Tacoma City Council Meeting - December 1, 2015

CONSENT AGENDA

FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES

Ordinance No. 28320 An ordinance amending Chapter 13.06 of the Municipal Code to reclassify the east 127 feet of property located at 8639 Pacific Avenue from an “R-4-L” Low-Density Multiple-Family Dwelling District to “C-2” General Community Commercial District for onsite parking.

The consent agenda was adopted without comment.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

We heard from two commenters speaking in favor of the creation of the Narrowmoor Conservation District.

 

REGULAR AGENDA

APPOINTMENTS

Resolution No. 39322 A resolution appointing and reappointing individuals to the Tacoma Arts Commission.

Deputy Mayor Boe noted that the committee was fortunate to be “swamped with applications” for the available positions. 

 

PURCHASE RESOLUTIONS

Resolution No. 39323 A resolution authorizing an increase to the contract with L.N. Curtis & Sons, in the amount of $220,000, for a cumulative total of $837,400, plus sales tax, budgeted from the Fire Department General Fund and EMS Special Revenue Fund, for protective jackets and trousers for structural firefighting.

Resolution No. 39324 A resolution awarding a contract to Miles Sand & Gravel Company, in the amount of $227,760, excluding sales tax, budgeted from the Wastewater Fund, for sand used in the creation of TAGRO soil amendment on an as-needed basis, for a period of two-years, with the option to renew for three additional one-year periods, for a projected contract total of $569,400.

Resolution No. 39325 A resolution awarding a contract to Gem Shavings, LLC, in the amount of $450,000, excluding sales tax, budgeted from the Wastewater Fund, for sawdust used in the creation of TAGRO soil amendment on an as-needed basis, for a period of two-years, with the option to renew for three additional one-year periods, for a projected contract total of $1,125,000.

Resolution No. 39326 A resolution awarding a contract to Dickson Company, in the amount of $319,250.00, plus sales tax, budgeted from the Street Operation Fund, for the disposal of construction debris, for a period of one-year, with the option to renew for four additional one-year periods, for a projected contract total of $1,661,389.82.

Resolution No. 39327 A resolution authorizing an increase to the contract with Tucci & Sons, Inc., in the amount of $200,000.00, for a cumulative total of $3,276,054.48, sales tax not applicable, budgeted from the Transportation Capital Fund, for additional project improvements with the construction of the South Tacoma Way corridor from South 43rd Street to South 47th Street and from South 56th Street to South 66th Street.

All purchase resolutions were adopted without comment.

 

RESOLUTIONS

Resolution No. 39328 A resolution authorizing the execution of a railroad switching fee agreement with Northwest Container Services, Inc., to establish a cost of service rate of $20.00 per container interchanged to a Class I railroad, with an escalation rate of $1.00 per year, for a three-year period, beginning January 1, 2016.

Portland-based NW Container will pay the charges associated with the cost of service directly on a per-container basis.

 

Resolution No. 39329 A resolution authorizing Tacoma Rail to update the Rail Rate Policy and reissue the Tacoma Municipal Belt Line 8807 and 6004 series freight tariffs, effective January 1, 2016, to ensure reliable rail services at cost of service rates.

The Rail Rate Policy provides for Tacoma Rail’s rate making and tariffs include rates charged to its customers. Changes include changes to make the debt service policy more attractive, and … Well, we have to admit, we didn’t really understand the rest of what was said about this one. 

 

Resolution No. 39330 A resolution declaring surplus approximately 0.36 of an acre of land located at the intersection of Military Road and Canyon Road in Pierce County, and authorizing the execution of a Purchase and Sale Agreement with WGW, Inc. for the amount of $63,193.

The Tacoma Power property near Fredrickson will be sold to the adjacent property owner to be used as a public road serving the remaining of City property and the adjacent purchasing customer.

 

Resolution No. 39331 A resolution declaring surplus approximately 0.63 of an acre of land located at 7704 6th Avenue, and authorizing the execution of a Purchase and Sale Agreement with Mr. David Sizemore, for the amount of $35,101.

The undeveloped Tacoma Water property was sold via the bidding process to the adjacent property owner, who was the only bidder.

 

Resolution No. 39332 A resolution authorizing the execution of a Multi-Family Housing Eight-Year Limited Property Tax Exemption Agreement with Napoleon Group, LLC, for the development of 135 multi-family market-rate rental housing units located at 1515 Tacoma Avenue South in the Downtown Mixed-Use Center.

The planned development will include 140 on-site parking stalls for the 135 market-rate rental units divided as follows.

  • 69 studios (420-525 square feet) going for $1,100 to $1,300 per month
  • 42 1 bedroom, 1 bath units (650 square feet) going for $1,500 per month
  • 24 2 bedroom, 2 bath units (960-1150 square feet) going for $1,800 to $2,100 per month

The vacant lot located next door to the Marcato condo building was once slated to become a later phase of that development before the economic downturn. Construction on this new project is expected to start in early 2016, and be completed by the end of 2017.

The exemption is only for the property taxes on the improvements made to the site. The property owner will continue to pay taxes on the unimproved value of the land, as well as other business and sales taxes. At the end of eight years the property owner will begin paying property taxes on the value of the improvements. Staff explained that many of the developers receiving these tax breaks say they wouldn’t be able to make the projects work without them.

 

Resolution No. 39333 A resolution approving the 2016-2017 Funding Priorities Statement for the Annual Action Plan of the Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development.

In the coming year, staff expects federal funding levels for CDBG and ESG funds to remain about where they are now, but expects a decrease of at least 5% in HOME funds.

Priorities for capital projects are largely focused on residential projects and include Tacoma Housing Authority’s Bay Terrace Phase 2, Homeownership Center of Tacoma, Valhalla Hall renovations, Manitou Community Center, and a Community Theater in the Lincoln District. Priority programs include rehabilitation loan program, Economic Development loans, down payment assistance, entrepreneurial assistance programs, offsite improvement funds for catalytic projects, and others.

CDBG and ESG funding decisions will be made using the same criteria used for the last couple funding cycles. CDBG funds will go to programs providing housing, economic, and youth emergency stabilization services.

Deputy Mayor Boe made an excellent point that while the council and staff may be familiar with acronyms and programs from previous briefings and discussions, the viewing public might not, and it could be helpful to explain some of these conversations so lay people could understand them.

 

Resolution No. 39334 A resolution authorizing the execution of a collective bargaining agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Customer and Field Services Unit, which consists of approximately 146 budgeted, full-time equivalent positions, retroactive to January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2018.

The four-year agreement includes a retroactive wage increase and lump sum payments, as well as wage increases going forward. 

 

Resolution No. 39335 A resolution authorizing the execution of a Letter of Agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Tacoma Power Unit, creating a new classification entitled Communication Systems Technician I, and providing for changes in title for other classifications.

The resolution creates a new classification and renames other classes.

 

Resolution No. 39336 A resolution authorizing the execution of a Letter of Agreement with the Washington State Council of County and City Employees, Local 120, to adjust the pay scale for the classification entitled Senior Buyer, effective January 1, 2016.

The agreement provides for wage adjustments, and a reduction in the number of pay steps for recruitment and retention purposes.

 

FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES

Ordinance No. 28335 An ordinance adopting the 2015 Annual Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Regulatory Code; and amending Chapter 13.11 of the Municipal Code, relating to Critical Areas Preservation; and acknowledging receipt of the Tacoma Mixed-Use Centers study report, as recommended by the Planning Commission.

The ordinance passed without comment.

 

Amended Ordinance No. 28336 An amended ordinance designating a portion of the “West Slope Neighborhood,” including portions of Narrowmoor Additions as a Conservation Special Review District Overlay Zone, and amending various chapters of Title 1 and Title 13 of the Municipal Code, relating to affordable housing and infill development, updating and correcting information, and addressing inconsistencies, as part of the 2015 Annual Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Regulatory Code as recommended by the Planning Commission.

The ordinance was amended to remove all portions dealing with the creation of the Narrowmoor Conservation District so that portion could be considered as its own separate ordinance. The remaining portions of the original ordinance passed.

 

Ordinance No. 28340 An ordinance designating a portion of the "West Slope Neighborhood,” including portions of Narrowmoor Additions as a Conservation Special Review District Overlay Zone, as part of the 2015 Annual Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Regulatory Code as recommended by the Planning Commission; and amending Chapters 13.06 and 13.07 of the Tacoma Municipal Code.

This new ordinance was created dealing specifically with the proposal to create Tacoma’s first stand-alone conservation district for the Narrowmoor neighborhood in west Tacoma. As Deputy Mayor Boe pointed out, this conversation is being closely watched both by other neighborhoods in Tacoma, and by other jurisdictions.

Council members cited a number of concerns in discussion of the issue. Councilmember Walker pointed to her concerns about provision of affordable housing, accommodation of future growth for the city, and the precedent that might be set for creation of other districts. 

Deputy Mayor Boe voiced a number of concerns, citing experience as an architect working on homes in Narrowmoor. Boe had worries about loopholes that might allow for a full redevelopment of a home over time, simply by taking out multiple permits, and about accommodation of additional density. Ultimately, he said, he had trouble supporting any district that precluded new development with the various limitations were all added up.

Councilmember Lonergan cited reservations about the fact that the proposal had not received committee support. He also had concerns related to the covenants – for one, he mentioned that while certain offensive language (we’re assuming he’s referring to the racist restrictions precluding minorities from owning homes in the neighborhood) had been removed from online versions of the covenants, it remained in the official versions still on file. Lonergan also said he feels that the covenants are adequate to protect the character of the neighborhood, as demonstrated by court cases won. He concluded that if there was a need for further protection, it would be the right and responsibility of residents to amend the covenants, and that it was not the City’s job to do so.

With all that said, the ordinance failed, with only Councilmember Ibsen voting in support of it.

 

FIRST READING OF ORDINANCES

Ordinance No. 28337 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement changes in rates of pay and compensation for represented and non-represented classifications, and changes in classifications to reflect the organizational structure.

This ordinance implements changes agreed to in earlier resolutions, along with a few other changes.

 

Ordinance No. 28338 An ordinance modifying the 2015-2016 Biennial Budget to appropriate funds for additional contract obligations, transfers and other budget adjustments; authorizing interfund transfers and contributions; and authorizing the acceptance, deposit, and appropriation of miscellaneous donations, contributions, and fees.

State law requires a mid-biennial review and update of the City’s biennial budget to account for variances in revenues and expenditures from what was forecast.

The review showed revenues slightly up over expectations by about $1.6 million, and expenses below expectations by about $5.6 million, although the difference in expenses is largely due to delayed spending, and so should catch up with expectations in the coming months. That said, staff has identified about $2.3 million in the General Fund that can be reallocated to other uses. The recommendation is for about $1.7 million of that to be reallocated to other uses, and the remaining $620,000 to be added to reserves.

Proposed uses for reallocations within the General Fund include program adjustments for programs like diversity recruitment and outreach, and paid leave and minimum wage implementation; safety gear for fire and police; operations and maintenance for homelessness prevention and neighborhood and other items including funding for the Family Justice Center, Health Homes Initiative, and for holding another Project PEACE workshop. Other funds had some room for reallocations as well.

A more detailed presentation of the changes included in the mid-biennium adjustment was made at this week’s study session, and at the November 24 public hearing.

 

COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

Public Safety, Human Services, and Education Committee – Councilmember Woodards shared recent work of the committee.

  • Conducted interviews and made recommendations for Human Services Commission, appointments.
  • Heard a presentation from Tacoma Public Schools on Innovative Schools.

Councilmember Boe shared a pair of arts events coming up this weekend.

  • December 4-6 – Tacoma Musical Playhouse presents Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
  • December 6 – Tacoma Symphony presents “Sounds of the Season” at the Pantages.

 

ADJOURNMENT

Councilmember Mello participated telephonically in this week’s meeting.

For more on the items on this agenda, see our City Business Preview for the week.

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City of Tacoma Transportation Benefit District Governing Board Agenda - December 1, 2015 SPECIAL MEETING

REGULAR AGENDA

RESOLUTIONS

Resolution No. TBD011 A resolution approving an increase of $500,000 to the 2015-2016 Transportation Benefit District spending plan and modifying the material change policy to reflect the adoption of a two-year spending plan to correlate with the biennial budget.

Revenues for the TBD were originally forecast at $4,332,894, but are now expected to be $4,832,894. The additional revenues will be used to repair barriers on Pioneer Way damaged in an automobile accident this summer, additional surface treatment on Portland Avenue, and pavement repair on Norpoint Way.

ADJOURNMENT


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Comments

Nancy

The Council deserves a standing ovation for carefully researching the issue and considering whether the Narrowmore “conservation district” would benefit everyone in Tacoma.  They found, as every other thinking person, there was absolutely no benefit to anyone other than a property owner in Narrowmore.  Thanks to the Council for saving the taxpayers lots of money!

December 3, 2015 at 5:29 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Howard

The Council deserves a standing ovation for carefully researching the issue and considering whether the Narrowmore “conservation district” would benefit everyone in Tacoma.  They found, as every other thinking person, there was absolutely no benefit to anyone other than a property owner in Narrowmore.  Thanks to the Council for saving the taxpayers lots of money!

December 7, 2015 at 9:46 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 1

Howard

After years of hard work by a neighborhood and review and approval by Landmarks and Planning Commission including public comment and after a funded opposition by the Master Builders (Developers & contractors) the Council waited for maximum political gain at the expense of all their hard work by the community.  All due to a line of inappropriate text written by the original developer who died in 1955, the shame was buried with him and should not be directed at the current residents of the neighborhood.  One might ask why the text still in the convenience for the development after all these year?  Funny the Council didn’t both to ask, it’s because the original developer make it very hard alter the original document without throwing out all the other provisions, it takes a 100% approval of all residence to delete the offensive text and while you would think that’s easy task in this case there’s always someone who wonts something in return and refuses to vote unless they get their way.  So put between a rock and a hard place the community refuses to give in to the greedy who wish to block views by building bigger taller homes on smaller lots.  In this case the shame does not lie with the current residents but with the council playing political games. 
Elected Officials are the voice of the people; their role is represent the wishes of the community not strike out on their own without support.  Through their snarky remarks and name calling of anyone who dares to disagree with their directive, they have proven themselves to be politicians in search of another position rather than representing the general public.  Their attitude and general disrespect of the private citizens who have taken the time to attend their meeting while allowing special interests ramble show a deep disrespect of the average citizen.
Hiding up zoning under the vail of affordable housing is another tip of the hat to for profit developers who fund the council’s campaigns. Their plans will not provide more affordable housing just denser housing but at the same market rate price.  They point to studies that indicate a large growth in our population, the same study that have been wrong for the last twenty year.  Their plan is to disrupt our neighborhoods by adding triplex duplexes and townhouses (tall skinny houses) and each corner lot through the entire neighborhood, “everyone should feel the pain not just a few”.  This is the same approach Seattle has implemented and proven to be a poor idea.  If we are to house the number of new residents stated by the City we would need 2 to 3 Proctor Square size buildings, in each neighborhood, each year for the next 24 years. That’s a lot of units, but our council wastes its time on political gains once again in lieu of actually planning for the future in a thought full way.  I hope we can survive the next two years when half our council hits term limits and I have my fingers crossed that someone much better runs for office.


I don’t know why it copied the first comment last night instead of inserting the one?  Nancy sounds like a plan

December 8, 2015 at 10:10 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Nancy

There were many reasons the Council denied the WSNC the “conservation district”.  The neighbors proposing the plan did not have a majority of homeowners supporting it, and their own documentation showed they just wanted the taxpayers to pay for covenant enforcement.  The City also made it clear they wanted to be fair. Why should one neighborhood be told to limit their homes to one story under 18ft,, unlike every other neighborhood in the City View Sensitive Neighborhoods- which is 25ft.  With precious City resources at stake I’m glad the Council didn’t find any benefit in adding extra protections to one neighborhood at the expense of the many other opportunities for improvement elsewhere.

December 9, 2015 at 7:56 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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