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Tacoma City Council Meeting - September 25, 2012
This week’s meeting includes decisions on four ordinances, three of which relate in some way to land use and encouraging density – the changes relating to TDRs and streamlining of codes are aimed at to encouraging infill development in different ways.
PROCLAMATIONS, RECOGNITIONS, PRESENTATIONS, AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
- Mayor Strickland proclaimed the week of September 24, 2012 as Neighborhood Council Week in the City of Tacoma in celebration of the 20th year of Tacoma’s Neighborhood Council program. Everyone is invited to attend the 20th anniversary celebration on Thursday, September 27 at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center on South Tacoma Way.
- The City and the Human Rights Commission presented the Human Rights Champion Award to Pierce County Judge Jack Nevin for his work and dedication to local and global human rights.
- The City was presented with the Friendship City for Communication and Cooperation with China award from the Chinese People’s Association of International Cities and the China International Friendship Cities Association in honor of the success of the Fuzhou Ting project in Tacoma’s Chinese Reconciliation Park. You can check out the Ting and enjoy the park at Tacoma’s first ever Moon Festival from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. this Saturday, September 29, at Chinese Reconciliation Park.
We heard from one speaker who took issue with (among other things) Resolution No. 38543, dealing with the sale of surplus City property… to be honest, we kind of lost the thread of his argument on other topics. We heard from one speaker representing Forterra, in favor of the TDR ordinance on the agenda, and from another speaker from the North End Neighborhood Council in support of the impact of the Innovative Grants program on Tacoma’s neighborhoods. The lawyer representing the couple purchasing the property in Resolution No. 38543, reminding the Council of the lengthy negotiations regarding the property in question, and the impact of the irregular shape and impact of public utilities on that property.
Purchase Resolution No. 38542 Awarding a contract to: Integra Telecom of Washington, Inc., in the amount of $67,000, plus sales tax, budgeted from the Communications System Fund, for a cumulative total of $869,500, to increase and extend the contract for local dial tone, long distance, point-to-point circuits, and other voice and data communications through December 31, 2012 – Specification No. IT08-0133F. [Linda Trehuba, Telecommunications Manager; Michelle Lewis-Hodges, Director, Information Technology]
The item passed without comment.
Resolution No. 38543 Declaring surplus and authorizing the conveyance of approximately 19,500 square-feet of City-owned property located south of the intersection of South 16th Street and Crystal Springs Road to Robert and Sandra Olson, for the amount of $33,375. [Rich Price, Senior Real Estate Officer; Dick McKinley, Director, Public Works]
The City acquired these two pieces of property in 1940 and 1969 for right of way purposes, with plans to complete the street grid in the area. It has since been determined that the property is surplus to City needs, and the City and the Olsons, who own the abutting property, have been in negotiations, which included three appraisals of the value. The property is 30 feet wide at one end, and 60 feet wide at the other, making it a pretty narrow strip for other uses. There are wetland mitigation issues that need to be resolved for abutting property, and the purchase of this strip would allow for the completion of that work, and for improvements to the Olson’s property.
Resolution No. 38544 Approving the recommendations of the Neighborhood Councils for the 2012 Innovative Grant Program; and authorizing the allocation and expenditure of $218,889.45, budgeted from the Real Estate Excise Tax Capital Projects Fund and the Community Development Block Grant Fund, for 36 neighborhood improvement projects. [Shari Hart, Economic Development Specialist; Ricardo Noguera, Director, Community and Economic Development]
The Innovative Grants are awarded to citizen-initiated small-scale physical neighborhood improvements identified through a workshop and application process. The Council sets aside the funds for these projects from REET and CDBG funds. The resolution passed without Council comment.
FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES
Ordinance No. 28086 Amending Chapter 11.05 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Model Traffic Ordinance, to establish consistency with the Washington Administrative Code and the Revised Code of Washington. [Kurtis Kingsolver, Assistant Director/ City Engineer; Dick McKinley, Director, Public Works]
An amendment was offered and passed to broaden language to allow for money generated to be directed to appropriate funds. The ordinance passed as amended.
Ordinance No. 28087 Amending Title 1 of the Municipal Code, entitled “Administration and Personnel”, to add Chapter 1.37 entitled “Transfer of Development Rights Administrative Code”, to implement a Transfer of Development Rights Program. [Ian Munce, Long Range Planning Division Manager; Ricardo Noguera, Director, Community and Economic Development]
The ordinance passed without comment.
Ordinance No. 28088 Amending Chapters 13.06, 13.06A, and 13.12 of the Municipal Code, to allow greater flexibility for infill development and the reuse of existing buildings, and to streamline the City’s building and environmental review processes, as recommended by the Planning Commission. [Ian Munce, Long Range Planning Division Manager; Ricardo Noguera, Director, Community and Economic Development]
The ordinance passed without comment.
Ordinance No. 28089 Amending Title 2 of the Municipal Code, entitled “Buildings”, to add Chapter 2.19 entitled “Site Development and Off-Site Improvements”, to allow greater flexibility in off-site improvement requirements for existing buildings. [Charles Solverson, Planning Manager; Ricardo Noguera, Director, Community and Economic Development]
The ordinance passed without comment.
None this week.
REPORTS BY THE CITY MANAGER
Mr. Broadnax thanked this quarter’s special assistant Troy Stevens for his work over the last few months, particularly on the budget and public input processes. Broadnax also welcomed next quarter’s special assistant, Gwen Herring. We’re guessing there will be plenty of work for her in the coming months.
COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS OF THE CITY COUNCIL
Economic Development Committee – Councilmember Fey reported on the Committee, including
- A presentation on wayfinding from public works, which is working with a group of stakeholders to establish a plan to approve signage in downtown Tacoma. The Pacific Avenue streetscape project will begin the first phase of wayfinding based on this work.
- The Committee discussed the Economic Development Strategy Framework including business climate imrovements, waterfront development, and workforce development.
- The ordinances on TDR and encouraging infill development were reviewed and given a do pass.
- Other presentation topics included the World Trade Center, Innovation Partnership Zone, downtown parking, and more.
- At the next meeting the Committee will continue its review of the Economic Development Strategy framework.
Councilmember Woodards commented on the celebration of the opening of the new Sounder train, which she attended. Everyone is invited to the launch celebration on Saturday, October 6, with free rides for everyone. Full service will begin October 8.
Councilmember Walker reminded us that everyone is invited to the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Tacoma’s Neighborhood Council program this Thursday, September 27, at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Councilmember Mello wished a happy birthday to Mayor Strickland, and shared his gratitude for everyone who helped with the recent launch of of the Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Homes program at Wapato.
Mayor Strickland reminded us that Election Day 2012 is approaching on November 6, encouraged everyone to vote, and shared a few key dates:
- If you’ve moved, you have until October 8 to update your info online.
- If you haven’t registered to vote, visit the Pierce County Elections Center during business hours through October 29th.
- Ballots will be coming in the mail beginning October 19.
Well, not an overly talkative meeting for the City Council, but ordinances got passed nonetheless, and business got done. With Deputy Mayor Lonergan’s absence, this just goes to show that Joe really is the life of the party.
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