Vacancies on Parks, Arts, and Planning Commissions

There are numerous ways residents of the City of Ferndale can participate to help enhance the community they live in. One such way is volunteering to serve on city advisory bodies that help forum public policy and make Ferndale a prosperous place to be.

We currently have an opening on the Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board (PRTAB), the Arts Commission and there is anticipated to be an opening on the Planning Commission. If you are interested in serving on one of these bodies, please fill out the Boards and Commissions application and submit it to City Clerk Susan Duncan. You can find the application here.

All these meetings are open to the public. Appointments to these advisory bodies are made by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.

For more information contact the City Clerk Susan Duncan
Email: susanduncan@cityofferndale.org
Phone: (360) 685-2354
Fax: (360) 384-1163

Ferndale Begins Search for New City Administrator

Ferndale Begins Search for New City Administrator

Greg Young

After fourteen years as City Administrator, Greg Young is concluding his service for Ferndale at the end of 2018. Mayor Jon Mutchler has decided not to renew his contract and has tapped Community Development Director Jori Burnett as an interim City Administrator while the City begins the search for a replacement.

“Mr. Young’s service has been exceptional, and he has served the city, including the last three mayors, faithfully and professionally,” said Mutchler. “It is time for a changing of the guard as we move our city forward to the next great chapter of Ferndale’s story.”

Young was hired in 2004 as City Administrator, under Mayor Jerry Landcastle and during his tenure has overseen the construction of a new police station, a new Ferndale library, and the drilling of a new deep well. He helped the city navigate both the Great Recession and the addition of over 5,000 new residents.

“I’m proud of the work I’ve done on behalf of the people of Ferndale,” said Young. “It was an honor and a privilege.”

“Greg and I had already begun the process of preparing Mr. Burnett for the move from planning to administration,” said Mutchler. “I have every confidence in Mr. Burnett’s abilities to manage this transition.”

Ferndale Court Judge Terrance Lewis Retires, Open House set for Oct. 15th

Judge Terrance Lewis

Ferndale Municipal Court Judge, the Honorable Terrance Lewis is retiring this year after seventeen years of service to our community. The Ferndale Municipal Court handles everything from traffic infractions to custody cases. Before his work for Ferndale, Judge Lewis served for eight years as the Deputy Prosecutor for Whatcom County.

“Judge Lewis brought a fair and compassionate presence to our court. He served the highest values of justice tempered with the belief that people can change for the better,” said Mayor Jon Mutchler. “He set the standard for public service.”

A retirement celebration and open house in honor of Judge Lewis will be held at the Ferndale Police Department (2220 Main Street) on October 15th, 4:00-5:45pm. Refreshments provided.

Summary of October 1st, 2018 Council Meeting

Meeting materials can be found here

 City Council Agenda Follow-Up

October 1, 2018

5:00 STUDY SESSION: 2019 Budget Forecast INFO ONLY
CALL TO ORDER/FLAG SALUTE/ROLL CALL  
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
CONSENT AGENDA

Councilmember G. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Xczar seconded, to approve the consent agenda. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

 

APPROVED

 

INTRODUCTION: Student Planning Commissioner/Ferndale Civics Youth Coalition INFO ONLY
CAPITAL PROJECTS UPDATE

Public Works Project Manager Katy Radder presented an update on the following capital projects:

·         Washington Street, Main to Vista – Road is being graded in preparation for curb installation. Remaining work includes paving, installation of a speed table, restoration/landscaping, and striping. Paving was scheduled for Monday, October 1 but was delayed due to weather. Weather permitting, paving will occur Wednesday and Thursday, October 3 & 4. Project anticipated completion date is in two to three weeks.

·         Cherry Street and Pioneer Park Sidewalks – Cherry Street sidewalks are nearly complete, including storm drainage, ADA sidewalks/ramps, paving, & restoration. Remaining work includes hydroseeding. Pioneer Park sidewalks are stamped, and restoration needs to be completed.

 

 

 

 

 

INFO ONLY

 

PUBLIC HEARING: Shannon Avenue Right-of-Way Vacation Request

The owner of the property located on Shannon Avenue has constructed several improvements on the property adjacent to theirs, which is City property. The property in question is immediately adjacent to a hillside at the bottom of which is a stream. In addition, the City has an existing sewer line and storm drain pipe in the area. This parcel was retained by the city when the housing development was constructed for two basic reasons: 1.) to provide maintenance access should work on the sewer line be necessary; and 2.) to act as a vegetative buffer for the critical area. (steep slope and stream.)

The City has been involved in enforcement action attempting to have the property owner remove the improvements that have encroached on approximately 4,000 square feet of City property. The improvements impede the City’s ability to access the sewer line and storm drain pipe. In addition, current environmental and permitting regulations would not allow the gravel parking area to be constructed so close to the hillside and stream.

It is staff’s opinion that this parcel does not meet the criteria required to vacate City property and recommended denying the property owner’s request to allow her to purchase the property from the City.

 

Councilmember Watson moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to approve the vacation request as proposed.

 

Councilmember Kennedy moved, and Councilmember Taylor seconded, to postpone the vacation process until the following can be addressed: 1.) Examine the potential of the City leasing the property to the owner instead of vacating it; 2.) Critical Areas/Environmental Issues; and 3.) Review of the lot line adjustment.

 

ON THE AMENDMENT: MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

 

ON THE MAIN, AMENDED MOTION: MOTION CARRIED 5-2, Councilmembers Xczar and K. Hansen opposed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPROVED AS AMENDED

DISCUSSION: Legoe Avenue Developer’s Agreement

The property owner is requesting an amendment of the developer’s agreement that was established in 2016. That agreement rezoned the two parcels for multifamily purposes, and also specified that twelve units could be built on the primary property, and did not allow for any units to be built on the smaller adjacent property. Since 2016, the property owner has pursued his proposed development; however, the road easement west of Legoe Avenue is owned by the Ferndale School District, which has indicated that the owner will be required to construct Primrose/Siddle Lane to full City standards. The costs of such a roadway is not sustainable for the property owner. The requested amendment to the developer’s agreement would allow the property owner to reduce his costs substantially through the construction of duplexes instead of fourplexes. Since duplexes utilize space less efficiently, the request is to change the number of units on the primary property to ten, and allow two units to be built on the smaller adjacent property. The requested amendment does not change the total number of units.

 

Councilmember Olson moved, and Councilmember Kennedy seconded, to approve the amendment of the original developer’s agreement to allow one duplex on the smaller parcel with conditions as stipulated. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPROVED

ORDINANCE: FMC Modifications – Parking in the Right-of-Way

The Ferndale Police Department is the primary department regulating parking within the public right of way, through FMC 10.08. Currently, FMC 8.08.040 and FMC 10.08.060.D contradict each other in terms of how long a vehicle may park on a city street or right-of-way. The proposed ordinance changes FMC 8.08.040 to limit the time a vehicle can be parked on a city street or right-of-way from 72 hours to 24 hours, making it consistent with FMC 10.08.060D.

 

Councilmember Watson moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

 

 

 

 

APPROVED

ORDINANCE: Temporary Outdoor Encampments

Religious organizations have played a primary role in providing care and resources to the homeless community, often in the form of temporary outdoor homeless encampments. RCW 35A.21.360 prevents local jurisdictions from banning such encampments entirely and limits the conditions that can be placed on the encampments to those related to public health and safety. The RCW also allows a jurisdiction to identify a process for such land uses. The proposed amendments to the Ferndale Municipal Code makes outdoor homeless encampments hosted by religious organizations a separate conditional use, and clarifies the specific requirements for the encampments. A public hearing was held on this item at the August 20, 2018 Council meeting, and the item was referred back to the Planning & Land Use Committee to address various concerns, such as clarifying definitions, zoning, responsibilities of the hosting agencies, restroom facilities, and permit fees.

 

Councilmember Olson moved, and Councilmember Watson seconded to approve the ordinance with the added condition that sharps containers be provided at sites.

MOTION CARRIED 6-0, Councilmember Kennedy abstaining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPROVED

DISCUSSION: Water/Sewer Bills Payment Plan

In response to the impact on citizens of higher than expected summer utility bills, staff recommends adoption of the following temporary modification to utility bills payment/late fee/shut offs:

·         For water/sewer bills that have already gone out on August 31st of this year, we will not:

1.       Do any turn-offs

2.       Charge any late fees regardless of their outstanding balance.

 

·         The next round of utility bills will go out on October 31st and December 31st.

 

·         If a utility customer maintains their total outstanding utility bill at or below $200 (for the combined August 31st, October 31st and December 31st billings), the City will not charge any late fees and/or shut off their water.

·         Customers will have until February 19, 2019 to bring their balances to zero – if not, late fees will be charged, and water shut offs will occur.

 

Councilmember Watson moved, and Councilmember Olson seconded, to approve the payment plan as presented. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPROVED

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 7:46 p.m.  

 

September 17, 2018 Council Meeting Summary

Meeting materials can be found here

 City Council Agenda Follow-Up

September 17, 2018

CALL TO ORDER/FLAG SALUTE/ROLL CALL  
PRESENTATION: Erika Nurenberg, Whatcom County Health Department INFO ONLY
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
2018 RECREATION PROGRAM RECAP

Communications Officer/Recreation Coordinator Riley Sweeney and intern Annie Leete presented a summary of the 2018 parks events, which included:

·         Glow in the Dark Croquet

·         Wee One Nature Hunt

·         Food Truck Fridays

·         Yoga in the Park

·         Music in the Park (two different dates/bands)

·         The Great Ferndale Midsummer Mystery

·         Flicks in the Park (Games before the movie)

·         Field Games

·         Tie-Dye Your T-Shirt

·         Operation Splash Mob

 

 

 

 

 

 

INFO ONLY

CONSENT AGENDA

Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to approve the consent agenda. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

 

APPROVED

 

INTRODUCTION: New SCOPE Officers

Chief of Police Kevin Turner introduced the new volunteer SCOPE (Senior Citizens on Patrol Enhancement) Officers. SCOPE Officers perform security checks on vacant homes, enforce disabled parking violations, assist during special events, & operate the radar reader board.

 

 

INFO ONLY

PRIVATE DEVELOPMENTS UPDATE

Associate Planner Haylie Miller provided updates on the following private projects:

·         Skyline Properties –  Long plat subdivision consisting of 5 single family parcels, located at the intersection of Vista & Thornton.

·         Campbell Short Plat – Mixed-use commercial short plat, located on Barrett Road.

·         Vista Springs Long Plat – Long plat, 8 proposed lots, located on the east side of Vista Drive.

 

 

INFO ONLY

 

PUBLIC HEARING: Complete Streets Program Ordinance

The Complete Streets Program is a process in which streets are designed considering uses other than just automobiles, such as pedestrians, bicycles, transit, etc. Aesthetics, the environment, and overall economic development are also considerations in this model.

Washington State and the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) have allocated significant grant funds to support jurisdictions with Complete Streets Ordinances.  In addition to adopting an ordinance, the City must be nominated to the TIB for this funding by one or more nominating agencies. Nominating agencies include WSDOT, WA Department of Commerce, the WA Department of Health, and Futurewise. The Transpo Group is assisting City Staff in developing a draft ordinance and completing the nomination process.

Councilmember Watson moved, and Councilmember Taylor seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

 

 

 

 

 

APPROVED

 

PUBLIC HEARING: Multifamily Tax Exemption Ordinance

In the mid-1990’s Washington State established RCW 84.14 which allowed jurisdictions meeting certain size or planning requirements to waive property taxes on new or rehabilitated multifamily development in “Residential Targeted Areas” within Urban Centers for up to eight years. The program’s goal is to incentivize multifamily development in those areas where demand exists but residential units are not being built. At the September 12 Planning & Land Use Committee meeting, various decisions points were discussed and are reflected in the updated ordinance, as are concerns expressed by Whatcom County Fire District #7.

Councilmember Xczar moved, and Councilmember Taylor seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 5-2, Councilmembers Watson and Olson opposed.

 

 

 

 

 

APPROVED

DISCUSSION: Water/Sewer Bills Payment Plan

In anticipation of funding the new Water/Wastewater Treatment Plant, on June 19, 2017, Council approved an ordinance increasing sewer connection fees by 25% for one year, increasing sewer rate fees by 3% for one year, and eliminating the summer discount beginning in 2018.

As the June/July 2018 bills have been distributed, and the City has received feedback from the public on the impact of the rate changes, Council is reexamining this issue, and exploring options to assist citizens in paying their bills.

Mayor Mutchler shared information regarding City plans to improve water service to citizens.

By general consensus, this item was sent back to the September 26, 2018 Finance & Administration Committee.

 

 

 

 

DISCUSSION ONLY

ENGINEERING SERVICES CONTRACT: Water Treatment Plant Upgrade

The scope of services to be provided by Wilson Engineering and subconsultants covers design and bidding phase services for the proposed Water Treatment Plant Upgrade Project. This phase of the project will include developing a project report per DOH requirements, pilot study, plans, specifications, bid documents, and bidding the project. This includes all work associated with the construction of a building addition; two additional reverse osmosis treatment units, remineralization system, anti-scalant addition system, new/modified piping, electrical controls, and jib cranes. Approval is sought for the bid amount of $296,000 plus a 10% contingency.

Councilmember G. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Xczar seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 6-1, Councilmember Watson opposed.

 

 

 

 

APPROVED

ENGINEERING SERVICES CONTRACT: Shop Well #2 Well House Project

The scope of services to be provided by Wilson Engineering and subconsultants covers design and bidding phase services for the proposed Shop Well #2 Well House Project. This phase of the project will include developing plans, specifications, and bid documents and bidding the project. This includes all work associated with the construction of a 1,000 gpm water supply well, piping connections to existing water transmission line, 10’X20” building, site improvements, retaining wall, electrical, controls, SCADA programming and additional miscellaneous items. Approval is sought for the bid amount of $120,412 plus a 10% contingency.

Councilmember Kennedy moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 5-2, Councilmembers Watson and Olson opposed.

 

 

 

 

APPROVED

ORDINANCE: Temporary Outdoor Encampments

By general consensus, this item was deferred to the October 1, 2018 Council meeting.

DEFERRED TO OCTOBER 1
ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.  

 

Summary of July 16th, 2018 Council Meeting

You can find all related Agenda documents here

City Council Agenda Follow-Up

July 16, 2018

CALL TO ORDER/FLAG SALUTE/ROLL CALL  
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
BREWING OVER CITY BUSINESS

Brewing Over City Business is a pilot program to increase transparency and civic participation. It is made possible by a generous donation from Woods Coffee and support from the Whatcom Community Foundation as part of the Project Neighborly initiative.  First-time attendees to a Ferndale City Council meeting sign up at the beginning of the meeting to receive a free $10 Woods Coffee card. When the meeting is over, those who signed up will receive their card. Students who are attending the meeting as a class requirement are not eligible.

 

 

 

INFO ONLY

CONSENT AGENDA

Councilmember G. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Taylor seconded, to approve the consent agenda. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.

 

APPROVED

 

THORNTON OVERCROSSING PROJECT UPDATE

Current status: Design is 60% complete, BNSF comments are being addressed, and right-of-way acquisition and environmental permitting are underway.

Estimated timetable: Design anticipated to be completed by the end of 2018. Right-of-way acquisition and environmental permitting is expected to be completed in June 2019. Advertisement for bids to be in July 2019.

Construction pre-load is anticipated to begin in September 2019, with the expectation that it will take approximately 18 months.

Bridge & road construction is expected to begin in April 2021, and should take approximately 20 months, with completion expected by January 2023.

 

 

 

 

INFO ONLY

PRIVATE DEVELOPMENTS UPDATE

Associate Planner Haylie Miller presented updates on the following private development projects:

·         Taco Bell – the existing Denny’s building will be demolished and replaced with a smaller building with a drive-through. Construction is expected to begin within the next two or three months.

·         LaBounty Apartments – 150 unit complex consisting of 5 buildings with 30 units each. This is a 9-acre site, located west of the existing Labounty Place Apartments. Groundbreaking is expected to be in approximately one year.

·         Third Avenue Duplexes – Two duplexes, located across from Ferndale Grain. They are almost complete and ready for occupancy.

 

 

 

 

 

 INFO ONLY

ORDINANCE: Modifications to FMC 6.02 – Animal Control Enforcement

The City has a contract with the Whatcom Humane Society for animal control services. They have informed staff that the Ferndale Municipal Code does not grant specific authority to confiscate prohibited domestic fowl such as roosters, peacocks, and guinea fowl. While those types of fowl are prohibited according to FMC 6.02.207, the existing language is insufficient to allow Animal Control to confiscate the animals if found to be in the possession of a property owner or roaming at large.  The additional proposed language states that prohibited fowl are subject to confiscation, and will suffice to grant Animal Control that authority.

Councilmember Olson moved, and Councilmember Watson seconded, to approve the agenda bill.

MOTION CARRIED 6-0.

 

 

 

 

 

APPROVED

 

MAYOR REPORTS/COMMENTS

Information only.

COUNCIL REPORTS/COMMENTS

Information only. Councilmember Olson moved, and Councilmember Kennedy seconded, to excuse Councilmember K. Hansen’s absence. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.

 

 

INFO ONLY

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 6:43 p.m.  

 

Attend Your First City Council Meeting and Receive a Free Coffee Card

The City of Ferndale wants you to attend a City Council meeting and share what you learned with a neighbor. Come see local politics in action and learn more about what is happening in your city and you could receive a $10 gift card to Woods Coffee as part of our “Brewing over City Business” program.

If this is your first time attending a City Council meeting, you live in Ferndale and are not a student, sign up at the beginning of the meeting to receive a free coffee card. Once the meeting is gaveled close, you will receive the gift card. The City urges you to find a friend, a neighbor or family member and invite them out to coffee and share your experiences.

Democracy is not a spectator sport, and our hope is that this will inspire everyone to engage with their local government and have a better understanding of how the City operates. This is a pilot program to increase transparency and civic participation.

“Brewing over City Business” is made possible thanks to a generous donation from Woods Coffee and support from the Whatcom Community Foundation as part of the Project Neighborly initiative. No city funds were expended to make this happen.

For more information or questions, please contact Communications Officer Riley Sweeney at (360) 685-2353 or rileysweeney@cityofferndale.org.

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