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									                                        CITY OF FIFE
                                 PLANNING COMMISSION
                                  MINUTES OF MEETING

Fife City Hall                                                                     March 17, 2008
                                                                                   7:00 p.m.

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:                    Regarding:
    Derek Burton       Praxair                     Industrial Zone Height Exception
    Steve Clark        Praxair                     Industrial Zone Height Exception
    Brent Carson       GordonDerr                  Portside Development Agreement
    Susan Suess        EDB                         Industrial Zone Height Exception
    Gary Patterson     SGA                         Portside Development Agreement
    Norm Weis          Mayfair                     Portside Development Agreement
    Terry Haddenham    Mayfair                     Portside Development Agreement
    Tom Posey          CBRE                        Portside Development Agreement
    Joyce Michelson                                Portside Development Agreement
    James Abbott       SGA                         Portside Development Agreement


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 so-
     much 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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