WHATCOM COUNTY COUNCIL by qingyunliuliu

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									     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1                                WHATCOM COUNTY COUNCIL
 2                                 Regular County Council
 3
 4                                      March 26, 2002
 5
 6         The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Council Chair L. Ward
 7   Nelson in the Council Chambers, 311 Grand Avenue, Bellingham, Washington.
 8
 9                Present:                                 Absent:
10                Barbara Brenner                          None
11                Laurie Caskey-Schreiber
12                Sam Crawford
13                Seth Fleetwood
14                Dan McShane
15                Sharon Roy
16
17
18   ANNOUNCEMENTS
19
20         Nelson announced that there was discussion with the Whatcom County
21   Prosecutor’s Office regarding possible pending litigation (AB2002-018) in
22   executive session during the Committee of the Whole meeting.
23
24
25   SPECIAL PRESENTATION
26
27         COUNTY EXECUTIVE PETE KREMEN TO PRESENT INFORMATION
28         REGARDING UPCOMING BUDGET CHALLENGES (AB2002-017)
29
30         Pete Kremen, County Executive, read his statement into the record:
31
32          “Whatcom County faces some serious financial challenges. The just
33   concluded legislative session has left us with a significant elimination of funding for
34   law enforcement this year and both law enforcement and public health next year.
35   The legislature’s decision not to honor its commitment to fund these two high
36   priority items is disappointing and unjustified, even though the state has its own
37   financial crisis to deal with. Additionally, the sum of the impacts generated by a
38   slowdown in our economy, the closure of two of our major employers and the
39   events of September 11 have magnified the fiscal problems facing our county.
40
41         Over the course of the past several weeks, I’ve called together the other
42   elected officials and my department heads to discuss these genuine concerns. They
43   have been supportive and dedicated during these deliberations.
44
45         Today, our revenues are either in decline, or at best, projected to be flat for
46   the next three to four years. If this trend continues, an additional reduction of
47   roughly $2.5 million will be necessary in 2003, again in 2004, and yet again in


                           Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 1
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1   2005. During this three-year period, current projections indicate that core county
 2   General Fund services may have to be cut by almost 15%.
 3
 4           I emphasize this message: the fundamental general fund structure for
 5   traditional county government services, largely the criminal justice system, is
 6   significantly flawed. Not just in our county, but across the state. The structural
 7   problem has three fundamental elements:
 8
 9         1. Obligation to provide local services to large unincorporated
10            residential populations. Under the Growth Management Act,
11            Washington State has mandated commercial growth and its tax
12            base be deliberately centered in cities. Every annexation reduces
13            county sales tax revenue by 85% as well as road levy funds.
14            Annexation often leaves behind large pockets of residential
15            population generating insufficient revenues to pay for vital services
16            such as law enforcement, Medic One and health and human
17            services. These are necessities that people rely on and deserve.
18
19         2. Growing Countywide Justice System Obligations. As the population
20            of Whatcom County grows, the cost of our justice system exceeds
21            that growth. The system is bound by federal, state and judicial
22            mandates to prosecute, defend, adjudicate and jail criminal
23            offenders. This same system handles marriage dissolutions and
24            contract disputes. As the county loses tax base, it retains its
25            obligations to pay for the justice system that serves city and
26            unincorporated residents alike.
27
28         3. Health Insurance Costs. The rising cost of health care insurance is
29            a national problem. Four years ago, our cost of health insurance
30            was $2,421,218. This year we project it will be $4,949,319, a
31            104% increase. Human Resources has advised me to anticipate
32            increases of 15-20% or more per year under our current health
33            plans.
34
35           I know that every member of the Council shares my concern over the difficult
36   and necessary decisions to contend with these fiscal challenges. Together, I would
37   like to seek resolution, exploring options with you as we further attempt to
38   streamline government.
39
40          The anticipated shortfall is more than $2 million dollars and we face
41   additional unbudgeted costs of $1.3 million. Let me emphasize that this situation is
42   not unique to this community. All counties across the state are feeling the same
43   constraints. Whatcom County is actually in a better position than most due to the
44   $15 million we have in reserves. This was made possible by laudable stewardship
45   over the past six years provided by you, the council, my administration and the
46   quality and cooperation of our employees. Our fiscal safety net is the result of



                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 2
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1   teamwork provided by the Council and this administration. Together, we have
 2   provided for the financial security of this community during lean times.
 3
 4     I ask you to consider an 8-step action plan to maintain a balanced budget and
 5   Whatcom County’s financial health.
 6
 7   1. A net 2% reduction from all General Fund budgets this fiscal year.
 8       These reductions would be implemented through some or all of the
 9   following solutions:
10
11      A. Institute additional administrative savings throughout county government
12         including, but not limited to:
13          Implement a targeted selective hiring freeze
14          Seek to mitigate health insurance costs in partnership with all
15           employees and employee unions
16          Permit voluntary unpaid furloughs
17          Further streamline purchasing and contracting practices
18          Slow equipment purchases for vehicles, copiers, printers, and
19           computers through continued preventative maintenance and
20           creative rotation
21
22        B. Reduce rental and lease costs by consolidating operations into existing
23           county buildings. I’m requesting Administrative Services to review and
24           consolidate our operations into existing county-owned buildings.
25
26        C. Limit overtime. Occasional use of overtime is necessary in order to deliver
27           county government services. I am requesting that efforts may be made to
28           reduce the use of overtime by modifying our practices and shifting work
29           schedules where appropriate and prudent.
30
31   2. Reduce the workweek with the cooperation of employees and their unions.
32         Approximately 70% of the cost of county government is related to wages and
33   health coverage. A one-hour reduction in a 40-hour workweek would reduce the
34   county’s General Fund wage expenses by $500,000 on an annual basis.
35
36   3. Revisit county government strategic priorities in order to:
37       Reevaluate short and long-term goals
38       Scrutinize our current level of mandated services
39       Review our ability to continue some non-mandated services
40
41   4. Introduce a new approach to budget development.
42         It is anticipated that departments will be requested to develop a department-
43   by-department target allocation budget.
44
45   5. The General Fund reserves.
46         Cautious and limited expenditure of our $15 million reserves over a 3-year period



                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 3
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1   would allow us to minimize the adverse impacts that the current fiscal crisis has
 2   generated. Doing so will preserve the County’s ability to maintain its bond rating, thus
 3   saving taxpayers’ dollars, as well as provide for cash flow and emergency contingencies.
 4
 5   6. Additional revenue options:
 6       Recover all direct and indirect expense from grant funds and fee-related
 7        services
 8       Review and more effectively utilize current tax sources to support high
 9        priority county government needs
10       Maximize interest income for the General Fund
11       Review taxation options
12       Develop recommendations for charging fees that directly relate to services
13        provided
14
15   7. Finance large capital expenses.
16         Longer-term capital costs could be financed at current lower interest rates, spreading those
17   expenses over a multi-year period and preserving cash reserves.
18
19   8. Discuss financial support for Health and Human Services.
20           During the life of the countywide Health Department, cities provided
21   significant financial support for its operations. In 1996, the legislature replaced the
22   cities’ contributions with funds from the motor vehicle excise tax. Last year, those
23   funds were replaced by the Legislature with state general funds. Now, Olympia has
24   told us that in July of 2003 all these funds will be eliminated. I will continue efforts
25   to have the legislature reconsider their ill-conceived public policy decision. In the
26   event that the legislature maintains its position not to fund public health, I will also
27   be discussing with our cities’ leaders possible future contributions for the Health
28   Department in order to sustain these crucial regional services.
29
30         Deputy Administrator Dewey Desler and I look forward to continuing an open
31   dialogue with you as well as the citizens of our community as we unify our focus to
32   address the challenges before us.”
33
34          CONFIRMATION OF EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENT OF REGINA
35          DELAHUNT AS DIRECTOR OF THE WHATCOM COUNTY HEALTH AND
36          HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT (AB2002-164)
37
38          Nelson moved to confirm the appointment.
39
40          Motion carried unanimously.
41
42
43   MINUTES CONSENT
44
45          Brenner moved to approve the Minutes Consent items one through seven.
46
47          Motion carried unanimously.


                            Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 4
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1
 2   1.    COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE FOR FEBRUARY 26, 2002 (MORNING
 3         MEETING)
 4
 5   2.    COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE FOR FEBRUARY 26, 2002 (EVENING
 6         MEETING)
 7
 8   3.    COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE FOR MARCH 12, 2002
 9
10   4.    REGULAR COUNTY COUNCIL FOR FEBRUARY 12, 2002
11
12   5.    REGULAR COUNTY COUNCIL FOR FEBRUARY 26, 2002
13
14   6.    REGULAR COUNTY COUNCIL FOR MARCH 12, 2002
15
16   7.    WATER RESOURCES WORK SESSION FOR FEBRUARY 19, 2002
17
18
19   OPEN SESSION
20
21         The following people spoke:
22
23          Phyllis Shelly, 5925 Noon Road, stated four people wrote letters concerning
24   the inhumane conditions at the Security Specialist Plus (SSP) animal shelter. They
25   have nothing to gain personally by speaking out about the problems at the shelter.
26   The Rustands have a lot to gain from renewing this contract. The volunteers have
27   heard over the years that there is no money to do any repairs or equipment and
28   food purchases. She questioned why the owners want to continue the contract if
29   there is no money in the business. They need to be audited. Mr. Rustand says
30   there is no evidence to back her assertions. With an employee always present,
31   there was never an opportunity to take photographs as physical evidence of some
32   of the problems they witnessed. Writing letters got the volunteers fired. The
33   volunteers were not in a position to go through their files for information. The
34   evidence is that each volunteer, separately and over many months and years, saw
35   the same problems happen over and over again. Other volunteers and former
36   employees are afraid to come forward to talk about what they saw at the shelter.
37   Mr. Rustand says there has been no reprimands of their performance. That is
38   because the shelter has not been inspected or audited by the Human Society of the
39   United States (HSUS), American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
40   (ASPCA), County Council, or any other public entity. If the Council continues the
41   contract for another year, it has a chance to monitor his operation and make
42   changes to better the conditions at the shelter.
43
44          Richard Gilda, Jensen Road, Bellingham, stated they keep giving the county
45   land to the cities. There are moratoria on pipelines, gas lines, power plants, Lake
46   Whatcom, and others. He suggested a moratorium on expansion of urban growth
47   and city boundaries that would preserve the tax base.


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 5
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1
 2           Christine Brown, citizen, stated she witnessed inhumane conditions and
 3   several violations of the Human Society of the United States guidelines at the
 4   Preferred Animal Care (PAC) animal shelter. She has been a volunteer to walk dogs
 5   for over three years. The Human Society of the United States stipulates that dogs
 6   in kennels must be walked for at least 20 minutes, two times per day. Given the
 7   number of dogs averaging 30 to 50 on any day, it would take four full-time
 8   employees to walk dogs every day. This is necessary because the shelter keeps all
 9   dogs in solitary confinement. They are not allowed to mingle, socialize, or even
10   sniff each other. She has never seen shelter staff person except Jan Greco walk the
11   dogs. Ms. Greco is also responsible for greeting and escorting visitors, intakes and
12   adoptions, administering medications, keeping records, cleaning food dishes and
13   litter pans, sanitizing rooms, laundry, attending euthanasia, and mowing the lawn.
14   This is too much for one employee, so the animals are being neglected. All of the
15   dogs are dirty and smelly. Many have seriously matted fur and feces dried on
16   them. She’s been told by shelter staff that the covenant governing the business
17   park expressly forbids an outside exercise area for the animals. Goats and pigs
18   have been kept in the same room with puppies, in kennels with bare and unsealed
19   cement floors. She asked why this agency has the contract to care for animals
20   when they cannot provide adequate conditions for them. As a taxpayer, she
21   wanted to know why the agency has never been audited, why they are so
22   understaffed, why they don’t advertise animals available for adoption in the
23   newspaper, and why they don’t actively recruit volunteers. She has not complained
24   before this because she knew of other volunteers who did, and were told not to
25   come back. In the more than three years she volunteered there, she was usually
26   the only person walking dogs. She can no longer keep quiet.
27
28         Deborah Sallee, 5603 Noon Road, stated she is the third volunteer who has
29   been fired for unrecorded complaints. She submitted a comparison of the Human
30   Society guidelines and the conditions at the Preferred Animal Care (PAC) shelter.
31   She asked if there has ever been an audit of PAC’s income and expenses and
32   animal records. In the past year, she adopted two cats, whose records could not
33   be found. There is a veterinarian at the facility only four hours per week. There is
34   no backup when the veterinarian is on vacation. There are no trained veterinary
35   technicians.
36
37          The Rustands said they take in 100 to 150 cats per month, but they only
38   have 24 cat kennels. They don’t advertise to increase adoption rates. Mr. Rustand
39   also said they place dogs with rescue agencies as far away as the east coast.
40   However, the rescue agency pays all the expenses. The shelter refused to release
41   many dogs to rescue agencies, and euthanized them instead. She was told
42   numerous times over the winter that they would put down all the pregnant cats
43   when the stray days were over, to prevent the problems of last summer before it
44   got started.
45
46         Cats have been housed in dog carriers that are much too small to provide
47   room for a litter box and a food dish. The animals are cleaned and fed only once


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 6
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1   per day. This is inadequate for cats nursing kittens. She sees situations in rooms
 2   the public does not see where cats have not been given water at all that day. The
 3   Rustands can say whatever they like, but volunteers have seen what happens day
 4   in and day out at this facility. They are concerned. If the owners of PAC love these
 5   animals as much as they claim to, the former volunteers wouldn’t have anything to
 6   say.
 7
 8          MaryLee Rustand, 1641 Baker Creek Place, Bellingham, read a letter into the
 9   record from Dr. Jeffrey Howlett, Area Veterinarian for the State of Washington
10   Department of Agriculture. Mr. Howlett visited the facility several times
11   unannounced. The officers have acted professionally. The primary concern is the
12   well being and treatment of the animals. The facility is clean. The animals are
13   clean and well fed. Security Specialists Plus (SSP) is getting the job done
14   professionally.
15
16           Lorraine Grace, 3310 Alderwood, stated she is a volunteer at Security
17   Specialists Plus (SSP). All of the employees walk the dogs, including her. If she
18   goes into a cat room and a cat doesn’t have food or water, she will give it to them.
19   If she goes into the dog kennels and something needs to be cleaned, she will tell
20   the folks in the shelter. They keep good records. The lost records that Ms. Sallee
21   spoke about were the shot records for her particular cat. All the animals are
22   registered, but there are many records that get backed up, so they can’t
23   immediately put their hands on them, so Ms. Greco will make a copy. The
24   information is available at all times. She keeps most of the records. The animals
25   are loved, cared for, and kept clean. The place doesn’t smell. They have no
26   objection to anyone coming in at any time or to doing audits. Other
27   councilmembers from the past have come in on many occasions. Executive Kremen
28   has come in more than once. They have nothing to hide. A veterinarian, not by
29   the volunteers, sets up the standards and the space. He determines the animals’
30   diets and meal schedules. They do not have injured animals lying around the
31   shelter. Every injured animal goes immediately to the veterinarian’s office. When
32   they are returned to the shelter, they are returned with a medication schedule that
33   is followed very closely. She resents the fact that four people think they are the
34   only volunteers at SSP. There are many volunteers that come in daily. The Council
35   has received copies of them. The animals are walked. The animals have an
36   opportunity to socialize when the kennels are being cleaned every day, but there
37   are certain dogs that they can’t put with other dogs because they are aggressive.
38   The cats are allowed out of the kennels every day. She invited the councilmembers
39   to visit.
40
41          Sandra Dunlap, 3303 Racine, stated she is a corrections officer for Security
42   Specialists Plus (SSP) and answers phones for the animal shelter from midnight to
43   8:00 a.m. She asked if the Council is aware that the animal shelter has officers
44   who help the Sheriff and distressed animals 24 hours per day. There are three
45   officers she can page at any hour for any animal agency. Her daughter-in-law is
46   one of the Preferred Animal Care (PAC) officers. The shelter has always been clean.
47   They recently donated the adoption of a six-month old kitten to her instead of


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 7
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1   euthanizing the kitten. One volunteer stated that the shelter hasn’t been inspected.
 2   Before any decisions are made, an investigation in the shelter should be done.
 3
 4          Greg Rustand, 1641 Baker Creek Place, stated that Whatcom County has a
 5   problem with animals. He sends adoption and euthanization records to the County
 6   Executive’s Office very month. He does his job. He asked the councilmembers to
 7   come to the shelter at any time, unannounced. His books are open for an audit.
 8   One volunteer said that she didn’t understand why they are in this business. He
 9   owns animals, too, and he cares. In addition, he sees what animals are in this
10   county and what people are doing to animals. This County needs more animal
11   shelters. They can’t handle it without more. Forty-five percent of the people in
12   Whatcom County love their animals and will do anything for them. The remaining
13   percent don’t care to spay/neuter them or take care of the animals. He
14   understands budget cuts, but he also needs more help. He’s got three officers to
15   work 700 square miles. He’s covered over 21,000 calls in four years and ten
16   months.
17
18           Jan Greco, 4551 Hannegan Road, stated she is the Preferred Animal Care
19   (PAC) Supervisor. She invited everyone to come to the shelter. She puts her
20   whole heart and soul into this company and the care and well being of these
21   animals. It is said that each resident of Whatcom County owns 1.5 animals. They
22   see 100 dogs come through the shelter in a month. The owners reclaim forty to
23   fifty percent of them. The rest are not. She works with Pet Shelter, a regional
24   website to get dogs out of the shelter. They are not offered the free advertising
25   like the Humane Society, because they are privately owned. She puts adds in the
26   papers for lost and found pets. If no one claims those animals, they are available
27   for adoption. She realizes that the volunteers aren’t happy with what they see, but
28   it is a clean facility. She works very hard to keep it up to Dr. Perry’s standards.
29   They all work hard. The animal control officers walk dogs at night if no one else
30   can get them out. The cats are fed and watered all day long, regardless of what
31   Ms. Sallee said. Staff is there all day long. Whatcom County is impacted by the
32   amount of animals coming into the shelter. They average one critically injured dog
33   per week. The shelter cares for those dogs, and offers the medical care for those
34   animals. People get angry because animals are euthanized, but they can’t possibly
35   keep every single one. Not every animal that comes into the shelter is a nice
36   animal. There are behavioral issues and medical issues. That is what they base
37   their euthanasia on. In the summer time, they are impacted, but they do a
38   wonderful job. Dr. Perry tells her all the time that the animals are over fed.
39
40
41   PUBLIC HEARING
42
43   1.    RESOLUTION TO SELL COUNTY TAX TITLE PROPERTY, REQUEST NO.
44         01-02 (AB2002-138A)
45
46         Nelson opened the public hearing, and hearing no one, closed the public
47   hearing.


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 8
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1
 2         Brenner moved approval.
 3
 4           Caskey-Schreiber asked if this property would be worth more down the road
 5   if the sewer line goes in.
 6
 7          McShane asked if the amount set is to make up the back taxes and the
 8   actual cost of processing this property.
 9
10        Barbara Cory, Treasurer, stated it is. The minimum bid includes the taxes
11   due when the property was foreclosed, plus the foreclosure costs.
12
13         McShane asked if the County would retain the property if there wasn’t any
14   bid. Cory stated that is correct.
15
16          McShane asked if some of the money goes to the State. Cory stated it does.
17   If the County sells the property, and there is any money collected, it is shared
18   equally amongst all the taxing districts that would have received taxes on the
19   property in the first place.
20
21          McShane asked what problems are created if they decide not to sell the
22   property. Cory stated it doesn’t cause any problems. The County retains the
23   property in its inventory. There is an interested buyer, which is what initiated this
24   sale. The buyer made an application and asked the County to put this property up
25   for auction.
26
27         Brenner restated her motion to approve.
28
29         McShane stated there are two issues. One is the financial implication of
30   hanging onto the property for a while.
31
32         (Clerk’s Note: End of tape one, side A.)
33
34         McShane continued to state that the second issue is that they’ve talked about
35   density around Lake Whatcom. Maybe the County should hang on to the property
36   for awhile until it resolves stormwater issues, so people know what they are buying
37   before they buy it.
38
39         Caskey-Schreiber stated she would prefer to hold on to this property until
40   they know what will happen out there. The County has a stake in Sudden Valley.
41
42         Nelson stated the Council also has a responsibility to the taxpayers of
43   Whatcom County to make sure properties are on the tax roles and being taxed and
44   equitably serviced by the County.
45




                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 9
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1          Caskey-Schreiber stated conditions out there have changed. Everyone is
 2   talking about how the property values are going up. The County can possibly make
 3   money on this transaction.
 4
 5           Brenner asked if the County could sell the property legally with a covenant
 6   that it can’t be developed.
 7
 8         Dave Grant, Senior Civil Deputy Prosecutor, stated he didn’t know of any
 9   impediment for the County. However, logic might be an impediment. It may not
10   be smart to do that if they are trying to recoup the taxes.
11
12          Brenner stated the County has a commitment to density reduction. She
13   doesn’t want to keep the property off the tax roles. It seems logical to sell the
14   property with a covenant to not allow development. One of the adjoining properties
15   might want to buy it at a reduced fee to cover costs or less. It would be back on
16   the tax roles that way. It doesn’t sound like there’s an impediment to doing that.
17
18         Brenner withdrew her motion.
19
20          Cory stated the applicants are not adjacent property owners. They don’t
21   currently own any property in Sudden Valley. They want the property to use the
22   golf course at a lower rate as a property owner. The applicant does not have
23   immediate plans to build, but may build in the future.
24
25         Brenner asked if the applicant would still want to purchase the property if
26   there was a no development covenant. Cory stated she didn’t know.
27
28         Brenner stated there is a way to get it on the tax roles without increasing
29   density in the watershed.
30
31         Nelson moved approval.
32
33         Motion failed 1-6 with Nelson in favor.
34
35         Crawford moved to divide the question, and to sell the Glenhaven Lakes
36   property.
37
38         Motion carried unanimously.
39
40         Dewey Desler, Deputy Administrator, stated the Property Management
41   Committee recommends the sale of these properties to follow Council policy. If the
42   Council wants to modify the policies that the committee uses to review properties,
43   then ask the committee how it may want to handle future property sales like this.
44
45         Brenner moved to amend the Council policy so that any properties in any
46   areas designated for density reduction include a covenant to prohibit development.
47


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 10
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1          Crawford stated the Planning Department needs to develop a density
 2   reduction program for tax foreclosure properties. It’s not appropriate at this time
 3   to ask the Planning Department to begin working on this now, given the workload
 4   and budget constraints. However, the Council can put it on the list of things to do
 5   in the future. In the meantime, the best thing would be to look at these on a case-
 6   by-case basis. The Council is not sending conflicting signals to the Property
 7   Management Committee to make an exception for an occasional lot subject to tax
 8   foreclosure in the Lake Whatcom watershed. For the long term, it would be
 9   appropriate to have a density reduction plan developed through the Planning
10   Department at some future date. He is opposed to the motion.
11
12          Brenner stated she disagreed with adding more work to the Planning
13   Department. The Council doesn’t need the Planning Department to invent the
14   wheel. If the Council’s direction is to reduce density in certain areas, that is simple.
15   Send a message to the Property Management Committee that this is the direction in
16   which the Council wants to move. If the committee disagrees, she is willing to
17   listen. The Council is being asked for direction.
18
19          Nelson stated they are beginning to go down a different road. They may
20   want to consider that there has been a great deal of effort by Sudden Valley
21   regarding density reduction. Many times, the County will participate with Sudden
22   Valley and the City of Bellingham in these tax foreclosure sales to do density
23   reduction. Sudden Valley is also concerned because they have to maintain their
24   roads and infrastructure. The only support they have to do that is from developed
25   property. If the Council arbitrarily or capriciously decides that it won’t sell lots to
26   willing buyers, the Council begins to micro-manage instead of macro-manage the
27   issues around Lake Whatcom.
28
29          Brenner stated there is nothing arbitrary and capricious about the Council
30   following the direction it said it wants to go, which is to reduce density in the Lake
31   Whatcom watershed. It isn’t micro-managing since the Council was asked to
32   provide direction.
33
34         Caskey-Schreiber stated she supports reducing densities in any watershed,
35   but she doesn’t want to make a policy move now. She preferred to discuss it in the
36   Planning Committee with the Planning Department staff.
37
38         Motion failed 2-5 with Brenner and Fleetwood in favor.
39
40         Desler suggested that the Council’s Planning and Development Committee
41   discuss this issue with representatives of the Property Management Committee.
42
43   2.    RESOLUTION AMENDING RESOLUTION 2001-010 AND RE-
44         PRIORITIZING WHATCOM COUNTY PROJECTS FOR THE WASHINGTON
45         COMMUNITY ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION TEAM (WA-CERT)
46         (AB2002-143)
47


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 11
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1         Nelson opened the public hearing, and the following people spoke:
 2
 3         Gary Tomsic, Blaine City Manager, stated he and the mayor of Blaine are
 4   present to support the community’s two most important projects, the regional
 5   wastewater treatment program and the Blaine pedestrian boardwalk. When
 6   completed, these two projects will have a significant positive impact on the
 7   economic growth of this small community. The vision is that a wonderfully
 8   designed pedestrian boardwalk along Peace Portal Drive will become the focal point
 9   for small business growth in the central business district. It will become the
10   impetus for new investment in the downtown area that will lead Blaine’s sagging
11   commercial economy into a new era.
12
13           The only project more important than the pedestrian boardwalk is the
14   completion of the new regional wastewater treatment facility, in partnership with
15   the Birch Bay Water and Sewer District, and the subsequent development by the
16   Lummi Nation of a memorial at the Semiahmoo Spit. These two components are
17   unique projects in the nation. The partnership between the Lummi Nation, Blaine,
18   and Birch Bay was born from an unfortunate event, resulting in the desecration of
19   Lummi ancestral remains at the Blaine wastewater treatment plant on Semiahmoo
20   Spit. Through many months of discussion, that tragic development has culminated
21   in this project, which has benefits to the three partners, all of Whatcom County,
22   and areas beyond Whatcom County.
23
24          These benefits include the restoration and preservation of a valuable cultural
25   resource in a place where the Native Americans traditionally gathered, the
26   construction of a memorial heritage center that will be a place to honor the dead
27   and the living cultures of the native people. It will be a place for the native people
28   to return to practice their arts, crafts, and skills. It will be a place for them to share
29   these arts and crafts. It will be a unique economic engine that will provide jobs to
30   tribal members and a major cultural tourism attraction for all of Whatcom County.
31
32         The regional wastewater treatment project will be a major step in cleaning up
33   Drayton Harbor, which is currently a federally protected water. It will help restore
34   commercial, recreational, and native shell-fishing in the area. The regional
35   treatment plant will provide the necessary infrastructure to serve much of the
36   county’s prime residential, industrial, and manufacturing property located between
37   Cherry Point and Semiahmoo Point.
38
39          These are all important benefits to the area. The WA-CERT ranking is
40   important to receive federal and State funding. The ranking task is difficult. He is
41   grateful for the ranking they’ve received in the past. He hoped for a high ranking
42   this year also.
43
44         Roger Brown, Birch Bay Water and Sewer District, supported the regional
45   wastewater treatment plant and the cultural memorial project that Blaine
46   submitted. There are significant environmental and economic benefits. The project
47   would provide expanded sewer infrastructure in the area. Birch Bay has been and


                           Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 12
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1   is projected to be a rapidly growing area. It provides the sewer infrastructure to
 2   accommodate that. There is also a major water reclamation opportunity in
 3   conjunction with this project, because moving the site of secondary treatment to
 4   the Point Whitehorn area locates the wastewater treatment close to the Cherry
 5   Point industrial area. It is about a mile away. One of the main economic factors in
 6   reclamation is the distribution system. They are very close. They can sell all of the
 7   reclaimed water to one customer. In addition, they can sell the water all year long
 8   to an industrial customer. It brings down the per-unit cost of that water. It
 9   provides a new source of water for industrial use in the Cherry Point area without
10   relying on any new withdrawals from the Nooksack River. The amount of water
11   used at Cherry Point at the BP plant is greatly in excess of the average flows in
12   terms of wastewater from these two communities combined.
13
14         The environmental effect is that they get to abandon an outfall at Blaine, and
15   reduce the flows to the outfall at Birch Bay. There is a net reduction of
16   approximately 500 million gallons per year in discharges.
17
18         The project will take several years to complete. As a result, it needs
19   consistent financial support from year to year. Last year, the project was ranked
20   number two on this list. He hoped to rank it in at least the top three.
21
22          Fenton Wilkinson, 7101 Goodwin Road, Everson, asked for support to rank
23   the Ag Innovation Center project. It has been on the WA-CERT list for several
24   years. It would make a significant positive impact on the agricultural industry to
25   help them increase the economic viability. Several years ago, it was ranked in the
26   top three. It was one of the four projects that the Farm Futures Task Force
27   recommended as an action item in the City of Everson Economic Development Plan.
28   It was the top-ranked project by a public meeting of citizens. It also advances the
29   Comprehensive Plan goals. Several years ago, they had local matching money.
30   Based on that, WA-CERT agreed to provide money for the project. At the last
31   minute, the local money evaporated and they didn’t get the WA-CERT money. The
32   Ag Preservation Committee has a similar project that is before the Port of
33   Bellingham. He would like to partner with the Ag Preservation Committee and bring
34   the WA-CERT money to this county.
35
36         Hearing no one else, Nelson closed the public hearing.
37
38         Crawford moved to approve the ranking list as presented in amendment
39   three of attachment A. He asked if Mr. Fleetwood’s ranking preferences changed
40   the proposed order.
41
42         Dewey Desler, Deputy Administrator, stated it did not.
43
44         Brenner stated she preferred the first version of the list.
45
46         Motion carried 6-1 with Brenner opposed.
47


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 13
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1         Brenner stated she wanted to propose amendments to the list.
 2
 3         Roy moved to reconsider the previous motion.
 4
 5        Motion to reconsider carried 4-3 with Caskey-Schreiber, Crawford, and
 6   McShane opposed.
 7
 8         Brenner moved to rank the Planning Feasibility Study for a Community
 9   Agriculture Institute by Sustainable Options as item two.
10
11         Motion failed 2-5 with Brenner and Fleetwood in favor.
12
13          Motion to approve the resolution with the third version of Attachment A
14   carried unanimously.
15
16   3.    ORDINANCE AMENDING THE INTERIM MORATORIUM ON THE
17         ACCEPTANCE OF NEW APPLICATIONS FOR SUBDIVISIONS OF LAND
18         INTO PARCELS SMALLER THAN FIVE ACRES WITHIN THE LAKE
19         WHATCOM WATERSHED (AB2002-151)
20
21           McShane reported for the Planning and Development Committee and stated
22   he was contacted by an individual who convinced him that what the Council
23   intended to do created some problems for this person personally. When the Council
24   establishes a moratorium, it should be sensitive to the fact that it causes impacts
25   that it might not have intended. The intent of the moratorium was to create tools
26   to protect Lake Whatcom. In this case, the person has a property that had been
27   short-platted, so he had to wait awhile before he could subdivide again, and he got
28   caught where he couldn’t subdivide. The owner already had two existing homes on
29   the property, because he had been able in the past to build an accessory dwelling
30   that is fully permitted. The Council is not changing density by allowing the owner
31   to subdivide the lots into two separate lots.
32
33         Nelson opened the public hearing, and hearing no one, closed the public
34   hearing.
35
36         McShane moved to adopt the ordinance.
37
38        McShane moved to amend language, “WHEREAS, the intent of the interim
39   moratorium is, in part, to prevent the vesting of new lots….”
40
41         Crawford asked what the other intent is for the moratorium.
42
43         McShane stated one intent is to protect Lake Whatcom in general. He
44   doesn’t want to say that the only reason for the moratorium was to prevent
45   producing more lots.
46
47         Motion to amend carried 6-1 with Brenner opposed.


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 14
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1
 2        McShane moved to amend language, “NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT
 3   ORDAINED…will be accepted under all of the following conditions:…
 4        2) the subdivision will…the underlying zoning, and
 5        3) the accessory dwelling…”
 6
 7         McShane stated all three of the conditions have to be met before one can
 8   subdivide during the moratorium.
 9
10         Motion carried 6-1 with Brenner opposed.
11
12         Caskey-Schreiber asked the reason the constituent has to have this done
13   before the six-month moratorium is up.
14
15          McShane stated the applicant was submitted in August. It failed to be a
16   complete application. He can’t speak to the individual’s potential problem. The
17   Council’s purpose was to prevent creating additional lots and building before it
18   establishes protective measurements. In this case, the houses are already there.
19   Therefore, the Council is impacting someone in a situation he had no intention of
20   causing.
21
22           Brenner stated one intention of the moratorium was to make sure there is a
23   net reduction in impacts. The Council said it wants to reduce density in the
24   watershed. She wrote the accessory dwelling ordinance. Accessory dwellings are
25   generally small dwellings. Once that lot is separated, the person with the accessory
26   dwelling can build on to that dwelling and make it as big as he or she wants. That
27   increases density. A small structure on the same lot as a regular structure wouldn’t
28   necessarily do that. A lot of people have been impacted by what the Council did. It
29   isn’t fair to treat one class of individuals any different than the others. There are
30   many kinds of people who can’t develop and have major hardships. If the Council
31   doesn’t support this, it will encourage the staff to provide standards in the six-
32   month timeframe, it will encourage Councilmember McShane to vote for those
33   standards in the six-month period, and they can move on. Everyone should be
34   treated the same. Stick to the six-month moratorium. This isn’t just about one
35   person. Without the standards in place, there will be impacts to the watershed.
36   She will not support the ordinance.
37
38          Roy asked if this means that someone could remodel, rebuild, or tear down a
39   small cabin and rebuild.
40
41        McShane stated the person would not be allowed to do that during the
42   moratorium. Item three in the ordinance would prevent that from happening.
43
44         Roy asked if this will give a green light for construction within the Lake
45   Whatcom watershed that would ordinarily be under the auspices of the regulations
46   they are currently working on. They are looking at tightening up standards.
47


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 15
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1          Nelson stated accessory units are currently not allowed in the watershed.
 2   This is a pre-existing accessory unit. It has been there for quite some time. The
 3   owner began the process of subdividing the lots before the moratorium. The owner
 4   got bogged down in details and timeframes, and then found himself in a
 5   moratorium. The concern is that there will be additional requirements once the
 6   moratorium is over that the owner is not prepared to meet.
 7
 8          Brenner stated this ordinance does not prevent the owner from remodeling
 9   or adding onto the accessory dwelling. The person won’t have to wait for the end
10   of the moratorium.
11
12        McShane stated the person could add on to either of the residences now.
13   The moratorium doesn’t apply to additions or remodeling.
14
15          Brenner stated the accessory dwelling can’t be enlarged bigger than the main
16   house. That is the accessory dwelling rule. Also, there is less of an incentive to
17   add on to an accessory dwelling when it’s on the same lot as the main dwelling.
18   Usually, they remain small cottages. She hopes the owner can subdivide at the end
19   of the six months, just like everyone else. Everyone needs to play by the same
20   rules and same standards.
21
22          Sylvia Goodwin, Planning Division Manager, stated she doesn’t know what
23   the zoning is or the size of the existing accessory dwelling. It must fall under the
24   minimum building size under the accessory dwelling unit ordinance. The owner
25   can’t add on to it now. If the lot is split into two lots, two more accessory dwelling
26   units may be built, depending on the zone and the size of the lots.
27
28        Motion to adopt the amended ordinance carried 4-3 with Fleetwood, Roy, and
29   Brenner opposed.
30
31   4.    ORDINANCE AMENDING THE WHATCOM COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE
32         PLAN, UTILITIES CHAPTER, WHATCOM COUNTY CODE, TITLE 20, AND
33         WHATCOM COUNTY CODE, TITLE 21, TO ADD AND CLARIFY
34         LANGUAGE RELATING TO THE REGULATION AND OPERATION OF
35         UTILITIES PARTICULARLY NATURAL GAS AND HAZARDOUS LIQUID
36         TRANSMISSION PIPELINES AND TO INCLUDE SITING CRITERIA FOR
37         TRANSMISSION PIPELINES AND OTHER TECHNIQUES TO PROMOTE
38         HEALTH, SAFETY AND PUBLIC WELFARE (AB2002-109)
39
40          Kraig Olason, Senior Planner, gave a staff report and stated there is a
41   notification issue. This project was established based on Council initiative to work
42   with siting criteria for pipelines. They’ve spent a considerable amount of time on
43   that issue. The Utility Pipeline Advisory Committee spent a year working through
44   these issues. The primary areas of focus were information, education, notification,
45   monitoring, and siting criteria.
46



                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 16
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1          Also, there is a request to change the term “essential facilities” to
 2   “emergency facilities.” There is an Essential Facilities Committee that the Planning
 3   Division works with. Clarify that they are not incorporating pipelines into that
 4   category. That term only appears in the glossary of the document.
 5
 6         Brenner asked if the committee understood that when it voted. Olason
 7   stated it did. The committee didn’t try to discuss essential facilities.
 8
 9         The Council received comments today from the Washington Utilities and
10   Transportation Commission (WUTC). Staff can respond to any questions about
11   those comments.
12
13           Regarding task 13, notification, is a task item and not a policy statement. It
14   identifies the notification area, not a zone or regulatory control that would identify
15   those properties as being within 660 feet of a pipeline. One of the opinions the
16   advisory commission held differently from the Planning Commission and staff was
17   whether or not they should put disclosure notification on a title. Staff
18   recommended not doing that, because it would be a big and expensive job for staff.
19   There are approximately 6,250 parcels within 660 feet of a pipeline. It costs $11
20   per page to record documents. That totals about $70,000, not including staff time
21   to do research. There might be alternatives. One option is to produce a map.
22   Staff created a draft map that can be included with the update of the Utility Chapter
23   of the Comprehensive Plan, which they are working on now. The map shows those
24   major transmission corridors. The map could be displayed on the internet and be
25   made available in the Planning Department offices. People who are looking for
26   property could easily see if a property is within that distance from the pipeline.
27
28          Another idea is to request that the State incorporate that disclosure of
29   pipeline locations on the real estate disclosure statement. It would be brought up
30   with the private transactions that the County is not a party to.
31
32         (Clerk’s Note: End of tape one, side B.)
33
34         Brenner asked what changes the WUTC recommended.
35
36         Scott Smith, Planning Department, stated the first WUTC comment
37   references Council packet page 262, page 5-6 of the Utility Chapter. One comment
38   was that the WUTC does not regulate the price of petroleum.
39
40           The next comment references Council packet page 268, page 5-12 of the
41   Utility Chapter, policy 5M-4, and suggests language at the end of that policy, “(The
42   County GIS Department should work in concert with the WUTC’s pipeline GIS
43   personnel to obtain updated information on pipelines as it is developed by the
44   WUTC Pipeline Safety Division.)”
45
46        The next comment suggests adding a new policy 5M-9, “Require pipeline
47   companies to provide community-wide damage prevention education materials that


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 17
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1   the county and local governments may use to educate the local public about the
 2   need to comply with existing State law RCW 19.122. When excavating on public
 3   and private property, encourage broad based damage prevention education
 4   initiatives by pipeline operators as a means of helping to keep citizens safe.”
 5
 6          Nelson asked if the committee addressed education issues. Smith stated it
 7   did.
 8
 9          Smith stated the WUTC’s final comment is on policy 5N-7 and suggests that
10   the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 480-93-023 and 480-93-030 do not
11   preclude pipeline operators from constructing lines with these specified distances,
12   and the intent of the rule is to ensure that the commission is aware of such lines
13   and has had an opportunity to review the construction specifications and provide
14   comments prior to the projects. The rule provides the WUTC an opportunity to
15   work with the pipeline company and local government to develop projects that have
16   safety in mind, and are consistent with local needs and ordinances. He suggested
17   wording that emphasis the provisions in the WUTC’s rule as an opportunity to
18   provide local input into this project safety review, conducted by the WUTC at the
19   time such projects are proposed.
20
21         Brenner asked if the WUTC’s statements mean that the WAC’s do not have
22   the requirement of these distances. Smith stated those WAC’s have to get signed
23   off. The administrative code says they need to be signed off. The policies are
24   saying that it is a good idea to encourage siting within these areas.
25
26          Brenner stated that she interprets the letter to mean that the WAC’s don’t
27   say that they can’t be closer than 500 feet from a 500-psi pressure or greater
28   pipeline. She asked if the WAC’s preclude the siting being closer. Smith stated
29   they could site closer if they get sign-off.
30
31         Nelson stated that if a pipeline wants sign-off, they have to explain why they
32   are going closer. The rules can be more restrictive if someone doesn’t want to go
33   through that process.
34
35          Nelson opened the public hearing, and the following people spoke:
36
37          Richard Gilda, Jensen Road, stated he voted for the document as a whole.
38   He spoke regarding page 5-6 of the Utility Chapter. The sentence that was added
39   to the end of the section entitled “Electric Power, Natural Gas, Petroleum, and
40   Telecommunications” should be amended. Each utility should be addressed
41   separately. They shouldn’t include telecommunications with sewer lines or water
42   lines.
43
44           Amend language on page 5-12, policy 5M-8 to include the Washington
45   Utilities and Transportation Commission in addition to the Office of Pipeline Safety.
46   He suggested, “Encourage and work with the Washington State Utilities and
47   Transportation Commission and continue to encourage the Office of Pipeline Safety


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 18
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1   to continue enacting stronger safety measures for transmission pipelines, and to
 2   encourage pipeline applicants to voluntarily enact strong safety measures than
 3   required by federal law in Whatcom County regulations while encouraging stronger
 4   safety measures than required by law.” The County can work with them rather
 5   than just telling them to do it.
 6
 7         Language on page 5-23, item 17, is very confusing. It doesn’t specify the
 8   types of projects, how close to the utilities they should be, and who gives what to
 9   whom.
10
11          On page 5-23, item 18, there is no timeline specified for development. The
12   language should be changed to add “investigate developing.” He would suggest the
13   same for item 19. The Planning Commission looked into this six or seven years ago
14   for pipelines and high-voltage lines. This can be done at virtually no cost to the
15   County. Begin looking at ways to do that without a cost to the County.
16
17         Amend the “one-call” definition. It is a service that is mandated by the
18   State. The statute should be referenced in the definition.
19
20           Mike Kaufman, Huntley Road, stated the 1,320-foot total width of impact is
21   not the corridor. A corridor is really the property that is the right-of-way. An
22   impact zone is different. The committee feels so strongly that this impact zone
23   exists that it recommends notification on the property deed. It is an extreme step.
24   As this moves through the process, the advisory committee is adamant about it.
25   There must be some way to identify that this zone exists in the community. As the
26   utilities come into the community and projects are presented to the citizens, the
27   utilities convince people that the impacts are limited to the easement. In fact, the
28   impact to the community exists, and the advisory committee says it’s 1,320 feet
29   wide. It brings the community into the picture. As the County intervenes and the
30   projects move forward, the neighbor is finally recognized. The economic impact to
31   the community exists.
32
33          Patrick Alesse, 4825 Aldrich Road, Birch Bay, stated they are talking about a
34   pipeline corridor that will negatively impact the property values around it. The
35   pipeline shows up in the Assessor’s book as having a certain value, which is
36   distributed to various taxing districts. That wealth is distributed based upon the
37   wealth of the taxing district. The small taxing districts that have a pipeline in within
38   their boundaries will have a negative benefit because the assessed valuation in the
39   area will be less.
40
41          Hearing no one else, Nelson closed the public hearing.
42
43          Olason stated the version the Council will work from starts on packet page
44   251.
45
46          McShane stated the Planning Committee recommended striking the
47   disclosure statement requirement. He moved to adopt the ordinance, to strike the


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 19
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1   disclosure statement, which is task item 19 on Council packet page 279, and to
 2   correct the scrivener errors discussed in committee.
 3
 4          Brenner moved to amend Council packet page 252, Finding number one,
 5   “Countywide Planning Policies, Siting of Public Facilities. 5. Sharing of corridors for
 6   major utilities, trails, pipelines, and other transportation rights-of-ways encouraged
 7   required where feasible when not in conflict with goals to protect wildlife public
 8   health and safety.”
 9
10          Brenner stated that this language is a quote from another source. She asked
11   if they are going to change the source document. She suggested as a friendly
12   amendment that the motion include removing the quotes around the language.
13
14         Brenner accepted the friendly amendment.
15
16         Crawford stated the point of this finding is to show how it is consistent.
17
18         Nelson stated the motion makes it inconsistent.
19
20         Motion failed 1-6 with Brenner in favor.
21
22            Brenner moved to amend Council packet page 257, the second paragraph of
23   the Purpose section, “It is the intent of this plan to support, where safely possible,
24   electric power, natural gas, petroleum, telecommunications, and other providers in
25   fulfilling….” They have to indicate that they aren’t supporting this everywhere.
26
27         Nelson asked who defines what areas are safely possible.
28
29         Brenner stated that without the additional language, there is no direction.
30   They should put some restrictions to limit it where safely possible.
31         Roy asked if the next sentence says that.
32
33         Crawford stated it does.
34
35         Motion failed 2-5 with Brenner and Caskey-Schreiber in favor.
36
37          Brenner moved to amend language on Council packet page 257, the second
38   paragraph of the Purpose section, “It is also the intent of this plan to avoid where
39   possible or minimize any negative effects resulting from the provision of that
40   service on the residents, infrastructure, or the environment of the county.”
41
42         Roy stated she supports the concept, but is uncomfortable saying they will
43   minimizing effects. She questioned why they are allowing any effects in the first
44   place. She also asked why they would include “if possible.” She would support
45   “avoid.”
46



                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 20
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1         Brenner amended her motion to amend language on Council packet page
 2   257, the second paragraph of the Purpose section, “It is also the intent of this plan
 3   to avoid minimize any negative effects resulting from the provision of that service
 4   on the residents, infrastructure, or the environment of the county.”
 5
 6            Motion failed 3-4 with Brenner, Caskey-Schreiber, and Roy in favor.
 7
 8         Brenner moved to amend Council packet page 258, the section entitled
 9   “GMA Goals, County-Wide Planning Policies, and Visioning Community Value
10   Statements.” Add language to the end of the first sentence, “…open space and
11   recreation, and public facilities and services, and public health and safety.” One
12   general concept goal of the Growth Management Act is public health and safety.
13
14            Motion failed 3-4 with Fleetwood, Brenner, and Caskey-Schreiber in
15   favor.
16
17           Brenner moved to amend Council packet page 260 in the Background
18   Summary section to add language at the end, “Another major issue is
19   Whatcom County’s geographic location between two major population
20   centers, which increases pressure to locate regional and international
21   transmission pipelines here. The pressure is further compounded by stricter
22   pipeline regulations in Canada and pipeline companies’ reluctance to share
23   utility corridors.”
24
25         Olason stated staff is rewriting that in the update. They are already
26   working on it.
27
28          McShane stated Councilmember Brenner wrote her amendments in a
29   memo to the councilmembers. The Planning Committee considered them.
30   This entire chapter is being updated separately from this process. At this
31   time, they are focusing only on the pipeline. Some of Councilmember
32   Brenner’s concerns will be addressed in the update.
33
34          Caskey-Schreiber asked what Councilmember Brenner hoped to
35   influence by stating the obvious in her motion.
36
37          Brenner stated the background summary is supposed to state what is
38   going on. The motion isn’t about making things better by saying something
39   is not great, but it’s a fact, and the language should be in there because it’s
40   part of the background.
41
42            Motion failed 3-4 with Roy, Brenner, and Caskey-Schreiber in favor.
43
44            (Clerk’s Note: End of tape two, side A.)
45
46         Brenner moved to amend the first full paragraph on Council packet
47   page 261, “…and environmentally sensitive areas. Utility corridors shall be


                            Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 21
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1   shared by compatible utilities when safely possible.” They don’t want to
 2   locate certain utilities with other utilities.
 3
 4           Motion carried 4-3 with Nelson, Crawford, and McShane opposed.
 5
 6          Nelson moved to hold this item in Council and schedule a work session
 7   in one week.
 8
 9         Motion failed 2-2 with Nelson and Brenner in favor and Crawford,
10   Fleetwood, and Roy abstaining.
11
12        Crawford stated he is not interested in a work session on these
13   amendments. He doesn’t want to go through them now.
14
15           Nelson stated he would not be able to attend a work session at that
16   time.
17
18          Brenner moved to amend Council packet page 261, policy 5A-3,
19   “Encourage utility purveyors to consider underground installation of
20   distribution facilities consistent with WUTC Rates and tariffs. Encourage or
21   require cities to convert to underground distribution facilities as they install
22   water or sewer lines.”
23
24           Motion failed 1-6 with Brenner in favor.
25
26          Brenner moved to amend policy 5A-4, “Except when installed for public
27   health reasons, tTo the extent….” For public health reasons, they don’t have to
28   follow designated growth areas. She asked if that is something they are working
29   on.
30
31           Motion failed 1-6 with Brenner in favor.
32
33          Brenner moved to amend policy 5A-5 on Council packet page 5-5,
34   “Discourage siting utility facilities in known natural hazard areas unless public
35   benefit outweighs the risk.”
36
37         Roy asked when the public benefit outweighs the risk of a hazardous area.
38   She supports the motion, and would even support take the entire policy out.
39
40          McShane stated utility lines are linear. They will cross over natural hazard
41   areas. It is going to happen. An example of the public benefit outweighing the risk
42   is on Sumas Mountain. There was a landslide, the pipeline broke, it blew up, and it
43   scared the heck out of people. However, it was in an area where there were no
44   houses in a close enough proximity so that anyone got hurt or killed. An alternative
45   would be a line that runs through a city where there aren’t any geological natural
46   hazard risks, but another risk is created.
47


                           Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 22
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1         Brenner stated the language covers that problem. They don’t need to talk
 2   about a risk versus a benefit.
 3
 4         Motion failed 2-5 with Roy and Brenner in favor.
 5
 6          Sylvia Goodwin, Planning Division Manager, stated there will be a Planning
 7   Commission public hearing on the Utility Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan within
 8   the next two months. Some of these amendments that are not pertinent to lifting
 9   the utility moratorium could be deferred until then.
10
11         Brenner stated that would be fine.
12
13           Brenner referenced Council packet page 279, number 19, regarding
14   the disclosure statement. The committee came up with information that the
15   presence of pipelines on a property doesn’t devalue the property. Something
16   like this on the deed will devalue property. If they are going to have
17   notification on the deed that a pipeline is on the property, there should be a
18   statement, “Pipeline companies shall compensate property owners for
19   property devaluation caused by pipeline disclosure statement requirement.
20   Pipeline companies shall also compensate at appraised value property owners
21   for property on which easement is placed, or property with residence within
22   1,000 feet of easement. It shall be at the choice of the property owner to
23   have property purchased at appraised value or payment for easement, which
24   reflects devaluation value.”
25
26          McShane stated the committee recommends that number 19 be
27   stricken from the chapter. That is part of the motion. It would not be
28   necessary to include that language.
29
30         Brenner stated that language should also be included in Whatcom
31   County Code 21.03.045 and 21.04.070.
32
33          McShane stated those sections would be eliminated based on that
34   action item 19 being dropped.
35
36          Brenner moved to include language somewhere in the ordinance that
37   property owners will be compensated by pipeline companies at appraised
38   value for devaluation caused by pipeline corridors. An appraiser can figure
39   out what that devalued amount is.
40
41        Fleetwood stated it is problematic. Each party’s appraiser will have a
42   dramatically different assessment.
43
44         Brenner stated the there could be three appraisals, chosen by both the
45   company and the property owner. The pipeline company would pay for the
46   appraisals.
47


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 23
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1          Roy stated she will vote no because there are too many details that
 2   are left open and it is too vague. It is something she would like to discuss in
 3   a work session.
 4
 5          Brenner stated that this is a feel-good document that doesn’t do a lot
 6   to protect the people who will presently be on the pipeline corridors. It
 7   doesn’t do much to protect future property owners, if they are going to
 8   eliminate disclosure. She appreciated the work that was done, but it is a
 9   skeleton regulation that will not accomplish protection.
10
11         Motion failed 2-5 with Brenner and Caskey-Schreiber in favor.
12
13           Crawford asked the reason for removing the language on Council packet
14   page 261, policy 5A-1, “above the distribution level during the planning period.”
15   He’s confused about the differences in definitions of distribution, transmission, and
16   what is a utility hookup to a residence. He asked if there would be this level of
17   process for a hookup to a house. Olason stated that when they look at distribution
18   versus transmission, there are some distribution lines that are of such size, they
19   look just like a transmission line. At the time the advisory committee worked on
20   this, it tried to make a distinction between the two, so there would be a siting issue
21   they could address. However, the advisory committee added a term that defines
22   the transmission pipeline. With that addition, it supercedes the need to remove the
23   language. He suggested that they reinstate that language in policy 5A-1. They are
24   trying to identify the really big transmission lines. The definition talks about how
25   much pressure the pipe has. They consider a “facility” the entire system.
26
27         Crawford moved to replace the words that were stricken from policy 5A-1 on
28   Council packet page 261, “…for any new utility facilities above the distribution level
29   during the planning period.”
30
31         Motion carried unanimously.
32
33          Crawford asked the reason that the Planning Committee recommends
34   striking the disclosure requirements.
35
36          McShane stated there are two issues. One issue is that the notification would
37   put a tremendous burden on the County staff. The second issue is that those
38   people who have a pipeline go in over their property are compensated. However,
39   people who aren’t being compensated at all because they don’t have the pipeline on
40   their property, yet are within 660 feet of it, have a notification placed on their deed.
41   The notification gets the people involved by making them aware. But then the
42   County is asking them to take the brunt of the problem. They are being hurt twice.
43   They are first being hurt by having the pipeline located near them. They are hurt
44   secondly by putting a notice in their deed, which may have an impact on their
45   property values. He and the advisory committee were all surprised to find out that
46   pipelines don’t have a lot of impact on property values.
47


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 24
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1        Crawford asked if the motion to adopt the ordinance includes removing
 2   number 19 on Council packet page 279.
 3
 4         Nelson stated it does.
 5
 6           Brenner stated that if there is no devaluation of property because of the
 7   presence, it wouldn’t need to be on the deed. She questions the source that said
 8   there is no devaluation. Olason stated there were two sources. One was a report
 9   done in several locations around the country. That study looked at the time it took
10   to sell properties and the sale price of the properties. In those cases, there wasn’t
11   an appreciable difference. The properties may have taken a little longer to sell. In
12   addition, the advisory committee asked for information from the County Assessor
13   on how well things were selling in the Whatcom Creek area. The Assessor said
14   those houses had sold in about the same amount of time as everyone else.
15
16          Brenner asked if the buyers in the nationwide study knew that they were
17   buying properties with or near a pipeline. Olason stated that is a good question.
18   That’s why the advisory committee focused on information and education. A buyer
19   makes a choice. They are trying to give people the opportunity to know ahead of
20   time.
21
22         Brenner stated the study doesn’t prove anything if the buyers didn’t know
23   they were buying near a pipeline.
24
25         Nelson asked if any of the concerns expressed by the WUTC were significant.
26   Olason stated he didn’t think so.
27
28         Caskey-Schreiber asked if goals 5D, 5E, and 5F would be changed after the
29   Planning Commission reviews it. Olason stated staff would bring the recommended
30   change to the Planning Commission. He can’t predict what the Planning
31   Commission’s decision will be. The advisory committee will discuss it.
32
33          Roy stated this is important, and there are many implications of this
34   language. There are a lot of problems with it. This language needs to be
35   scrutinized.
36
37         Motion to adopt the amended ordinance carried 6-1 with Brenner opposed.
38
39   5.    ORDINANCE AMENDING WHATCOM COUNTY CODE, TITLE 20, TO ADD
40         A NEW POINT ROBERTS TRANSITIONAL ZONE (TZ) DISTRICT,
41         CHAPTER 20.37, TO IMPLEMENT THE 2001 POINT ROBERTS SUBAREA
42         PLAN AND MAP (AB2002-107)
43
44          Amy Pederson, Planner I, gave a staff report and stated the Point Roberts
45   transitional zoning district is proposed as Whatcom County Code chapter 20.37. It
46   is a brand new zoning district to be incorporated into Title 20. It is intended to
47   implement the 2001 Point Roberts Subarea Plan and associated map amendments


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 25
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1   that were adopted on December 11, 2001. At that time, the zoning standards and
 2   regulations to implement the new transitional zone were not adopted concurrently.
 3   A number of goals, sections, policies, and projects in the subarea plan provide
 4   direction for the transitional zone. The concept of the transitional zone was
 5   developed through the subarea plan process. It was intended to create and protect
 6   a network of interconnected open space, while still allowing property owners to
 7   develop their land.
 8
 9         There are two development options as a part of the zone. One option is to
10   develop at one house per five acres (R5A). The other option is to develop at one
11   house per acre, provided that there is cluster subdivision, preservation of open
12   space, and preservation of community wastewater treatment system.
13
14          The Planning and Development Committee added language regarding
15   reserves and trails, maximum lot size limits, minimum lot size limits, and open
16   space reserve tract. Referencing section 20.37.251, a maximum lot size of ½ acre
17   is inconsistent with the provision for a 30 percent open space reserve tract. It
18   won’t work unless they take out the provision for a reduced open space or take
19   away the maximum ½ acre lot size.
20
21        There is a memo they received recently regarding the septic tank effluent
22   pump (STEP). Staff is trying to create a definition in the ordinance for STEP.
23
24         Nelson opened the public hearing, and the following people spoke:
25
26          Tom Hollett, Point Roberts, stated he endorsed the subarea plan. Point
27   Roberts will never be an industrial or commercial zone. It will always be a unique
28   residential area. Consider denser houses, and allow for view corridors. If a
29   property owner chooses this option, he or she should have to leave a view corridor
30   so as not to obstruct views. In the goals, prevent houses from being built that will
31   obstruct existing homes. In the subarea plan, include what they want to look like
32   in 20 years. He doesn’t understand the transitional zone.
33
34          Michael Rosser, Point Roberts, stated he was on the steering committee, and
35   has attended every meeting. Until the issue of the half-acre came up, he did not
36   fully understand the implications of what is going on.
37
38         (Clerk’s Note: End of tape two, side B.)
39
40          Rosser referenced Whatcom County Code section 20.37.322 regarding the
41   open space reserve tract. A developer can get a reduced open space reserve tract
42   amount of 30 or 40 percent, instead of the required 50 percent. An amount of land
43   equal to an amount dedicated to an easement or wildlife protection can be deducted
44   from the required reserve tract. That is the way he interpreted the language. The
45   way Ms. Pederson interpreted it is simple and straightforward, but it is not what he
46   intended.
47


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 26
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1           All of the transitional zones they are talking about now are important wildlife
 2   habitat areas. It is all forested and heavily populated with wildlife. If a developer
 3   says he is going to protect a section of wildlife habitat, he or she will automatically
 4   receive the 30 percent open space tract requirement. There is no negotiation. The
 5   50 percent open space tract requirement isn’t even considered. The only incentive
 6   is to the benefit of the developer, and there is no incentive to maintain open space.
 7
 8          There are three options. One option is to eliminate the half-acre designation.
 9   It doesn’t address the problem of the developer getting double credit for open
10   space, and calling it wildlife habitat. He suggested language.
11
12         Brenner asked if staff made the same interpretation.
13
14         Sylvia Goodwin, Planning Division Manager, stated the language in section
15   20.37.322 is very clear as it is. A developer has to choose to meet one of the
16   options, not more than one option.
17
18          George Wright, 1365 Gulf Road, Point Roberts, stated he agreed with Ms.
19   Goodwin’s analysis of the language. A developer should be encouraged to do the
20   best thing with the land. A half-acre restriction is not a good cap. They are trying
21   to encourage developers to designate open space, preserve it in perpetuity. Make
22   sure they allow certain public corridors to go through. The main issue for the
23   Economic Development Committee is to make sure people who own properties
24   don’t fight against giving easements for public trails.
25
26         Hearing no one else, Nelson closed the public hearing.
27
28         McShane moved to adopt the ordinance.
29
30         McShane moved to strike the half-acre maximum lot size.
31
32         Crawford asked why there was a maximum size restriction to begin with.
33
34          McShane stated they wanted to get the houses close together. The
35   committee reduced the minimum lot size from 15,000 square feet. He doesn’t like
36   the larger lot sizes, but he also doesn’t want to take away the incentive.
37
38          Wright stated the idea of open space design is based on use of the land in its
39   best form. It doesn’t matter what the lot sizes are. It matters how the lots are
40   arranged.
41
42         Nelson stated the flexibility would encourage people to include the open
43   space access.
44
45         Motion carried unanimously.
46
47         Motion to adopt the ordinance as amended carried unanimously.


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 27
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1
 2   6.    ORDINANCE AMENDING WHATCOM COUNTY CODE 20.72, POINT
 3         ROBERTS SPECIAL DISTRICT, TO IMPLEMENT THE GOALS, POLICIES
 4         AND PROJECTS OF THE 2001 POINT ROBERTS SUBAREA PLAN
 5         (AB2002-108)
 6
 7          Amy Pederson, Planner I, stated the amendments to the Point Roberts
 8   special district are intended to implement the Point Roberts Subarea Plan, which
 9   was adopted in 2001. The proposed text incorporates various provisions from the
10   Point Roberts Character Plan, including street trees and screening mechanical
11   equipment on the roofs of buildings. It enhances the tree retention provisions. It
12   omits outdated language. It adds a new air park use and a new parking section. It
13   also increases height limitations within the small town commercial zone to 45 feet.
14   As a follow up to the Planning and Development Committee meeting, staff spoke
15   with the fire marshal and the fire chief. They felt that they would be able to
16   address any concerns regarding the increased height limitation through the
17   permitting process.
18
19           Brenner asked if the Point Roberts Fire District feels that it can take care of
20   fires in a building that is 45 feet tall. Pederson stated they have a ladder that is
21   35-feet tall. It allows them to serve a 30-foot building. However, through the
22   permit process, they can also require sprinklers, which would take care of the
23   problem. The fire district has a resolution in place that allows the district to charge
24   impact fees.
25
26         Brenner stated she wouldn’t be comfortable relying only on sprinkler
27   systems.
28
29         Nelson opened the public hearing, and the following people spoke:
30
31           George Wright, Gulf Road, stated he is concerned about Whatcom County
32   Code (WCC) section 20.72.153, which allows an airpark. The landing and takeoff
33   corridor will be right over the proposed downtown area, at the west end of Gulf
34   Road. During the summer now, a lot of airplanes take off and land on the private
35   airstrip there. They fly in low over a restaurant full of people and residences in the
36   area. It is not a good idea for downtown Point Roberts.
37
38          Michael Rosser, Point Roberts, stated he agreed with Mr. Wright. The Point
39   Roberts Heron Society applauds the Council for reinstating the buffer around the
40   heronry. He thanked the Council for including the language regarding tree
41   retention.
42
43         Hearing no one else, Nelson closed the public hearing.
44
45         Brenner moved to adopt the ordinance.
46



                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 28
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1         McShane stated this is the first time the Council has heard anyone speak
 2   against the airport. This was a Subarea Plan amendment. Pederson stated it came
 3   up during the subarea plan process.
 4
 5         McShane stated this language is to implement what they’ve already done.
 6   Pederson stated the current concerns were brought up during the subarea planning
 7   process. This is not a new concern.
 8
 9          Caskey-Schreiber asked if this is for an additional airstrip. Pederson stated it
10   is not. It is the same airstrip.
11
12         Motion to adopt carried unanimously.
13
14         (Clerk’s Note: The Council took a five-minute break.)
15
16
17   CONSENT AGENDA
18
19         Crawford reported for the Finance and Administrative Services Committee
20   and moved approval of Consent Agenda items one through four and also items five
21   through eight, as presented in the addendum to the agenda packet.
22
23         Motion carried unanimously.
24
25   1.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO AWARD BID
26         NUMBER 02-16 FOR THE ANNUAL SUPPLY OF ASPHALTIC
27         EMULSIONS/ROAD OIL TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER,
28         CHEVRON PRODUCTS CO., IN THE AMOUNT OF $500,000 (AB2002-
29         152)
30
31   2.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO AWARD BID
32         NUMBER 02-20 FOR FIVE REPLACEMENT PICKUP TRUCKS TO THE
33         LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER, DIEHL FORD, IN THE AMOUNT OF
34         $108,639.11 (AB2002-153)
35
36   3.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO AWARD BID
37         NUMBER 02-24 FOR THE LUMMI ISLAND CLASS G ASPHALT PRELEVEL
38         PROJECT TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER, WHATCOM
39         BUILDERS, IN THE AMOUNT OF $348,483 (AB2002-154)
40
41   4.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO ENTER INTO A
42         JOINT FUNDING AGREEMENT BETWEEN WHATCOM COUNTY AND THE
43         UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY (USGS) TO PROVIDE ONGOING
44         OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE COUNTY’S STREAM GAGES
45         AS PART OF THE EARLY FLOOD WARNING SYSTEM, IN A WHATCOM
46         COUNTY AMOUNT OF $31,400 OF THE TOTAL PROJECT COST OF



                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 29
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1         $41,800 (AB2002-155)
 2
 3   5.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO ENTER INTO A
 4         COOPERATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN WHATCOM COUTY AND THE
 5         UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS TO PROVIDE FOR
 6         COST-SHARING AT AN 80% FEDERAL AND 20% LOCAL SPLIT FOR
 7         REPAIR OF A LEVEE SEGMENT THAT WAS DAMAGED DURING THE
 8         JANUARY 7TH AND 8TH 2002 FLOOD EVENT, FOR A COUNTY SHARE IN
 9         THE AMOUNT OF $55,680 AND BY THE LYNDEN/EVERSON SUBZONE
10         IN THE AMOUNT OF $13,920 FOR A COUNTY TOTAL OF $69,600 OF
11         THE TOTAL CONTRACT AMOUNT OF $348,000 (AB2002-163)
12
13   6.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO APPROVE A
14         PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT BETWEEN WHATCOM COUNTY
15         AND SOLE SOURCE WALKER AND ASSOCIATES TO PROVIDE AERIAL
16         PHOTOGRAPHY AND TOPOGRAPHIC MAPPING OF RIVERINE AND
17         COASTAL AREAS TO CONTINUE PROJECTS CURRENTLY UNDERWAY
18         ON THE LOWER NOOKSACK RIVER AND COASTAL AREAS, IN THE
19         AMOUNT OF $65,585 (AB2002-156)
20
21   7.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO APPROVE A
22         CONTRACT FOR CONSULTING SERVICES BETWEEN WHATCOM
23         COUNTY AND WALKER AND ASSOCIATES TO COMPLETE GROUND
24         CONTROL SURVEY AND TO PROVIDE AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY AND
25         CONTOUR MAPPING IN THE LAKE WHATCOM WATERSHED, IN AN
26         AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $91,060 (AB2002-162)
27
28   8.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO ENTER INTO A
29         CONTRACT AWARD ON RFP #02-09 BETWEEN WHATCOM COUNTY
30         AND SND COMMUNICATIONS AND DAY WIRELESS SYSTEMS, INC.
31         (VENDOR SELECTION BASED ON AVAILABILITY) TO PROVIDE
32         ANNUAL MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR OF THE COUNTY’S TWO-WAY
33         RADIO SYSTEMS, INCLUDING MOBILE AND PORTABLE RADIOS, BASE
34         STATIONS, REPEATERS AND PAGERS USED BY THE WHATCOM
35         COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT AND SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT,
36         IN THE APPROXIMATE ANNUAL AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $60,000
37         (AB2002-157)
38
39
40   OTHER ITEMS
41
42   1.    DISCUSSION REGARDING THE WRIA 1 WATERSHED MANAGEMENT
43         PROJECT (AB2002-085)
44
45          McShane reported for the Natural Resources Committee and stated the
46   committee made three recommendations for direction for the administration to take
47   to the Planning Unit meeting:


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 30
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1
 2   A.     USU Phase II Deliverables Review & Approval-Surface Water
 3          Quantity: Approve the surface water quantity deliverables one through four.
 4
 5          McShane moved approval.
 6
 7            Brenner stated she doesn’t have a problem with it, but she hasn’t received
 8   clarification of the deliverables in laymen’s terms. She will not support any more
 9   expenditures until the councilmembers receive that kind of translation.
10
11          Crawford asked if items one through four refers to tasks one through four.
12
13          McShane stated that is correct.
14
15          Motion carried 6-1 with Brenner opposed.
16
17   B.     Watershed Solutions Subcommittee’s criteria for Management
18          Solutions: Approve the draft proposed general evaluation criteria for
19          proposed watershed solutions and the proposed process and protocol for
20          application of general evaluation criteria.
21
22          McShane moved approval.
23
24          Motion carried 6-1 with Brenner opposed.
25
26   C.     Planning unit comments attributed to caucus in-meeting summaries:
27          Comments in the WRIA 1 Planning Unit summaries will continue in the same
28          format as previously identified.
29
30          McShane moved approval.
31
32          Motion carried 6-1 with Brenner opposed.
33
34   2.     REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO APPROVE A
35          CONTRACT BETWEEN WHATCOM COUNTY AND NORTHWEST
36          REGIONAL COUNCIL FOR LAW AND JUSTICE COUNCIL SUPPORT
37          SERVICES IN THE BUDGETED AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $92,720
38          (AB2002-122)
39
40          Crawford reported for the Finance and Administrative Services Committee
41   and stated the City of Bellingham agreed to fund $39,720. The County would
42   match that amount, and also contribute $39,720. In addition, there is a $3,000
43   grant for Superior Court. The final total approved by the Finance Committee was
44   $82,440. He so moved.
45
46          Brenner stated she is against this appropriation. Someone mentioned to her
47   that the State set up its own law and justice task force. The County doesn’t need


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 31
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1   to duplicate efforts. She would rather work with the State. They are going to have
 2   to reduce the budget. They can’t afford this anymore. The Law and Justice Council
 3   made its proposals, and task forces have been formed to change those
 4   recommendations. The Council should not continue funding the Law and Justice
 5   Council. It is not an essential service.
 6
 7           Roy stated the Finance Committee also made a recommendation for direction
 8   to the Law and Justice Council. They are to look for ways to save money and phase
 9   it out.
10
11           Dewey Desler, Deputy Administrator, stated the County Executive indicated
12   that the two priorities the Law and Justice Council is to work on is to create greater
13   efficiencies in the law and justice system and to generate more revenue from
14   federal and state sources. This entire program was a recommendation for this
15   year, and would be actively reviewed at the end of this year.
16
17          Pete Kremen, County Executive, stated the reduced amount is a 12 percent
18   reduction in the funding that the County already approved. There is about $10,000
19   less in the appropriation than had been approved by the Council earlier. This is a
20   reduction.
21
22         Caskey-Schreiber asked if the Council would look at this again in the fall,
23   when it reviews the budget. Kremen stated that is correct.
24
25           Brenner stated the Law and Justice Council purpose was to do a lot of stuff
26   that it has already done. She didn’t have a vision that it would be an ongoing
27   thing.
28
29          Crawford stated the Council looked at this at budget time, and approved the
30   $92,20 budget. Last fall, there were presupposed revenue sources that no longer
31   exist.
32
33          Nelson stated the contract is at a rate of $52 per hour for staff time, plus
34   expenses. He asked if this is for the reimbursement of Nat Dickenson and Kathy
35   Mohebbi. Desler stated it is also for reimbursement of the subsidiary expenses of
36   operating that program. The contract with the Northwest Regional Council is a unit
37   rate contract. It is much simpler and more direct to cover the full cost of what they
38   perform, rather than ask them to bill the County for all the other expenses
39   associated with this given service.
40
41          Nelson stated the County is paying for the basic administrative support, at
42   the rate of $52 per hour. Desler stated they don’t pay those people $52. That
43   amount also pays for the accounting, support, rent for the building, utilities, and all
44   those other things. Instead of giving the County a line item budget that includes all
45   those expenses, the County calculated a unit rate contract. That is an appropriate
46   and business-like way to handle the accounting.
47


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 32
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1         Brenner stated that is not what the contract says the duties will be. She
 2   read the list of duties from the contract. It’s secretarial assistance. Desler stated
 3   there are a Law and Justice Coordinator and a work program, also. The two
 4   primary issues for the Law and Justice Council are to increase the efficiency of the
 5   law and justice system and to bring in additional revenue for the system.
 6
 7          Brenner stated the County’s law and justice administrative staff is to be
 8   doing that anyway. The County doesn’t need another organization to do that, when
 9   it doesn’t have the budget.
10
11         Motion carried 5-1 with Brenner opposed and McShane out of the room.
12
13   3.    ORDINANCE AMENDING THE 2002 BUDGET, REQUEST NO. 3 (AB2002-
14         144)
15
16        Crawford reported for the Finance and Administrative Services Committee
17   and moved approval.
18
19         Motion to adopt carried unanimously.
20
21         Crawford moved to send a letter to Senator Maria Cantwell and Senator Patty
22   Murray supporting the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program. The letter asks Senators
23   Murray and Cantwell to support the level of funding being requested at this point,
24   which is $235 million. The proposed federal budget now is $165 million. If that cut
25   were to go into effect, Whatcom County would lose approximately $150,000 in
26   revenue next year.
27
28           Roy suggested that they send one letter to Senator Cantwell and a separate
29   letter to Senator Murray.
30
31           Pete Kremen, County Executive stated he talked to Senator Murray about
32   this issue yesterday. He will talk to Congressman Rick Larson tomorrow. He has a
33   meeting with Senator Cantwell on Friday. Whether or not they send one letter or
34   two will not make any difference.
35
36         Motion carried unanimously.
37
38         Crawford stated the Finance Committee will review budget problems at its
39   next meeting.
40
41   4.    ORDINANCE AMENDING WHATCOM COUNTY CODE 24.06, SOLID
42         WASTE RULES AND REGULATIONS (AB2002-142)
43
44         Brenner reported for the Public Works and Capital Projects Committee and
45   stated this allows for encapsulation of sharps by small generators, which could then
46   be put into the solid waste stream. She moved approval.
47


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 33
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1           Regina Delahunt, Health and Human Services Director, stated the sharps
 2   would have to be treated first, then encapsulated with plaster of Paris. A few
 3   generators have small onsite autoclaves, or else they can contract to have someone
 4   pick it up.
 5
 6          Fleetwood asked what the small-quantity generators think of the proposal.
 7   Delahunt stated they support it. Only a few do onsite treatment. If the County
 8   didn’t allow this, the generators would have to pay twice.
 9
10         Brenner stated it would save them money.
11
12         Motion carried unanimously.
13
14   5.   RESOLUTION APPROVING AN OPEN SPACE/OPEN SPACE
15        APPLICATION FOR VICTORIA LUHRS (AB2002-150)
16
17         McShane reported for the Planning and Development Services Committee
18   and stated the committee recommends approving 1.7 acres for open space/open
19   space tax designation, which would include all of area B and half of area A, and
20   excluding the remaining .36 acres for the home site. He so moved.
21
22         (Clerk’s Note: End of tape three, side A.)
23
24          He further moved to amend the score of section A to be 45 points, without
25   the plus. Typically, the Assessor would designate a full acre for the home site. The
26   score on the area B is 86.39.
27
28         Motion to amend failed 2-5 with McShane and Brenner in favor.
29
30          McShane moved to require that the upper portion of the property would have
31   a sign, “Open Space, Public Access.” Area A would have public access. Area B is
32   already required to have a sign. There would be public access from the road to
33   area A.
34
35         Brenner stated she didn’t see how they would get any public access for area
36   A, except visual access. The beach area is what is important. This is prime real
37   estate. There is not a huge public benefit in people being able to have public
38   access from the road. She preferred to not include any of area A in open space.
39
40         Motion failed 3-4 with Roy, McShane and Fleetwood in favor.
41
42         Brenner moved to not include any part of area A in open space. They can’t
43   access area A from the beach. Anything that someone can do from the road at the
44   upper part can be done at the road.
45
46         Nelson asked if public access is denied on shorelines.
47


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 34
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1          Dave Grant, Senior Civil Deputy Prosecutor, stated it is not. There is one
 2   type of open space for protected land that doesn’t allow public access. It is a
 3   wetland designation. Privately-owned shorelines can be restricted from public
 4   access. Ms. Luhrs can claim title to the tidelands, traced back to a deed from the
 5   State.
 6
 7         Motion to amend carried 6-1 with Crawford opposed.
 8
 9          McShane asked if the Council could condition granting the open space based
10   on certain things that would have to be done, such as removal of un-permitted
11   structures. Grant stated it could. There is a bulkhead and a sauna in area B. The
12   County is alleging that the bulkhead and the sauna on the beachhead are un-
13   permitted. The Hearing Examiner may be looking at that issue.
14
15          Nelson asked if it is a fact that there is a sauna on the beach. Grant stated
16   that is what he is told. The Planning Department is taking enforcement action to
17   eliminate it.
18
19          Crawford asked if the County has had a history of granting open space,
20   based on public benefit, to people who own shoreline properties on the shoreline
21   portions. Grant stated that question was asked.
22
23          McShane stated that is an issue. There are no trespassing signs along
24   shorelines. This would provide an opportunity for someone to pull up in a boat and
25   hangout on the beach.
26
27          Grant stated the question asked was whether the County has a history of
28   granting open space designation to places where there is a home. There has not
29   been a rush to give away beaches to open space. The County staff encouraged the
30   committee to accept at least the beach portion of the area.
31
32         Brenner stated there are many kayakers, and this is a place for them to
33   come on shore. The value of the property is in the upper portion. There will not be
34   a huge reduction in taxes by turning area B into open space.
35
36          Grant stated that if they are going to have open space that offers public
37   access, they should not have un-permitted structures that would interfere with the
38   public access on the open space.
39
40          McShane moved condition approval upon removal of all un-permitted
41   structures from area B.
42
43         Motion to amend carried 6-1 with Crawford opposed.
44
45        Motion to approve the resolution as amended carried with Crawford and
46   McShane opposed.
47


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 35
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1   6.    ORDINANCE AMENDING WHATCOM COUNTY CODE 2.02.055, COUNTY
 2         COUNCIL CLERK (AB2002-147)
 3
 4         Brenner moved to adopt the ordinance.
 5
 6         Motion carried unanimously.
 7
 8   7.    REQUEST CONFIRMATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE’S APPOINTMENT OF
 9         CYNTHIA BAULEKE AND REBECCA JOHNSON TO THE BELLINGHAM-
10         WHATCOM COUNTY COMMISSION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
11         (AB2002-158)
12
13         Fleetwood moved approval.
14
15         Motion carried unanimously.
16
17   8.    CONFIRMATION OF EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENT OF REGINA
18         DELAHUNT AS DIRECTOR OF THE WHATCOM COUNTY HEALTH AND
19         HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT (AB2002-164)
20
21         See “special presentations.”
22
23   9.    RESOLUTION EXPRESSING COUNTY COUNCIL OPPOSITION TO THE
24         LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE SUMAS ENERGY 2
25         ELECTRICAL GENERATING FACILITY (AB2002-146)
26
27          Fleetwood stated this issue came up at the previous Council meeting. He
28   circulated an updated version of the resolution to the councilmembers. He moved
29   approval of the resolution.
30
31         McShane left the room because he is a member of the Energy Facility Site
32   Evaluation Council (EFSEC) and must not participate in any deliberations or
33   hearings outside of the EFSEC process.
34
35         Fleetwood stated there have been changes to the draft version in the
36   addendum to this Council packet. This is an issue that has been around for a long
37   time. There is sufficient information for people to gather an opinion. He moved
38   approval of the most recent version of the resolution.
39
40          Nelson thanked the community members who brought the resolution
41   forward. He worked with them and Councilmember Fleetwood. He had strong
42   concerns with the original version. His concerns have been addressed. The
43   resolution focuses on the public interests in Whatcom County regarding the impacts
44   that Sumas Energy 2 may have to the community that may not have been
45   addressed. They are looking out for specific issues. The Council is not addressing
46   this as an opposition to a business, but to the location and impacts to the area.
47


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 36
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1         Motion carried 5-1 with Crawford opposed and McShane out of the room.
 2
 3
 4   INTRODUCTION ITEMS
 5
 6         Brenner moved to accept the Introduction Items.
 7
 8         Motion carried unanimously.
 9
10   1.    ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 98-057, DELETING THE
11         SUNSET PROVISION FROM THE CODE OF ETHICS FOR WHATCOM
12         COUNTY ELECTED PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND MANDATING ONLY AN
13         ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COMMISSION (AB2002-159)
14
15   2.    RESOLUTION INITIATING A ZONING TEXT AMENDMENT TO INCLUDE
16         BEST AVAILABLE CONTROL TECHNOLOGY FOR NOISE AND ODOR
17         EMISSIONS AS AN ADDITIONAL CONDITIONAL USE CRITERIA
18         (AB2002-165)
19
20
21   OTHER BUSINESS
22
23          Nelson stated a citizen from Sandy Point brought forward an issue regarding
24   Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adjudication with the Chippewa Tribe in
25   Wisconsin. The concern is a valid concern. However, the constituent wants the
26   County Council to address it, but it is not appropriate for the County Council to
27   address. He consulted with legal counsel. The appropriate way to respond would
28   be at the State level, from the attorney general. He drafted a letter to send to the
29   State legislators.
30
31          Dave Grant, Senior Civil Deputy Prosecutor, stated he received input from
32   Senior Civil Deputy Prosecutor Dan Gibson because the Public Works Department
33   may have an interest. Mr. Gibson agreed that this is the appropriate thing to do.
34   The EPA has been allowing tribes to regulate rivers and water supplies within the
35   boundaries of the reservations, under the Clean Water Act, to the apparent
36   exclusion of the state. The state, which is Wisconsin, previously had asserted
37   jurisdiction to control environmental pollution concerns on all navigable rivers,
38   including those within the reservation boundaries. The State of Wisconsin argues
39   that states get property rights to the waterways equal to the original 13 states.
40   The issue is who should be the regulatory authority where the tribe is physically
41   located.
42
43          It is a question that should be of concern to the State of Washington, since it
44   is similarly situated, but not to Whatcom County, since it is not a water purveyor.
45
46         Nelson asked for approval of a letter that sends the concern on to the State
47   Attorney General. It will address the constituent’s concern.


                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 37
     DISCLAIMER: This document contains the Whatcom County Council or Committee
     minutes, as approved. However, unless an attested signature page is attached, they
     are not the final approved minutes.

 1
 2         Crawford asked what prevents the constituent from writing a letter to the
 3   attorney general. The individual could notify the State.
 4
 5         Nelson stated he has an interest in the issue.
 6
 7         Caskey-Schreiber stated she is not interested in forwarding the concern.
 8
 9         Nelson stated he, as a councilmember, would notify the State.
10
11   REPORTS AND OTHER ITEMS FROM COUNCILMEMBERS
12
13         Crawford thanked Executive Kremen for his presentation on the budget
14   problems.
15
16          Nelson reminded councilmembers to respond to the invitation to the
17   Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association projects presentation. It’s important to
18   participate.
19
20   ADJOURN
21
22         The meeting adjourned at 11:20 p.m.
23
24
25   ______________________________
26   Jill Nixon, Minutes Transcription
27
28         These minutes were approved by Council on ______________, 2002.
29
30   ATTEST:                                      WHATCOM COUNTY COUNCIL
31                                                WHATCOM COUNTY, WASHINGTON
32
33
34
35   ______________________________               ___________________________
36   Dana Brown-Davis, Council Clerk              L. Ward Nelson, Council Chair




                          Whatcom County Council, 3/26/2002, Page 38

								
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