Tacoma City Council Meeting - August 13, 2013



Jameson Babbitt Stites & Lombard, P.L.L.C., representing appellant H&P Tacoma Acquisition, LLC, appealing the recommendation of the Hearing Examiner regarding the request to reclassify approximately 1.78 acres/75,000 square feet of the southeast corner of a larger property at 4601 South Orchard Street from a “R-2” Single-Family Dwelling District to a “M-1” Light Industrial District, to be developed with a stormwater detention facility requiring approximately 15,000 cubic yards of grading, landscaping, and up to 100 passenger car parking spaces; and to develop a driveway across the parcel for commercial and passenger vehicle access to South 48th Street. (Paul McCormick, Innova Architects on behalf of H&P Tacoma Acquisition, LLC; File No. REZ2013-40000199731)

Setting Tuesday, August 20, 2013, at approximately 5:30 p.m., as the date for the appeal before the City Council



Resolution No. 38712 Setting Tuesday, August 27, 2013, at approximately 5:30 p.m., as the date for a public hearing by the City Council on the proposed interim land use regulations concerning the production, processing, and retail sale of recreational marijuana. [Brian Boudet, Planning Division Manager; Peter Huffman, Interim Director, Planning and Development Services]

The resolution was removed from the agenda. No explanation was given, but it's pretty safe to guess this has to do with the announcement that the State may further delay implementation of I-502 in order to rewrite the rules, this time setting limits on production.

Resolution No. 38713 Setting Thursday, September 26, 2013, at 1:00 p.m., as the date for a hearing before the Hearing Examiner on the request to vacate Milwaukee Way between East 11th Street and Lincoln Avenue. (Port of Tacoma; File No. 124.1108) [Conor McCarthy, Assistant Division Manager; Kurtis Kingsolver, Interim Director, Public Works]



The Mayor read a proclamation recognizing the 125th Anniversary of Burkhart Dental Supply, which opened in 1888, serves businesses across the western half of the US, and has won multiple awards.



We heard from three commenters - representing the Kellog-Sicker Pochert development group, Tacoma Housing Authority, and Historic Tacoma - all speaking in favor of the proposed sale and development agreement for the buildings in the 1100 block of MLK. The private investment partners are currently rehabbing the post office building downtown, and their representative and the other commenters spoke of the MLK project as a "catalyst" for development in the Hilltop. Michael Mirra of THA spoke of the project and the various partnerships between developers and the City as a good match for the visions and values of all parties, and the future of the neighborhood, melding new construction and historic preservation, and affordable housing and market-rate development.



A motion was made and adopted to authorize the City’s full and final settlement of all claims against the City in the matter of Jonathan Van Pincelli v . City of Tacoma, Tacoma Police Department, Keith O’Rourke and Jane Doe O’Rourke, Pierce County Superior Court Cause No. 12-2-06926-9, upon payment by the City in the amount of $45,000.



Resolution No. 38714 Appointing Agnes Pate to serve on the Sustainable Tacoma Commission in the youth position for a two-year term to commence September 16, 2013 to April 30, 2015. [Doris Sorum, City Clerk; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]

Councilmember Boe noted that the committee was particularly impressed with Miss Pate's application, and that they're looking forward to the contributions of youth members on the commission.



Purchase Resolution No. 38715 Awarding contracts to:

  1. Rodarte Construction, Inc., on its bid of $1,569,099.92, plus sales tax and a 20 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $1,882,919.90, budgeted from the Surface Water Fund and Wastewater Fund, for replacement of approximately 2,800 linear feet of stormwater pipe and approximately 2,100 linear feet of wastewater pipe for the Franklin Trunk Line Improvements and Puget Sound Avenue project – Specification No. ES13-0011F; [Geoffrey M. Smyth, P.E., Science and Engineering Division Manager; Michael P. Slevin, III, P.E., Director, Environmental Services]
  2. Stan Palmer Construction Inc., on its bid of $1,497,609.00, plus sales tax and a 15 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $1,722,250.35, budgeted from the Surface Water Fund and the Public Assembly Facilities Fund, to replace approximately three acres of impervious parking lot with porous asphalt, install an infiltration trench, a bio retention facility, and landscaping for the Cheney Stadium Low Impact Development project – Specification No. ES13-0323F; [Geoffrey M. Smyth, P.E., Science and Engineering Division Manager; Michael P. Slevin, III, P.E., Director, Environmental Services]
  3. Brown and Caldwell, Inc., in the amount of $995,292.00, sales tax not applicable, budgeted from the Surface Water Fund, for design and engineering services associated with the Cleveland Way Pump Station Improvement project – Specification No. CT12-0001F; and [Geoffrey M. Smyth, P.E., Science and Engineering Division Manager; Michael P. Slevin, III, P.E., Director, Environmental Services]
  4. Office Depot, in the amount of $315,000.00, plus sales tax, budgeted from various departmental funds, for office supplies on an as-needed basis from September 1, 2013 to May 29, 2014, with the option to renew for four additional one-year terms, for a projected contract total of $2,000,000.00 – Washington State Contract No. 04411. [Kathy Katterhagen, Purchasing Manager; Andy Cherullo, Director, Finance]

Item 2 will fund the completion of a sustainable stormwater management system for Cheney Stadium. The project will reduce the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater discharged into the surrounding watershed by converting a failed parking lot using green infrastructure design, including pervious pavement and rain gardens. Rhubarb the Reindeer joined City staff to present the official announcement of the City of Tacoma Environmental Services Day at Cheney Stadium on Labor Day. City of Tacoma employees are invited to a day of fun, celebrating the commencement of Phase 2 of the Cheney Stadiumgreen retrofit project and the Rainiers' final game of the season.

Councilmember Boe recused himself from the vote to avoid the potential for any appearance of a conflict of interest on item 3.

Resolution No. 38716 Authorizing the execution of an interagency agreement with the Department of Ecology, Washington Conservation Corps, in the amount of $292,000, budgeted from the Surface Water Fund, to assist in the maintenance and restoration of the City's habitat restoration sites and open spaces for a one-year term, with the option to renew for three additional one-year terms, for a projected total of $1,168,000. [Desiree Pooley, Senior Environmental Specialist; Michael P. Slevin, III, P.E., Director, Environmental Services]

The City is required to maintain 20 sites. Additionally Environmental Services has acquired a number of new open space parcels recently to be managed for tree canopy and stormwater benefit. To properly meet the needs of maintaining these sites, the City will sponsor two crews of Washington Conservation Corps workers available through an Americorps grant over the next 3 years. This wille\ be the eleventh year Tacoma has sponsored a team, which gives participants quality work experience as well as an education stipend at the end of their term of service.

Resolution No. 38717 Authorizing Environmental Services to participate in a Tacoma Public Utilities contract with Titan Earthwork, LLC, in the amount of $1,577,056.56, excluding sales tax, plus a 10 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $1,734,762.22, budgeted from the Wastewater Fund, for replacement of underground wastewater pipes in the vicinity of North Vassault to North Visscher Streets, from North 49th to North 51st Streets. [Geoffrey M. Smyth, P.E., Science and Engineering Division Manager; Michael P. Slevin, III, P.E., Director, Environmental Services]

The partnership between Tacoma Water and Environmental Services on this project will mean shorter construction times and a more complete project, including new accessible ramps.

Resolution No. 38718 Declaring surplus City-owned property located at 1110, 1114, 1120, and 1124 Martin Luther King Jr. Way; and authorizing the execution of purchase and sale agreements with Kellogg Sicker Pochert LLC, in the amount of $100,000, for property located at 1110 and 1114 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, and with the Tacoma Housing Authority for property located at 1120 and 1124 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, to construct apartments, ground floor office/retail, and parking. [Martha Anderson, Assistant Director; Ricardo Noguera, Director, Community and Economic Development]

The agreement for the sale of four City-owned parcels, including three buildings and one parking lot, comes in two parts. First for the sale of 1110 and 1114 MLK to Kellogg Sicker Pochert LLC for $100,000 based on an appraisal conducted in May. The sale of those parcels, occupied by the vacant historic Kellogg-Sicker and Pochert buildings, at 9,000 and 10,000 square feet, is as-is, with a 60 day feasibility period. Development of the buildings is subject to Landmarks Commission design approval. The City also retains a repurchase option, if the developer fails to start construction within 45 days of the completion of the sale. KSP is forecasting completion of its project for fall 2014.

The second part of the agreement is for the sale of 1120 and 1124 MLK to the Tacoma Housing Authority for the construction of a new three to five floor mixed-use building, with ground-level commercial space, and forty to fifty affordable rental housing units targeting workforce housing for the area. The one existing building on the property currently houses the clothing store Mr Mac. The property will be conveyed to THA at no monetary cost in consideration of the affordable housing and support services THA will provide. This sale is also as-is, but with a longer feasibility period of 34 months, in recognition of the longer cycles for THA's sources of funding. These properties can also be conveyed back to the City if THA fails to start construction, although KSP retains the right of first refusal, should that happen. Design for the THA project is subject to design compatibility review, and THA will consult with the City's Historic Preservation Officer and Landmarks Preservation Commission to ensure design of the new construction is compatible with its surroundings.



Ordinance No. 28163 (From the meeting of July 23, 2013) Granting a non-exclusive ten-year telecommunications franchise to Electric Lightwave, LLC, to construct, operate, and repair a telecommunications system throughout the city. [Jeff Lueders, Franchise Services Manager; T.C. Broadnax, City Manager]

The ordinance was adopted without further comment.



Ordinance No. 28165 Amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation for Municipal Court Judges and Court Commissioners, effective September 1, 2013. [Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

The pay increase covered in this plan is the first since 2008. Final reading next week.

Ordinance No. 28166 Amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation for employees represented by District Lodge No. 160, on behalf of Local Lodge No. 297, of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Rail Mechanics and Track Workers Units, which covers approximately 18 budgeted, full-time positions. [Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

Final reading next week.



Resolution No. 38707 Appointing individuals to serve on the City Events and Recognitions Committee. [Doris Sorum, City Clerk; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]

The resolution was amended to correct the terms of appointments from three years to two, and to change the designation for Jesse Bains Jr from the At Large position #1 to the Council District #2 position.



Only two speakers this month. The first... well, he wasn't even close to being on topic, as far as we could follow. The second speaker did a little better; covering a short list of topics including banning smoking, the negative impacts of the proliferation of cars in the city; and his belief that government is not a business and should not be run as a business and that public servants should respect their duty and do that without other commitments. So. There you have it...



Tacoma has been selected to host Film Forward: Enhancing the Cultural Dialogue, with free screenings of films at a variety of venues around Tacoma September 3 through 7. The City of Tacoma’s Arts Program is partnering with the Grand Cinema, Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Public Library, Tacoma Public Schools, Metro Parks, University of Washington-Tacoma, University of Puget Sound and more to bring the touring film program to Tacoma. Film Forward is a partnership of Sundance Institute and four U.S. federal cultural agencies: the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and The Institute of Museum and Library Services. As a part of the program, the directors of two of the filmmakers Julia Meltzer (The Light in Her Eyes) and Jerry Rothwell (Town of Runners) will be present at moderated discussions on September 4 and 5. 



Councilmember Boe shared several events coming up this Saturday.

  • The 17th Annual South Tacoma Classic Car Show will take place on South Tacoma Way between South 50th and 56th from 10 to 4.
  • Stadium Fare craft market at First Presbyterian Church in the Stadium District from 10 to 3pm
  • The Spirit of the Northwest Native American Arts and Market Festival at the Washington State History Museum downtown from 10 to 7 pm with demonstrations and presentations from Native American artists.

Boe also updated us on the P​acific Avenue streetscape project, which is moving along with the removal this week of the street trees on the east side of Pacific between 7th and 9th. The trees will be replanted with younger tree varieties more compatible with their urban setting. You're encouraged to come down and show the businesses in those blocks some love during construction. 

You'll also want to save the date for the Tacoma Maritime Fest next weekend.

Councilmember Woodards gave a shout out to Tacoma NAACP, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this Thursday, August 15th.

Councilmember Ibsen shared a program the City is reinvigorating as it works towards the goal of a 30% tree canopy by 2030. The program offers coupons for a great discount on up to two trees per household, good any time from this September through April 2014. For details you can email trees@cityoftacoma.org or call (253) 591-2048.

Mayor Strickland reminded us that on August 24 the City and the Daffodil Festival will be bringing back the military parade to downtown Tacoma for the first time in 50 years. The event kicks off with a concert at 5 p.m. concert, followed by a parade at 6.

Deputy Mayor Campbell was absent this week.


For more on any of the items on this week's agenda, check out our City Business Preview for the week.

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fred davie

The city attempt to force people to plant trees on their property is an assault on property rights. 

Some people prefer to look at trees on their property.
Some people prefer to enjoy the sky, the sun and the stars.

It’s important to observe our differences. Diversity is what makes America a great place to live.

August 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I doesn’t look like anyone is being forced to plant a tree, just encouraged through a kickback rebate. No harm there except where was this rebate when I put in a bunch of trees years ago? Is it retroactive? No.

August 14, 2013 at 5:09 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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fred davie

The 30% program being discussed WILL FORCE people to landscape their properties in a manner acceptable to the city. Homeowners who are remodeling their homes or building new homes will be required to plant trees.

August 14, 2013 at 5:51 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Can you cite where in the code it would require this, or are you just making stuff up again?

August 14, 2013 at 10:38 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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What stuff doesn’t Fred (aka fredo) make up?

August 15, 2013 at 9:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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fred davie

Not in city code… YET. It’s all before the planning commission.

August 15, 2013 at 11:32 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Hmm I checked the recent planning commission agendas and it isn’t on it, so you are just making this up.

August 15, 2013 at 8:09 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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