North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

City, Fire District negotiate agreement

 


After negotiating since the end of a contract in December 2014, Arlington City Council was scheduled to discuss at this week’s workshop meeting, an agreement with Fire District 21 (Arlington Heights) for fire and EMS services.

Since the contract expired, Arlington has been providing fire and emergency services while negotiating the proposed new agreement, which requires District 21 to pay the balance in full for services provided in 2015 and will assume primary responsibility for Basic Life Support (BLS) services, while the city will continue to provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) service at a lower rate through 2017.

Council continues its discussion of priorities for the city’s lodging tax grants for tourism. After seeking input from council in June 13, Kristin Garcia, finance director, has submitted proposed amendments to the grant application.

The revised application does not need to be approved by council, according to documents submitted by Garcia.

Changes include an application review schedule and description of committee structure, a new section on “type of match” and an explanation of how the sustainability of events and projects will be considered in the application.

A new section includes requirements for documenting and projecting attendance and information on council priorities, that will guide the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee’s recommendations for funding.

Changes include a details on the annual reporting requirements and a sample annual report, an applicant checklist, a new application rating form and details on the approval process.

Once the document is finalized, a “fillable” format will be added to the city’s website streamlining the process for applicants. Applications will be due Oct. 3..

Additionally, a meeting will with the lodging tax advisory committee (LTAC) will be called to review changes to the application and rating process so the committee is fully aware of council priorities for 2017 applications.

Other council business

In response to action by Congress in the “Spectrum Act,” implementing limitations on state and local government authority to regulate modifications of existing wireless antenna support structures and base stations, the city must establish development regulations relating to location, removal and replacement of wireless facilities.

The Spectrum Act mandates that local governments cannot deny an application to modify an existing tower or base station if the modification does not substantially change the physical dimensions of the tower or base station.

According to the council agenda, proposed changes were discussed by the Arlington Planning Commission with a public hearing on June 21 and July 7.

Council is also reviewing a total rewrite of the city’s floodplain development regulations as recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Changes are the result of a 2003 lawsuit, when FEMA was sued for failure to comply with ESA and in 2004 a court ruled that FEMA must consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and after a 2008 NMFS opinion, FEMA developed a program for local jurisdictions to satisfy “Reasonable & Prudent Alternatives” to its floodplain management criteria.

The city of Arlington has opted an option that demonstrates its existing plans and regulations provide equivalent protection to the standards proposed.

Arlington is also considering an amendment to its Critical Areas ordinance, to comply with the Department of Ecology’s updated wetland manual and 2014 Washington State Rating System. Currently city code contains two Critical Area Ordinances, one pertaining to critical areas as part of the Shoreline Master Program and the other pertaining to all other areas of the city. It caused confusion among developers because they were unsure which applied.

It was recommended that one ordinance be amended and the other deleted.

Another regulation, on storage units, is being reviewed.

Currently storage units are allowed in general and light industrial zones, but staff has identified the need to differentiate between typical self-storage facilities and a modern version that could be beneficial as part of the mixed use zoning concept.

The city is up to receive a $5,000 grant from the Snohomish County Small Capital Partnership Project to go along with a former grant of $10,000 for improvements at Terrace Park.

The project includes removing the existing playground border timbers and replacing with poured concrete curbing.

Council is also reviewing this week an applicant for the Civil Service Commission. Thad Hovis has applied to fill a position vacated by Jim Rankin in April.

 

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