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Tacoma City Council Meeting - June 10, 2014

CONSENT AGENDA

FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES

Ordinance No. 28210 An ordinance vacating a portion of Dock Street air rights north of State Route 509, to allow building modulation and design features for a mixed-use project located at 1933 Dock Street. (Henry Foss Group, LLC; File No. 124.1338) [Richard Price, Senior Real Estate Officer; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]

Ordinance No. 28213 An ordinance vacating a portion of the alleyway air rights west of Proctor Street between North 27th and North 28th Streets, for the development of a mixed-use building. (28 Proctor Holdings, LLC; File No. 124.1337) [Richard Price, Senior Real Estate Officer; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]

Councilmember Boe recused himself from voting on the consent agenda to avoid the potential for any appearance of a conflict of interest specifically regarding items 20 and 21. The consent agenda was adopted without further comment.

 

PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS/PRESENTATIONS/ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mayor Strickland read a recognition of the national award received by the New Tacoma Neighborhood Association at the 2014 Neighborhoods USA conference. The New Tacoma Neighborhood was nominated as Neighborhood of the Year, and was awarded second place in the Neighborhood of the Year category for physical revitalization and beautification in recognition of the extent of innovation, grass roots participation, and capacity building for their work on the North Gateway to Tacoma’s Theater District.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

One resident of the Proctor neighborhood spoke against The Proctor in general, saying she couldn't understand why the six story development would be allowed to be built there, where it will ruin the neighborhood.

 

REGULAR AGENDA

A motion was made and adopted to authorize the City’s full and final settlement of all claims against Union Tank Car Company, Claim No. B-007-14, upon payment by the City in the amount of $42,588.89.

 

PURCHASE RESOLUTIONS

Resolution No. 38921 A resolution awarding a contract to Western Peterbilt, Inc., in the amount of $2,596,209, plus sales tax, plus a 3 percent annual CPI increase, budgeted from the Solid Waste Fund, for service, repairs and parts on an as-needed basis for various Peterbilt vehicles and equipment, for an initial term of three years with the option to renew for two additional one-year periods, for a projected contract total of $4,596,209 - Specification No. GF14-0213F. [Justin Davis, Facilities Management Division Manager; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]

The resolution was adopted without Council comment.

 

Resolution No. 38922 A resolution awarding a contract to Northwest Cascade, Inc., in the amount of $1,398,199.36, excluding sales tax, plus a 15 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $1,607,929.26, budgeted from the Wastewater, Surface Water and Water Funds, to replace approximately 2,000 linear feet of 8-inch diameter wastewater sewer mains, 2,900 linear feet of 4- to 8-inch diameter water mains, and 260 linear feet of 8- to 15-inch diameter storm sewer mains from North 37th Street to North 39th Street between Tyler and Adams Streets - Specification No. ES14-0211F. [Geoffrey M. Smyth, P.E., Science and Engineering Division Manager; Michael P. Slevin III, P.E., Director, Environmental Services]

The resolution was also adopted without comment.

 

Resolution No. 38923 A resolution awarding a contract to Tucci & Sons, Inc., in the amount of $1,002,427, sales tax not applicable, plus a 20 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $1,202,912.40, budgeted from the Transportation Capital Fund, to construct Phase II of the Historic Water Ditch Trail, a multi-modal trail from South Tacoma Way and South 80th Street to South 56th and South Clement Streets - Specification No. PW14-0040F. [Chris E. Larson, P.E., Engineering Division Manager; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]

And one more time, adopted without comment.

 

RESOLUTIONS

Resolution No. 38924 A resolution approving the surplus and negotiated sale of approximately 13.06 acres of property located off Howe Road in Lewis County to Mr. David Filla in the amount of $160,515. [Gloria Fletcher, Senior Real Estate Officer; Ted Coates, Power Superintendent]

Tacoma Power originally acquired the land from Mr. Filla for fish habitat enhancement, but no longer needs the land. Mr. Filla requested to buy the land back, and Tacoma Power agreed to sell it to him at market value. Proceeds from the sale will be reinvested in the Cowlitz Fish Habitat Fund.

 

Resolution No. 38925 A resolution rescinding the historic designation and removing the J.M. Hendricksen Homestead located at 1239 East 54th Street from the Tacoma Register of Historic Places. [Reuben McKnight, Historic Preservation Officer; Peter Huffman, Director, Planning and Development Services]

The request to rescind the landmarks designation comes from the property owner, who has been trying to sell the property due to financial hardship related to health issues. She has a tentative buyer who would allow her to stay in the historic home after the sale. The council agreed to follow the recommendation to rescind the status, which Councilmember Mello pointed out was not a decision that was made lightly.

 

Resolution No. 38926 A resolution authorizing the execution of a Multi-Family Housing Eight-Year Limited Property Tax Exemption Agreement with Proctor Investors, LLC, for the development of 154 market-rate multi-family rental housing units located at 2718 North Proctor in the Proctor Mixed-Use Center. [Debbie Bingham, Program Development Specialist; Ricardo Noguera, Director, Community and Economic Development]

 

The Multi-Family Housing tax break was created in 1995 to encourage growth and residential opportunities in Tacoma’s designated mixed-use centers, of which the Proctor neighborhood is one. The Proctor Investors project will have street level retail and parking, as well as 154 residential units. Of those units 33 will be studios, 93 will be one bedroom, and 28 will be two bedroom units, all between 490 and 1,200 square feet. Monthly rental rates are forecast at $900 to $1,850 per month. Construction is expected to break ground this summer, and completion is projected by the end of next summer.

 

Councilmember Boe recused himself to avoid the potential for an appearance of a conflict of interest on the item. In response to questions from Councilmember Ibsen, staff explained that because of the location of the project, developers are not required to include parking, but have chosen to do so. There will be more parking spots than apartments, and the developer will create on-street angle parking as well, for a net increase in parking. In response to concerns about the impact on small businesses, staff responded that although it is difficult to predict specific impacts, the general trend is that people tend to spend their disposable income in areas near their homes, so adding a couple hundred residents should be a good thing for businesses.

 

Mayor Strickland reminded us that the City went through an extensive planning process when it created its mixed-use centers, and that these are the areas designated to accommodate growth. In order to do that, the mayor pointed out that people would need to have places to live. Strickland also pointed to demographic trends that have people choosing smaller, more urban living spaces situated near services and amenities. Her point being that projects like The Proctor drive growth where we’ve said we want it, and where people want to live.

 

Resolution No. 38927 A resolution declaring surplus and authorizing the execution of a Quit Claim Deed conveying two improved parking lots located adjacent to the Bicentennial Pavilion and the Murano Hotel to KS Tacoma Holdings, LLC in the amount of $1,245,000, in accordance with the Settlement Agreement approved on April 1, 2014. [Richard Price, Senior Real Estate Officer; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]

The resolution approves the sale of two parking lots at 1313 Market Street, as provided for in the agreement between the City and the Murano Hotel’s parent company. That agreement says that in exchange for a lawsuit by KS Tacoma against the City over the development of new hotels in downtown Tacoma, the City would sell the parking lots to the company. Councilmember Thoms called the agreement a win-win situation, which would put the parking lots back on the tax rolls, while allowing for new development downtown to proceed.

 

FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES

Ordinance No. 28226 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation negotiated with employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Click! Network Unit, which covers approximately 42 budgeted positions. [Mike Brock, Labor Negotiator; Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

The ordinance passed without further comment.

 

Ordinance No. 28227 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation negotiated with employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Tacoma Power Unit, which covers approximately 329.3 budgeted positions. [Tara Schaak, Labor Negotiator; Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

This ordinance also passed without comment.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS AND APPEALS

This is the date set for a public hearing by the City Council on the proposed amendments to the City Charter as recommended by the 2014 Charter Review Committee; and all other potential amendments. [Doris Sorum, City Clerk; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]

Mayor Strickland reminded us that this is a process the City is required to undertake every 10 years, and that the Charter Review Committee  formed for the task met more than 60 times and put in countless hours of work before sending its recommendations to Council. The Mayor further stressed that the decision on what items to send to the voters for a vote belongs to the City Council.

 

There were two dozen commenters, including a number of former elected officials and other familiar faces active in various community efforts around Tacoma. Most spoke addressing the question of a change in form of government, of changes to the structure of Tacoma’s utilities, or the proposal to provide public financing for campaigns. Every speaker who mentioned this last item spoke in favor of it. The responses were a little more mixed on the other two issues. The majority of sentiment from those who spoke was in support of the status quo for both. Representatives of organizations from the League of Women Voters to the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce spoke against a change in the form of government, but there were strong voices on the other side as well. We could try to summarize all the opinions, but to really do them justice, the best thing might be to take some time to listen to the voices of your fellow citizens, available online.

29:18 – 1.37.45

 

CITIZENS’ FORUM

It was another diverse Citizens’ Forum session. The regular commenter whose rants about the Ladenburgs and all manner of other things didn’t make it very far; he only managed to get in three or four mentions of rape before being dismissed from the podium by the mayor. Other than that, we heard from some mental health professionals who wanted to share with the council a little bit on the services their programs provide to Tacoma residents. We heard about mental health evaluations for prisoners, a housing program for the mentally ill designed to reduce their likelihood of having a run-in with law enforcement, and a program that provides services to youth to minimize their involvement with the justice system.

We also heard from an advocate for bikes in Tacoma, thanking the City for the new bike box on Stadium, encouraging continued investment in bike infrastructure, and inviting the ladies of the council to join the Velofemmes anniversary party next Thursday.

The final speaker of the evening was a graduate of Annie Wright, who has been working on a research project at the University of Puget Sound. Her research focuses on the environmental impacts of lead fishing weights and lead bullets in the Sound, particularly on our water quality. She encouraged the Council to consider either a ban on the sale of the lead items, or support for a public awareness campaign. The EPA hasn't been calling her back, so she's turning to her local elected officials. It's not an issue that we've ever thought about, to be honest, but now she's got us wondering...

 

REPORTS BY THE CITY MANAGER

  • City participation in the state Commute Trip Reduction survey was at 72%. City Manager Broadnax thanked the coordinators who helped encourage participation.
  • Two City planning initiatives have been recognized with the 2014 Smart Communities Awards. The South Downtown Subarea Plan received the Smart Vision Award, and the Interlocal agreement with the Port of Tacoma on shoreline access received the Smart Partnership Award.
  • Public Works Fleet services 21st in top 50 leading fleet programs from Government Fleet Magazine for high level of performance in efficiency, planning for the future and overcoming challenges. That’s up five spaces from last year’s spot at 26th.

 

COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

Councilmember Boe announced that Puget Sound Poetry Connection will be hosting a distinguished writers event at King's Books on Friday, June 13 at 7 p.m.

Councilmember Thoms announced that the North End and North Slope neighborhood cleanup will be held this Saturday from 10 to 2. Residents of that area can come drop off unwanted things at Jason Lee Middle School, and the City will haul them off.

 

ADJOURNMENT

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


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