"Tacoma City Council Agenda News for Tuesday, March 7, 2000"

“Tacoma City CouncilStudy SessionNoon, Tuesday March 7, 2000Room 16, Municipal Bldg. N.728 St. Helens AvenueTacomaASARCO 2000The old ASARCO industrial site is set to undergo a number of changes this year. Representatives from ASARCO and Hydrometrics – the company overseeing site construction – will update Council members on the 2000 construction season and potential impacts on the community.This year ASARCO plans three major projects:- Building an onsite containment facility below the Ruston schoolhouse for highly contaminated soil and demolition debris.- Cleaning up a former cooling pond at 51st and Baltimore streets and creating a temporary road connecting Ruston Way and 51st Street.- Stabilizing the shoreline to prevent future erosion and creating 1.2 acres of intertidal habitat for fish and sea life.ASARCO also plans more soil sampling, cleanup and landscaping of 150 properties during 2000. The projects – especially the containment facility – require bringing soil to the site. In May, June and July, up to 200 trucks or more a day could travel from the Manke pit in the Tideflats, across the SR 509 bridge and along Schuster Parkway to the Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site. Cleanup is scheduled to continue through 2005.Downtown Drive-ThroughStaff from the Tacoma Economic Development Department will present the Planning Commission’s recommendations on downtown drive-through uses. The Council asked the commission to take a second look at drive-through uses in the Warehouse/Residential area when Destination Downtown – the new downtown zoning code – was adopted in December 1999.Based on input from a public hearing, the commission recommends that the City ban drive-throughs within 100 feet of a street with light rail service. The streets affected are 25th, from the Tacoma Dome Station to Pacific; and Pacific from 25th to 17th. If the recommendations are adopted by the Council, drive-through restrictions on these streets will be consistent along the entire light rail route.The Council will host a public hearing on March 14 and plans to vote March 28.Tacoma City CouncilCouncil Meeting5 p.m., Tuesday March 7, Room 16, Municipal Bldg. N.728 St. Helens AvenueTacomaPublic Art FundingPublic art could get a new funding source under an ordinance up for a vote. The ordinance would create a Municipal Art Fund for financing art in public locations in Tacoma.Public works projects such as buildings, parks, sidewalks or bridges, would contribute 1 percent of the construction cost to the art fund. Each biennium an ad hoc committee of citizens, client departments and members of the Tacoma Arts Commission would review the City’s six-year street plan, the capital projects budget and the Capital Improvements Projects list, and recommend which of these public works projects should receive arts funding.The Municipal Art Program would give priority to projects that are visible, usable and accessible by the public. City staff and members of the Arts Commission would implement the projects with guidance from citizens who have a stake in each project.Technology CenterThe Council will take testimony and vote on changes to loan documents that could allow the Tacoma Technology Center to move ahead. The center is a proposed site that provides high-speed bandwidth, dual fiber optic entry, multiple carrier alternatives and technical assistance to Internet Service Providers and carrier companies.The site, at 1441 Court A adjacent to the Total Renal Care Tower, is a continuation of redevelopment of the property by developer Horizon 1, LLC. As part of the TRC Tower renovation project in 1999, the City helped finance the project by securing a $3 million federal economic development loan. US Bank, the primary lender, is lending about $1.5 million for the center.If the Council approves this resolution, the City will change loan documents to reflect the new amount. Western Wright MarineTwo agreements up for comment and votes include one for the City to purchase the Western Wright Marine building and relocate the business. The business and building are owned separately and currently occupy a portion of the proposed site for the new convention center.A $200,000 purchase agreement would take ownership of the property at 1506 Jefferson Avenue and 1525 Commerce Street. Another agreement would authorize spending up to $975,000 to help relocate the business within Tacoma.Western Wright Marine has operated in Tacoma for about 70 years. The business plans to relocate and change its name to Tacoma Propeller before the end of 2000.Parking PurchaseThe City would replace Regence BlueShield’s parking in an agreement up for comments and a vote. The plans for a new convention center include turning Regence’s parking lot into a lot for convention-goers.Under the agreement, the City would pay $982,000 for 40,000 square feet of vacant land across Market Street from Regence. The City would then negotiate a parking lot swap with Regence.The City determined the purchase price for the parcels using a recent sale nearby. Funds for the purchase of the new property will come from the Capital Improvement Summary Fund.Downtown BIA LevyOver 300 downtown property owners pay into a Business Improvement Area fund for security, cleanup and marketing. The BIA is an 84-block area in downtown Tacoma. Individual assessments can range from less than $20 for an unimproved piece of property to over $20,000 for a multi-level office building.Citizens can comment on the fund, the BIA’s budget of $515,935 and its business plan. The Council is expected to take action on the fund at a later date.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 public comment. 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.. A relatively small number of large projects – including the second Tacoma Narrows Bridge – would benefit from a simplified permitting process.A vote is set for the March 14 meeting.”