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City Council considers property taxes, EMS levy


November 22, 2017 | View PDF

Arlington City Council was scheduled to approve the proposed 2018 property taxes and the 2018 EMS levy this Monday, Nov. 20.

At the Nov. 6 public hearing no one spoke on the tax levies, but on proposed budget amendments, Lindsay Dunn inquired about $250,000 budgeted for improvements to the intersection of the railroad with the Centennial Trail at 67th Avenue and 191st Street. He was curious why the city would pay for a project that should be covered by BNSF Railroad.

Public Works Director Jim Kelly explained that the $250,000 would be covered by a grant from the Washington State Transportation Commission to address safety issues on the trail’s intersection with the railroad, where there have been 20 serious collisions and that it is not the BNSF's responsibility to accommodate cyclists.

At this week’s Nov. 20 meeting, the consent agenda included an inter-local agreement (ILA) with Snohomish Health District, with the city agreeing to contribute $1 per capita ($18,620) to the Health District for 2017, and a professional services agreement with SAFEbuilt WA, LLC for plan review, inspections and building official services.

The Department of Community and Economic Development is in need of extra help on these building functions, according to Marc Hayes, director of DCED, in documents.

"The intent is to try contract services for an interim period so that we may evaluate how that model works both financially and in efficiencies,” Hayes said.

Council was expected to accept the donation of an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) from Vine Street Group, to assist police and emergency services access parks and other off-road locations.

Council was asked to add the position of human resources director and remove the position of city clerk from the city code.

At this week’s meeting, council was scheduled to vote on extensions of inter-local agreements with fire districts 21 (Arlington Heights), 24 (Darrington) and 25 (Oso) through 2018, until a formal decision is made on a Regional Fire Authority proposal.

The agreements include emergency medical services for all the districts.

Council was also expected to vote on a work plan for the development a Complete Streets program to develop a multi-modal transportation network designed to be “safe, comfortable and convenient for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.” Complete Streets is also about transforming streets for a more livable community, according to council documents.

Planning commission holds public hearing, meets with PARC

The city’s Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 21, on amendments to zoning districts and on mixed-use development regulations.

Changes are intended to clarify language and remove the TDR (Transfer of Development Rights) Overlay Zone and the Residential Low/Moderate Density zone.

Staff continues to work on the city’s Comprehensive Plan, which was approved by council on Sept. 18, according to Amy Rusko, city planner.

The term Urban Village has been changed to Walkable Urban Environment and “Horizontal” has been removed from the mixed-use overlay zone.

On Nov. 7, the Planning Commission discussed changes to the Mixed Use Development Regulations and Commissioner MacDonald had concerns, including a plan to create a “downtown feel” for the SR 530 and 211th neighborhood area. He felt the plan was out of place. Development Director Hayes said the “walkable town feel” would be focused on the inner road access, setback from the highway.

MacDonald was also concerned about architectural standards within the Mixed Use Development Regulations. He presented a slideshow featuring photos of commercial developments, local buildings and historical architecture, including information about materials, texture, scale and the overhangs of eaves and canopies. He shared examples of the architectural style known as Northwest Regional Architecture, explaining how mid-century modern architecture, historical farming and logging communities, and the Northwest environment have contributed to this style, which, he said, could enhance the quality of development in the city.


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