Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at December 9, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
208. Spend $115,000 to acquire a 0.44-acre of property located in the Lake Whatcom Watershed? The purchase will be made in connection with the city’s Lake Whatcom Watershed Property Acquisition program. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0

209. Authorize the mayor to sign the Waterfront District facilities agreement (modification #1) with the Port of Bellingham? Modifications made by the city and the port to the Waterfront District sub-area plan and related documents and other changes in the Waterfront District that have occurred since approved at the 12/3/2013 meeting, vote #253, necessitated updating of the agreement. The port and the city have been working cooperatively since the New Whatcom sub-zone redevelopment project was approved at the 12/13/2004 meeting, vote #271. To meet their respective commitments and plan for the redevelopment of the Waterfront District in 2013, the city of the port of Bellingham signed a cooperative agreement for a mixed-use urban waterfront with commercial, industrial, residential, public, and recreational uses within the Waterfront District. The Waterfront District currently includes six Model Toxics Control Act sites, which require remedial action and have been the subject of various environmental actions. The port is the designated lead party for five of these sites: Cornwall Avenue landfill; G-P West; Whatcom Waterway; Central Waterfront and I & J Waterway Site. The city is the designated lead party for the cleanup of the RG Haley site (AB22497) Approved 7-0

210. Direct city staff to provide a comparison between Climate Action Task Force recommendations and the adopted Climate Action Plan? At the 5/7/2018 meeting, vote #65, the City Council passed the 2018 Climate Protection Action Plan. It also created the Climate Action Plan Task Force with a final report to be delivered in the final quarter of 2019. The final report was delivered at this afternoon’s committee meeting. The comparison will be delivered to the standing Climate Action Committee created at the 1/13/2020 meeting. (AB22505) Approved 7-0

211. Replace the forestland response agreement with the state of Washington? In 2017, the city entered into a forestland response agreement with the state Department of Natural Resources. This agreement covered how Bellingham Fire Department and the state fire resources work together in forested areas inside and adjacent to the city. The agreement also served as a fire district assistance agreement (see next vote). To gain consistency with all fire agencies across the state, the DNR is requesting to split these two issues into two separate agreements. This revised agreement separates out the forestland response agreement and replaces the existing agreement. The agreement expires on November 30, 2024. (AB22506) Approved 7-0

212. Replace the fire district assistance agreement with the state of Washington? This is the second of two agreements, which separates out and replaces the fire district assistance agreement that allowed the fire department to take advantage of purchasing opportunities through a state Department of Natural Resources grant program and made the city fire department eligible to acquire surplus equipment from the federal government. Aside from separating the issues into two agreements, the language of what is being agreed upon remains the same. (AB22507) Approved 7-0

213. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Whatcom County not to exceed $59,000 to maintain the Crisis Triage Facility? The city’s share of liquor taxes and profits per state law in the amount of $22,000 is included in the total assistance of $59,000. The council previously approved this agreement at the 11/5/2018 meeting, vote #175. This new agreement between the police department and the Whatcom Department of Health is for crisis intervention services. It sets out the terms for financial assistance provided by the city to the health department for the provision of programs and services that address alcoholism and drug addiction at the Crisis Triage Facility located at 2030 Division Street. Services provided at the Crisis Triage Facility include detox and mental health stabilization facilities, medication-assisted treatment for opiate withdrawal symptoms, and referral services. This agreement shall be in effect from 1/1/202 through 12/31/2020. (AB22508) Approved 7-0

214. Appropriate $4,590,489 for goods and services checks issued from November 9 through November 22, 2019? (AB22510/22511) Approved 7-0

215. Appropriate $3,755,383 for payroll checks issued from October 16 through October 31, 2019? (AB22512) Approved 7-0

216. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Whatcom County and six cities in Whatcom County for the administration of housing funds? The Washington State Legislature passed Substitute House Bill 2060 during the 57th Legislative Session and the governor signed the bill on 4/2/2002, authorizing a surcharge on documents recorded through the county auditor’s office for the purpose of providing funds for housing programs for income eligible persons defined in RCW 36.22.178. The governor signed into law Substitute House Bill 1406 during the 2019 regular session, which authorizes a county to impose a local sales and use tax for affordable and supportive housing to income eligible persons. This agreement amends and supersedes the previous agreement that provided for the administration and expenditure of revenue generated from the recording surcharge authorized under the provisions of state law and the tax credit under the provisions of RCW 82.14.540. Those funds will be held by the Whatcom County treasurer, to be drawn upon as provided in county policy. (AB22513) Approved 7-0

217. Authorize the mayor to sign the Waterfront District development agreement (modification #1) with the Port of Bellingham? (Public hearing held at October 7 meeting.) The council authorized the mayor to sign the Waterfront District subarea plan agreement at the 12/2/2013 meeting, vote #253. Modifications to the Waterfront District subarea plan and related documents and other changes in the Waterfront District that have occurred since 2013 necessitated modifications to the development agreement. Certain of these changes include the port’s sale of properties to Harcourt Granary and to Harcourt residential, and to Pando Innovations. Harcourt Bellingham intends to develop properties that it has acquired since 2015. AB22496 (Resolution 2019-33) Approved 7-0

218. Vacate the entire portion of Dakota Avenue between Ferry and Adams avenues in the Happy Valley neighborhood? Simon Johnson, Pomeroy Court, LLC is requesting vacation of the subject right-of-way, generally located one block west of 32nd Street and between Ferry and Adams avenues, in order to maximize development potential in the future. The additional right-of-way would provide the opportunity for 20 additional units. Approximately 34 units could be developed currently on the petitioner’s properties east of Dakota Avenue. If Dakota Avenue is vacated, the total number of units could be approximately 54 units. The petitioner owns all the abutting property on the west and approximately 60 percent of the property on the east of the subject right-of-way. The other two property owners were not required to sign the petition because the petitioner owns more than two-thirds of the total property abutting Dakota Avenue. The zoning in this location is residential multi-family and the density in this location is 1,000 square feet per unit. AB22318 (Ordinance 2019-02-036) Approved 7-0

219. Adopt mandatory changes to the city’s Business and Occupation Tax? Prior to 2002, B&O tax rules were inconsistent between jurisdictions. To rectify these issues, the Association of Washington Cities launched an effort to streamline B&O taxation by creating a model ordinance for cities to voluntarily adopt. Bellingham was one of the initial cities to voluntarily adopt the model ordinance. The following year, the state Legislature made the model ordinance mandatory. After each change by the state, cities with B&O tax are required to adopt the changes into their own codes. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed House Bill 1403, which adopted a number of changes to the B&O Tax. These changes are mandatory for all municipalities collecting B&O tax. Updates include clarification of how income from services is apportioned between jurisdictions, new alternatives to the standard apportionment of services, and changes the due date for annual filers to coincide with federal taxes. The city is required to adopt these changes before 1/1/2020. AB22491 (Ordinance 2019-12-037) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at December 16, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
220. Ratify the 2020-2022 collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME, Local 114-F? The following general terms apply to the 2020–2022 Bellingham Police Guild agreement: wages will increase by 3.0 percent in base rate of pay effective 1/1/2020, 1/1/2021 and 1/1/2022, and a 6 percent premium for shift leads. There will be an increase in the city’s contribution to medical health care at 5 percent in each of 2020, 2021, and 2020. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0

221. Ratify the 2020-2022 collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME, Local 114-L? The following general terms apply to the 2020–2022 Bellingham Police Guild agreement: wages will increase by 3 percent in base rate of pay effective 1/1/2020, 1/1/2021 and 1/1/2022. There will be an increase in the city’s contribution to medical health care at 5 percent in each of 2020, 2021, and 2020. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0

222. Ratify the 2020-2022 collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters, Local No. 231? The following general terms will apply: wages will increase by 3.25 percent on 1/1/2020, 1/1/2021, and again on 1/1/2022, as well as the implementation of the market study conducted in 2019. There will be an increase in the city’s contribution to medical health care at 5 percent in each of 2020, 2021 and 2022. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0

223. Ratify the 2020-2022 collective bargaining agreement with WhatCOMM Guild? The following general terms will apply to law enforcement dispatching: wages will increase by 3.25 percent on 1/1/2020, 3.0 percent on 1/1/2021 and 1/1/2022, as well as new service quality steps at 10 and 20 years of service at 1 percent each. Additionally, the city’s contributions towards health insurance premiums in 2020-2022 will increase by 5 percent. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0

224. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $352,188 to Electric West of Mount Vernon for an emergency generator at City Hall? The engineer’s estimate was $333,000. It was recently discovered that the loss of power to safety network operations equipment would result in disruption of dispatching to phone and CAD services and emergency phone service to Post Point. It was decided that City Hall needed an emergency generator. The city received seven bids; the high bid was $487,189 (AB22520) Approved 7-0

225. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $744,241 to Granite Construction of Everett for street overlay on Harrison Street and James Street? The engineer’s estimate was $1,307,328. The James Street section runs from Sunset Drive to Woodstock Way. Harrison Street is between Samish Way and Parkhurst Drive. The project involves improvements to approximately 3,120 linear feet of street, including demolition, grading, sawcutting, cold planing, curbs, sidewalks, drainage, street lighting, asphalt paving, pavement markings, traffic control, and other work. The city received five bids; the high bid was $1,044,091. (AB22521) Approved 7-0

226. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $1,125,950 to S&S Concrete Construction of Bellingham for 2020 concrete repairs? The engineer’s estimate was $838,500. This project includes repairs to damaged sidewalks, ADA improvements, and general concrete repair work. The term of the contract shall be for one year. Additionally, there shall be an option to enter into four consecutive one-year contracts at the bid price (adjusted annually based upon the consumer price index), if mutually agreed upon by the city and the contractor. The city received three bids; the high bid was $1,295,350. (AB22522) Approved 7-0

227. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Whatcom County and the cities of Whatcom County to implement a countywide regional wayfinding program? Signage is the most visual part of wayfinding. The four commonly used types of signs are: information, direction, identification and regulatory. In 2017, the city and county provided funding to Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism to develop a countywide wayfinding program, a recommendation from a previous 2015 Roger Brooks report on the tourism-readiness of our county. Tourism solicited participation from each of the cities of Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, and Sumas, and from the county in developing a comprehensive program that includes sign design, locations, and messages for primary and secondary travel routes in the region. This agreement addresses cost sharing and outlines roles and responsibilities for the parties to implement the wayfinding program. The city of Bellingham shall initiate the required Washington State Department of Transportation review and approval for signage on state rights-of-ways. Up to $600,000 has been set aside in the annual budget process as recommended by the lodging tax advisory committee. (AB22523) Approved 7-0

228. Authorize the mayor and police chief to sign an agreement with the Bellingham Housing Authority for police services? A drug and crime prevention program has been in place since 2000; the housing authority will pay the city $118,750 to provide a police officer and will provide office space for the officer to work with staff and residents of housing authority properties and surrounding neighborhoods. The officer will provide both law enforcement and crime prevention services, such as setting up block watch meetings, working to locate drug dealers, and providing counseling to juveniles at risk of drug involvement. The officer will be available to residents and staff Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This agreement runs from 1/14/2020 through 1/13/2021. (AB22526) Approved 7-0

229. Authorize the mayor to sign a $26,477 agreement with Whatcom County for use of the Plantation Rifle Range? The county provides the use of the range at 5102 Samish Highway to the Bellingham Police Department for training purposes on pre-agreed-upon dates. Bellingham police-commissioned personnel must qualify three times per year with assigned weapons per organizational policy and WASPC accreditation. The rifle range is managed by the Whatcom County Parks Department, and has two separate shooting ranges. (AB22527) Approved 7-0

230. Appropriate $3,670,314 for payroll checks issued from November 1 through November 15, 2019? (AB22528) Approved 7-0

231. Appropriate $6,685,815 for goods and services checks issued from November 23, 2019 through December 5, 2019? (AB22529) Approved 7-0

232. Honor Councilmember Terry Bornemann for his service to the citizens of Bellingham? He is recognized for his many accomplishments, and the council sends best wishes to him as he retires. He was initially elected to represent Ward 5 in the 1999 general election and served as council president in 2003 and 2012. He created a group to plan the city’s first-ever Martin Luther King, Jr. event, and continued to plan an annual event for the past 20 years; sponsored the low-income housing levy; worked for the establishment of the Bellingham Depot Market; supported the building of Taylor Dock; sponsored the renaming of Billy Frank Jr. Street; chaired the Waterfront Development Committee and was instrumental in shepherding the Waterfront master plan through the City Council; sponsored the music ordinance to help ensure a vibrant downtown entertainment community; served on the EMS board and helped craft the EMS levy; helped create the living-wage ordinance with the Labor Council; and was a long-time advocate for peace and championed the bring the troops home resolution and the Iraq War resolution. The council is hopeful that Terry will continue to be active in community issues, and are certain that the city of Bellingham will be better for it. AB22514 (Resolution 2019-34) Approved 7-0

233. Honor Councilmember April Barker for her service to the citizens of Bellingham? She is recognized for her many accomplishments and the council sends best wishes to her as she retires. April Barker has served on the Bellingham City Council for four years. She helped champion the creation of a City Council Justice Committee; worked with the council to create guiding principles for justice and justice- related decisions; and helped strengthen the city’s commitment to jail alternatives; helped create a Climate Action Task Force; advocated for the creation of new policies in the city’s comprehensive plan to protect mobile home residents and helped pass an emergency moratorium to prevent conversion of mobile home parks to other uses; and advocated for a neighborhood-equity assessment as co-convener of a continuum of housing workgroup and steered the creation of such an assessment through the Planning and Community Development Committee in 2019. April has a passion for her community, and we wish her the best in her future endeavors. AB22515 (Resolution 2019-35) Approved 7-0

234. Honor Mayor Kelli Linville for her many accomplishments as mayor? Kelli Linville has served two terms as mayor of Bellingham. For 16 years, she was a speech pathologist in the Bellingham Public Schools and was active in the Bellingham Education Association. She was elected in 1992 to represent the 42nd District in Olympia, was defeated in 1994, elected again in 1996 and served until defeated in 2010. Elected mayor in 2011, Linville’s top priorities were protecting Lake Whatcom in partnership with Whatcom County through the aquatic invasive species program and other environmental measures; preserving the public’s recreational use of Galbraith Mountain; supporting downtown revitalization. The city would like to extend a special thanks to Mayor Kelli’s family for supporting her in her many years of service and all of the sacrifices of family time made over the years, and expresses its gratitude for Mayor Kelli Linville, and honors her for her leadership, public service, and dedication to the city of Bellingham and to our wider community. AB22524 (Resolution 2019-36) Approved 7-0

235. Amend the Samish Way Urban Village subarea plan and corresponding development regulations to reflect current changes in city code? (Public hearing held at May 6 meeting.) At the 11/23/2009 meeting, vote #252, the council created the Samish Way Urban Village and adopted the subarea plan. This ordinance includes updates to the 2009 plan and regulations for consistency with the 2016 Comprehensive Plan, 2017 Samish Way corridor study, 2014 bicycle master plan, 2012 pedestrian master plan and recommendations in the 2018 Urban Village status report. Amendments include changes to bike parking standards prioritizing bicycle and pedestrian safety, floor area bonus, street improvements, and the prohibition of single-family, detached housing types in the commercial core. Parking meters will be installed on one side of Samish Way, utilizing revenue to form a Parking Benefit District for maintenance and improvements. AB22293 (Ordinance 2019-12-038) Approved 7-0

236. Renew the Trans Mountain Pipeline franchise? The Trans Mountain Pipeline operates a 20” petroleum transmission pipeline that runs from Canada through Bellingham to Anacortes. The pipeline was constructed in the 1950s. The pipeline travels through various city rights-of-way and public property pursuant to a franchise ordinance, which has been periodically renewed and replaced. Trans Mountain’s existing franchise was last renewed at the 5/24/2010 meeting, vote #114, and expires in June 2020. This ordinance extends the previous franchise agreement, with a few modifications to insurance and an increase in the franchise fee. Resolution 2018-25 passed at the 9/24/2018 meeting, vote #150, set the franchise application fee at $1,500. The annual franchise fee is $20,000, with a 3 percent annual escalator. The ordinance follows the current MRSC model hazardous liquids pipeline ordinance. Safety and emergency response plans can be reviewed by the city with the pipeline operator, but the contents and scope of the plans are largely regulated by the state. AB22376 (Ordinance 2019-12-039) Approved 7-0

237. Amend the Waterfront District sub-area plan and related documents? The Port of Bellingham has submitted a request for approval of a series of amendments to the sub-area plan approved at the 12/2/2013 meeting, vote #253, that guided redevelopment of the Waterfront District. The new amendments include added specificity regarding the facilities developed for the exhibition of Lummi and other native culture and history, insuring that newly-developed public boat launches and visitor moorage should be ADA-compliant, and a failed proposal for increased sustainability standards at the new Waterfront District urban village. AB22434 (Ordinance 2019-12-040) Approved 7-0

238. Prohibit restrictive covenants that limit or prohibit the use of property for grocery stores? (Public hearing held at December 9 meeting.) On 5/7/2016, Albertsons closed its grocery store in Bellingham’s Birchwood neighborhood. The area’s census tract currently meets the United States Department of Agriculture’s technical definition of a “food desert” (see July 2016 issue of Whatcom Watch). This vacancy has been particularly problematic because the former Albertsons site has a restrictive covenant that precludes any other grocery store, pharmacy, or gas station locating in the building so long as Albertsons Companies operates a grocery supermarket within a five-mile radius of the former site. This ordinance makes it unlawful for a property owner to impose a restrictive covenant on real property that restricts the use of said property as a grocery store beyond the time the owner has an ownership interest in the property. There are two exceptions, including when: (1) a store relocates and certain size, distance, duration, and other conditions are met; and (2) a restrictive covenant is used to limit competition within the confines of a retail center. AB22256 (Ordinance 2019-12-041) Approved 7-0

239. Repeal the occupation tax on municipal golf courses? The city currently levies a 4 percent tax on green fees and trail fees at municipal golf courses. The city-owned Lake Padden golf course is the only course subject to this tax. After many years operating the golf course as a concession with a private operator, the city recently transitioned (12/11/2017 meeting, vote #225) to a management model in which all revenues come to the city. Unfortunately, the golf course no longer brings sufficient revenue to pay this tax and maintain sufficient reserves to respond to capital and operational needs. Removing this tax will help maintain a stable golf program. The revenue and expenditures associated with this tax, approximately $30,000 reduction in general fund revenue, were removed as part of the mid-biennium budget adjustment. AB22503 (Ordinance 2019-12-042) Approved 7-0

240. Close the Olympic Whatcom Falls Park Addition Fund? On 6/10/1999, the Olympic pipeline ruptured, saturating Whatcom Creek and nearby tributaries with approximately 237,000 gallons of gasoline. It flowed from the rupture site near a water treatment plant at the southeast end of the park one and a half miles downstream nearly to the Interstate-5 overpass above Iowa Street, clouding the water and air with choking fumes and killing three individuals. The Olympic Whatcom Falls Park addition fund was created to account for funds from the Olympic Pipeline Company settlement to make park improvements at Whatcom Falls Park. As of the end of October, the reserve balance of the fund was zero. With passage of this ordinance, the fund will be closed on 12/31/2019, and any residual cash or expenses remaining after fund closure will be transferred to the Greenway Fund. AB22509 (Ordinance 2019-12-043) Approved 7-0

241. Amend the city code to address the preservation of manufactured home parks? (Public hearing held at May 20 meeting.) There are 10 manufactured home parks in Bellingham in a number of different neighborhoods with a total of about 900 spaces. All have residential comprehensive plan and zoning designations except Samish Court, located in the Samish Way urban village. These parks, and the units they contain, are some of the most affordable housing in the city. Therefore, it is appropriate to try to preserve all of them. Goals and policies identified in the amendment encourage the preservation of existing manufactured home parks to ensure their continued provision of affordable housing. No manufactured home parks are slated to close. Two motions to add language “where appropriate,” indicating a desire to remove and/or limit development of manufactured home park’s failed (2-5, April Barker, Dan Hammill, Michael Lilliquist, Hanna Stone and Pinky Vargas opposed and 3-4, Terry Bornemann, Michael Lilliquist, Hannah Stone and Pinky Vargas opposed.). AB22025 (Ordinance 2019-12-044) Approved 7-0

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