MAY 12, 1997

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News from the City Council

City Council by Andrew Walgamott, staff reporter
The Woodinville City Council heard from Parks and Recreation Director Lane Youngblood, Parks Commissioner Randy Ransom, and Sgt. Rich Krogh on two proposed ordinances. Ordinance 180 would add a section to the municipal code defining the crime of lewd conduct. Ordinance 181 would establish park regulations.
   Speaking on Ordinance 181, Ransom said parks should be a welcome, pleasant place. "I think it's important to establish these rules of conduct up front. It gives a tool to the police department to control things we don't desire in parks," Ransom said.
   Ordinance 181 would regulate use of and conduct in parks, regulate recreational programs, designate restricted areas in parks, and establish opening and closing times for parks.
   Hot air balloons would be prohibited from taking off or landing in parks without proper permits. Alcohol would be prohibited. Sound amplification equipment would be prohibited except with special permits.
   Ordinance 180 would apply to the city as well as parks. The ordinance would charge a person with a misdemeanor for "any lewd act in a public place knowing that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable affront and alarm."
   "Most of this is there if we have to enforce it," said Krogh of the ordinances. He added that while there were offenses in the ordinances serious enough to be misdemeanors, others would amount to civil distractions.
   According to staff documents, the Parks Commission identified the need for regulations after creation of the commission in January.

Beautifying 'ugly ponds'
   Also discussed at council were stormwater retention ponds located in neighborhoods. Doug Rice, a landscape architect with King County Water and Land Resources, presented a slide show on how some communities have beautified their "ugly ponds." Rice said it didn't take much to conceal ponds. Simply adding a screen of trees could do wonders to the aesthetics.
   In his slide presentation, Rice showed how communities had used trees, ivy, fences, water fountains, basketball courts, and terraced ponds to disguise retention ponds. Rice said that deep-rooted pine trees and drought-tolerant blue oak grass were good to use around ponds.
   There are 19 such ponds within the Woodinville city limits. Planting for each could cost as little as $1,500, according to staff reports. Funds would come from the Intergovernmental Services portion of the Surface Water Management Fund.
   The first ponds slated for beautification would be the two above Albertsons along the Woodinville-Duvall Rd. Lowell Power and Frank Akiyoshi of the Woodinville Lion's Club expressed interest in working on the ponds. "We're just waiting and anxious and looking to help," said Power. Surface Water Coordinator Jenny Gaus said the Albertsons ponds would be worked on in the fall.
   "This seems like a fantastic idea. It could set a precedent for new ponds," said Councilmember Barbara Solberg. The program has been a success in unincorporated sections of King County. Rice said there hadn't been a community that turned down his idea.
   Council also listened to city manager recruitment presentations from Phillip K. Kushlan and Associates and The Oldani Group. A decision on a recruiter is expected at the May 12 council meeting.