcom County Council? At the 8/31/2015 meeting, vote #168, the council approved population recommendations to Whatcom County. At the 2/9/2016 meeting, the Whatcom County Council provided 20-year population and employment growth forecasts which were slightly higher than the forecast recommended by the City Council (the difference was 2,650 people over 20 years). (AB21148) Approved 6-1, Michael Lilliquist opposed.

32. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Andrew Davis and the reappointment of Alfred Arkley to the Lake Whatcom Watershed Advisory Board? The board advises the city on the purchase, management, maintenance and use of properties within the Lake Whatcom watershed. Andrew Davis has lived in Bellingham for the past 21 years, and is an artist in retirement who has been a construction worker, security officer, and served on the Bellingham Housing Authority. His first term will expire on 2/22/2019, at which times they may be reappointed. This will be Alfred Arkley’s third term; he was initially appointed at the 3/15/2010 meeting, vote #54, and reappointed at the 2/11/2013 meeting , vote #19. His third term will expire on 2/24/2019. This board does not have term limits. (AB21155) Approved 7-0

33. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Roger Collier to the Greenway Advisory Committee? The committee provides recommendations to the City Council and the Parks and Recreation Department about Greenway levy expenditures, parkland acquisitions and parks/trails/open space development projects. Roger Collier has lived in Bellingham for the past four and a half years, has a BS from University of London and an MBA from Pacific Lutheran University, and has formerly been a CEO of a national governmental consulting firm. This partial term will expire on 5/4/2018, at which time he may be reappointed. (AB21156) Approved 7-0

34. Authorize the mayor to sign $25,000 agreement with Whatcom Council of Governments to help fund the Whatcom Smart Trips Program? Smart Trips is an ongoing program between local government, public agencies, employers, and schools to promote transportation and reduce automobile trips by walking, bicycling, sharing rides and riding the bus; the program also collates statistics regarding transportation alternatives, provides emergency rides home, provides assistance to employers who participate in the program, and conducts  community outreach, and educational programs for middle school students. The city first entered in an agreement for the Smart Trips Program at the 2/27/2006 meeting, vote #42, the contribution was $100,000. A motion to fund the program on the condition it not be renewed failed 4-3, April Barker, Gene Knutson and Pinky Vargas in favor. The contract ends 12/31/2016. (AB21159) Approved 5-2; April Barker and Gene Knutson opposed.

35. Appropriate $2,891,336 for payroll checks issued from January 26 through February 10, 2016? (AB21160) Approved 7-0

36. Appropriate $3,880,458 for goods and services checks issued from January 30 through February 12, 2016? (AB21161/21162) Approved 7-0

37. Create an electronic home detention program? The electronic home monitoring program is an alternative to jail for certain misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor violations, establishes eligibility standards, and subsidizes costs to participants. An emergency exists due to the Whatcom County sheriff’s request to remove the maximum number of Bellingham inmates from the jail, including those in pretrial status, as well as the sheriff’s indication that he may impose booking restrictions. The cost to a defendant will be no more than $14.50 per day plus a $50 hook-up fee for basic GPS (plus sales tax). The city will subsidize the cost to ensure that no defendant is precluded from the program based on cost. Council met on 12/7/2015 for an update on jail-related concerns; heard a presentation from attorney Breean Beggs on 1/11/2016; and discussed contracting for electronic home monitoring with Friendship Diversion Services on 1/25/2016. AB21153 (Emergency Ordinance 2016-02-008) Approved 7-0