A public hearing attracted one for and one against a proposed annexation considered by Arlington City Council Monday, March 5.
A 60 percent petition for annexation proposal has been submitted to the city to annex approximately 52.28 acres at the intersection of 172nd Street NE/SR 531 and SR 9. Approximately 30.80 of those acres, south of 172nd, are owned by the proponents, Ron Thomas, on behalf of The Commerce Bank of Washington (TCB) and Gray1 Washington LLC.
An opponent to the annexation, Charlene Allen is a farmer on five acres north of 172nd Street, and she wants to continue farming.
"I am recognized by the Department of Agriculture as a milk, goat and goat meat marketing crop farm," Allen told council. She told council that she had heard that her farm would be limited to the number of animals on the farm at the time of annexation.
"I don't want to limit my herd," she said.
Thomas told council that his clients recognized they need the sewer system provided within the city limits in order to develop, and he reminded council that the properties in the proposed annexation are within the City Urban Growth Area (UGA) and are adjacent to the current city limits to the west.
The city's Comprehensive Plan designates the four parcels to the south as General Commercial (GC) and High Density Residential (RHD).
"The area has been in the city's urban growth area for six years," Thomas noted.
Indeed, previous owners had applied for annexation in 2006, but it was put on hold by the city
due to water/sewer incapacities at the time.
The current applicants applied in 2010, but the annexation was put on hold again when the state Boundary Review Board requested the remaining properties within UGA to be included in annexation.
"This came about during the recent Hilltop and Thompson annexations which were approved in 2011," said Todd Hall, planner.
City council accepted the 10 percent petition February 6, allowing the 60 percent petition to be circulated for signatures.
Thomas said the proponents have no definite plans for land use at this time, and future projects depend on the economy.
The intersection is targeted for the construction of a roundabout this year.
Councilman Steve Baker told Allen that a similar situation occured in an annexation across the city at 188th Street.
"We made sure that the farms would not be closed down," Baker said.
Hall explained that the city does have regulations on how many animals can be kept inside the city limits, but as long as she and her family own the property, they can continue farming.
"Any special accommodations could be included in a nonconforming use clause," he said.
Allen added that she keeps a guardian dog to protect her animals.
"He barks," she said. "That's his job. He chased away a cougar with his barking. I don't want anyone complaining about his barking."
No action was taken on the issue.__
In other council business:
• The city awarded its Cornerstone Award to Dr. and Mrs. Jeff Cartwright for "substantial improvement to the overall look of Arlington." The Cartwrights recently opened Advanced Orthopaedic Institute across Third Street from the police station and city hall._
• Council approved the proposed 2012 Comprehensive Plan docket of amendments. Each year, the city and/or private parties have the opportunity to submit applications to amend the city's Comprehensive Plan. A list, or "docket" is created and staff reviews the docket to ensure that each proposal meets criteria. The council then has the opportunity to review the docket.
Once approved for the docket, each proposal will be processed over the course of the year.
Docket items include the a long-range transportation plan, a new code for the West Arlington subarea for the transfer of development rights, the rezone of the southwest corner of the Arlington airport from "public/semi public" to highway commercial, and a new designation for the National Foods property between 43rd and 51st avenues. The final docket item is a rezone of the uplands of the Graafstra farm as an urban horticulture zone.
• Council authorized staff to hire Shannon and Wilson to clean two wells in the Haller well field. It's the final step in a rehabilitation project that started last year, when work included replacing the raw water pipeline, installing new electric service connected to the utility plant generator, removing the old Haller Well generator, and rehabilitating wells 3 and 2. All work was completed by the end of 2011 except for the well rehabilitation, which was in the public bid process. The project had a remaining balance of $84,340 at the end of 2011 and, although the continuation of this project was not included in the 2012 capital budget, there are funds available to pay for the well rehabilitation work.
Shannon and Wilson will clean the wells using hydro-pulse, a proprietary cleaning method, said Jim Kelly, Public Works director. Kelly said they decided the $49,880 bid for a hydro-pulse method would be the best bet.
"We are hoping this will increase our water production," Mayor Barbara Tolbert explained.
• Yet another right of way easement agreement, on the Myrick property, was presented by Eric Scott, in the ongoing effort to standardize a 60-foot easement along 67th Avenue in preparation for the road rehabilitation project funded by grants this year.
• Council agreed to pay off a 1998 Public Works Trust Fund loan early, saving approximately $40,501 in interest. The original loan was for the Burn Road Transmission Line project and the interest rate is 4.35 percent, compared to the current 1 or a half percent.
• An Adopt-a-Park agreement and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Stilly Valley Little League was approved, with the Little League offering to maintain the city's baseball fields and save the cost on one full-time seasonal employee. The working arrangement will serve as the ground work for other ball field user groups.
• Airport manager Rob Putnam requested approval to hire the Department of Corrections to remove pipe and abate hazardous waste on Airport Lot 108. The interlocal agreement with Correctional Industries Environmental Services will remove and dispose of approximately 480 lineal feet of asbestos-containing pipe. The pipe also contains some solid black asphaltic material that is being disposed of with the pipe as well, Putnam said.
The pipe was discovered during the process of testing for contaminated soil on the site. In 2011 Shaw Environmental found lead and asbestos, among other things. Further investigation turned up approximately 480 lineal feet of the contaminated pipe. The pipe is being removed as part of the larger site clean-up of Lot 108.
"Correctional Industries has completed multiple asbestos abatement projects for the airport in
the past," Putnam said. _
• To provide temporary interfund loans to funds where revenues are not sufficient to cover operating expenditures, the city's finance manager, Jim Chase sought approval for short-term interfund loans, that would be repaid within six months, with interest paid to the lending fund.
Since the city receives property taxes from the county in May and November, it may be necessary to borrow among funds, Chase explained.
• Also, an amendment to an interlocal agreement with Snohomish County Public Works for equipment maintenance and repair service was needed as the county is raising its prices: The labor rate stipulated in the agreement is increasing from $89.92 to $90.95 per hour. The good news is the cost of inventory parts mark-up is decreasing to cost plus 40 percent compared to cost plus 50 percent.