Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale

Action Taken at September 27, 2016 Meeting

Shall the council:
165. Authorize the public works department to spend up to $150,000 to purchase radios and related accessories on an as-needed basis from vendor Motorola Inc. of Redmond? The radio equipment will be used   for public works and sheriff’s department vehicles. The contract expires on 6/30/2018. Communications expenditures for 2013-2015 were $100,564. (AB2016-282) Approved 7-0

166. Authorize the executive to sign a $146,371 contract with the Vera Institute of Justice of New York City? At the 6/9/2015 meeting, vote #108, the council created the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force to make specific recommendations for safely reducing the incarceration of individuals experiencing mental illness and chemical dependency, as well as those pre-trial defendants who can be safely released. The institute will provide technical assistance/support to the task force in developing research- and data-based recommendations. The contract expires on 12/31/2017. (AB2016-283) Approved 7-0

167. Authorize the executive to sign an agreement that dissolves the WRIA 1 joint board and establishes the Natural Resources Executive Board? The agreement is with the city of Bellingham, Lummi Nation, the Nooksack Indian Tribe, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Public Utility District No. 1 of Whatcom County and the cities of Blaine, Everson, Ferndale, Lynden, Nooksack and Sumas. It consolidates the Watershed Management Project Joint Board, the WRIA 1 Salmon Recovery Board and the Whatcom Local Integrating Organization (a component of the Puget Sound Partnership process) into a single board. This agreement retains the collaborative multi-jurisdictional decision making process, including tribal participation, and increases the efficiency of operations and natural resource management. (AB2016-258) Substitute approved 6-1, Barbara Brenner opposed.

168. Authorize the executive to sign an agreement with the state of Washington for the Washington Conservation Corps? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The six-member crew will work from 10/3/2016 through 9/17/2017 on water quality, habitat monitoring and improvement projects, new restoration projects, and maintaining existing projects. The total cost is $195,000, with the county providing $60,000, the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association providing $65,050 under a separate agreement, and the state providing the remaining $69,950. The agreement expires on 9/17/2017. (AB2016-278) Approved 7-0

169. Authorize the executive to sign a joint funding agreement with the federal government for seven stream gages? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) In the past, the WRIA 1 Joint Board has collected the data but can no longer fund the work. The agreement will provide stream gaging, data analysis and publication at seven stations in the Nooksack River basin. The county’s share will be $77,650 and the federal government $49,490, for a total of $127,140. The agreement runs from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017. (AB2016-279) Approved 7-0

170. Authorize the executive to sign a joint funding agreement with the federal government for the annual operation and maintenance of six stream gages on the Nooksack River? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The agreement will continue operation and maintenance of the county’s six stream gages within the Nooksack River early flood warning system, a stream gage at the Nooksack River Everson Overflow, two stream gages on Jones Creek in Acme and Slater Road and Jordan Creek in Ferndale. The county’s share (flood district funds) will be $84,910, the Acme/VanZandt Subzone $4,100, the city of Abbotsford $3,980, and the federal government $16,660.The agreement is in the amount of $127,150 and expires 9/30/2017. (AB2016-280) Approved 7-0

171. Request reimbursement for public safety costs directly associated with the May 7, 2016 visit by Donald J. Trump to Whatcom County? Letters requesting reimbursement will be sent to Donald J. Trump for President Inc.; Trump Make America Great Again Committee; Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee; Trump Team Washington State; Senators Don Burton and Doug Ericksen, Washington state director and deputy director (respectively) for Donald J. Trump for President Inc.; and the Whatcom County Republican Party headquarters. The Whatcom County Council estimated that Whatcom County taxpayers paid at least $53,000 in public safety costs. AB2016-292 (Resolution 2016-033) Substitute approved 7-0

172. Establish regular Whatcom County Council meeting dates for 2017? The Whatcom County Charter requires the council to meet 22 per year. Meetings are scheduled for: January 10 and 24; February 7 and 21; March 7 and 21; April 4 and 18; May 2, 16 and 30; June 13 and 27; July 11 and 25; August 8; September 12 and 26; October 10 and 24; November 8 (Wednesday) and 21; and December 5. AB2016-293 (Resolution 2016-034) Approved 6-1, Barbara Brenner opposed.

173. Impose an interim moratorium on the exportation of unrefined fossil fuels from facilities in the Cherry Point urban growth area? (Public hearing held.) At the 8/9/2016 meeting, vote #147, council imposed an emergency 60-day moratorium related to applications and permits for exporting unrefined fossil fuels from Cherry Point. This ordinance extends the emergency moratorium for six months, with options for renewal upon expiration if the appropriate public hearings are held. The moratorium covers facilities including but not limited to piers, wharfs, buildings, tank farms, pipelines, rail loading and offloading facilities, road spurs, or other infrastructure purposed for exporting unrefined fossil fuels, including stabilized or unstabilized crude oil, diluted or raw bitumen, syncrude, coal, methane, propane, butane,and liquid or gaseous natural gas. AB2016-256A (Ordinance 2016-039) Adopted 6-1, Barbara Brenner3 opposed.

174. Amend the 2016 budget (request #15) in the amount of $307,428? Appropriated: $70,873 to fund 2016 What-Comm dispatch fees; $36,022 to fund a shared-cost portion of the Whatcom Unified Emergency Center; $80,550 to fund the Housing Assistance Rental Program; $35,483 to fund a human papillomavirus immunization project; and $84,500 to fund four new staff offices at the Girard Street Health Department building. AB2016-274 (Ordinance 2016-040) Adopted 7-0

175. Increase the Cedar Hills/Euclid stormwater improvement fund (amendment #2) in the amount of $260,000? At the 11/25/2014 meeting, vote #234, council created the fund and established a $630,000 project-based budget; at the 4/19/2016 meeting, vote #70, the budget was amended to add a $665,586 state grant. The 62 acre sub-basin retrofit may include rain gardens, bioinfiltration swales, infilitration facilities, filter vaults, flow control and erosion stabilization. The primary target is bacteria and phosphorus removal.As a result of unanticipated expenses, it will also include   the installation of bioinfiltration swales, the relocation of two waterlines and safety-related construction expenses. This amendment brings the project-based budget to a total of $1,555,586. AB2016-275 (Ordinance 2016-041) Adopted 7-0

Action Taken at October 11, 2016 Meetings

Shall the council:
176. Authorize the executive to award the low bid of $357,725 to Strider Construction of Bellingham for the Swift Creek sediment removal project? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The county engineer’s estimate was $381,540. Three bids were received; the high bid was $465,851. The project will provide excavation, sediment stockpiling and bank armoring to reduce potential flooding and release of asbestos-containing sediments. At the 12/9/2014 meeting, vote #261, council amended the 2014 budget to fund a cost-share agreement with the Sumas/Nooksack/Everson Subzone for the project. (AB2016-299) Approved 7-0

177. Authorize the executive to award the low bid of $101,420 to Sail Electric of Bellingham to install a radar-activated beacon warning system? The flashing beacon will detect bicycles approaching the Marine Drive bridge over the railroad tracks. The engineer’s estimate was $50,504. Two bids were received; the high bid was $134,530. The total cost of the project is $200,000. (AB2016-300) Approved 7-0

178. Authorize the executive to sign a $30,000 contract (amendment #2) with Edge Analytical Laboratories of Bellingham for water quality analytical testing services? At the 4/29/2015 meeting, vote #74, the council voted to enter into a contract for surface water samples to be analyzed for fecal coliform bacteria and E. coli at coastal drainage sites and the Drayton Harbor area The contract was renewed for one year on 2/3/2016. Under this amendment, approximately 150 samples per month will be delivered to the lab for fecal coliform analysis for the county’s Pollution Identification and Correction Program and the shellfish protection district. The total amended contract amount is $97,500, and expires on 12/31/2016. (AB2016-301) Approved 7-0

179. Approve the 2017 road construction program? (Public hearing held.) The road construction program (also called the annual construction program) is identical to the first year of the six-year transportation improvement plan, which was approved at the at the 9/13/2016 meeting, vote #161. AB2016-284 (Resolution 2016-035) Approved 5-1-1, Barbara Brenner opposed project R4 (new Horton Road roadway) and Rud Browne abstained because of project R4.

180. Approve spending recommendations for the hotel/motel tax? At the 6/28/2016 meeting, vote #109, council agreed to amend the 2016 budget to fund increased lodging tax contracts. Twenty applications5 were received; the Lodging Tax Advisory Board has recommended that the county allocate $659,400 to fund 16 tourism-related activities in 2017. AB2016-297 (Resolution 2016-036) Approved 7-0

181. Order the cancellation of uncashed checks issued between 7/1/2013 and 6/30/2014? There are 488 unclaimed jail inmate trust fund checks totaling $2,037. Eight checks are for amounts from $228.50 to $50.06. Most of the remaining checks are for amounts below $5.00. The money will be transferred to the state of Washington as abandoned property where it will be available to the payee indefinitely. AB2016-296 (Resolution 2016-037) Approved 7-0

182. Repeal the Whatcom County Code on smoking in the workplace and replace it with smoking and vaping in public places? (Public hearing held — council acting as the Whatcom County Health Board.) This ordinance prohibits the smoking of traditional tobacco and vapor products in public places and places of employment. The chapter repealed did not include the use of vapor products and contained a less comprehensive prohibition on smoking in public places. AB2016-253 (Ordinance 2016-042) Adopted 7-0

183. Amend the zoning section of the Whatcom County Code? (Public hearing held.) The Planning Commission has recommended amendments to commercial and industrial land use in “limited areas of more intensive rural development” called LAMIRDs. The amendments include adding or amending types of commercial businesses permitted, removing distinctions between materials involved in assembling and manufacturing operations, and authorizing the zoning administrator to consider similar use as a condition for approving permits. AB2016-272 (Ordinance 2016-043) Adopted 7-0

184. Amend certain election precinct boundaries and approve new precinct boundaries? (Public hearing held.) At the Nov. 3, 2015 general election, voters approved an increase in the number of County Council districts from three to five. Each district has one council member. Additionally there are two at-large districts. At the 7/12/2016 meeting, vote #120, the council repealed the existing council district boundaries and replaced them with five. The county auditor recommended these additional changes. AB2016-291 (Ordinance 2016-044) Adopted 7-0

185. Amend the Whatcom County Code making low-impact development the preferred approach for site development within the county? (Public hearing held) The proposed amendments make low impact development, a stormwater and land use strategy that attempts to mimic natural hydrologic processes, minimize native vegetation loss and simply in stormwater regulations. AB2016-257 (Ordinance 2016-045) Adopted 6-1, Barbara Brenner opposed.

186. Close the Superior Court fourth judge courtroom renovation project? The state Legislature approved a fourth Superior Court judge for Whatcom County. The Commissioners Chambers on the second floor of the courthouse were converted into a courtroom for the fourth judge. At the 6/18/2013 meeting, vote #103, the council approved $200,000 for the renovation. At the 6/3/2014 meeting, vote #114, council voted to establish a project-based budget of $1,422,464, bringing the total amended budget to $1,622,464. Approximately $145,016 was not spent; $105,016 shall be returned to the general fund and $40,000 to the trial court improvement fund. AB2016-288 (Ordinance 2016-046) Adopted 7-0

Action Taken at October 25, 2016 Meeting

Shall the council:
187. Modify and extend for one-year a Lincoln Road long subdivision and planned unit development? (Public hearing held.) At the 5/12/2009 meeting, vote #109, the council approved the original plat, which consists of 22 single-family homes on 19.73 acres and a reserve tract in the Birch Bay Urban Growth Area. At the 6/9/2015 meeting, vote #96, the council voted to grant a one-year extension for completion of the project. The applicant, Mike Owens, is requesting a second one-year extension to complete the project. The Technical Review Committee recommends approval of the extension under the condition that the project meets Critical Area Ordinance and stormwater regulations in effect when construction drawings were submitted by the applicant. The second extension will expire 5/19/2018. (AB2015-172A) Approved 7-0

188. Authorize the executive to accept a $73,000 state grant to support the Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee? The agreement would fund a 0.7 FTE administrative position to support and fund the committee’s projects. The County Council established the Marine Resources Committee in 1999 for the purposes of marine resource conservation and habitat protection in Whatcom County. Projects to be funded include community education and outreach, citizen science, water quality, bull kelp monitoring, forage fish spawning surveys, site evaluations and obtaining permits for Olympia oyster restoration, and pre-restoration activities at Aiston Preserve, the former mining quarry on Lummi Island. The agreement expires on 9/30/2017. (AB2016-311) Approved 7-0

189. Authorize the executive to sign a contract not to exceed $100,000 with Pacific Surveying & Engineering Services of Bellingham? The Public Works Department at times requires contractor services to assist with workload capacity or projects outside the department’s area of expertise. Six firms responded to a request for qualifications and Pacific Surveying & Engineering Services was selected as the most qualified. The contract expires on 12/31/2017. (AB2016-312) Approved 6-0, Ken Mann abstained.

190. Approve the recommendation of the Economic Development Investment Board for a $500,000 grant to help fund the Birch Bay Drive and pedestrian facility project? The project will include the development of a berm/trail to minimize beach erosion and storm damage, and to promote bicycling and walking. The project fund was established at the 11/20/2012 meeting, vote #199, amended and a project-based budget established at the 6/17/2014 meeting, vote #127. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $11,450,000, with the county amount at $7,777,871. (AB2016-313) Approved 7-0

191. Authorize the executive to accept a $175,881 Thrive Washington grant for the Nurse-Family Partnership program? In previous votes, Thrive Washington was known as Thrive by Five Washington. The organization is funded by the state of Washington (Early Learning Fund) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This is the fifth year the country has received the grant to fund the nurse-family program, which provides home visits to support healthy pregnancies and child development for low-income, first-time mothers. The grant requires a county match of $100,000. It expires on 6/30/2017. (AB2016-315) Approved 7-0

192. Extend the current Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District funding mechanism and level for the Samish Watershed Subzone? (Public hearing held -council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) At the 12/4/2007 meeting, vote #281, council voted to establish annual assessments at $0.23 per lake frontage foot, with open space parcels subject to a fee reduction of 40 percent. Parcels owned by the federal or state government, classified as Indian lands held in trust, classified as mineral rights, or those with a total fair market value less than or equal to $2,500 are exempted from the assessment, effective in 2017. AB2016-304 (Resolution 2016-038) Approved 7-0

193. Submit Shoreline Master Program amendments to the state of Washington for review? (Public hearing held.) The shoreline amendments change the zoning designation for vacation rental units and bed and breakfast establishments from commercial use to single-family residential use, aligning shoreline code with zoning code amendments. With the exception of properties located within the Lake Whatcom watershed, the change in the zoning designation would eliminate the requirement for a conditional use permit for waterfront vacation rental units and bed and breakfast establishments. Properties in the Lake Whatcom Watershed would still require conditional use permits AB2016- 270A (Resolution 2016-039) Approved 7-0

194. Approve the Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve and Lake Whatcom Park recreational trail plan? At the 7/23/2013 meeting, vote #128, the council approved the closing costs to transfer approximately 8,800 acres of state forest trust lands to Whatcom County as part of the reconveyance process, which requires the transferred lands be used for recreation and watershed protection purposes. In January 2014, the state of Washington transferred the land in two parcels the proposed Lookout Mountain Park to the west of Lake Whatcom and the proposed Lake Whatcom Park to the east. The trail plan seeks to protect forest and water resources in the Lake Whatcom watershed, develop year-round, trail-based recreation activities, and provide connectivity between communities, parks, and existing and proposed trail systems. AB2016-091B (Resolution 2016-040) Approved 7-0

195. Amend the 2016 budget (request #16) in the amount of $14,370? Appropriate: $4,370 to fund staff training for the Strengthening Families Program at Washington State University Extension and $10,000 to fund the Washington State University community horticulture program for a countywide outreach effort to educate residents on composting and recycling to reduce solid waste production. AB2016-305 (Ordinance 2016-047) Adopted 7-0

196. Imposing an emergency moratorium on development activity relying upon permit-exempt wells in closed basins? On 10/6/2016, the Washington State Supreme Court found Whatcom County’s Comprehensive Plan to be out of compliance with Growth Management Act requirements for the protection of surface and groundwater resources. While the County Council and the Department of Planning and Development Services work on a draft and enact amendments to bring the Comprehensive Plan into compliance with the Growth Management Act, they will use the emergency moratorium to prevent the vesting of permits potentially in violation of the act by temporarily halting the acceptance and processing of applications and permits for subdivisions, building permits, and discretionary permits. Exemptions will be made for applicants documenting that they have an adequate and legal water supply from sources other than non-exempt wells. A public hearing is required to be held within 60 days. The moratorium expires 12/24/2016. AB2016-309 (Ordinance 2016-048) Adopted 6-1, Barbara Brenner opposed.