"Tacoma City Council Agenda News for Tuesday, March 14, 2000"

“Tacoma City CouncilStudy SessionNoon, Tuesday March 14Room 16, Municipal Building North728 St. Helens AvenueTacomaLegislative AgendaGovernment Relations Officer Randy Lewis will summarize the City’s legislative agenda wins and losses for the 2000 session. This year’s agenda included- Pursuing a fair response to lost local revenues from the passage of I-695, possibly including new shared state revenues, expansion of local taxing authority or removal of state mandates.- Giving cities the ability to zone state-licensed gambling activities, including enhanced cardrooms – minicasinos.- Providing state funding for completion of the northern leg of Sound Transit light rail from the University of Washington to Northgate.- Protecting the City’s tax base and taxing authority.- Enacting pro-economic development legislation – specifically the Community Revitalization Act and Main Street business development legislation.Endangered Species ActCity Environmental Coordinator Judith Lorbeir will provide an overview of the Endangered Species Act.Tacoma has been working with representatives from Pierce, King and Snohomish counties to develop a Tri-County regional salmon recovery strategy. Details on the stormwater, road maintenance and fish-friendly land use management zone portions of the strategy are on the agenda.Tacoma City CouncilCouncil Meeting5 p.m., Tuesday March 14Room 16, Municipal Building North728 St. Helens AvenueTacomaDowntown BIA LevyOver 300 property owners in an 84-block area in downtown Tacoma called the Business Improvement Area, or BIA, pay into a fund for security, cleanup and marketing. The Council will vote on the fund, the BIA’s budget of $515,935 and its work plan.The BIA collects an assessment on properties for additional services such as private security patrols, sidewalk cleanups, lighting and graffiti removal. Individual assessments range from less than $20 for an unimproved piece of property to over $20,000 for a multi-level office building.The Council took public testimony on the BIA budget and work plan March 7.New Narrows BridgeConstruction projects that cross over city boundaries and require land use permits from the City of Tacoma and another governmental jurisdiction would require only one hearing under a proposal up for a Council vote. The proposal would transfer responsibility for the permit from the Land Use Administrator to the City’s Hearing Examiner, who would host a joint hearing with the neighboring jurisdiction’s Hearing Examiner.The types of permits this change would impact include shoreline, wetland, special/conditional use, temporary use permits as well as minor land use permits such as variances, waivers and exceptions now in the jurisdiction of the Land Use Administrator.A relatively small number of large projects – including the second Tacoma Narrows Bridge – would benefit from a simplified permitting process through this action.Costco ComplexA new 15-acre Costco complex may spread onto portions of several vacated streets. The Council will consider a request for the vacation of Colorado and Wyoming avenues and portions of Oregon Avenue and Idaho Street for the new development.Late last year Costco officials began buying up property to build an expanded store off South 38th Street in South Tacoma. They have purchased a portion of Lincoln Heights Park and several homes in the area.In exchange for the City giving up its rights to the streets, Costco would deed and extend Steele Street north of South 37th Street and connect the Steele Street extension with Idaho Street to facilitate traffic flow through the neighborhood. The company would also place sidewalks along both sides of Steele Street.The cost of the Steele Street improvements would be credited toward one-half of the appraised value of the streets vacated – a compensation formula set by state law. The Issaquah-based company will sell its previous facility on South Pine Street once the new building is opened.The Hearing Examiner conducted a public hearing on the street vacation February 15th; therefore the Council will not allow public comments on the ordinance March 14.The Council plans to vote on the action at its March 21st meeting.Downtown Drive-through BanCitizens will get to speak on the Planning Commission’s recommended ban on drive-through businesses within 100 feet of Tacoma’s Link light rail route. The public hearing before the Council will cover a prohibition on uses such as drive-through restaurants, drugstores and banks.The two streets impacted by these regulations are South 25th Street from Pacific Avenue to the Tacoma Dome Station, and Pacific Avenue from South 25th to South 17th streets. If the Council adopts the recommendations, restrictions on those streets for drive-through uses will mirror those for the rest of the light rail route.Also included in the public ordinance:- Designation of Pacific Avenue as a primary pedestrian street from South 17th to South 25th streets. This designation would require new developments to dedicate 25 percent of their street-level frontage to restaurants, retail, entertainment, cultural or other public uses.- Considering hotels as a residential use when calculating the allowable area around the Tacoma Dome and the maximum allowable floor area for the four downtown zoning districts. This is to encourage transient lodging development as well as more permanent residential projects in those areas.The public hearing begins at approximately 5:30 p.m. The Council plans to take additional testimony on the ordinance March 21 with a vote scheduled for March 28.”