MINUTES OF LACEY CITY COUNCIL & PLANNING COMMISSIONCOUNCIL PRESENT:
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2011
LACEY CITY HALL
V. Clarkson, J. Hearn, C. Pratt, R. Lawson, A. Ryder, J. GadmanPLANNING COMMISSION:
O’D. Williamson, D. Melnick, D. Sovde, C. St. Claire, G. Madden, B. Freeland, K. Mitchell, L. Greenstein, R. PayneCOUNCIL EXCUSED:
T. Nelson STAFF PRESENT:
G. Cuoio, K. Ahlf, S. Spence, R. Walk, D. Pierpoint, L. Flemm, T. Woo, D. Burns, C. Litten DOCKETING AND 2011 PLANNING COMMISSION WORK PROGRAM
Rick Walk, Community Development Director, and Dave Burns, Principal Planner, presented the City Council and Planning Commission with the proposed 2011 Work Program to review and discuss Comprehensive Land Use Plan amendments.
This year’s work program consists of plan updates, amendments and code revisions initiated by staff, by joint planning with Thurston County, or required by the Growth Management Act. The City did not receive any requests for applicant initiated amendments. There is one staff initiated amendment.
Consistent with previous years, staff has prepared a three year calendar. In 2010, the Planning Commission completed updates to the Shoreline Master Program, Plan for Outdoor Recreation, Six Year Transportation Improvement Program, the Drainage Design and Erosion Control Manual, Development Guidelines and Public Works Standards, amended the maximum building size provisions in the Light Industrial Ordinance, and established the Saint Martin’s University Zoning District. The Planning Commission also has begun work on the Housing Element Update and development of a Condominium Ordinance.
The 2011 Work Program continues to reflect the need to maintain a work schedule to meet the required seven year update to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan to be completed on December 1, 2014. This requires updating all of the Comprehensive Plan elements, including the Land Use, Housing, Transportation, Environmental, Capital Facilities, and Utilities elements. Also, updating the City’s Economic Development element and the Parks element will be a part of this seven year update cycle. Coordination of the Sewer and Water Elements will need to be incorporated into the 2012 Comprehensive Plan update.
There was general discussion on several issues:
Citizen Participation Program:
- Update policies/procedures for soliciting citizen participation and comments early throughout the Comprehensive Plan update
- Extend public outreach to include citizens without access to web, the low income, seniors, and neighborhoods without homeowner associations
- Use social media, the website, translators, and reader boards to communicate with the public
- Sponsor joint meeting of HOA presidents, Council and Planning Commission to discuss issues
- Improve public education by informing residents of development impacts and traffic mitigation
Downtown Element – Woodland District:
- Initially established development guidelines for downtown area through Downtown 2000 planning effort resulting in Woodland District
- Review original vision to determine if there are new techniques to achieve pedestrian friendly, mixed use, destination; focus on affordable housing and stakeholders
- Provide incentive to investors/developers to promote development of low-income housing, condominiums, apartments in downtown core
- Create policy to improve infill in downtown area
- Identify stakeholders, investors and developers to invest in retail, residential and parks in downtown core
- Identify public communities, their needs and existing infrastructure to create destination attraction
- Understand long-term visioning and what the market dictates; increase density to accommodate aging population, singles and young couples
Annual review of Comprehensive Plans:
- Explore options to revise comprehensive plans every six months to take advantage of development opportunities that arise mid-year
- Currently, when special circumstances arise, there is some flexibility provided through comprehensive plan amendments, although comprehensive plan reviews are scheduled on an annual basis
- Need to balance exceptions for special circumstances with the need to have order in the planning process
Sign Abatement Review:
- Review sign ordinance provisions to abate non-conforming signs existing prior to 1997
- Balance need for replacing non-conforming signs with historical value of older, iconic signs
- Form-based development allows flexibility, mixed use, lots of movement that would implement the City’s vision for Gateway
- Challenges exist in preserving the City’s long-term vision for property development as developers and their visions change
- Gateway vision requires five core elements: residential, office, retail, light industrial and market
Applicant Initiated Request:
The group was briefed on a staff-initiated amendment to redesignate 26.16 acres from Light Industrial to Light Industrial/Commercial for properties within the Hawks Prairie Industrial Park. The redesignation, which would provide a broader range of uses allowed in LC-C designation would accommodate several new business activities who want to locate in the northeast area.
There are 1,047 acres zoned Light Industrial in Hawks Prairie Planning Area not yet developed.
The redesignation to LI/C would allow additional smaller retail/commercial uses in the existing buildings and on vacant lots between existing adjacent light industrial uses and future larger retail/commercial uses in the adjacent LI/C and HPBD districts.
The process allows the public to ask for consideration of plan change and opportunity for the City to consider merits of proposal.
If Council determines the application does not merit further consideration, the applicant will not be permitted to make a full application, and the proposal will not be scheduled for consideration by Planning Commission. After full review and consideration, the Planning Commission will make a recommendation to Council for action. The recommendation will be included with other proposed amendments in July 2011.
COUNCIL APPROVED THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S 2011 WORK PROGRAM.
Deputy Mayor Clarkson adjourned the meeting at 9:10 p.m.
Minutes approved and signed on March 10, 2011.