Northwest NEWS

July 13, 1998

Front Page

Kenmore City Council listens to community

   by Tom Traeger
   Kenmore staff reporter

   During their campaign for office, Kenmore City Council members pledged to listen to their constituency. Plenty of opportunities are and will be available for the council members to fulfill that promise.
   Last Monday's council meeting included a hearing dealing with the moratorium on subdivisions, short plats and rezones. Seven speakers shared their views with the council with five favoring a temporary halt in further permits and two speaking against the measure.
   At the conclusion of the hearing, the council passed a motion which limits the moratorium to residential only, effectively removing any possible negative impact on the LakePointe project.
   Staff will now prepare a report on the findings of fact from the hearing and present it as a resolution for the council to consider at its July 20 meeting.
   In other business, the City Council continued to pass regulations and ordinances necessary for the city to be operational by the August 31 incorporation date. These included ordinances authorizing the permanent popsition o City Manager, agreement with King County for animal control services, licensing of gambling devices and granting of cable TV franchise to TCI Cablevision.
   During an open time period between council business and the public hearing, Mayor Crawford emphasized the council's "strong support for the LakePointe project." He said discussions and negotiations with the county and developer in regard to permits, possible financial obligations and other matters are still underway. With the city assuming jurisdictional responsibility for the project effective August 31, he emphasized that the thorough review of all LakePointe issues is imperative at this time.
   On July 8 and 9 the council conducted public meetings to discuss zoning, densities and development regulations that are currently in effect within the city boundaries. The council will now produce an interim zoning map and development regulations which will establish community priorities for the future.
   In addressing the approximately one hundred residents who came to the initial hearing at Inglemoor High School, Interim Community Development Director Gregg Dohrn stressed that, "We are not looking at changing ninety years in ninety days but aim to make an orderly transition through interim adoptions that may then become permanent."
   Dohrn noted that without changes the county codes already in place will apply. He said, "We will be listening to the community for those areas that need to be changed ... and they have to happen now."
   Citizen input focused on issues of high density housing, slow response time to building permit applications and lack of roads for increased housing.
   Three speakers cited the county's building permit process as one that they would welcome the city taking over immediately. They felt local control would be more effective and ease the frustration often felt in dealing with King County.
   Now, Dohrn and staff will prepare a summary report for the mayor and council with copies sent to all those who attended the hearings.
   The Kenmore City Council has study sessions dealing with land use scheduled for Monday, July 13; Tuesday, July 14 and Tuesday, July 21. The next regular council meeting is Monday, July 20 at which time a public hearing will be held concerning the adult entertainment moratorium adopted by King County before Kenmore became a city.
   On Aug. 3 the council will conduct a public hearing on an interim budget as part of their regular meeting.
   All Kenmore City Council meetings are held at the Kenmore Fire Station; the public is welcome to attend.