Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at November 6, 2023 Meeting

Shall the council:
220. Appropriate $4,681,203 for payroll checks issued from October 1 through October 15, 2023? (AB23918) Approved 7-0

221. Appropriate $3,980,214 for goods and services checks issued from October 20, 2023 through October 26, 2023? (AB23919) Approved 7-0

222. Extend the terms of the jail facility use agreement (amendment #4) with Whatcom County? The previous agreeent was extended at the 9/26/2022 meeting, vote #178, and terminates on 12/31/2023. All terms and conditions in the original contract and any previous amendments remain in full effect. This contract terminates on 12/31/2024. (AB23920) Approved 7-0 

223. Increase fees for the rental registration and safety inspection program? At the 3/9/2015 meeting, vote #51, the City Council adopted the inspection program and at the 4/13/2015 meeting, vote #66, established rental registration fees. The express purpose of the program is protecting the public health, safety, and welfare of tenants by requiring the proper maintenance of residential rental housing. After completing the first cycle of inspections, the city has identified the need for a program administration specialist position and a second inspector position. Registration fees are being increased from $10 to $20 per unit for properties up to 20 units and increased from $8 to $16 per unit for properties with 21 or more units. The late fee schedule will be modified from a per-unit-fee escalation to an escalation rate based on the time it takes for payment. AB23909 (Ordinance 2023-11-031) Amended and approved 7-0

Action Taken at November 20, 2023 Meeting

Shall the council:
224. Authorize the mayor to sign a contract with Rajeev Majumdar and Whatcom Law Group to provide legal advice and representation in code enforcement matters? (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

225. Spend $350,000 to purchase 5.7 acres of property located south of E. Bakerview Rd. in the King Mountain neighborhood from property owners Gary and Stacey Hodge? (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused. 

226. Spend $132,000 to purchase 2.2 acres of Lake Whatcom Watershed property with one potential development unit from property owner AJ Sand Homes LLC? (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

227. Authorize the mayor to award a $500,000 three-year contract to Blythe Mechanical of Bellingham for HVAC services? Three companies submitted bids for an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for heating, ventilation and air conditioning services.  It will consolidate the work into a single, comprehensive agreement serving to provide centralized on-call maintenance and repairs at competitive prices. The agreement has the option for a one-year extension. The bid amount is based on a sample work order for comparison purposes only; the actual contract amount is a not-to-exceed amount of $500,000. (AB23927) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused. 

228. Adopt the canopy cover target recommendation for the Urban Forestry Management Plan — phase 3? The City of Bellingham is creating a forestry plan (UFMP) to help maintain a healthy and desirable urban forest through a well-coordinated, consistent, efficient, and sustainable for the longterm. In August 2021, staff presented the results of phase 1, assessment, and in November 2022 staff presented phase 2, community values. Diamond Head Consulting of Vancouver, B.C., presented three possible canopy cover target scenarios: status quo (35 percent), no net loss (40 percent), and growth (45 percent). The council has chosen to pursue a 45 percent canopy cover. (AB23928) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused. 

229. Approve the 2024 Lodging Tax Fund budget? Council takes action on Lodging Tax Advisory Committee’s (LTAC) recommendations annually. Expenditures for 2024 include administration ($85,000), Bellingham Whatcom County tourism ($500,000), Mount Baker Theater ($506,885), Whatcom Museum ($183,101), Tourism promotional grants (397,205) and signature events (120,000), and Countywide Wayfinding planning and implementation ($265,000) and special projects ($200,000). Pursuant to state law, the revenues are expected to be over $2.5 million in 2024, with $2.157,191 in expenditures and $400,000 held in reserves. (AB23929) Approved 5-0-1; Dan Hammill excused, Hollie Huthman abstained. 

230. Approve the 2024 Bellingham-Whatcom County Tourism Promotion Area budget? The boundaries of our local tourism promotion areas (TPA) are Bellingham and unincorporated Whatcom County. A guest staying at a qualifying property (a lodging business 40 rooms or greater) will pay an additional $3 per room night. The total estimated budget for 2024 is $1.4 million. At the 5/10/2021 meeting, vote #88, the council created the Bellingham/Whatcom County Tourism Promotion Area. (AB23930) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused. 

231 Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $650,401 to Pullman SST of Benicia, California, for Civic Stadium repairs? The engineer’s estimate was $661,786. The project consists of water intrusion repairs and waterproofing at the south grandstand.Also metal roofing, flashing and sheet metal installation, rough carpentry, ceiling repairs, interior and exterior painting, surface preparation for concrete repair and patching in multiple areas, concrete patch work at hand railings, site cleanup, demobilization, and all other work necessary to complete the project. The city received five bids — the high bid was $1,106,061. (AB23931) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

232. Adopt the 2024 legislative agenda for the City of Bellingham, Whatcom County and Port of Bellingham? The city, county and port have partnered for the past 11 years to advocate items of common interest to the Washington State Legislature. Issues of import to our three participating entities include: opioid response and behavioral health, broadband and digital equity, housing affordability and eviction prevention, climate action, childcare stabilization, and fiscal sustainability. (AB23932) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused. 

233. Appropriate $6,587,623 for goods and services checks issued from October 27, 2023 through November 9, 2023? (AB23935/23936) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

234. Appropriate $5,417,150 for payroll checks issued from October 16 through October 31, 2023? (AB23937) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

235. Rezone area 1 of the Samish neighborhood and area 21 of the Puget neighborhood from commercial auto to commercial plannned? (Public hearing held at August 14 meeting.) At the 6/6/2022 meeting, vote #101, the council placed the rezone on the 2022-2023 docket. The total combined acreage included in the rezone proposal is approximately 19.1 acres, including adjacent rights-of-way. David Ebenal (Dominion Sustainable Development) submitted a request on behalf of the property owners to rezone two properties located at 755 Lincoln St. and 3816 Consolidation Ave. AB23817 (Ordinance 2023-11-032) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

236. Rezone property located at 2825 Lindshier Avenue in the Irongate neighborhood from Industrial, Planned to Residential, Single, and add it to a new subarea in the Barkley neighborhood? (Public hearing held at September 11 meeting.) At the 12/12/2022 meeting, vote #256, the council added this rezone to the 2022-2023 docket of Comprehensive Plan amendments. Under this zoning designation, the property owner would have the option to pursue a cluster subdivision and develop infill housing. AB23826 (Ordinance 2023-11-033) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

237. Rezone two properties located at 4160 Cougar Road in the King Mountain neighborhood from Residential, Single to Public, School? (Public hearing held at September 25 meeting.) The Bellingham School District submitted a request to rezone two properties from a residential designation to a public zoning designation. The subject parcels are intended to be utilized as the site for the district’s 15th elementary school. This vote also includes the Planning Commission’s recommendation to change the zoning table prerequisite consideration to “Improvement of E. Bakerview Rd. to 3/4 arterial street standard.” AB23857 (Ordinance 2023-11-034) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

238. Amend the 2020 Parks, Recreation, & Open Space Plan? (Public hearing held at October 16 meeting.) The 2020 plan was adopted at the 2/24/2020 meeting, vote #33. These minor amendments address trails and the six-year capital facilities plan. They amend the trail map to accurately reflect development since 2020, improve trail alignments to better reflect development patterns and geographic constraints, and align with proposed updates to the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. AB23876 (Ordinance 2023-11-035) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

239. Increase the city’s property tax levy by 1 percent for 2024? (Public hearings held at October 30 and November 6 meetings.) State law requires this ordinance to be passed and transmitted to the Whatcom County Council by November 30. Because we do not yet know the outcome of the Greenways levy on the November 7 general election ballot, the ordinance includes two versions of the tax affidavit, one with the Greenways levy and one without. Both versions include refunded (and therefore uncollected) amounts from 2023. The Whatcom County assessor submitted a preliminary assessed valuation for the City of Bellingham of $22,556,882,461 — property taxes will increase by $155,810 or 0.517 percent from the previous year. AB23921 (Ordinance 2023-11-036) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.  



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