Council Meeting Summary for June 17th, 2019

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                                                                                      City Council Agenda Follow-Up June 17, 2019  
APPROVAL OF AGENDA APPROVED
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
CONSENT AGENDA Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember Xczar seconded, to approve the consent agenda.  MOTION CARRIED 7-0.    APPROVED
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Brian Enslow City Lobbyist Brian Enslow presented an update from the 2019 Legislative Session, including an overview of the 2019 operating budget. Session priorities for Ferndale included:         INFO ONLY
CAPITAL PROJECTS UPDATE: Public Works Project Manager Katy Radder presented updates on the following capital projects: First Avenue Pedestrian Improvements – the project is currently out to bid, with a bid opening date of June 27. Construction is anticipated to begin in August.Ferndale Terrace – the project is currently in the design phase.Nordic to Scout Waterline – the project is currently in the design phase, and BNSF permitting is in process. Pump Station #19 Decommissioning – currently coordinating easement language and terms with the property owner and will soon be beginning the design phase.Thornton Overpass – currently getting close to finishing with right-of-way acquisition.               INFO ONLY
PRESENTATION: Shoreline Master Program Community Development Director Haylie Miller presented an overview of the Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The SMP is regulated by the Washington State Department of Ecology. The existing version was written between 2000 and 2006, though it was not adopted by Ecology until 2010. A minor update to the Critical Areas portion was revised in May 2017 in order to comply with the City’s Critical Areas Ordinance update. The City is required to conduct a periodic review of its SMP by June 2020 in order to comply with State guidelines.       INFO ONLY
ORDINANCE: Kope Road Vacation On April 5, 2019, the Lummi Nation submitted a request to vacate a portion of Kope Road. The request complied with the procedures set forth in Ferndale Municipal Code 12.37, Road Vacations. A public hearing was held on May 20, 2019, consistent with the requirements of FMC 12.37, providing citizens with the opportunity to provide testimony regarding the vacation. Following the public hearing Council agreed to proceed with valuing the property. An appraisal set the value of the land at $114,000.00. It is staff’s belief that the public benefit criteria as defined in FMC 12.37 has been met, and the vacation will mutually benefit both the City and the Lummi Nation. Councilmember Olson moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to send the item back to the Planning & Land Use Committee for further discussion. MOTION FAILED 3-4, Councilmembers Olson, G. Hansen and Jensen in favor. Councilmember K. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Xczar seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 5-1, Councilmember Olson opposed and Councilmember Taylor abstaining.       APPROVED
ORDINANCE: Multifamily Tax Exemption Time Frame Extension The City Council adopted the Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) program in September of 2018. The program allows property owners within the residential target area to waive property taxes associated with eligible multifamily residential development for a period of eight years. The residential targeted area designation consists of the Urban Residential and City Center zones, as well as the Griffintown neighborhood. The City Council initially expressed support for a sunset date to encourage applicants to move forward with the projects within a short timeframe. The program currently has a sunset date of December 31, 2020, allowing two years for applicants to submit building permits. This date ties eligibility to building permits (rather than Site Plan approval, etc.) Further, construction of new multifamily housing must be completed within three years from the date of approval of the application, as described in FMC 3.38.080, or within an extension authorized under the chapter. Staff believes that MFTE applications will be submitted soon for at least three new developments. The program currently requires building permits to be submitted by December 31, 2020. That deadline may be feasible; however, on average, most projects take two years or more from the initial permit submittal to the submittal of building permits. Staff recommends extending the application deadline by one year to December 31, 2021. Councilmember Xczar moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTIN CARRIED 6-1, Councilmember Olson opposed.                     APPROVED
EXECUTIVE SESSION: RCW 42.30.110(i) Following the executive session, Councilmember Jensen moved, and Councilmember Olson seconded, to approve the settlement agreement and release between the City of Ferndale and Greg Young as presented. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.   SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT APPROVED
ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at 7:46 p.m.  

June 3rd, 2019 Council Meeting Summary

Agenda Materials Found Here

City Council Agenda Follow-Up June 3, 2019  
APPROVAL OF AGENDA Mayor Mutchler announced that the scheduled Executive Session was cancelled. Councilmember Olson moved, and Councilmember Taylor seconded, to approve the agenda as amended. MOTION CARRIED 5-0. APPROVED AS AMENDED
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
PRESENTATION: Ferndale Civics Youth Council Ferndale High School ASB President Leah Kessen & Vice President Alex Faria shared their experiences with the Ferndale Civics Youth Council.   INFO ONLY
PRESENTATION: Building Official/Building Inspector Building Official Kyle Huebner introduced Craig Stephenson from the International Code Council, and presented information about the 2015 Existing Building Code.   INFO ONLY
INTERVIEWS OF CANDIDATES FOR SEATS #5 AND #7 The resignations of Councilmembers Fred Kennedy and Cathy Watson left two vacant seats on Council. The Ferndale City Council must fill those vacancies within 90 days, or the Whatcom County Council may do so. Per the direction of the Finance & Administration Committee on May 15, staff advertised the vacancies, with a closing date of May 30, 2019. The following people applied, and were each given two minutes to introduce themselves and give a brief statement to Council: Bobbi FergusonDean WithrowGary JensenConnie FariaStephanie ManningJames GrovesCarol Bersch             INFO ONLY
EXECUTIVE SESSION: RCW 42.30.100(h) (Seat #7) Council adjourned to executive session to discuss the qualifications of the applicants for the open council seats.        
VOTING AND SWEARING IN OF COUNCIL SEAT #7 Following Executive Session, Mayor Mutchler opened nominations for Seat #7. Councilmember Taylor nominated Gary Jensen. Councilmember Olson nominated Carol Bersch. Councilmember Olson moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to suspend the Council rules of procedure regarding voting method and vote by simultaneous paper ballots. MOTION CARRIED 5-0. Carol Bersch received 3 votes. (Councilmembers Xczar, Olson and K. Hansen) Gary Jensen received 2 votes. (Councilmembers G. Hansen and Taylor) Councilmember Carol Bersch was sworn in and took her place at Seat #7.       CAROL BERSCH APPOINTED TO SEAT #7
EXECUTIVE SESSION: RCW 42.30.100(h) (Seat #5) Council had the option of adjourning to a second executive session with the newly-appointed Councilmember Bersch included, so she would be able to take part in the discussion of the qualifications of the applicants for Seat #5. By general consensus, the second executive session was cancelled.      
VOTING AND SWEARING IN OF COUNCIL SEAT #5 Mayor Mutchler opened nominations for Seat #5. Councilmember G. Hansen nominated Gary Jensen. Seeing no further nominations, Mayor Mutchler closed nominations and by unanimous consent, Gary Jensen was appointed to Seat #5. Councilmember Gary Jensen was sworn in and took his place at Seat #5.   GARY JENSEN APPOINTED TO SEAT #5
COUNCIL COMMITTEE & LIAISON ASSIGNMENTS The following Committee and Liaison vacancies were filled: Public Works & Utilities Committee: Councilmembers Jensen and Xczar Planning & Land Use Committee: Councilmember Bersch Whatcom Transportation Authority:  Councilmember Taylor Whatcom County Fire District #7:  Councilmember Jensen Ferndale Heritage Society:  Councilmember Bersch Senior Center: Councilmember Bersch       INFO ONLY
CONSENT AGENDA Councilmember G. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Olson seconded, to approve the consent agenda.  MOTION CARRIED 7-0.     APPROVED
PUBLIC HEARING: Puget Sound Energy Franchise Agreement Ordinance Pursuant to FMC 5.40, staff recommends renewing the Puget Sound Energy Franchise Agreement. While the City has latitude over some aspects of franchise agreements, other items are governed by State and Federal regulations. The City has worked to ensure that provisions of the agreement provide adequate protection of the public Right-of-Way and the City’s ability to require movement of utilities consistent with City needs. A public hearing is required prior to adoption of the franchise agreement ordinance. Councilmember G. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Taylor seconded, to approve the agenda bill.  MOTION CARRIED 7-0.       APPROVED
PUBLIC HEARING: Comcast Franchise Agreement Ordinance Pursuant to FMC 5.40, staff recommends adopting the Comcast Franchise Agreement. While the City has latitude over some aspects of franchise agreements, other items are governed by State and Federal regulations. The City has worked to ensure that provisions of the agreement provide adequate protection of the public Right-of-Way and the City’s ability to require movement of utilities consistent with City needs. A public hearing is required prior to adoption of the franchise agreement ordinance. Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to approve the agenda bill.  MOTION CARRIED 7-0.         APPROVED
PUBLIC HEARING: Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Resolution Pursuant to RCW 35.77.010, the City is required to adopt a revised and extended comprehensive transportation program before July 1st of each year. The program must then be submitted within 30 days to the Secretary of Transportation. With the City’s major focus being the Thornton Street Overcrossing Project, the 2020 – 2025 TIP is substantially similar to previous years with no additional projects and limited modifications to timeline, funding, and expenditure levels. A public hearing is required prior to adoption of the TIP. Councilmember G. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Xczar seconded, to approve the agenda bill.  MOTION CARRIED 7-0.         APPROVED
ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at 7:22 p.m.  

Council Meeting Summary for May 20th, 2019

Agenda Materials can be found here

City Council Agenda Follow-Up May 20, 2019  
APPROVAL OF AGENDA Mayor Mutchler announced that the scheduled Executive Session was cancelled. Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember Xczar seconded, to approve the agenda as amended. MOTION CARRIED 5-0. APPROVED AS AMENDED
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
CONSENT AGENDA Councilmember K. Hansen moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to approve the consent agenda.  MOTION CARRIED 5-0.   APPROVED
SELECTION OF MAYOR PRO TEMPORE With the resignation of Councilmember Cathy Watson, a new Mayor Pro Tem is required to be appointed to serve in the event of the Mayor’s absence. Councilmember Olson nominated Greg Hansen. Councilmember Kate Hansen nominated herself, explaining that she felt she was the best choice as she is the only Councilmember who is not running for office in the current election. Councilmember Kate Hansen was elected Mayor Pro Tem with 4 votes.  (K. Hansen, Xczar, Taylor and G. Hansen)     KATE HANSEN SELECTED AS MAYOR PRO-TEM    
PRESENTATION: Susan Marks, Commission on Sexual and Domestic Violence The Commission on Sexual & Domestic Violence was formed in 1998 by a joint resolution between Whatcom County and the City of Bellingham. It is funded by the City of Ferndale, Whatcom County, and the City of Bellingham as well as grants from the US Department of Justice. Current projects: 1.) An audit was conducted to determine how the County legal system is responding to sexual assault and recommendations were made based on the findings of the audit. 2.) Youth Summit for high school youth groups with adult mentors, the “Big Consent Event” was held on May 1 with 145 participants. Upcoming project: Restorative Justice Learning Series, to be co-hosted with the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center.         INFO ONLY
INTRODUCTION: SCOPE Officer Chief of Police Kevin Turner introduced new SCOPE (Senior Citizens On Patrol Enhancement) Officer Judee Lepella. Volunteer SCOPE Officers are responsible for enforcing ADA parking, operating the radar reader board, providing security at Ferndale Municipal Court, and providing security home checks when homeowners are on vacation.     INFO ONLY
PUBLIC HEARING: Kope Road Vacation Request Mayor Mutchler read the following statement: “Before we start this topic, I would like to begin by acknowledging that we gather today on the ancestral homeland of the Coast Salish Peoples, who have lived in the Salish Sea basin, throughout the San Juan Island and the North Cascades watershed, from time immemorial. We have the deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, as original stewards of our shared land and waterways.” On April 5, 2019 the Lummi Nation submitted an application for the City to vacate a portion of Kope Road in order for them to develop their property south of Slater Road and west of Rural Avenue. The application addresses the criteria required by Ferndale Municipal Code 12.37.040. A public hearing was held as required by the Ferndale Municipal Code; however, the Public Works Director recommended not voting on the vacation ordinance until the property appraisal can be completed.  Staff recommended bringing the item back to Council on June 17, 2019, which will allow time to complete the appraisal. By general consensus, Council directed staff to proceed with the appraisal, and schedule the item for the June 17, 2019 regular meeting.       DIRECTION PROVIDED TO STAFF
PUBLIC HEARING: Thornton Street Overpass Project Eminent Domain Ordinance The ordinance provides for the use of eminent domain, if necessary, to acquire property rights that are needed for the construction of the Thornton Street Overpass. Although the City has made good faith efforts to acquire the necessary easement rights from the owners through active negotiations, a final agreement has not yet been reached for some of the properties. In order to meet the City’s construction schedule, it is important that the City, at minimum, obtain possession and use of the property needed for the project. Enacting eminent domain preserves both the property owners’ rights for just compensation as well as the City’s ability to move forward with the project. A public hearing was held as required. Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember Xczar seconded, to approve the agenda bill.  MOTION CARRIED 5-0.           APPROVED
PUBLIC HEARING: RMH Zone Amendments The RMH (Residential Multifamily-High) Zone is intended to be the second of up to three new multifamily zones that would replace existing zoning that dates back to the 1970’s. The RMM (Residential Multifamily-Medium) Zone was adopted in 2017 and applies to properties currently zoned for multifamily development which are generally large enough to support multiple buildings. The RMH zone as proposed applies to properties currently zoned for multifamily development which are generally less than an acre in size. The Planning Commission has been working on the RMH Zone since December 2018.  A public hearing was held as required. Councilmember Xczar moved, and Councilmember K. Hansen seconded, to approve the ordinance with an amendment to Section 18.72.020, Special Setback Requirements. A 20-foot setback to a garage opening would be required when the driveway fronts a public right of way, and a 0-foot setback to a garage opening would be required when the driveway fronts a private road, shared driveway, or alley with no utility conflicts. MOTION CARRIED 5-0.             APPROVED
ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at 7:22 p.m.  

Summary of April 15th, 2019 Council Meeting

Council Materials can be found here

City Council Agenda Follow-Up April 15, 2019  
CALL TO ORDER/FLAG SALUTE/ROLL CALL    
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
CONSENT AGENDA Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember K. Hansen seconded, to approve the consent agenda.  MOTION CARRIED 7-0.   APPROVED
PRIVATE DEVELOPMENTS UPDATE Assistant Planner Jesse Ashbaugh presented updates on the following private projects: Everkept Short Plat – Located at 5924 Aspen Avenue. This is a .37-acre plot is being split into three lots. A lot line adjustment was required in order to increase the density enough to allow three units.Northwest Fence – Located at 5531 Hovander Road. Northwest Fence is moving from their current location on Pacific Highway to this 4.52-acre site. They will be putting two buildings on the site. Building A is 15,300 square feet and will be for offices and light manufacturing. Building B is 37,600 square feet and is for wholesale/retail and construction materials.Woodridge Long Plat – Located at 0 Heather Way, this plat is an eighteen-lot, 3.99 acres plat adjacent to Schell Creek. The homes built will be self-help homes through Whatcom-Skagit Housing for first time home owners.           INFO ONLY
PUBLIC HEARING: Downtown Catalyst Program Ordinance Beginning in the early 1980s, a succession of private or City-led groups have sought to address a decline in Ferndale’s downtown core. That decline has been attributed at various points to a change in shopping habits, increased traffic through Main Street, lack of parking, inappropriately sized buildings, lack of building maintenance, and more. Until the mid-2000s the majority of these efforts sought primarily to preserve or enhance existing buildings and businesses. Staff and Planning Commission have been working to establish a Downtown Catalyst Program wherein a small number of developments that meet criteria identified by the City would be eligible for a waiver of all City fees. Staff’s theory has been that such a project would have the ability, through its development, to positively influence properties and developments in the surrounding area, creating a more-vibrant Downtown that could be further improved without additional incentives. At the April 10 Planning & Land Use Committee meeting, several modifications to the original proposal were discussed. The draft being presented to Council at the April 15 meeting incorporates the direction provided at that meeting. Councilmember Xczar moved, and Councilmember Kennedy seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 5-2, Councilmembers Olson and Watson opposed.               APPROVED
APPOINTMENTS: North Whatcom Poverty Task Force An ordinance adopting the formation of the North Whatcom Poverty Task Force was approved on February 19, 2019. The task force will conduct a needs assessment and present recommendations to Council regarding poverty in the Ferndale area. Mayor Council confirmation of the Mayor’s appointments to the task force is required. Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.       APPROVED
ORDINANCE: Creating New Fund for Complete Streets Program Public Works Director Kevin Renz explained the need for the new fund for the $300,000 grant received from the Transportation Benefit District, through the Complete Streets Program. Councilmember G.  Hansen moved, and Councilmember K. Hansen seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.       APPROVED
DISCUSSION: Council Extra Meeting Reimbursement Mayor Mutchler introduced a proposal to add extra-meeting reimbursement to City Council compensation. Rather than raising Council salaries, this proposal provides for a $65 reimbursement for Council-approved liaison and inter-governmental assignments that are in addition to regular Council and Committee meetings, with a maximum of four meetings per month. The reimbursement would become effective for seats 1,2,3 and 4 in 2020, and Seats 5,6 and 7 in 2022. Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember Kennedy seconded, to approve the agenda bill.  MOTION FAILED 2 – 5, Councilmembers Taylor and Kennedy in favor.         FAILED
DISCUSSION: Mayor Salary In 1999, the City converted to a Council-Mayor form of government. Councilmember Xczar presented the history of the Mayor’s salary since that time. Councilmember Xczar moved, and Councilmember K. Hansen seconded, to adjust the Mayor’s salary to $2,500 per month, beginning in 2020. Councilmember Kennedy moved to amend the motion to adjust the Mayor’s salary to $2,500 per month, beginning May 1, 2019. MOTION DIED FOR LACK OF A SECOND. Councilmember Xczar moved, and Councilmember Kennedy seconded, to amend the motion to direct staff to bring an ordinance to the next meeting setting the Mayor’s salary at $2,500 per month, beginning January 1, 2020.  MOTION CARRIED 4-3, Councilmembers Olson, Watson, and G. Hansen opposed.         APPROVED
RECOGNITION:  Councilmember Fred Kennedy Mayor Mutchler presented Councilmember Kennedy with a plaque and a City centennial coin, and thanked him for his dedicated service as a Councilmember.   INFO ONLY
ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at 9:19 p.m.  

Summary of March 4th, 2019 Council Meeting

Meeting Materials can be found by clicking here

 City Council Agenda Follow-Up March 4, 2019  
CALL TO ORDER/FLAG SALUTE/ROLL CALL    
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
CONSENT AGENDA Councilmember G. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Taylor seconded, to approve the consent agenda.  MOTION CARRIED 7-0.   APPROVED
ORDINANCE: Development Standards Modification/Land Disturbance As currently written, Chapter 19.65 of the Ferndale Municipal Code requires a permit for the removal of vegetation greater than six inches in diameter that cannot be completed exclusively with hand tools. The proposed revisions remove this language and allow an exemption for the removal of up to four trees per year on private, residential lots. Removal of trees and/or vegetation in or near probable critical areas will still require permitting. Additional proposed changes include updating the definitions of “clearing” and “land disturbing activities”, updating activity thresholds, amending fill placement and testing requirements, and updating setbacks language.  Councilmember Kennedy moved, and Councilmember Watson seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.         APPROVED
APPROVAL: Shop Well #2 Pilot Study In 2013 a Reverse Osmosis (RO) Pilot test was completed at the City’s Water Treatment Plant to obtain approval from the Washington Department of Health for the City’s current treatment system. The City’s current well water treatment system provides a blended mix of about 40% water treated to removed manganese and 60% treated by RO to remove hardness. The new treatment system will be revised to 100% RO treatment. Because the treated product is far too soft to be usable, a remineralization step will be added. This consists of injecting carbon dioxide to temporarily acidify the water. The RO finished water is then percolated through a calcite filter to dissolve calcium and carbonate to achieve a proper balance between softness and hardness. The pilot study will be at the Shop Well #2 location. The primary objective of the pilot study is to evaluate the performance of the treatment system for removing TDS, optimizing the RO system recovery rate, re-mineralizing finished water and to refine full scale treatment design criteria. Councilmember Watson moved, and Councilmember Taylor seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.               APPROVED
RESOLUTION: Department of Ecology State Revolving Fund Loan/WWTP The City is required to expand the capacity of the Wastewater Treatment Plant, (WWTP) and construction is anticipated to begin in 2019. The total cost of the project is currently estimated at $25 million. The $14,542,784 State Revolving Fund Loan with the Washington State Department of Ecology would partially fund the project. It provides a very low interest rate of 2%. Approval of the authorizing resolution will formalize the loan. Project design, administration, and management work that has occurred thus far can be billed against the loan. The loan has a funding expiration date of April 30, 2023, and repayment is not required to begin until one year after project completion or initiation of operation. Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember Kennedy seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.           APPROVED
DISCUSSION: Public Notification Procedures A recent zoning text amendment included a proposed change to the Mixed-Use Commercial zone, proposing a density limit of twenty dwelling units per gross acre. A property owner with a pending application in that zone expressed concern about not having received a mailed notice related to the Public Hearing held by the Planning Commission on this matter. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the text change and forwarded it to the City Council for consideration. Because the property owner was concerned with the noticing procedure that took place, staff brought the proposed text amendment to the Planning and Land Use committee as a discussion item only. The committee placed the Mixed-Use Commercial text amendment on hold and directed staff to bring forward a summary of noticing procedures for review. After discussion with the full Council about the different types of notifications, the item was referred back to the Planning & Land Use Committee. The committee recommended that direct mailings be provided to property owners if the text change is considered substantial or material. Examples of substantial or material changes are included related to changes in uses and/or densities. The committee also recommended property owners within 300 feet be notified for rezones or substantial text amendments during the Notice of Application phase only. Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.           APPROVED
RESOLUTION: Council Rules of Procedure Occasional review and/or revision to the Council Rules of Procedure provides an opportunity for Council and staff to become more familiar with the rules to ensure that the established procedures are being followed, and also to ensure compliance with state law. Careful review and revision of the rules has eliminated the areas in which there were contradictions as well as eliminating out-of-date language. The rules as proposed rely heavily on the Revised Code of Washington, Roberts Rules of Order, and best practices as recommended by registered Parliamentarian Ann MacFarlane. Councilmember K. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Kennedy seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.         APPROVED
ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting was adjourned at 6:55 p.m.    

Summary of Feb. 19th, 2019 Council Meeting

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 City Council Agenda Follow-Up February 19, 2019  
CALL TO ORDER/FLAG SALUTE/ROLL CALL    
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
CONSENT AGENDA Councilmember moved, and Councilmember seconded, to approve the consent agenda.  MOTION CARRIED 7-0.   APPROVED
PRESENTATION: Mayor’s Citizenship Award Mayor Mutchler presented Pete and Nita Harksell with the award and highlighted some of their volunteer service, including: Kiwanis, Old Settlers Association, Ferndale Heritage Society. Pete also serves on the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is a member of the Park, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board.     INFO ONLY
APPROVAL: Emergency Declaration The emergency declaration enabled each City department to enter contracts and incur obligations necessary to combat emergency situations during the snow storm to protect the public safety and to prevent further damage to property. This declaration is in addition to those filed by the State and County. Ferndale, Lynden and Blaine all filed such declarations with Whatcom County Emergency Management.  All three cities joining together increases the chance of recouping some of the expenses incurred as a result of the snow. Councilmember Watson moved, and Councilmember Kennedy seconded, to approve the emergency declaration, removing the phrase, “pursuant to the emergency management plan.” MOTION CARRIED 6-0, Councilmember Olson abstaining.           APPROVED
DISCUSSION: Thornton Street Overpass Public Works Project Manager Katy Radder presented the different options for the retaining wall and slope wall for the Thornton Street Overpass. There are three different main options: Gabion Basket, Precast Panel, and Shotcrete. Each option comes with different price points and different provisions for settlement of the wall. By general consensus, when the project goes out to bid, bidders will be requested to submit a bid for each of the different options.       INFO ON LY
PRESENTATION OF 2019 WORK PLANS:  Finance, Public Works Finance Director Sirke Salminen presented the 2019 work plan for the Finance Department, which includes: Water/Sewer Rate StudyFunding for the Water/Wastewater Treatment Plant UpgradesComputer Capital PlanFinalize Utility Billing AuditProperty Inventory ProcessSoftware Data Cleanup   Public Works Director Kevin Renz presented the 2019 work plan for the Public Works Department, which includes: Streets: Thornton Overpass, Ferndale Terrace Design, First & Main Intersection, Crack Sealing, and Complete Streets Work PlanWater: Shop Well #2 Wellhouse Construction, Treatment Plant Upgrades, and Nordic to Scout LoopSewer: WWTP Upgrades, Pump Station #19 Decommissioning, Eber Lane Sewer, and Grandview Sewer ExtensionStormwater: Decant Facility DesignParks: Star Park Shelter, Equipment Replacement   INFO ONLY
DISCUSSION: Public Notification Procedures A recent zoning text amendment included a proposed change to the Mixed-Use Commercial zone, proposing a density limit of twenty dwelling units per gross acres. A property owner with a pending application who is located in that zone expressed concern about not having received a mailed notice related to the Public Hearing held by the Planning Commission on this matter. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the text change and forwarded it to the City Council for consideration. Because the property owner was concerned with the noticing procedure that took place, staff brought the proposed text amendment to the Planning and Land Use committee as a discussion item only. The committee placed the Mixed-Use Commercial text amendment on hold and directed staff to bring forward a summary of noticing procedures for review. After discussion with the full Council about the different types of notifications, direction was provided to staff, and this item will be placed on the next Planning and Land Use Committee meeting agenda for further discussion.           DISCUSSION ONLY
ORDINANCE: North Whatcom Poverty Task Force The City of Ferndale continues to feel the impacts of rising house prices, income inequality, homelessness and food insecurity. Since Ferndale has not made a unified effort to confront the impacts of poverty in recent memory, it is time to conduct a comprehensive study and compile a list of recommendations to prepare our community for this growing challenge. This ordinance would create a two-year task force to examine the impact of poverty on our community and identify concrete steps the City can take towards addressing these issues. The preliminary needs assessment will be completed by September 30, 2019. The task force will then develop a set of recommendations to be presented to the City Council before December 31. 2020. Councilmember K. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Kennedy seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.         APPROVED
RESOLUTION: Credit Card Policy The credit card policy was first adopted as one the City’s financial policies in 2008 and amended in 2016. The Finance & Administration Committee recently requested an amendment to ensure that City purchases are sent to City facilities, rather than private homes. Administration and the Mayor agree that with the changes in online purchasing, this amendment to the existing policy is prudent. As proposed, all purchases on the City’s credit card should be sent to City facilities, unless prior authorization for a home delivery is given by the department head, City Administrator, or mayor for each purchase. Councilmember Kennedy moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 5-2, Councilmembers Olson and Watson opposed.         APPROVED
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT: City of Ferndale & Early Pioneer Property Management The City acquired by eminent domain a portion of Washington Street (Parcel #390219 511062 0000) necessary to complete the Washington Street, Main to Vista project. The proposed settlement agreement provides for the City of Ferndale to pay Early Pioneer $20,000 for the property and to waive encroachment permit fees for construction o f a staircase. Councilmember Kennedy moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to approve the settlement agreement with Early Pioneer Property Management. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.   ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.       APPROVED

February 4th, 2019 Council Meeting Summary

Meeting Materials can be found here

 City Council Agenda Follow-Up February 4, 2019  
CALL TO ORDER/FLAG SALUTE/ROLL CALL   Councilmember G. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Watson seconded, to excuse Councilmember Olson. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.  
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
CONSENT AGENDA Councilmember Watson moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to approve the consent agenda.  MOTION CARRIED 6-0.   APPROVED
DESIGN/ENGINEERING CONTRACT: Ferndale Terrace  The City has received grand funding for this project from the Department of Ecology for eligible expenditures up to $250,000. At this time, the contract calls for DOE eligible expenditures of approximately $177,000. The remainder of the design work will be funded via the City’s Transportation Benefit District, stormwater, water, and sanitary sewer funds. The proposed contract amount for design for this project is $510,202. Work to acquire the necessary right-of-way will not occur until the City secures additional funding for the construction portion of this project. Councilmember Watson moved, and Councilmember Kennedy seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 6-0.         APPROVED
PRESENTATION OF 2019 WORK PLANS
Chief of Police Kevin Turner presented information on 2018 statistics, and provided the police department goals for 2019, including:
Department Accreditation
City Emergency Plan
Department Strategic Plan/Asset Management
Crime Mapping
Improve web page and social media presence
Body Worn Cameras  

City Clerk Susan Duncan presented the 2019 work plan for the City Clerk’s office, including the following:
Records Management and Human Resources items:
Records Inventory/Records Destruction
Scan & Toss Policy Development & Implementation
Personnel Policy Updates
Performance Evaluation Policy Development & Implementation
Union Negotiations for 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreements  

Communications Officer Riley Sweeney presented the work plan for Communications/Recreation, including:
Expand Communication Channels
Utility Rates & Infrastructure Communication
Recreation Events
Coordination of Star Park Picnic Shelter Construction
Certified Parks & Rec Professional Exam  
ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 7:05 p.m.
                        INFO ONLY

January 22nd, 2019 Council Meeting Summary

Council Materials Available Here

 City Council Agenda Follow-Up January 22, 2019  
CALL TO ORDER/FLAG SALUTE/ROLL CALL    
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
CONSENT AGENDA Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember K. Hansen seconded, to approve the consent agenda.  MOTION CARRIED 7-0.     APPROVED  
PRIVATE DEVELOPMENTS UPDATE Community Development Director Haylie Miller presented updates on the following private development project:   Smith Meadows – Located on West Smith Road. This is a 3.8-acre parcel with 11 parcels, zoned RS Low. (3 – 5 units per acre) The roads, utilities, and all infrastructure have been completed. The next step is for the applicant to submit the final plat application to the City.       INFO ONLY
PRESENTATION: Community Development Department 2019 Legislative Plan Community Development Director Haylie Miller presented Community Development projects planned for 2019, including:   Shoreline Master Plan (SMP) Update: Many sections in the City’s SMP are outdated and need to be modified to reflect City goals and to comply with State guidelines.Planned Unit Development (PUD) Code Modifications: Current PUD code language is outdated and should be rewritten.Multifamily High Rezone: Replace the RM 1.5-Multiple Dwelling and Residential Office Zones within proximity of the Downtown Core with a new zone referred to as the Residential Multifamily High Zone. Ferndale-Priority Mitigation Program: Mitigation is described as compensation for project-related impacts to regulated biological critical areas.  The focus of this program will be on those areas within the FEMA 100-year floodplain and stream/river shorelines. The program is to be available for projects across jurisdictional boundaries with mitigation to occur within the city limits and UGA. Application Vesting Regulations: Review application vesting regulations and timelines specifically for land use applications to assure appropriate timelines are in place and regulations are clear.Catalyst Development: Establish a Downtown Catalyst incentive program that includes a waiver of all administrative, impact, and connection fees for up to three development projects meeting all required criteria to assist in the development of a vibrant downtown core.Mobile Home Park Developments: Currently, there is no zone in which mobile home parks could be located. Street Trees: The City’s Tree Ordinance was adopted in 1999 and has not been updated since. Proposed updates will include modification of tree spacing requirements, more flexibility, and will establish themes along certain corridors.Park Development Standards Details: Adopt trail standard details. The current code has one trail detail that does not work in all cases. Multifamily Parking Regulations: Research possible code changes, if necessary, to clarify whether “off-street” parking means on -site or within a garage.                                   INFO ONLY
CONTRACT: WWU Sustainable Communities Partnership Interagency Agreement AS part of the 2019 budget the City Council authorized funds to support a multi-disciplinary partnership between the City of Ferndale and Western Washington University for the purpose of exploring opportunities and challenges related to Downtown Ferndale and the surrounding areas. The proposed partnership is intended to bring the broad resources of WWU and its Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP) to bear on the issue. Since its inception three years ago, the SCP has worked with the City of Edmonds, the City of Stanwood, and Skagit County to advance those jurisdictions’ planning. Work is performed by WWU students from several disciplines as part of an academic year-long effort. These students are typically juniors or seniors who are working at the direction of professional faculty with expertise on their respective fields. The final documents that will be provided to the City are at a standard that would be typical for professional consultants, at a fraction of the overall cost of a consultant. Councilmember Kennedy moved, and Councilmember Taylor seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.           APPROVED
ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 7:10 p.m.              

January 7th, 2019 Council Meeting Summary

Click Here for Meeting Materials

 City Council Agenda Follow-Up

January 7, 2019

 
CALL TO ORDER/FLAG SALUTE/ROLL CALL  
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
CONSENT AGENDA

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

 

 

APPROVED

 

PRESENTATION: Mark Henderson, Department of Ecology

Mark Henderson, manager of the discharge permit for the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, presented the “Golden Plunger” award to Mike Olinger, Public Utilities Superintendent. In order to earn this award, the treatment plant must achieve 100% compliance with all requirements set forth by the Department of Ecology.

 

 

INFO ONLY

PRESENTATION: Canoe Journey by the Lummi Nation

North America’s fastest growing Native tradition brings thousands of people and hundreds of canoes together to honor the water and celebrate Indigenous values. This year, the journey will be hosted by the Lummi Nation. Freddy Lane and Beth Brownfield spoke about the journey, which will take place from July 24 – 28, 2019. The Canoe Journey will see between 70 – 100 canoe families and an estimated 10,000 visitors per day. 5,000 meals will be served each day, and the Lummi Nation will be making 10,000 handmade gifts for the Potlatch. The event is free and open to the public. Camping space, showers, portable toilets, electricity, Wi-Fi, and traffic control will all be provided by the Lummi Nation.

 

 

 

INFO ONLY

CAPITAL PROJECTS UPDATE

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

·         Final paperwork is being completed on 2018 projects, including Washington Street, Cherry Street Sidewalks, and Pioneer Pathways.

·         First Avenue Pedestrian Safety Project – Currently in the design phase.

·         Pump Station #19 Decommissioning (Malloy Village) – Currently in the design phase.

·         Thornton Road Overcrossing – Currently in the right-of-way phase, and the City is working on acquiring the necessary property for the project.

 

 

 

 

INFO ONLY

ORDINANCE: Comprehensive Plan Updates

The comprehensive plan is the long-range guiding document of the City and is fully updated every five to eight years in cooperation with other local jurisdictions and Whatcom County. In the intervening years the City or private applicants may propose amendments no more than once per year unless an emergency situation exists.

At the December 3, 2018 City Council meeting, Councilmembers moved to close the public hearing associated with the 2018 Comprehensive Plan Amendment docket, with the expectation of approving all of the proposed amendments with the exception of the proposed modification to property on Thornton Street. At the Planning and Land Use Committee meeting on January 2, 2019, committee members expressed continued concerns with modifying the land use and establishing a development agreement so far in advance of a development proposal. Having reached the same conclusions independently, on January 3, 2019, the property owner formally withdrew her rezone proposal. As a result, the following items are proposed for the 2018 Comprehensive Plan Amendment docket:

1.       Removal, modification, or renaming of the floodway land use designation. With this modification, properties currently subject to the designation would instead be designated based on the adjacent land use designations, and the properties would also be rezoned to the adjacent zoning designation.

2.       Comprehensive plan land use map change: South Portal. The recommendation is to change the land use designation in this area from Commercial to Medium or High Density Residential. In recent years there has been a significant shift in ownership in the area and some of the long-term uses have ceased or may soon cease. The existing Commercial land use designation anticipates a variety of uses for an area that does not appear to be conducive to those uses.

3.       Comprehensive Land Use Change: Donna Lane. This amendment would change the land use designation of this property in the vicinity of Thornton Street from Commercial to Low Density Residential, consistent with adjacent residential properties to the west. The zoning will be RS medium.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPROVED

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 6:56 p.m.  

 

Summary of December 4th, 2018 Council Meeting

Agenda Materials Found Here

 City Council Agenda Follow-Up

December 3, 2018

 
CALL TO ORDER/FLAG SALUTE/ROLL CALL  
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
CONSENT AGENDA

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

 

 

APPROVED

 

INTRODUCTION/SWEARING OF MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGE MARK KAIMAN

 

INFO ONLY
PUBLIC HEARING: Comprehensive Plan Updates Ordinance

The comprehensive plan is the long-range guiding document of the City and is fully updated every five to eight years in cooperation with other local jurisdictions and Whatcom County. In the intervening years the City or private applicants may propose amendments no more than once per year unless an emergency situation exists.

There are two types of amendments: to the text and to the Land Use Map. In the proposed ordinance, all changes are primarily map amendments. The FEMA Floodway Modification amendment requires a minor change to the existing text, as a result of the map change.

The three proposed modifications are:

1.       Removal, modification, or renaming of the floodway land use designation. With this modification, properties currently subject to the designation would instead be designated based on the adjacent land use designations, and the properties would also be rezoned to the adjacent zoning designation.

2.       Comprehensive plan land use map change: South Portal. The recommendation is to change the land use designation in this area from Commercial to Medium or High Density Residential. In recent years there has been a significant shift in ownership in the area and some of the long-term uses have ceased or may soon cease. The existing Commercial land use designation anticipates a variety of uses for an area that does not appear to be conducive to those uses.

3.       Comprehensive Land Use Change: Donna Lane/Thornton Street. This amendment would change the land use designation of two properties in the vicinity of Thornton Street. The southern property would change from Commercial to Low Density Residential, consistent with adjacent residential properties to the west. The amendment would also make the northern property entirely commercial.

Councilmember Watson moved, and Councilmember Xczar seconded, to approve the removal of the floodway designation and the South Portal land use map change. (Items #1 & 2) MOTION CARRIED 6-1, Councilmember Olson opposed.

Councilmember G. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Kennedy seconded, to approve the comprehensive land use change for the southern property in the vicinity of Thornton Street from Commercial to Low Density Residential. (Item #3) MOTION CARRIED 6-1, Councilmember Olson opposed.

Councilmember Kennedy moved, and Councilmember K. Hansen seconded, to direct staff to draft a development agreement requiring a residential buffer on the western and southern boundaries of the northern property, with homes no taller than 35 feet. The land use change to Commercial is pending the approval of the development agreement. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIRECTION PROVIDED TO STAFF

PUBLIC HEARING: Public/Institutional Zone Setbacks Modifications Ordinance

The Public/Institutional (P/I) Zone was established for the purpose of creating a zoning designation that would facilitate the development of public buildings. Prior to the establishment of this zone, public buildings could be allowed in any zone, subject to a variety of different review processes.

Currently, the P/I zone is silent in terms of setbacks but refers to the underlying or adjacent zone for guidance. However, the P/I zone is a zone unto itself, so a reference to an underlying or adjacent zone is somewhat misleading.

The proposed amendments establish setbacks in the P/I zone of 20 feet from the front, 5 feet on the sides, and 10 feet from the rear. These setbacks may be reduced if the adjacent zone has a lesser value.

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

 

 

 

 

 

APPROVED

 

PUBLIC HEARING: Nordic Way Rezone Ordinance

The area generally east of Haggen grocery store has been zoned for commercial purposes since the 1970’s, despite the fact that many of the largest businesses in the area are clearly more industrial in nature, and operate as legally non-conforming uses. For several years, property owners in this area have focused on the redevelopment of this area for large retail/big-box purposes. Since that time several of the property owners in the area have indicated that absent a large retail development, the City’s inventory of commercial properties far exceeds the need, and the inventory of serviced properties in General Business zoning is rapidly shrinking. Property owners in the area initiated a formal rezone request.

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

 

 

 

 

 

APPROVED

ORDINANCE: 2018 Budget Amendment

The budget amendment transfers funds to the stormwater fund, related to the Gateway Storm and Washington Street, Main to Vista projects.

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

 

 

APPROVED

ORDINANCE: Adoption of 2019 Operating Budget

Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember Xczar seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 4-3, Councilmembers Olson opposed, Watson, and K. Hansen opposed.

 

APPROVED

DISCUSSION: School Resource Officer Interlocal Agreement

The School District and the City believe that it is in the best interest of the Ferndale public school system to have a law enforcement presence in the schools, so they have established a “School Assigned Officer” (SAO) program. The SAO provides services on a rotating and random basis to all schools in the district during the ten-month school year. The proposed interlocal agreement extends the program for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years.

The proposed annual payment from the School District to the City is $63,135 for the 2018-2019 school year, and $65,503 for the 2019 – 2020 school year.

On Wednesday, November 28, the Finance & Administration Committee forwarded the item to the full Council for further discussion with a recommendation of approving a 180-day contract for the 2018 – 2019 school year only.

Councilmember Kennedy moved, and Councilmember Taylor seconded, to approve the 2-year interlocal agreement as presented.

 

Councilmember K. Hansen moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to amend the motion to decrease the term of the agreement to a one-year, 180-day contract for the 2018 – 2019 school year.

ON THE AMENDMENT: MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

ON THE MAIN, AMENDED MOTION: MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

 

 

 

 

 

APPROVED

AS AMENDED

 

 

 

APPOINTMENT: Andrew Hansen, Arts Commission

Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember Olson seconded, to approve the appointment. MOTION CARRIED 6-0, Councilmember G. Hansen abstaining.

 

APPROVED

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 8:52 p.m.  

 

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