Land Use Committee
February 10, 2010
7:00 – 8:00 a.m.
Chair, Cynthia Pratt, Tom Nelson, Virgil Clarkson
Greg Cuoio, Scott Spence, Troy Woo, Scott Egger, Rick Walk, Carol Litten Deputy Mayor Clarkson moved to adopt the agenda. Councilmember Pratt seconded. Motion carried.
Mayor Nelson moved to appoint Councilmember Pratt as Chair. Deputy Mayor Clarkson seconded. Motion carried.
In response to a Council inquiry about buffer zones between light industrial and residential areas, Rick Walk, Community Development Director, stated there is a 300 foot buffer between Jubilee, and a 500 foot buffer between the east side of Meridian Campus and the light industrial zone. There is still undeveloped property along 31st Avenue and Willamette Drive.
In addition, the residential, business park, and industrial land use designations where the Christa Heights development is located was established by the County many years ago, without the establishment of buffers between the designations. The Christa Heights subdivision was developed between 1996 and 1998. When the adjacent industrial development occurred, setback and landscaping requirements were applied based on the Lacey Municipal Code, which only required a setback and landscaping at the time. Rick stated that concerns about noise at the RSS Management building are being addressed by erecting a concrete wall between the residential neighborhood and the warehouse facility.
Councilmember Cynthia Pratt suggested increasing buffer zones between light industrial and residential areas to reduce noise impacts on neighborhoods. Rick noted that applications for undeveloped projects have been vested and buffer zones cannot be changed in those areas. However, staff could identify parcels of land not yet vested, and recommend buffer zones between light industrial and residential areas through the Comprehensive Plan update process. Rick added that with new development, noise could be mitigated by site specific circumstances and a building’s site orientation to allow loading from the interior.
To further mitigate noise impacts, Cynthia suggested replacing backup alarms on City vehicles with white noise alarms. Scott Egger, Public Works Director, stated the City is in the process of retrofitting all of its vehicles with white noise alarms. He noted it is more challenging to require private sector businesses to use these devices at their warehouse facilities, because many of the trucks travel from other locations. Rick noted that the City’s noise ordinance is in compliance with state law, which exempts backup alarms.
Mayor Tom Nelson asked if there are undeveloped light industrial areas in the urban growth area. Rick responded there is light industrial property adjacent to a parcel zoned moderate density, but no predetermined buffer. He stated the City could recommend a buffer zone in its land use review element when developing policies for the UGA. Transfer Development Rights
Rick Walk, Community Development Director, stated that Transfer Development Rights are an innovative tool recognized by the Growth Management Act (GMA) to preserve rural land in exchange for building in urban areas. When a property owner wants to sell their agricultural land, they can transfer their development rights to the person who purchases the land, and then the buyer uses those rights as credits to build in urban zones, leaving the agricultural land in its natural state.
Rick stated the program was initiated in the 1980’s, but was recently reinstated. He noted the program can be challenging because it is market-based. The City’s receiving zones are mixed use high density along the Martin Way corridor.
Councilmember Cynthia Pratt stated she has been asked by the County to serve on an adhoc committee regarding Transfer Development Rights, and would like to be appointed to represent Lacey. Mayor Nelson agreed and with Deputy Mayor Clarkson’s consensus appointed Councilmember Pratt to the TDR Committee. She will provide the Council with updates at regular Council meetings. Noise Ordinance
Councilmember Pratt raised the issue of noise made by the use of rocket scooters in residential areas. She suggested amending the City’s noise ordinance to restrict their use in neighborhood areas. Staff will research the issue.Idling Diesel Trucks
Councilmember Pratt also raised the issue of air pollution generated by idling diesel trucks. Rick Walk, Community Development Director, noted that the GMA and WAC updates will include a climate change element to address air pollution. ORCAA cannot enforce laws to prevent truck idling, because their authority only extends to immovable facilities. Greenhouse gas emissions are regulated by the federal government and the Department of Ecology.
The issue of diesel idling will be placed on the pending agenda. Request for Extension to SEPA and Site Plan Review Approval
Rick Walk, Community Development Director, reported that the City has received a request from the owner of Corner Industrial Park South to extend their SEPA and Site Plan Review approval for two years. Due to the economic downturn, financing for the project has been withdrawn. Rick stated that the SEPA approval is attached to the project, but if the extension expires in March, the project will have to go through SEPA and Site Plan Review approval again.
Rick noted that changes to the City’s Storm Design Manual would affect the property if an extension is not granted. He stated that staff will develop a list of regulations and guidelines that have changed over the past two years that would apply to the project if the extension expires. This item will be added to the February 18 Worksession agenda. Deputy Mayor Clarkson moved to adjourn the meeting. Councilmember Pratt seconded. Motion carried.