CITY OF FIFE - DOC by fionan


Fife City Hall CALL TO ORDER – The Planning Commission meeting was called to order at 7:04 p.m. with the following present: Commissioners: Chairman Gerald Albertson, Jeffrey Brown, Shannon Thornhill and Richard Garchow. Staff present: Director Carl Smith, Planner Chris Pasinetti, City Attorney Loren Combs and Administrative Assistant Katie Bolam. Public signed in: From:  Derek Burton Praxair  Steve Clark Praxair  Brent Carson GordonDerr  Susan Suess EDB  Gary Patterson SGA  Norm Weis Mayfair  Terry Haddenham Mayfair  Tom Posey CBRE  Joyce Michelson  James Abbott SGA Regarding: Industrial Zone Height Exception Industrial Zone Height Exception Portside Development Agreement Industrial Zone Height Exception Portside Development Agreement Portside Development Agreement Portside Development Agreement Portside Development Agreement Portside Development Agreement Portside Development Agreement March 17, 2008 7:00 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES – March 3, 2008 Commissioner Garchow moved, seconded by Commissioner Brown, to approve the minutes of March 3, 2008 as presented. Motion carried unopposed.

NEW BUSINESS Chairman Albertson announced that Item 3b would be heard first. b. Industrial Zone Building Height Exception Planner Pasinetti introduced the topic as a text amendment to the FMC, allowing buildings or structures of a certain type to be constructed above the current height limit allowed within the Industrial (I) zone. He introduced Steve Clark of Praxair, Inc, who provided a booklet of his presentation materials to staff and commissioners. He gave a brief overview of Praxair’s industry, and the reason for their request for a building height exception, leading to the proposed code amendment currently before the Commission. He explained that this exception will allow

Fife Planning Commission Minutes of Meeting March 17, 2008 – Page 2 of 6 Praxair to double their production capacity and operate at a 10% increased energy efficiency. Compromises with the City include developing the green space on their property into a public open space, and allowing the installation of an emergency management antenna and appurtenant equipment. Other benefits to the City include the project-created construction jobs, and an estimated additional $2.6 million in property taxes, and $1.8 million in energy taxes, over the 15 years. Also, the location of the property is well-removed from the downtown and residential areas of the City. Chairman Albertson asked to clarify the heights of the existing and proposed structures: existing = 150 feet; proposed = 215 feet. Commissioner Garchow asked:  Will the old column continue to be used? A: Yes. The new column will be the prominently-used one, while the older column will be used during high season (berries).  Will Praxair be producing new products? A: No new products – doubling the capacity on current products only.  Was it considered to build two shorter towers to double capacity, rather than one tall tower? A: No. The shorter tower is not manufactured any more, as it is less energy efficient. Commissioner Brown asked:  Will there be any demolition associated with the construction? A: No. There will be a tank relocated on the property, while all else will be new construction.  What will be the increase in truck traffic? A: Initially, there will not be much difference. Over time, there will be a noticable increase as production increases.  Will there be any public open space created? A: Yes. There will be a conservation easement. Also, the public service antenna on top.  Is there a way to mask the ugliness? A: Some have tried various painting schemes without making any significant improvement. White has universally been accepted as the best possible scenario. Planner Pasinetti clarified that this amendment is not an adjustment to the entire Industrial zone, but to the height exception overlay in 19.68.020 – it adds specific criteria to make it possible for a structure of this height. Commissioner Thornhill asked:  Is the code change for the entire Industrial zone? A: Director Smith answered that it would be for any Industrial site that meets very specific conditions, as stated in the ordinance language, to make sure this won’t be widely applied. Commissioner Garchow moved, and Chairman Albertson seconded, to recommend to City Council the proposed text amendment to the Industrial (I) zone as shown on Exhibit A. The motion was defeated by a vote of 2-2.

Fife Planning Commission Minutes of Meeting March 17, 2008 – Page 3 of 6 a. Portside Logistics Center Development Agreement Director Smith reported on the background of the City’s work on the now-instated CMU zone along the 20th Street Corridor. The zone, two years in the making, is consistent with the Council goal to create a downtown area. Related work includes the analysis to make effective use of the Gathering Place property, the traffic impact fee discount allowed to new development, and the TIP amendment making for a North-South connector route moving truck traffic off 20th Street. He explained how, when it was realized that the Portside development was vested under the old Community Commercial (CC) zone, all that work was in jeopardy, as this property is central to the pedestrian-oriented concept for all of 20th Street. Portside, meanwhile, had done their planning on the CC zone standards, and was in a position to go forward in that regard. Talks between the City and Portside contacts have resulted in the Development Agreement currently before the Commission, which honors and preserves the intent of the CMU zone while allowing the development parties to meet their needs. The Agreement was then explained, using the packet attachment 3 for visual understanding. Building H, the largest of the 9 buildings, is located in the Industrial zone and will be used for standard industrial business. The other 8 buildings will be in what is now the CMU zone. The Development Agreement allows that the 4 buildings that front 20th Street will conform to the CMU requirements, while the 4 buildings that sit between those and the Industrially-zoned Building H will be allowed some additional uses. The Agreement also moves the truck entrance for those back buildings away from the residential areas on either side of the development. This entrance will be the new 66th Ave E, coinciding with the before-mentioned North-South connector road, moving truck traffic through the Portside development, exiting to 70th Street, and bypassing the majority of the 20th Street corridor. Portside will be developing the section of roadway that crosses the development. Additionally, the Agreement specifies some construction timelines. He also said that this development was anticipated in the writing of the CMU zone and, under 19.42.025, other developments will be able to follow this configuration in order to generate the same additional uses for buildings behind those that front the 20th Street corridor. Chairman Albertson:  He stated that he is in favor of the 20th Street development plans, that it is a worthwhile pursuit.  How wide will 66th Ave be? A: It will be built to City standards for a minor arterial – 60-70 feet.  Will the parking within the development be public? A: No, it is private. But certainly shoppers patronizing the shops of the front 4 buildings will be welcome. Commissioner Garchow:  About the truck route from 20th to 70th, why can’t there be an alleyway paralleling 20th and exiting to 54th? A: Director Smith pointed out one problem is that 54th is not a truck route.  Will the new 66th be the eventual connector over I-5 to Pacific Hwy? A: It is one of the options discussed with WSDOT; it is connected to the SR167 project.

Fife Planning Commission Minutes of Meeting March 17, 2008 – Page 4 of 6  

His understanding is that, without this Development Agreement, the City will have the same traffic issues it currently has with no solution – is that right? A: Yes. He stated his appreciation to SGA for their adaptations and expense to make this agreement work. (echoed by the rest of the Commission)

Commissioner Thornhill:  What is the status of funding for the 66th Ave connector route? A: Now that it is in the Comprehensive Plan, it is eligible to include on this years’ 6-year transportation plan amendment, if the Commission wants to. It is also a matter of priority in terms of available funding.  What is the timing on Building H and the front buildings? A: Building H is the top priority of the developer, and will be permitted and constructed as soon as possible. The front buildings are stipulated in the Development Agreement to begin construction no later than 2010.  Are the City’s only compromises the uses allowed in the middle buildings? A: Yes.  Her only real concern is the unsecured funding of the alternate truck route. A: Without the Development Agreement, trucks will continue down 20th Street as they do know, with an increase in volume due to this development. Commissioner Brown:  What will the front buildings look like? A: 1-2 story with individual tenant space that can be leased for any use allowed in the CMU zone.  Will parking for those buildings be in back? A: Yes.  Will there be any open space requirements? A: No, but Portside will be continuing the trail that runs behind the Bella Sonoma apartments, linking it with 20th Street – a significant public amenity. Commissioner Thornhill moved, and Commissioner Brown seconded, to recommend to City Council to approve the Development Agreement between the City of Fife and C. Lee Brooke, LLC, James W. Abbott, LLC and portside Business Center LLC as seen in Exhibit A. The motion passed 4-0. City Attorney Combs then addressed the Commission that they could, if desired, make a 2nd motion that Council prioritize funding for the future 66th Ave, connecting 20th to 70th for truck traffic. Commissioner Thornhill so moved, seconded by Commissioner Brown. The motion passed 4-0.

OLD BUSINESS a. Work Plan Item #2 – City-wide Review of Land-use Zones i. Medium-Density (MDR) and High-Density Residential (HDR)

Fife Planning Commission Minutes of Meeting March 17, 2008 – Page 5 of 6 Planner Pasinetti reported that, based on the discussion at the March 3 meeting, he took a new direction for this and future review of land-use zones. He then presented the proposed strike-thru version of the MDR section of code. Commissioner Thornhill:  Referring to page 43, section 19.24.010, how does the City “encourage” certain developments? A: By providing a density bonus for open space amenities.  What’s inactive open space? A: Lawn, perhaps with benches; usable space.  Confirm: PRD section of code is gone by incorporating it here? A: Yes, it will no longer be necessary – staff took what the Commission liked and put it into the zone itself. Commissioner Brown:  Why would a mini storage be permitted? A: Not the kind that is a business – it would be subject to 19.68, exclusive to those who live in the development.  Should the maximum lot coverage be higher than 50%? A: It can be – there’s a couple ways to see it – with cluster housing lot coverage is not a big deal because the open space just happens; with 50% stipulated, open space is assured – staff favors asserting that somuch open space is required. Chairman Albertson:  Commended staff on a good job.  There’s no motion required, right? A: Right. After all zones are reviewed individually, staff will present them all together for a motion.  Stated that the subcommittee is moving in the direction of incorporating the PRD code in to each individual zone. No motion required. Planner Pasinetti then presented the proposed strike-thru version of the HDR section of code. Commissioner Garchow:  Referred to item 19.28.050 – “minimum lot dimension circle” – what’s that mean? A: Director Smith answered that it is an old reference that staff has struggled with – believe the intent is to prevent bad lot design. Commissioner Garchow asked if can change the wording; staff agreed to look into that.  In the same section, the Maximum Height category lists “feet” and “stories” for most of the definitions, but needs the words “or 4 stories” added to the 45 feet category.  Is the definition for affordable housing a standard definition? A: Yes, obtained from Pierce County. Director Smith added that 80% is not real low – it still makes the market rate for rents doable, whereas 50% needs subsidizing. He also pointed out that, by raising the dwelling units and requiring open space, rather than utilizing a PRD code, the City is guaranteed open space at any density level – the only density bonus offered is for providing affordable housing.  Commended staff for attaining the gist of the Commission’s desires – can see that staff took the various thoughts and incorporated them into a better document; sentiment echoed by Chairman Albertson.

Fife Planning Commission Minutes of Meeting March 17, 2008 – Page 6 of 6

Commissioner Thornhill:  Commented that she likes the open space guarantee and the cluster housing concept. No motion required. DIRECTOR’S REPORT Director Smith announced that the new Planning Commissioner, Mary McGonagle, was unable to attend this first meeting, and will be welcomed at the April 7 meeting. He thanked the Commissioners for their time fulfilling the extra duty of this mid-month meeting. He then informed the Commission of the emergency ordinance passed by City Council on March 11, providing a prohibition on most new development over an approximately 2-month time period. The purpose is to allow the Council time to adopt a newer, more environmentally-sound storm water control plan. The City currently employs the 1992 ecology manual; there is a 2005 manual, but there also exists through the City of Tacoma a more localized version of the 2005 manual. Fife City Council will review these options for the one that is best for Fife. The ordinance allows certain vested developments to continue under the 1992 standards.

ADJOURNMENT Commissioner Albertson moved, seconded by Commissioner Brown, to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 p.m. Motion carried.

Prepared by: Katie Bolam, Administrative Assistant City of Fife – Community Development Department

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