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City council breaks the seal on 2013

  • Written by Don Mann
The Woodinville City Council reconvened Tuesday for the first time in 2013 after a three week respite and began their business items with some housekeeping.

The council held a public hearing — at which no citizen spoke — and passed first reading of Ordinance No. 554, which makes clarifications and “cleanup” amendments to the city’s development regulations.

The housekeeping included 13 humdrum amendments of city code submitted by city staff, including correcting a parking reference for wineries and breweries so that the parking ratio is one space per 50 square feet of “tasting” area, rather than “testing” area. First reading of the ordinance was passed unanimously.

Next up, the council passed first and second reading and adopted Ordinance No. 540 to enact a moratorium of up to six months to prohibit certain uses within the Central Business (CBD) and General Business (GB) Districts.

The item came to the fore, Development Services Director David Kuhl said, when a recent proposal for an indoor gun-shooting range in downtown Woodinville was brought to the city.

“Clearly we want to have time to put something more restrictive on something like that,” Kuhl said, and thus the moratorium was proposed.

Kuhl and staff also proposed certain uses be prohibited in both the CBD and GB, including mobile home parks, destination resorts, gun-shooting and golf-driving ranges, amusement parks, among others — as well as gasoline service stations.

City Manager Richard Leahy clarified that existing gas stations in the pedestrian core were “grandfathered” in but would not be permitted to expand.

Uses proposed to be prohibited in the CBD only, Kuhl said, include drive-in theaters, funeral homes and crematories, as well as cemeteries.

The Woodinville Cemetery, located on NE 175th Street and 132nd. Ave. NE., is also grandfathered in and exempt.

No new cemeteries would be permitted under the ordinance.

The ordinance was approved unanimously.

Finally, there was a discussion of the council’s 2013 “Policy Retreat” — its second annual such function.

Leahy, needing to make the necessary arrangements sooner than later, requested council come to an agreement on date and time, location, topics of discussion and cost — and they were given several choices.

When it all boiled down, it was agreed to happen on Sat., Feb. 9, and it would be an all-day affair.

A choice of 14 locations were submitted by staff, including seven in Woodinville ranging from Chateau Ste. Michelle at $2,000 per diem to the Woodinville Fire District at no cost at all.

Woodinville Mayor Bernie Talmas and Deputy Mayor Liz Aspen had already narrowed their choices to Snoqualmie Ridge Golf Course in Snoqualmie and Bear Creek Country Club in Woodinville, both at $700 which included breakfast, lunch, snacks and coffee all day, Aspen said.

Talmas and Aspen were granted permission by their colleagues to choose a final location.

Said Councilmember Susan Boundy-Sanders: “I am not comfortable paying for a location when we can be here (council chambers) or at the Water District or the Fire District for free.”

Spending taxpayers’ money for last year’s inaugural retreat, she added, “left a very sour taste in citizens’ mouths.”

Said the mayor: “Seven-hundred dollars is not a significant amount of money. If we’re going to be there all day on a Saturday it should be a nice place with good food.”

Added the deputy mayor: “It’s pretty standard for councils to take a day off-site and roll up their sleeves and get to work … I think it’s pretty darn reasonable.”

The work they would get to, city staff suggested, was a discussion of the following:

• The role and status of city boards and commissions;

• Private development on the horizon including Woodinville Village and Canterbury — and does the city have a role?;

• Eastside Rail Corridor — and does the city have a role?;

• Comprehensive Plan goals and visions and any changes;

• Sammamish Valley cooperative study with King County, on the heels of no annexation and the city’s approach;

• Old Woodinville Schoolhouse ballot measure and how it’s paid for;

• Economic development — the ongoing bugaboo;

• Community “branding”;

• Legislative priorities as the new season in Olympia begins;

• Local 2013 priorities and the resulting work plan.

Boundy-Sanders was seemingly unimpressed, saying she felt it was a retreat in search of an agenda and wondered in public if the event was justified.

“I wish we put the horse in front of the cart for once … And I’m not going to condone spending money on a venue.”

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