BOARD OF PARK COMMISSIONERS MINUTES
Monday, September 24, 2012 5:30 p. m.
Lacey City Hall
Commission: Paul Royer, Shawn Smith, Glen Crandal, Lu Carlson & Jason Agtarap
Excused: Gary Hanson
Staff: Lori Flemm, Liz Spiller
The meeting was called to order at 5:30pm, by Chairman Shawn Smith.
Additions or deletions to the Agenda
No additions or deletions to the agenda.
The August 27, 2012 minutes were unanimously approved and placed on record.
The December Park Board meeting is cancelled since the 4th Monday falls on Christmas Eve.
No correspondence received.
a) Lake Lois Park and Habitat Reserve Draft Forest Management Plan
Lori distributed a final draft of the Lake Lois Park and Habitat Reserve Forest Management Plan. Only revision of note was Washington Forestry Consultant Galen Wright’s more detailed description and explanation of the English Ivy management/control plan. Paul Royer asked if there had been additional comments on the plan since the last public meeting. Lori said she had received 1 voice mail message and 1 office customer made comments, both of which expressed their satisfaction and appreciation for the trees in the Park & Habitat Reserve and supported continued improvements in the management of the area.
Motion: To approve the Lake Lois Park and Habitat Reserve Forest Management Plan.
The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.
Lori said implementation of the plan will begin immediately upon receipt of the permit, with the removal of 8 potentially hazardous trees. Since there is sufficient downed timber on the forest floor in the park, Lori anticipates that the wood will be offered to the Kiwanis firewood program, but will verify that with our arborist. Paul Royer asked how the Kiwanis Club members are allowed to cut and chop firewood in Lake Lois Park, but the disc golf association is prohibited from using power tools in the clearing of Woodland Creek Community Park for the golf disc course, saying this seemed like a double standard. All agreed this was an important topic for review and discussion and will be added to the October meeting agenda.
a) Alcohol at festivals
Lori briefed the two commissioners who were not members of the Board in the past two years when a service club had asked that the Park Commissioners reconsider the park rule that prohibits alcoholic beverages in any city park to allow the sale of alcohol at a special event/community festival, or issue a conditional use permit to allow for the sale of alcohol. Rule changes are reviewed by the Park Board with a recommendation to the city council, who adopts an ordinance of the new/revision to the park rules. In the past two years, the Park Board review of the request led to a response to the applicant that selling alcoholic beverages at festivals promoted as family events that are “kid friendly” with bounce houses, face painting, pirates, etc. was not the vision we have for our parks; and that using a park as the venue to promote the sale of alcohol with the primary intent of generating more revenue for the applicant was not a use of city parks that the Board wanted to encourage, and directed the applicant to pursue other venues in the city allow for this purpose. The Board did not recommend a revision to the rule. In 2010, staff researched policies from other cities to see if our policy is current, and found that our policy was consistent with the super majority of cities in the state who have ordinances and policy on file with the Municipal Research Service Center. Lori stated that our dept. has received an inquiry or applications from 2 local non-profit groups in the last month, seeking permission to use city parks for special events that would include the sale of alcohol, and opened discussion on the current ordinance/park rule/policy on alcoholic beverages:
Current: Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in any city park or facility, with the exception of functions held at community buildings accompanied by a Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) banquet permit.
To clarify, the WSLCB issues a Special Occasion License to non-profit organizations to sell liquor at a specified date, time and place. (examples include a fundraising dinner, gala event, auction, or wine tasting).
Rule revision Consideration: Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in any city park or facility, with the exception of functions held at community buildings and/or parks accompanied by an Approved Facility Use Permit and a Washington State Liquor Control Board special occasion license.
The two recent requests are summarized as:
1. Lacey Chamber of Commerce South Sound BBQ Festival: Held at Cabela’s 2010-13 and seeking new location for the 2014 festival. Considering four sites, two are Lacey parks: the Regional Athletic Complex, which would require revising our park rule/city ordinance to allows alcoholic beverages in parks; or in Huntamer Park, with a beer garden located on privately owned property – such as a private office parking lot - near the park. With the beer garden on private property, is it possible for the staff to deny the facility use permit request based on our rule, and the public perception that the beer garden, while technically on private property, appears to be permitted in a city park? Does the city have jurisdiction over the sale of alcohol on private property in other sections of the municipal code?
2. Gateway Rotary Club Sausage Festival & Beer Garden: Requesting use of the Lacey Community Center and Woodland Creek Community Park for this 2 day event with growth over time leading to expected attendance of up to 35,000 people, based on attendance at other sausage festivals around the state, such as the one in Richland now in its 35th year. Recreation Coordinator Justin Beard accepted the requesting application and expressed concern about the available parking stalls currently at 190 and a total of 230 upon completion of the 40 new stalls under construction, and the ability to accommodate a group of the size expected. Justin recommended Saint Martin’s University or Thurston County Fairgrounds, as the Community Center does not have parking to accommodate a group this size. The Park Board felt that even though the alcohol sales would be in a community building where other events sell alcohol, the festival is outside in the park, and allowing alcohol sales at a festival held in a city park is not consistent with the intent of our rule, the vision, or goals for our parks and events.
3. In the past two years, Hawks Prairie Rotary has asked for permission for a wine tasting event at the RAC, in conjunction with the annual Mushroom Festival held there for the since 2009. The request was denied and in 2011, the wine tasting event was held at an offsite location (privately owned) east of the Regional Athletic Complex.
Previous decisions to deny requests have been based on
•Current park policy does not allow alcoholic beverages in parks
•There are other local venues that DO allow alcohol (other options for requesting groups)
•Vending alcohol of any kind (selling alcohol in beer garden) is not allowed in city parks.
Additional concerns included:
•Lack of control in a public park vs. enclosed building (purchasing/consuming alcohol, crowd control)
•Alcohol consumption in/near a children’s play area or with children’s festival activities are not compatible
•Liability differences/requirements for alcohol at private vs. public events (Washington Cities Insurance Authority would need to review and approve a revised alcohol policy)
Commissioners asked for examples of policies of other jurisdictions. Lori reviewed examples of policies and city code collected in 2010 which may not reflect current conditions:
•Seattle: alcohol allowed indoors in designated buildings, and a limited number of special approved facilities.
•Kirkland: alcohol permits are reviewed by city special events team and approved/denied by the City Manager & Council on a case by case basis. Allowed in picnic shelters and at Kirkland Uncorked, a festival in downtown area which focuses on adult activities/entertainment vs. kid friendly and features wine tasting with scrip.
•Newcastle: alcohol allowed at designated indoor and outdoor locations (unclear if they are community buildings &/or parks)
•Tacoma/Pierce County: Beer Garden allowed at Taste of Tacoma, and select other festivals (maritime festival)
•Port Townsend: alcohol allowed in exclusive areas in 1 specified park
•Portland: ‘bring your own alcohol’ allowed at city concerts; most lenient of all city policies reviewed
•Olympia: beer & wine allowed at private functions w/ permit outdoors at Rose Garden
•Thurston County: alcohol allowed at the Fairgrounds
•State of Wash. Gen Administration owned and managed Heritage Park: Lakefair festival beer garden allowed
•Tumwater: no information available. Lori was asked to get Tumwater’s policy.
It appears Lacey would be in the minority if city policy were changed to allow
Alcohol sales in city parks; we need to check with our insurance carrier, WCIA.
Motion: To maintain the current policy prohibiting
alcoholic beverages in any city park.
Point of information: Paul Royer thought that the city could require a percentage of sales fee of the applicant, and this could be a significant revenue generator for the City. Paul asked if projected revenue to the City, based on potential alcohol sales in parks, would be less than $10,000/year. Lori estimated revenue would be significantly lower than $10,000/year for one festival.
The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. Lori thanked the Commissioners for their input.
a) Senior Center Expansion Project Construction Progress: Due to recent good weather, the project is a few days ahead of schedule.
b) 2013 Budget: Lodging Tax recommendations: The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) recommended funding all 2013 applications received by the Parks and Recreation Dept. except for one, the $25,000 kiosk for the RAC. LTAC members asked staff to explore other options.
c) Good Dog Run: 160 participants had a great time at the first event, held in conjunction with pet day at the Lacey Community Market. $300 was donated to Tucker’s Fund which provides emergency vet care to needy animals.
d) Fall Program registration: Registration day numbers exceeded last year and estimated 2/3 of registrations are now done via the online system. Positive feedback on the online registration.
e) Oct. 14 Volunteer Projects: Lacey will work with 3 local churches (approximately 200 people) at Lake Lois Park &/or Woodland Creek Community Park.
f) RAC Fencing Project to start on Oct. 15
g) Woodland Creek Community Park Trailhead and disc golf course projects update: Trailhead work was to begin today and work on the disc golf course continues.
h) Saint Martin’s University Class Project: 9 students will work on the Lake Lois Habitat Reserve and the McKinney Building as their senior class project. They will develop plans for an interpretive center, parking, trail connections and bridges to cross Lake Lois. Commissioners commented that the McKinney house looks great and very well maintained. Lori reported that two volunteers have been maintaining the house.
Glen reiterated the importance of discussing policy on the use of power tools in parks. Discussion earlier in the meeting touched on what may be a great discrepancy that needs to be rectified. Since time did not allow for further discussion, this should be an agenda item for the October meeting. All agreed.
No citizens present.
a) PARC Foundation, Paul Royer:
•Annual raffle netted $3000, but short of the $5000 goal achieved in 2010. Asked more commissioners to help sell tickets in 2013.
•Sunrise Dog Park in Olympia has been shut down and Olympia PARD & Sound Hounds are considering other locations, one is near McLane School.
•Regional Park Board meeting-Report from another jurisdiction that their staff does not appreciate the annual Park Board Meeting.
•REI gave $15,000 to the Olympia Stewardship Program. REI will only contribute to those cities in which they have a company store. Paul asked if there is a similar program available in Lacey? Yes- the WIN! Program (Work Involvement Now!) is a grant program that pays youth groups or associations up to $300 per service project. This program is based on the value that youth participation in community improvement projects benefits youth participants as well as Lacey residents.
•Team Depot works with cities to build parks/areas to city specifications. Lori said City staff made contact with the Lacey Home Depot in 2009 and 2010, but they declined partnership, saying they ‘were not able to take on Team Depot projects at this time’. Since it has been a few years, staff will check back with Lacey Home Depot to see if they are able to participate in Team Depot projects yet.
Meeting adjourned at 6:25pm
Next meeting: Monday, October 22, 2012 at 5:30pm at the Lacey City Hall.