Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at January 10, 2022 Meeting

Shall the council:
1. Approve a pilot program for single-stream recycling? Over the past year, the City Council has had several discussions related to the collection and hauling of residential solid waste and recyclables by Sanitary Service Company. On 6/21/2021, the discussion focused on residential recycling options. Since that discussion, Sanitary Service has been working on the development of a pilot program for single-stream recycling in lieu of the current three-bin system. A single-stream recycling pilot requires planning between Sanitary Service and its material handling partners, acquisition of equipment, public outreach, and coordination with government agencies and local nonprofit organizations. (AB23220) Approved 7-0

2. Amend city parking rates? (Public hearing held at 10/25/21 meeting.) At the 6/15/2015 meeting, vote #120, the council implemented the Fairhaven Parking Task Force Report. The report established time limited parking in the Fairhaven area and a trigger point for paid parking; that trigger point has been reached so paid parking will be implemented. Key elements of this proposal include: increasing street parking rates from 75 cents per hour to $1.50 per hour, increasing fines for meter violations to $41, consistency in parking management between Fairhaven and downtown, enforcement of paid on-street parking from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and reduced permit rates for some residents of low-income housing. (AB23221) Approved 7-0

3. Approve a park-impact-fee credit for the Barkley neighborhood? The Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan identifies a need for a neighborhood park in Barkley neighborhood, as well as additional connector trails to improve pedestrian connections. Talbot Real Estate has proposed to fulfill this need in exchange for park-impact-fee credit on their new residential buildings by constructing and dedicating easements to a nature playground park and trails, while continuing to maintain the new park. The capital improvements include a nature playground adjacent to the cineplex, an easement to the trail around the large pond located next to the playground, and the construction of a connector trail from Barkley Boulevard to the Railroad Trail. The Parks Department has granted Talbot Real Estate a park-impact-fee credit of $1,225,000, which is the appraised value of all these improvements. Any future allocation of the banked impact-fee credit to other Barkley Village residential projects will require City Council review and approval. (AB23222) Approved 7-0

4. Authorize the mayor to sign agreements with the Bellingham School District, Port of Bellingham and Whatcom County sheriff’s office to share radio services? The city of Bellingham owns and operates a digital 800MHz trunked radio system with excess capacity available to provide services to other agencies. The city will charge for use of the system on a per radio, per month basis. Authorized equipment is limited to Kenwood subscriber units capable of operation on a Nexedge Gen2 trunked platform. The approximate revenue collected in 2022 will be $10,800 from Bellingham School District, $30,000 from Port of Bellingham and $5,000 from Whatcom County sheriff’s office. The revenue will be utilized for staffing, ongoing maintenance and operation to the system. No additional staff or physical improvements are needed for the services; the city radio shop is solely responsible for the operation and maintenance of the network and has staff on call 24/7/365 days a year. (AB23224/23225/23226) Approved 7-0

5. Appropriate $13,482,129 for goods and services checks issued from December 3 through December 30, 2021? (AB23227/23228/23229/23230) Approved 7-0

6. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Alfredo Juarez Zeferino to a partial term on the Immigration Advisory Board? The board reviews and evaluates policies regarding compliance with state law and makes specific recommendations regarding policies related to immigration matters; provides for data collection regarding contact between the city of Bellingham, Immigration and Customs Enforcement or Customs and Border Protection. Mr. Zeferino has direct experience with detention by Customs and Border Patrol, having been racially profiled and detained at the age of 15. He is a founder of the first indigenous-led independent farmworker union in the state of Washington. His appointment as an alternate representative will expire on 4/12/2023. (AB23232) Approved 6-0-1, Daniel Hammill abstained.

7. Support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act? At the present time, two vital federal voting rights bills are stalled in the senate by a filibuster, and, as a result of the last election, legislation is being enacted in several states to restrict voting rights. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, named in honor of the civil rights icon and late Georgia congressman, has been proposed in Congress to fight voter suppression and restore enforcement provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Freedom to Vote Act would establish provisions promoting voter participation, such as abolishing restrictions on voter registration, establishing Election Day as a public holiday, ensuring all states have established early voting provisions for federal elections, and allowing all voters to request mail-in ballots, among other important provisions. A mayoral proclamation and this vote call on Congress to act on voting rights legislation and encourage our community to join in our call to action by contacting their Congressional representatives. AB23231 (Resolution 2022-01) Approved 7-0

8. Accept the donation of a stormwater facility? A stormwater detention pond serving Glengary Estates subdivision is located at the northwest corner of James Street and Telegraph Road. The stormwater tract was never transferred from the developer to the homeowners of Glengary Estates. As a result, the pond has not been maintained. The developer is deceased and Ken Tiderington Jr. is the sole beneficiary under the decedent’s will. Mr. Tiderington has offered to quitclaim his interest in the stormwater parcel to the city at no cost. Acceptance of this stormwater facility is consistent with the city’s practice of assuming ownership and maintenance of stormwater facilities serving single-family residential development in Bellingham. It could cost $50,000 to upgrade the facility. Annual costs associated with maintenance and upkeep will be between $3,000 and $4,000. The city performed an environmental assessment and found no contaminants on site. AB23202 (Ordinance 2022-01-001) Approved 7-0

9. Amend the infill housing toolkit provisions of the Bellingham Municipal Code? (Public hearing held at December 6 meeting.) The infill housing toolkit/green landscaping standards was created at the 8/10/2009 meeting, vote #178. It encouraged the development of affordable housing, the protection of environmentally sensitive areas, alternative housing forms and ownership opportunities in addition to the city’s familiar and typical single- and multifamily development. Staff have proposed a number of targeted amendments to implement minor amendments to address identified site planning and bulk and mass limitations to further the city’s goals and policies of establishing development with pedestrian oriented design, encourage reliance on alternative modes of transportation, utilize the remaining developable land more efficiently, and create opportunities for more housing choices, home ownership, and affordable housing. The City Council assigned the matter to committee for further review. AB23180 (Ordinance 2022-01-002) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at January 24, 2022 Meeting

Shall the council:
10. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $1,173,446 to Tiger Construction of Bellingham for the Mill Avenue project? The engineer’s estimate was $1,380,720. The project includes the construction of curbs, gutters, sidewalks and ADA ramps on both sides of Mill Avenue between Samish Way and 40th Street, together with stormwater improvements and asphalt paving. The finished roadway will be channelized through the curves and marked as a bike boulevard. The city received 10 bids, the high bid was $1,457,239. Area residents are opposed to sidewalks on both sides of Mill Avenue; they are aware that it may be four years before the project can be rescheduled. Residents’ opposition to the project convinced council members to oppose it. (AB23238) Failed 7-0

11. Authorize the City Council president to send a letter to members of the Public Lands Commission, including director Hilary Franz? The letter is asking the commission to reconsider, or possibly postpone, the sale by the state of over 100 acres of timberland located in the Lake Whatcom Watershed. The state is considering holding off allowing logging of trees older than 100 years due to a case currently before the Supreme Court (Conservation Northwest et al vs. Commissioner of Public Lands et al), which may set an important legal precedent determining the definition of “the public good” as regards foresting practices. Failed 3-4, Hollie Huthman, Daniel Hammill, Edwin H. “Skip” Williams and Hannah Stone opposed.

12. Appropriate $3,833,832 for goods and services checks issued from December 31, 2021 to January 13, 2022? (AB23245/23246) Approved 7-0

13. Appropriate $12,099,231 for payroll checks issued from November 16, 2021 through December 31, 2021? (AB23247/23248/23249) Approved 7-0

14. Amend city parking rates? (Public hearing held at 10/25/2021 meeting.) This vote is in tandem with vote #2, passed at the 1/10/2022 meeting. That vote increased the parking meter rates from 75 cents per hour to $1.50 per hour. This vote amends vote #2, reducing the hourly parking meter rate from $1.50 to $1.00; reducing parking meter enforcement hours from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. and payment hours for the Commercial Street Garage. The amendment passed by a vote of 4-2-1, Hannah Stone and Edwin H. “Skip” Williams opposed, Daniel Hammill abstained. AB23221 (Resolution 2022-02) The entire resolution was approved 6-0-1, Daniel Hammill abstained.  

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