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Tacoma City Council Meeting - June 3, 2014

CONSENT AGENDA

RESOLUTIONS

Resolution No. 38912 A resolution setting Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 9:00 a.m., as the date for a hearing by the Hearing Examiner on the request to vacate a portion of South 49th Street between South Wilkeson Street and Interstate 5 to Wesco Management, LLC for commercial retail development. (Wesco Management, LLC; File No. 124.1341) [Ronda Cornforth, Senior Real Estate Specialist; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]

Resolution No. 38913 A resolution setting Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at approximately 5:30 p.m., as the date 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]

Resolution No. 38914 A resolution authorizing the submittal of a grant application to the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, in the amount of $60,000, for installation of a children’s play area in South 21st Street Park located on the Foss Waterway. [Elliott Barnett, Associate Planner; Peter Huffman, Director, Planning and Development Services]

The consent agenda was adopted.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

Robert Hill returned to public comment after an extended absence – and it was quite the return. If you were viewing from home, what you missed was Hill's outfit, if you can call a pair of bright orange briefs an "outfit." Hill explained that the lack of outfit was due to not wanting to get "patted down." Sure, that makes sense. Hill wanted to speak on transit issues - all kinds of transit issues - $1 bus fare, link ridership, electric cars..., even Segways. Especially Segways.

The only other commenter is becoming a regular in questioning some of the budget-related agenda items. This week it was negotiations with labor unions, and a suggestion that the City hire a professional negotiator to "hold the line" on wages and compensation.

 

REGULAR AGENDA

PURCHASE RESOLUTIONS

Resolution No. 38915 A resolution awarding a contract to Northwest Cascade, Inc., in the amount of $765,708.20, excluding sales tax, plus a 15 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $880,564.43, budgeted from the Surface Water and Wastewater Funds, for the replacement of 1,505 linear feet of 8 to 15-inch diameter underground stormwater pipe, and 455 linear feet of 8-inch diameter underground wastewater pipe in South 9th, South 10th, South 11th, and South 21st Streets - Specification No. ES14-0159F. [Geoffrey M. Smyth, P.E., Division Manager; Michael P. Slevin III, P.E., Director, Environmental Services]

Councilmember Boe pointed out that this is bid at 18.6% below the pre-bid estimate.

 

Resolution No. 38916 A resolution awarding a contract to Northwest Cascade, Inc., in the amount of $1,206,159.36, excluding sales tax, plus a 15 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $1,387,083.26, budgeted from the Surface Water, Wastewater, and Water Funds, for the construction of the Sprague Pervious Parking Project located on South Sprague Avenue between South 19th and South 25th Streets - Specification No. ES14-0035F. [Geoffrey M. Smyth, P.E., Division Manager; Michael P. Slevin III, P.E., Director, Environmental Services]

Again, Councilmember Boe pointed out that this one came in at 11% below the prebid estimate. Councilmember walker mentioned the numerous potholes on this street, and resident appreciation that they will soon be filled.

 

Resolution No. 38917 A resolution awarding a contract to Tucci & Sons, Inc., in the amount of $427,485.53, sales tax not applicable, plus a 48.5 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $634,777.00, budgeted from the Transportation Capital Fund, for completing a grind and overlay of Milwaukee Way from Lincoln Avenue to Marshall Avenue - Specification No. PW13-0679F. [Chris E. Larson, P.E., Engineering Division Manager; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]

And one more time, Boe noted that this bid came in a whopping 33% below the pre-bid estimate.

 

Resolution No. 38918 A resolution awarding a contract to Thompson Consulting Services, LLC, in the amount of $3,500,000, plus sales tax, budgeted from the Solid Waste Fund, for disaster debris monitoring services in the event of a natural disaster, for an initial two-year term with the option to renew for five additional one-year terms - Specification No. ES13-0206F. [Gary Kato, Solid Waste Division Manager; Michael P. Slevin III, P.E., Director, Environmental Services]

The resolution was adopted without comment.

 

RESOLUTIONS

Resolution No. 38919 A resolution authorizing the execution of a collective bargaining agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Click! Network Unit, which covers approximately 42 budgeted positions, effective January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2015. [Mike Brock, Labor Negotiator; Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

The resolution authorizes a four-year agreement to adjust wages effective from January 2012 through the end of 2015.

 

Resolution No. 38920 A resolution authorizing the execution of a collective bargaining agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Tacoma Power Unit, which covers approximately 329.3 budgeted positions effective retroactive to April 1, 2013 through March 31, 2017. [Tara Schaak, Labor Negotiator; Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

The resolution authorizes the collective bargaining agreement, which sets 2013 wages using market information, and sets subsequent increases between two and four percent.

 

FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES

Ordinance No. 28225 An ordinance adopting the amended Six-Year Comprehensive Transportation Improvement Program Amended 2013-2014 and 2015-2020. [Jennifer Kammerzell, Senior Engineer; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]

Councilmember Ibsen thanked everyone who worked on the program, and noted that the neighbors most directly affected by the Vassault project appreciate the improvements to public safety facilitated by its inclusion.

 

FIRST 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]

This ordinance would implement the contract from the earlier resolution.

 

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 would provide for implementation of the second of the earlier resolutions.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS AND APPEALS

This was the date set for a public hearing by the City Council on 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]

Mr. Filla has asked to buy back the 13 acres from TPU. TPU has determined that it no longer needs the property it originally acquired for wildlife habitat mitigation, and has agreed to sell the property back to Mr. Filla. The price represents market value for the property. No one came forward to comment on the issue.

 

This was also the date set for a public hearing by the City Council on the 2014 Annual Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Regulatory Code. [Brian Boudet, Planning Manager; Peter Huffman, Director, Planning and Development Services]

The proposed amendments would make changes to both Tacoma's Comprehensive Plan and the Tacoma Municipal Code in 10 areas as part of the annual amendment process.

  1. Point Ruston Mixed-Use Center – Proposed new community mixed-use center to be added to the code. The Planning Commission has recommended adoption of the amendment creating the new MUC, but also recommends that a separate affordable housing agreement be put forward to address how affordable housing will be provided for within that project.
  2. Point Defiance Park Land Use Policies – Provide support for planned enhancements to the park related to the Destination Point Defiance project. The separate rules for Point Defiance acknowledge that the park is a regional attraction, and as such has potentially different uses from Tacoma’s other parks.
  3. Mixed Use Center Code Review – This review represents updates intended to support development in Tacoma’s neighborhood MUCs. Many of the changes come from community feedback from developers and community members on areas of the code needing improvement.
  4. Affordable Housing – These changes represent phase two of a three phase process of updating Tacoma’s affordable housing policies. Includes amendments associated with infill housing, and modifications to accessory dwelling units.
  5. Container Port Element – This is a new element of the Comprehensive Plan, introduced in response to a GMA requirement. This element identifies the core areas of the Port, defines buffer areas to protect those key functions, and identifies and promotes key infrastructure and transportation needs for the Port to continue to function successfully.
  6. Open Space Habitat and Recreation Element
  7. Sustainability Code Amendment – The recommended sustainability amendments include bicycle infrastructure for beginning and end of trip infrastructure, as well as electric vehicle infrastructure, and amendments related to flexibility in setbacks, low impact development techniques, and insulation.
  8. Urban Forestry Landscaping Code Update – Intended to move forward on new urban forestry element. Looking at allowing for flexibility, while encouraging the placement of the right trees in the right place, more variety, and better maintenance and care.
  9. Plan and Code Clean-up – Addresses minor issues addressed in the code. Including one modification to how setbacks are addressed on “pipe stem” lots.
  10. Shoreline Related Elements (carried over from 2013) – This amendment would replace three existing elements of the Comprehensive Plan with newer, more up to date versions following Tacoma’s adoption of its finalized Shoreline Master Program last fall.

One member of the Sustainable Tacoma Commission commented that the commission is pleased with the amendments, but that it feels that the City could go further with the electric vehicle infrastructure component, making a requirement that EV infrastructure be installed in new multi-family construction projects.

A member of the Pierce County Master Builder’s Association and Affordable Housing Policy Advisory group thanked the City for the work on the process of addressing affordable housing issues. The commenter also spoke relating to the mixed use center changes, that  the MBA feels will help facilitate development. He also shared a concern around to setbacks and height restrictions related to pipe stem infill development.

Scott Hansen of the Puget Creek Restoration Society shared his concerns related to a number of the proposed amendments as they relate to protection and restoration of wildlife habitat. He asked that the Council consider issues related to fish and wildlife habitat preservation in relation to the Port element, the urban forestry code, sustainability amendments, and the shoreline changes.

We also heard comments from a commenter, who didn’t identify her affiliation, on the addition of the Point Ruston Mixed-Use Center, which she described as “a different animal” from some of the other MUCs in Tacoma, in light of both the extensive environmental cleanup undertaken there, and the LIDs in place to pay for some of the infrastructure to support the development. Those constraints, according to the commenter affect the range of price points available in the development. The MUC designation, she said would enable the developers to complete the project in a more timely manner, and that Point Ruston is committed to including affordable housing within its waterfront development, within the financial constraints inherent in the project, and closed by asking for “parity” with other mixed-use centers in Tacoma.

Deputy Mayor Woodards asked a follow-up question to the comments relating to the request for parity for the Point Ruston mixed-use center. The staff response was that a requirement has been proposed that an affordable housing element be included in the development before a multi-family tax exemption could be used for the project. This requirement would be the first requirement of its kind. It was added based on a desire to see affordable housing in the project which is intended to be “live-work-play,” and a concern that it might otherwise not happen for all income levels. This is the first mixed-use center to be developed since evolving affordable housing conversations have begun to put in place specific goals (think the affordable housing targets included in the Hilltop Subarea Plan); it’s also unique in that it is a ground-up development, rather than an area starting with an existing base of affordable housing stock.

 

REPORTS BY THE CITY MANAGER

  • The City of Tacoma received a 2014 Government Agency E3 Washington Green Apple Award (E3 for education, environment, and economy) for innovative environmental sustainability and education practices. Tacoma’s award recognizes efforts through the City’s Environmental Sustainability Office.
  • The City has recently completed several CDBG projects, including Ray C Robert Park, which was rehabilitated and returned to active use with the help of $100,000 in federal CDBG funds; and the tot lot at 74th and Cedar along the Waterditch Trail, which was completed using $75,000 of CDBG funds.
  • Have been recognized through the Association of Washington Cities with the 2014 Municipal Excellence Award for making a difference in the environment with the improvements at Cheney Stadium.

 

COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

Neighborhoods and Housing Committee – Councilmember Walker shared some recent topics addressed by the committee.

  • Held a panel discussion on the status of housing foreclosures in Tacoma, including current efforts to address the problem, and possible solutions for challenges going forward, with a focus on current collaborative efforts going on in Tacoma and the rest of Pierce County.
  • Neighborhood and Community Services staff presented on the department’s new speakers bureau, which will allow community groups to request subject matter experts to share their expertise beginning in the third quarter of this year.
  • Heard a briefing from the City’s Historic Preservation Officer on a proposed new conservation district overlay in Tacoma’s west end. The proposal will be reviewed by the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Planning Commission, and will come to council a year from now.
  • Heard an update on the community clean up program.
  • Received a presentation on proposed changes to Tacoma’s noise enforcement code. Those proposals will come back to the committee following additional staff research.

At its next meeting, the committee will hear a presentation on derelict buildings and the minimum building and structures code.

Councilmember Boe reminded us that the next Walk Tacoma event takes place this Wednesday, June 4. Meet at noon at the old Woolworth Building downtown and explore Tacoma's first neighborhood with Deputy Mayor Woodards.

Councilmember Thoms announced that the Northeast Tacoma Neighborhood Cleanup takes place this Saturday, June 7 from 10 to 2. Residents in the area can bring unwanted items to Meeker Elementary to be hauled off. 

Mayor Strickland announced the official launch of 1 Million Cups in Tacoma with last week’s soft launch, and ongoing meetings taking place every Wednesday at 9 a.m., alternating between UWT’s Vibe Center in the Tioga Building, or right across the street at the Swiss. Entrepreneurs can register to participate in the free events at 1millioncups.com/tacoma

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

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


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