Land Use CommitteeCouncil Present:
June 9, 2010
7:00 – 8:00
Chair, Cynthia Pratt, Virgil Clarkson, Tom Nelson
Greg Cuoio, Lori Flemm, Rick Walk, Scott Spence, Ryan Andrews, Carol Litten Comprehensive Plan for Outdoor Recreation
Lori Flemm, Parks and Recreation Director, provided an update of the 2004 Lacey Comprehensive Plan for Outdoor Recreation. The plan outlines the goals for meeting the parks and open space needs of residents within the city and in the Urban Growth Management Area (UGMA).
Lori stated the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) offers grants for parks, and is the primary source of grant funds for city park acquisition and development. To maintain grant eligibility, the comprehensive plan must be updated every six years. The city submitted two grant applications to RCO in May. One is for $1 million dollars for the development of Pleasant Glade Park. Lori provided a summary of citizen input and requests related to the comprehensive plan:Exiting parks:
- Provide permanent restrooms in neighborhood parks. Current practice provides portable toilets where organized games are played. Lori asked for council confirmation to continue this practice. She noted permanent toilets would be an expensive cost and invites vandalism. Committee members supported continuing the current practice.
- Provide parking lots in neighborhood parks. Current practice uses parallel parking on frontage streets. Lori noted parking is an issue for those park users who play sports, and is limited to a few hours a week. She remarked if park land is used for parking, there will be less land for play areas and other park uses. Committee members supported continuing the current practice.
- Provide off-leash dog areas. Current practice allows dogs in parks on-leash. There is an issue with off-leash dogs at Woodland Creek Community Park, and Animal Services is enforcing the law. The city has two concerns – one with water quality in the creek, and the other with the incompatibility of off-leash dogs with other park users. The city continues to review other potential sites for an off-leash dog area in the park system, noting that one acre of land should be sufficient for a dog park in Lacey. In addition, off-leash dog parks are planned for the landfill and Olympia’s west-side.
- Request development of Pleasant Glade Park, 42 acre site acquired in 2002 and 2009. Current practice is to master plan the site after acquisition and develop parks in the UGA after annexation. Committee members supported continuing with current practice.
- Request development of McAllister Grove Community Park, 60 acre site acquired in 1994. Committee members supported continuing with current practice.
- Request that a master plan and natural resource management plan be prepared for Lake Lois Habitat Reserve, 18 acre site acquired in 1993 and 2001. Lori noted that one exception to current practice would be the Lake Lois Habitat Reserve with minimal development – trails, picnic tables and limited parking. Committee members agreed the city should move forward with the development of Lake Lois Park.
Lori noted the city has limited financial resources with which to construct new parks and improvements within existing parks.
Lori stated the city’s current level of service (LOS) for neighborhood parks is 2 acres per 1000 population, and 3 acres per 1,000 for community parks. Based on this formula, in 2010, the City would need an additional 50 acres for community parks, and 98 acres for neighborhood parks in 2010. In 2015, the numbers are estimated to increase to 65 acres for community parks and 105 acres for neighborhood parks. If the formula is based on 5 acres per 1,000 populations, the combined park need is projected to be 57 acres total in 2010. In 2015, it would increase to approximately 74 acres.
Staff proposes increasing LOS standards to 5 acres per 1,000 for community and neighborhood parks. The average in other municipalities ranges from 3–10 acres per 1,000. Lori noted that instead of paying an impact fee, new development in Lacey residential areas is required to set aside 10% for open space, and 5% for tree tracts. Committee members agreed with staff recommendations to increase the LOS to 5 acres per 1,000 for community and neighborhood parks. 6th Avenue Zoning
Rick Walk, Community Development Director, presented the Committee with a proposal to amend the Downtown 2000 Plan and Woodland District Standards – promoting retail and commercial uses to be located in conjunction with professional services.
Rick requested committee members to consider whether an applicant initiated request to amend the Comprehensive Plan and Woodland District zoning standards should be added to the Planning Commission work plan for 2010. The leasing agents, representing Bell Towne Centre, have proposed leasing space to the Army for a medical clinic. However, occupying the entire first floor with a medical clinic is not allowed under the current regulations, because it does not meet the requirement for the retail component. The request is to remove the requirement that 50% of the first floor of an office building be dedicated to retail space in order to allow more space for professional services. In addition, there is not enough parking to accommodate the medical clinic. Rick noted that there is vacant ground floor space in the employment core available for lease to the medical clinic. The medical clinic could potentially bring 40 new jobs to the area.
Rick stated the Woodland zoning district was established by the Council’s adoption of the Downtown 2000 Plan. In response to a community desire to revitalize and redevelop the downtown area into a destination and community gathering place, the city began the downtown sub-area planning effort. The committee developed standards for the area consistent with a vibrant downtown zone including mixed-use buildings, high density residential, street and pedestrian corridor designs and architectural standards. In addition to the first floor retail component, the Woodland District Guidelines also established the employment core.
A change to the Woodland District can only be accomplished through a Comprehensive Plan Amendment process. Rick stated that adding this request to amend the Woodland District Guidelines as part of the amendment process would delay the city’s annual Comprehensive Plan amendment process and could eliminate the city’s ability to be eligible to receive grant funding.
Rick stated an update to the Woodland District Guidelines is scheduled as part of the 2011 Land Use update.
Following discussion, Committee members agreed that adding the applicant initiated request to the Planning Commission’s work plan in 2010 could delay updating Comprehensive Plans, which could impact the city’s ability to apply for grant funding. Mayor Nelson moved to recommend to full Council that a review of the Woodland District zoning standards should be placed on the 2011 Planning Commission work plan. Deputy Mayor Clarkson seconded. Motion carried.