Retail Marijuana and Affordable Housing

Standard

 

This post is the 3rd in the series of the Redmond City Council’s Public Hearings on Encampment zoning and Retail Marijuana.

Post 1 is here
Post 2 is here

**Opinion***

I wondered what exactly, other than ‘for show’ the “Affordable Housing Week” proclamation means.  Will the City do more than required to make housing affordable in Redmond?  How will Redmond ACT on this proclamation?}

 

I sent an email with questions to Mr. Myers, Mr. Carson and Ms. Allen; thread below:

May 19, 2016:

Long night Tuesday night!  Thanks for spending so much time on the issues!

I’m going through my notes and I have a few procedural questions so I know how this all works.

  • When an item is pulled from the Agenda, what happens?  In this case the Buck and Zhang Annexation approvals were pulled and there was discussion of “move to date certain” vs. just removing from agenda.   Tuesday night the vote was 6-1 to “remove” (from agenda) vs. move to date certain.  Does this go back to study session?  Questions for Staff?  When would it come back to Council Meeting for approval?
  • Will the City be considering any other actions that encourage or promote “Affordable Housing Week”?  I know there have been Study sessions on MIL units (I can’t remember the acronym used), permitting and the like.  But will there be any action that tackles the actual homeless issues and affordable housing?  http://www.archhousing.org/resources/pdfs/Housing_101_Summary_Pages_2011.05.13.pdf (as you can see Redmond is only at 10%)

    Thank you as always for your answers and keeping me informed and educated!  

Hi Paige-

  1.  I pulled the 2 items from the consent agenda for individual consideration. 

The 2 items involve properties just outside the city limits which have failing septic fields that need to connect to Redmond sewer. As a condition to connecting to Redmond sewer, the property owners have to sign the annexation petition for that area and the annexation petition has to be filed with the boundary review board. 

The owners expressed some difficulty with the condition that they wait until the petition is filed before hook up because they would like to have the work completed before it starts to rain again. The timing of the filing of the annexation petition was unclear. 

I was also troubled by the information, which I was seeing for the first time, discussing the potential storm water runoff impact from the development that we had approved on the neighboring church property.

My request to move these two items from our agenda on Tuesday to a date certain failed for lack of a second. When it came time to vote on the items, I voted no because I thought that we should delayed the vote until staff heading opportunity to fill in some of the uncertainties.  Staff has agreed to work with the owners to help them craft a plan that gets the work done before the next rainy season. 

  1.  Byron and I spent a couple of hours earlier on Tuesday at a meeting convened by Rep Joan McBride which brought elected’s, planners, nonprofits, and for-profit developers to the table to develop a consistent message from the Eastside on strategies to increase the stock of affordable housing. We believe this is very crucial to obtaining local options, like tax credits and other financing options, in the next legislative session in Olympia.


Glad to assist.  The process can look like insider baseball sometimes.

One correction—the items I pulled {sewer annexation} were to approve agreements for the Mayor to sign allowing the 2 properties to connect to our sewer system.  The agreement has a clause that the Mayor cannot sign it until the area petition for annexation has been submitted to the Boundary Review Board, which is something the 2 owners cannot control.  That’s why I wanted to delay to see if we could build a fix into the agreement.

Best regards, 

Kim

 

 

Hi Paige,

The Consent Agenda lists items that have been usually vetted twice before coming to Council for a final vote.  On this particular issue, the City has a policy of not extending city services such as sewer and water outside of city limits.  Usually when an exception is made, it is in an areas when annexation is expected, and the process is underway in that neighborhood in north Rose Hill.  One of our requirements to extend services into unincorporated areas is that the property be owner sign the petition for annexation.  Kim Allen was essentially asking about how well the petition program was going, and staff didn’t have an answer.  I think Kim was concerned that the petition would fall short so annexation could not proceed and we would be providing services beyond city limits.  Her motion would have postponed approval until June 7 to get an answer on the progress of the petition drive.  The Council did get an update on the petition process, but I think Kim missed that meeting.  In any case the rest of us (speaking for myself, but think is was shared) felt the progress on the petition and expected outcome were positive.  We felt we could vote in confidence, particularly as the applicants were in the audience.

On the affordable housing issue, we tend to talk a lot and do little.  We not only have expensive housing to begin with, but rental rates are going up more and quickly.  You have seen the posts on the EdHNA site about people looking for lower costs housing, and being force to move from rental units.  We do participate in ARCH, but our zoning and building codes add a lot to the basic cost of housing.  Our affordable requirement in the more than 10 apartment complexes is for units affordable by families making 80% of median household income, which is still a big number.  As a part time employed retiree, my wife and I do not earn that much.  There is some sympathy on the Council to reduce that number to 50% of median for future projects.  30% was raised but was thought to be unrealistic and drive away potential developers.  One issue that may come up is allowing subdivision of existing houses into two family units.  I live in a trilevel, with access on the middle and lower levels from the outside.  We could convert the lower level to a living room, ¾ bath, small kitchen/laundry room and bedroom which would be adequate for a single for a single of a couple, and we would live on the upper two floors.  This would create much lower cost starter units while giving the empty nesters adequate space.  When the couple decides to have a family they could move into a larger unit, or perhaps swap living quarter with the empty nesters who are now retired and could live in a small space.  This also works for full two story houses, where the downstairs is bigger and can accommodate a larger young family.  This is a “sharing economy” solution like Uber and Air BNB to get full utilization out of existing (and generally lower cost) buildings.  Rental rates in the new downtown apartments run at $2.50-3.00 per square foot.  If I could get half that for my 700 square foot lower area that $1,000 a month would be a real Godsend.

Thanks for the questions,

 

Hank

 

 

I also find it interesting that affordable housing is a multi-layered issue that encompasses so much.  For instance, my 22-year-old son lives at home with us.  No biggie, he’s a great kid, and he pays rent to us, holds down a job and helps around the house (not as much as his ‘landlords’ would like but…)

At one point he was working 2 part-time jobs; totaling about 50 hours a week at a bit more than minimum wage.  Before taxes, that’s about $500 a week or $2k a month.  He doesn’t have a car, but puts money on the ORCA card as necessary.  He pays for his own phone bill; doesn’t pay for groceries, insurance or other “homeowner” expenses.  He has most of the money he’s earned in savings, doesn’t spend a lot.

 

About every 6 months or so he looks around for a place to rent.  His ‘requirements’ are that they take cats, be close to a bus line and have laundry in the complex.  He could care less about other amenities like weight room, pool, etc.  He’ll need internet as well as the other utilities, maybe cable.   He’s looked at studio apartments, 1-bedrooms and larger; he’s even looked into renting with others.

 

A couple of blocks from our house is an old apartment complex; recently purchased and updated.  “The Anna” has studio apartments with NO amenities to speak of. They have no availabilities at this time, but their lowest rental is $1295 a month for a 600 sf. 1 bed/1 bath apartment.  (https://www.abodo.com/redmond-wa/the-anna)

 

Downtown, across from City Hall, there is a complex called “Allez”.  They are pretty new, in downtown, near shopping, dining, bus-line plus a ton of amenities.  Studio apartments range from 544 – 620 sf; monthly rents at $1213 – $1660.

 

http://www.allezliving.com/Apartments/module/property_info/property%5Bid%5D/76979/

 

A third option, although rarely with availability are the apodments or ‘mini-suites’ in Redmond.  Tudor Manor and Vision 5.  Tudor Manor offers 149 sf for $700/month.  The mini-suites have a bathroom and small mini-kitchen space.

 

Vision 5 is managed by the same company, Muse Management but offers slightly larger studio mini-suites. 225 sf.  At this time none are available and there is no rental price listed; although I have been told they rent for about $800/month.

 

http://www.apartments.com/tudor-manor-redmond-wa/9m59dn4/

http://www.apartments.com/vision-5-redmond-wa/8yfk633/

 

 

So, here is the issue as I see it.  NO ONE can afford to live in Redmond.  Our house is about 1900 sf of living space with a nice, fenced back yard and great neighborhood.  We’re near schools, parks, churches, bus line and not far from downtown, freeway access and of course, Microsoft.  (I’m not sure why “Microsoft” is continuously listed as an amenity in real estate listings.  Not everyone works there and they’re laying off more and more people)

 

Our house ‘value’ has increased from just over $77k in 1986 to over $500k in 2016.  I can’t calculate the percentage increase because fractions are so 4th grade but it’s a huge, WHOPPING amount.  Houses in our neighborhood have been selling in an average of 4-5 days for at least $80k over asking price.

 

Our taxes have increased over the years as well.  Annual taxes for our home are $4200; up from $2400 in 2004.  Property taxes remind me of how sad my husband was when his parents had to sell their home in 1987.  On their retirement income they could no longer afford to pay for property taxes on a home that they owned in total.  The same home they built by hand and had taken care of for over 30 years.  The very same home will soon be demolished with the over 2 acres of land subdivided into 8 lots; estimated value of the house and land right now is over 1 million dollars.

 

For the first time in our married lives both of us are actually considering, at the same time, selling the house and moving somewhere less expensive.

So, my son with his entire career life ahead of him cannot afford to live in the town he grew up in; while his parents who have lived here their entire married life cannot afford to live here either.  One of my adult daughters lives in Renton because houses are too expensive in Redmond; they commute north (to Factoria and Redmond) daily.  My other adult daughter lives in a 3 bedroom apartment in Redmond; they too cannot afford to buy a home in Redmond so continue to live in an apartment.

 

It is no wonder that so many are homeless or nearly so in Redmond; I only wonder at the theory of having homeless encampments in Redmond; if the stated purpose is to help people find housing eventually.  If the residents can barely afford to live here; how could anyone with financial insecurity even begin to afford it?

 

 

 

Regarding Retail Marijuana in Redmond…

 

Interesting that public hearings for both encampments and marijuana on same night.   Both are high-risk, high-maintenance issues; both are volatile.  Wondering if there was a reason to put them in the same evening?

 

I am guessing there is quite a bit of civic dialogue left about these issues; although the Retail Marijuana ordinance has been sent to City staff for writing.  The next step is for council to approve; which then means the licensee (The Grass is Always Greener) could sign a lease as soon as they find an available location.

 

I laughed a bit at the recent insert in the weekly “Redmond Reporter” called ‘My City Redmond’.  Page 13 has a half page advertisement for “Issaquah Cannabis Co.” with a disclaimer that’s a mile long and completely with odds to the advocate’s position on the safety of their product.

 

“Disclaimer: This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming.  Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment.  Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.  There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product.  For use only by adults twenty-one and older.  Keep out of reach of children.”

 

Nearly all of the advocates that I’ve heard talk about cannabis have passionately stated that it’s no worse than alcohol.  That all the stores are secure with additional protections against minors ‘accidentally’ getting on premises or getting ahold of the substance.

 

One council member even went so far as to remind parents that they were parents and needed to use any occasion as a “learning opportunity”; nearly shaming parents who were fearful of their children being exposed to marijuana as an opening for education instead of a safety mechanism.

 

Meanwhile, there are plenty of studies coming out that show the dangers – both long and short-term – of cannabis usage.

 

Still some council members stressed that because marijuana is legal in this state, retail marijuana is here to stay and everyone should just get used to it.  Regulating sales will help destroy the ‘black market’ for marijuana.  Marijuana (and other drugs) have always been present in Redmond; it’s just that it’s legal now.

 

I think it’s a bit short-sighted to rely on the myth that regulating sales will lessen the black market for this or any other drug.  It’s also a bit naïve to believe that teens won’t be talking their adult friends (and yes, unfortunately family) into buying it for them.  And, of course cigarettes and marijuana are gateway drugs to other more hard-core substances.
I am not going to tell you that I am against retail marijuana; neither am I going to tell you it’s a good idea to have stores that sell it vs. the corner drug dealer.  But I will tell you that it’s really not about fear or safety or even regulation.

 

I’ll just leave you with this:

“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” ~ Unknown

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3607444/Smoking-cannabis-ALTERS-DNA-causing-mutations-trigger-illness-including-cancer.html
http://www.scpr.org/programs/take-two/2016/05/11/48736/car-crashes-involving-marijuana-doubled-in-washing/

 

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/01/11/a-20-year-study-on-marijuana-use-yields-5-surprisi.aspx

 

 

 

Dear “Special” driver…

Standard

I remembered this post this morning after sitting behind a red Nissan GT r in the drive-thru lane at school drop-off.

I was only in the drive-thru drop-off lane because all the parking spaces were taken (Jr. Achievement awards at school I guess; thanks for that).  Normally I park and walk the Kindergartener to his line, then go back to my car.

Not only did the red Nissan GT r violate #3 below, the driver was just generally ticking me off.  The only bright spot was the adult safety patrol talking about my dog.

This post was originally published in January of 2013 on my old blog site at blogger.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Safety Patrol

Top (10) Reasons I’m not a School Safety Patrol Parent:

  1. Stupid people make me angry
  2. Just because you need to walk your precious snowflake to the front door is no reason to park in the middle of the drive-through lane.
  3. The signs that say “Do Not Block Handicapped Spaces” are there for a reason; NO, the reason isn’t just to annoy you.
  4. Walking your child across a busy street and not using the crosswalk is still jay-walking.  Even if it’s inconvenient.
  5. I would go through a ticket book a day and they would all be marked “Failure to use common sense”.
  6. The Police Department would know me by name.
  7. Citizen’s arrests are still legal.
  8. I have the number for a towing company on speed dial.
  9. I don’t have a problem with telling people to STOP!
  10. I’m not afraid to make you go to the back of the line and wait your turn.

Redmond City Council MeetingPost #2 Continuation of Redmond City Council Meeting, Dated May 17th, 2016

Standard

<With apologies for any names I spelled incorrectly>

Redmond City Council Meeting
Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
7:30 PM Council Chambers

Agenda available here:  https://redmond.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/pubmtgframe.aspx?meetid=252&doctype=agenda

If you ‘click’ on each underlined item, you will see available documentation for each to the right of the screen.

Post #2       Continuation of Redmond City Council Meeting, Dated May 17th, 2016

Post 1 of 3 is here 

Public Hearing #3 –

At 1:322:22, Public Hearing began for AM 16-119 Retail Marijuana Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code Amendments (Available in documents section at right)

“The Council directed staff on April 19, 2016, to schedule a public hearing for May 17, 2016, to solicit feedback on potentially allowing retail marijuana stores in the Business Park (BP) zone in locations which face and are visible from public streets. This is based on concerns that while the original public hearing notice noted possibly allowing retail marijuana stores in the BP zone, the proposal at that time did not contemplate retail marijuana stores in the BP zone and the Planning Commission did not discuss this.”

Staff Report by Jason Rogers.

Question by Council as to which schools are recognized by the buffer?  Answer:  OSPI recognized schools will be subject to the buffer.  Other educational organizations or activities that have children present will not be included in the buffer zone.

Other direction requested regarding street-facing BP zone provision

“Freezing” state definitions.

From the presentation, the Council has recommended and approved:

  • Allow Retail Marijuana stores in Downtown & Overlake Village zones, in GC and RR.
  • Allow retail marijuana stores in visible street facing locations in the BP Zone.
  • 1,000 ft. buffers from playgrounds and schools
  • 100 ft. buffers from state-defined sensitive uses (daycares, recreation centers, etc.)
  • No separation requirement between stores
  • No limit on # of stores (state limit is 4)
  • Review in 2-3 years, or if significant change in state law, or if/when new data is available.

Public hearing is on zoning area (rest of items not up for discussion).

Available map shows 65 properties available with buffers in BP zone.

20 have a building which is visible from and faces a public street.

Map available here:

Definitions –

  • Current Ordinance (2744) freezes state definitions as of date of adoption, June 17, 2014.
  • Allows for City Council review of any changes to state definitions before in effect here
  • Alternative is to not “freeze” and then definitions would change when state revises.
  • State definitions have changed, including the definition of park (now excludes trails)

Ms. Allen asked for the presentation to be left on a specific slide during the public hearing.

Mr. Myers asked about map of available properties and how many would actually rent to retail marijuana? (some corporations may not allow due to banking regulations)

Public speaking portion of hearing begins at 1:40:40. 

Jenny Carbon (The Grass is Always Greener owner)

  • Received a call in response to the protestors outside City Hall from King5 News
  • Cannabis Retail stores are becoming a common occurrence
  • Looking forward to the day when Redmond will embrace the new industry.
  • Some locations are unwilling or unable to lease or sell due to federal banking regulations.
  • Other locations are not viable because of location, lighting, parking availability.
  • Little difference between MP and BP locations; retail facilities like liquor, vape, deli are in MP locations.

Shawna Mindt (The Grass is Always Greener co-founder and Redmond resident)

  • Voice support for zoning for Cannabis retail In Redmond.
  • BP and MP properties are nearly indistinguishable.
  • Goal is to allow for retail cannabis in Redmond.
  • Open up as much space as possible for retail. (1:47:44)

Molly Honig (Higher Leaf, Kirkland Cannabis retailer and Redmond resident)

Speaking in support of recreational marijuana retail.

Chio Xhong

  • A bit satirical but compared marijuana to sex and use in public.
  • Recruiting young users to become lifelong users.

Jennifer Aries (Dynamic Harvest)

  • Grower in Kirkland.
  • Find a solution for licensees to work with Redmond.
  • Partnership with municipalities.

George Cai 

  • Originally from China. Grateful for opportunity to speak out without repercussions.
  • Moved to Redmond 9 years ago; spent months looking in King County for housing.
  • Chose Redmond because of kindness of people; kind to environment, parks, cyclists, business, opinions.
  • Understands ‘Pot’ is legal, medically available as well as a pleasure.
  • As father of 2 young children, opposing zoning amendment. For kids, seeing is believing.
  • Account of having to explain ‘massage’ stores in China to children; shouldn’t have to explain cannabis stores to children.
  • Owe to next generation the right balance of protection.
  • Anecdote of his fishing buddy, addiction to smoking and alcohol; started by traveling to Canada to get alcohol.
  • Correct zoning and control is important to protect children.

Question re: playgrounds and schools, is Emerald City Gymnastics considered a school?

Guong Ho Lee

  • Not against legal marijuana; supported the passage of I-502.
  • Opposing pot stores because they are not what Redmond residents want and do not provide enough protection for children.
  • Based on online survey conducted 7 months ago (November 2015?) – 1600 responders, 76% wanted no stores in Redmond. Greater than 80% wanted buffer size of at least 1000 feet.
  • Cited her background PhD in Economics from Western Washington in 2004. Dissertation was on analyzing scientific survey data.
  • Survey was unscientific – but results of I-502 were unscientific as well. Who and how voted were not truly represented.
  • Federal Way residents voted “Yes” to I-502, but “No” to pot stores in their town.
  • Bellevue, Kirkland and Seattle have larger than 100 ft. buffers.
  • Distance from City Hall to Library is about 500 feet; 5 times further than the proposed buffer of 100 ft.
    Not Redmond’s responsibility to provide pot for citizens, but to provide adequate protection.

Del Berg

  • Redmond resident for 10 years.
  • Draw your attention to testimony on February 16th; raised 8 points of concern.
  • City has not addressed any of these points; remain unanswered.
  • Reviewed comments by others to the City.
  • Study by Professor Henry and Dr. Oldfield, published in British Medical Journal regarding health concerns.
  • Paramount duty of city government is to keep its citizens healthy and safe.
  • AAA study of THC involved accidents increased over 100% in one year.
  • Hopes the Council will respect the wishes of parents who want the best for their kids.

Marcus Cameron

  • Has worked in retail cannabis in California and Washington.
  • Works for compliance in successful locations.
  • In support of “The Grass is Always Greener”.
  • Regulated, legal options will help keep cannabis away from schools.
  • Benefits from excise tax as shown by Bellevue and Kirkland.
  • $290,575 excise tax from Kirkland for one month.
  • Redmond citizens are going to the Kirkland location; revenues could be used towards homelessness and other issues in Redmond.
  • Washington State Cannabis Board regulations as to age, ID, etc.
  • July 2016 medicinal shops will be closed and will have to merge with retail.
  • Work with retailers.

Lee Yang

  • Resident of Redmond.
  • If zoning doesn’t fit, then don’t change it to fit.
  • People can buy from other cities.
  • How much of revenue that would be made would be spent on policing (and safety).

Wei Lee  

  • Business owner in Redmond and father of 3 (one at RMS and 2 at Rockwell).
  • If stores go into Redmond Town Center he will move his business out of Redmond.

Nia La Chiu  

  • Redmond resident.
  • 100 feet is too close; NBA court is 100 feet.
  • Does not provide protection from kids; curiosity and safety.
  • Consumers of cannabis would come in contact with kids.
  • Industry cares about money; City’s job is to care about citizens.
  • Advertising ruling (board on 124th street)
  • Products like gummy bears; cannot tell from regular kids gummy bears.

Weng Chen 

  • Redmond resident.
  • Long term costs to city – More police activity, patrols; light rail brings more people; safety of community.
  • Presence of stores is tempting to teenagers. Easy enough to have others purchase for teens.
  • Will consider moving out if pot stores move to Redmond.

Jen Fang Cah 

  • Redmond resident.
    Safety issues.
  • AAA conducted a survey in 2015 re: driving under influence of alcohol and marijuana. 6,612 respondents; nearly all responded that it is not acceptable to drive under influence of alcohol or marijuana.
  • Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) reported that fatal crashes increased from 8% to 17%; drivers with THC levels found in their blood.

Mei Ki Lee  

  • Lived in Redmond Ridge for 6 years; Redmond for 10.
  • Represents 384 Redmond Ridge Community residents. Representing highly-educated, devoted to community residents.
  • (Difficult to understand, too close to the microphone)
  • Interested in revenue or statistics?
  • Marijuana is addictive; 4% more addictive in teens than in adults.
  • Begin using as a teen more likely to use every day.
  • Marijuana can damage the brain, permanently.
  • More than 10 million deaths due to marijuana use.
  • Impacts environments.
  • Increases hostility.

Heidi Arseneau

  • Bellevue resident (border of Redmond). Lives and works in and around Redmond.
  • Great that people come from other countries to live in Redmond.
  • Embrace the regulation of marijuana.
  • Regulate so it can be moderated.

Angela Wei 

Aren’t kids more important than salmon?  (speaking about stream buffer to protect salmon).

Nick Gilla

  • Works in cannabis industry; originally from Atlanta.
  • Security checks.

Michael Tofe

  • Works in cannabis industry.
  • Regulating will end black market sales.
  • If you have a store in Redmond, they won’t have to drive after smoking to come back home.

Lungin Martell

  • Lives near Marymoor park area.
  • Regulation – should we regulate prostitution as well?
  • Is more about welcoming vs. regulation.
  • Process – surveys by Planning Commission; responses by citizens were not accurate and were ignored by process.
  • Pioneer stores is a good opportunity.
  • Track IP addresses of survey takers?
  • Citizens have given trust to leaders; consider all the pros and cons. Use heart as well as mind.

Public Hearing closed at 2:43:12.

Answer of question regarding Emerald City Gymnastics; playground needs to be “public” playground, Emerald City Gymnastics does not qualify as public playground or school.  Private Businesses do not qualify.

Council Discussion:

Hank Myers:  Regulation good to help reduce use in neighborhoods.  Reduce the market for illicit drug dealers.  AT the same time it creates additional revenue to allow police to enforce regulations against hard drug dealers.  Planning Commission listened to citizens.  Open up to MP zones to increase availability of locales.  BP has “zero” availability.

Kim Allen:  We already have drugs here; regulation and legalization will dry up black market.  MP zones already have “scope creep”; where do we draw the line?  # of licenses is delimiter.  Open to considering MP zones for retail.

David Carson:   Supportive of MP zones for this use.

John Stilin: MP ‘creep’ (Root beer store), Vape Store in Business Park; not into making exceptions.  Tasting rooms are different; no tasting rooms for marijuana even though production is allowed. Not fan of putting in MP zones; mostly due to traffic.  No problem in general commercial, retail zones.  Delete BP zones.  Parents worried about kids need to become a ‘good parent’; opportunity to have teaching moments.  Less than 100 years ago we had prohibition. Treat it like regularly licensed product.

Brian Shutz Open to Retail areas; remove from BP.

Angela Birney Remove from BP; stay in general commercial retail zoning.

Hank Margeson Legal in the state to manufacture and sell marijuana.  Regulated and responsible manner.  MP should be for manufacturing; regardless of creep.  Marijuana should be in general retail.  Remaining question is whether or not to “freeze” to follow state legislation.

Freeze legislation, remove BP zoning restriction from ordinance.

Mr. Stilin:  Need to retain good community dialogue.  Retail owners encouraged to be good neighbors.

Mr. Myers: Respect vote of residents. Protect our neighborhoods. Be legally defensible. Commercially available space are buffered out for one reason or another.

Mr. Carson:  Liquor store is a distribution store.

Ordinance:   Remove BP zoning, follow remainder of recommendation.  No study session.

Staff Reports resume at 3:05:36

AM No. 16-121: Notification of Additional Costs to Close out the First Phase of the Water/Wastewater Telemetry System Upgrade Project – Scott Thomasson

AM No. 16-122: Approval of Metro Draft Long-Range Plan Comment Letter

Ombuds report for May – Ms. Birney:  Most of emails received regarding retail marijuana.  One regarding code enforcement on a sign on Avondale and 104th.

Mr. Margeson:  Outreach from neighborhood auto repair shop on 116th and Avondale.  Referred to Rob Odle who talked to Code Enforcement.

Meeting adjourned.

 

 

Resources:

Redmond City Ordinance 2755 http://www.redmond.gov/common/pages/UserFile.aspx?fileId=129776
Redmond Reporter May 2, 2014
http://www.redmond-reporter.com/news/257719691.html#
The Grass is Always Greener (no website found: 7867 Leary Way N.E. Redmond)
Jenny Carbon (Owner) LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenny-carbon-418a6899
Kirkland Reporter February 4, 2015 http://www.kirklandreporter.com/news/290805761.html#
Dynamic Harvest http://www.dynamicharvest.net/
 

 

City Council Meeting – Post 1 of 3

Standard

It was a looooong one; I’m going to break it up into 3 separate posts hoping your eyes don’t glaze over completely.

Redmond City Council Meeting
Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
7:30 PM Council Chambers

Agenda available here:  https://redmond.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/pubmtgframe.aspx?meetid=252&doctype=agenda

If you ‘click’ on each underlined item, you will see available documentation for each to the right of the screen.

Notes from the Agenda:

Proclamation “Affordable Housing Week” May 16-22, 2016

  • 246 students in LWSD were homeless during recent count
  • (Hopelink) 64,000 families helped (2015); 90% earned less than $33k/year
  • 7 year waitlist for housing
  • First every Affordable Housing Week in Redmond
  • Providence (Senior Affordable housing project next to Wells Fargo bank) will have 75 units. Providence was granted a 75 year lease for $1.

Items from the audience begins at 12:41 in the video.  Not to be used for speaking time for any of the Public Hearing Items.

 Gordon and Ann Buck spoke requesting the City to approve Sewer Service to their property (see below AM 16-109).

 Qian Zhang spoke with similar request to Buck request (they are neighbors).

David Morton spoke on gas-powered leaf blower noise pollution.

Consent Agenda begins at 26:18 and includes a discussion of AM 16-108 (C3) and AM 16-109 (C4).

AM 16-108 (C3) Approval of Sewer Service Outside City Limits (Zhang) and AM 16-109 (C4) Approval of Sewer Service Outside City Limits (Buck) were pulled from the agenda and would be discussed in Agenda section B.

Ms. Allen asked that they be pulled and moved to a “date certain (1)” for questions regarding status of petition for annexation and storm-water mitigation with church.  Ms. Allen made a motion to move these items, there was no 2nd offered; so Council President Margeson motioned for approval (not removal) and received an approval vote of 6 to 1 (Allen voted no).    {see my “Opinion post for more on these items}

Remainder of Consent Agenda items were approved; including AM 16-115 (C10) and Ordinance 2831, with a vote of 7-0.

Approval of Arts & Culture Commission appointment:  Savita Krishnamoorthy

Marker 30:09 in the video; Mayor Marchione requested that the Staff Report AM 16-120 Marymoor Park Summer Concert Noise Mitigation Update be moved forward in the meeting.

Report was presented by Maxine Whattam, Parks and Recreation Director; Kevin Brown, King County Director of Parks & Recreation, Nora Robinson (Manager of Marymoor Park) and Rob Thomas (AEG).

Debrief in Fall of 2015 regarding Noise and traffic issues at 2015 Summer Concert Series at Marymoor; this is a follow-up to that debriefing and a report to identify the solutions for 2016 season.

Presentation reported that “Cardioid Speakers” would be used by AEG as they were found to reduce bass sound; location and direction of speakers would also be managed.

Use AEG’s system for all events – unless artist specifically uses cardioid speakers in their concert set-up.

The “Sublime” event was not allowed to return to the series this year.  This event was the primary event where complaints were made.

King County will be planting more trees to provide an additional noise buffer.

King County and AEG will work together with Redmond Police Department with a pilot program for a 1-way entrance; this will be managed and reviewed per event.

WSDOT will publish the KC Parks schedule on their website to give people a heads-up for traffic concerns.

Temporary reader-board to inform drivers of upcoming events.

Joint press release with City of Redmond and King County to keep people informed.  These releases will also be posted on Facebook and other social media sites; as well as mailers to neighbors of the park.

Open House on May 26th with a tour of the venue as well as email alerts from AEG.

39:11 shows the concert calendar for the summer season.

Mid- and end of season meeting with City of Redmond and AEG to react to any other concerns that come up.

At 42:00 the Council began the 1st of 3 Public Hearings for the evening.

 

AM No. 16-117: Annexation of Lake Washington School District Property in NE Rose Hill  Planning (pp. 186)

  1.          Ordinance No. 2832: An Ordinance Annexing Approximately 11.9 Acres Bounded by the Western Edge of 134th Avenue NE on the West, Redmond City Limits to the East, on the North by the Northern Line of Lot 3, Block 157, Burke & Farrar’s Kirkland Addition to the City of Seattle, Division No. 31, and on the South by the Southern Line of Lot 5, Block 157, Burke & Farrar’s Kirkland Addition to the City of Seattle, Division No. 31, as Recorded in Volume 25 of Plats, Page 26, King County, Washington, and Requiring the Property to be Assessed and Taxed at the Same Rate and on the Same Basis as Other Property Within the City, File No. LAND-2014-02021

Jason Rogers, City of Redmond. No questions from Council; no comment from public.

AM No. 16-117 adopted without objection, 7-0.

 

At 44:50, Public Hearing began for AM No. 16-118: LAND 2015-01937– Redmond Zoning Code Amendment: Temporary Use Regulations for Encampments (Available in documents section at right)

David Lee with COR Planning Department spoke to what the Public Hearing would focus on:  Service Access Requirements and Background checks.

 

The Public Hearing addressed the “ALTERNATIVES TO STAFF RECOMMENDATION”:   The alternatives the Council will have with regard to taking action on the temporary encampment zoning code amendment will be:

A. Direct staff to develop code language incorporating the hearing items of service access requirements, the permit life, and background checks with the previously reviewed and agreed to direction from the April 12, 2016, study session.

B. Direct staff to prepare for additional analysis for presentation at a subsequent study session or regular meeting.

C. Deny the amendment.

Speakers:

Karen Studders – Member of Eastside Human Services Forum Work Group, Eastside Interfaith Social Concerns Council, Eastside Homelessness Advisory Council among other organizations.

Works with municipalities and faith communities and neighbors.

  • Not enough beds for people to sleep in.
  • Faith Communities are ‘regulated’ by RLUIPA (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Land_Use_and_Institutionalized_Persons_Act)
  • Washington State’s Law (2)
  • Municipalities should uphold the rights of religious organizations if we are asking them to provide services.
  • People experiencing homelessness should not be treated as criminals; concerned about asking for security checks. Warrant checks ‘are done by all of our shelters’ in King County.
  • Seattle has no limit to time encampments can stay; has 3 City sanctioned encampments; however money is involved and faith based organizations as well as non-profits should not have to pay.
  • Woodinville and other municipalities have been taken to court over similar legislation.

<ran over 4 minutes so rest of her speech not on video> 

Michael Ramos  Executive Director, Church Council of Greater Seattle

  • Seattle University Study “No Rest for the Weary”
  • Not enough shelters; need encampments to survive.
  • Religious communities are uniquely qualified as they feel it is their mission
  • Washington State law guards against imposing conditions that don’t provide safety
  • Required – homeless does not necessarily mean non-safe
  • Services should be encouraged but not demanded or required as it violates the rights of the faith community.

Linda Benson

  • Affiliated with Nourishing Networks
  • This is not a City by city issue but a regional issue; collaboration is a must.
  • This affects all the residents of the Eastside.
  • Don’t rush into a decision; wait to develop. Decision should be suspended until the regional dialogue has been developed.

Scott Biethan

  • Resident of Education Hill and member of Redmond Planning Commission
  • Concerned about decisions are we taking the easy way out?
  • Hoping to make Redmond a leader in this issue, collaborate with region.
  • Path we are on now is the wrong path. 

Bob Yoder

  • Full support of the amendment; questioning the services be dependent on the host.
  • Should be organization that provides services.
  • Hero House supplies regional support for mentally ill. Provides job support, etc.
    • Membership is free, provides van or shuttle service and free bus tickets.
  • Evergreen Health has social workers in Emergency Department
  • Hopelink has financial educational program.

Linda Seltzer

  • Shelters support (difficult to understand—too close to the mic)
  • Prejudice against homelessness should cease.
  • Social services; chronic medical problems should be eligible for Social Security. Municipalities should take this in to consideration.

Elizabeth Maupin

  • Human Services Commission in Issaquah
  • Increase stock of housing affordable to community; is crucial to preventing homelessness.
  • Curb rising rents or increases homelessness.
  • Approving longer stays; frequents stays stresses residents.
  • Wants longer than 120 days stays. Encampments needing emergency stays in between hosted stays.  Costly to organizers, campers and community.
  • Affordable housing takes time. Alternatives will be explored at Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) Wednesday night.  7 PM, conference room. 

Karen Morse

  • Resident of Bellevue.
  • Redmond is advocating regional solutions.
  • Redmond has testified state wide about reducing requirements for encampments
  • Would like to caution City about reducing requirements.
  • Lives across the Street from Tent City 4 (5 stays). Problems with encampments – both with management and the methods of management.
  • Camp residents have been mistreated by camp management; people have been hurt.
  • Examples: Share has been giving Seattle requested financial documents for 5 years, signed and reviewed by a CPA whose license expired 32 years ago.
  • Promise that no camp residents will have ‘active, outstanding warrants’; however Camp leaders had active outstanding warrants themselves.
  • Camp safety of residents and questionable financial practices.
  • Blog “The Blog Quixotic” has more information and narratives of issues.
  • Many hosts are either hands-off or blind-sided to the encampment issues. Some churches have stopped hosting for those reasons.
  • Guarding Public safety requires major changes, not just a few tweaks.

Britt Carlson

  • Pastor, Community Baptist Church of Issaquah
  • Has hosted Tent City 4 in the past, knows the complications that come from hosting.
  • As Christians, we live under a commandment to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty and house the homeless. We need all the help we can get to live up to the commandments given.
  • Ask for City’s continued support. 

Paige Norman

  • Seem to be a lot of advocates for the homeless but very few advocates for the neighborhood. I am a Christian, I believe in the Bible, I am not a hater or believe Not in My Back Yard.  I simply want people to think about the safety of our neighborhoods.
  • I personally have not been to the encampments, but my pastor and others from my church have gone with job offers or other offers of assistance and have been turned away.
  • We want people to succeed and have places to live, and places for their children to go to school. We also want security and safety for our neighborhoods.
  • We want the police to be able to do their jobs and not have to overlook shoplifters at the local QFC’s on a regular basis.
  • WE want the library to be a safe place to have our high schoolers study and our children do reading time and not be afraid to go in the back study {tables} or be escorted to their cars.
  • We want the downtown and the slough to be a safe place for families to walk, ride their bikes and walk their dogs. WE want businesses to be protected so that their clients and customers are safe as well.
  • Redmond and Education Hill are a leader and we want to continue to be a leader, we do not turn the other way and say we do not want that here.
  • For me to rent or buy a home, get a checking account, set up utilities, get a job or get paid, I have to show ID, and in many cases have a background check. That’s to live here in permanent housing; I don’t find it unusual that someone who is living here for 6 or 9 or 12 months temporarily be asked to have a security check
  • I think the community can and should help with classes, childcare. I myself am a nanny and am more than happy to watch someone’s kids while they go on a job interview or attend training at Workforce or other places. I teach cooking classes as part of my Personal Chef and Catering business.  I am more than happy to help people learn how to cook.
  • I do not want to stand back and say we do not want to help; I also do not want to stand back and worry about my children finding syringes and all other kinds of drug paraphernalia, as well as condoms along the trails, bicycle parks and baseball parks and schools.
  • Life is going fast enough as it is; let’s not turn away from it and ignore the problems we already have.

Public Hearing closed at 1:20:53.

Council direction given by Mayor Marchione to give staff direction tonight OR to have a study session.

Mr. Myers:

  • All volunteers who work with encampment residents must have background checks. Background checks do not cost money, they are provided free of charge by the Washington State Patrol.
    Our goal as a council is to help people and help them move out of homelessness.  That is why we are interested in having the services be available.  We are not requiring the services or the site host to provide them; we do expect the services would be available.
  • I’ve been on the board of directors of the “Together Center” and I have been to Tent City and have been turned away on offers to provide health services, mental health counseling, dental services and housing. Our goal is to provide the tools and resources to move out of homelessness.
  • Would like a Study Session to discuss the new information gathered tonight.

Mr. Shutz would support having an additional Study Session to review some of the input.  Requiring and funding the services was not the intent of the discussion; including language that encouraged our local organizations to require access to services as part of the joint operating agreement with the organizer would be helpful.  Continuing to build the regional organization around this policy so taking another few months to would be appropriate.

Mr. Stilin would like the council to consider 150 days {as opposed to 120} would help with stabilization of encampments.  Study Session would be warranted. Separate chronic homeless vs. encampments.

Ms. Allen a study session to iron out the issues. Repeated that the purpose to make sure services providers have ACCESS, not requiring the faith communities to provide services.  Denying access is unacceptable.

Mr. Margeson Study session to discuss requirement vs. accessibility definition.  Warrant vs. background checks.

Ms. Birney Agree for need of study session

Mr. Carson Study session for background check; working with residents and faith communities.

 Mayor Marchione will work with council leadership to schedule Study Session.

 

8 minute break before Public Hearing on Retail Marijuana.  {To be continued on separate post}

 

Resources Links: 

Together Center http://www.togethercenter.org/
The Blog Quixotic http://roominate.com/blog/
Seattle Times report on Issaquah Tent City stay:  http://old.seattletimes.com/html/eastsidenews/2003831851_tentcity11e.html
Hopelink http://www.hope-link.org/
Providence http://www2.providence.org/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.redmond.gov/common/pages/UserFile.aspx?fileId=173398

Cardioid Speakers         http://www.audioexperts.eu/barth-b4-c13.html
AEG Live (Redmond) http://www.aeglive.com/
Eastside Human Services Forum http://eastsideforum.org/
Eastside Interfaith Social Concerns Council http://eiscc.net/
Church Council of Greater Seattle http://www.thechurchcouncil.org/
Nourishing Networks http://nourishingnetworks.net/networks/
Hero House http://herohouse.org/
Human Services Commission, City of Issaquah http://www.ci.issaquah.wa.us/index.aspx?NID=503
Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) http://www.mapsredmond.org/
Seattle University Study “No Rest for the Weary” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2776425

  • According to uslegal.com: “Date certain means a fixed or appointed day, or a specified day. Almost all instruments and deeds will specify a date certain for its execution.”http://leg.wa.gov/LawsAndAgencyRules/Pages/constitution.aspx

  • SECTION 11 RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.   Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state. No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or the support of any religious establishment: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That this article shall not be so construed as to forbid the employment by the state of a chaplain for such of the state custodial, correctional, and mental institutions, or by a county’s or public hospital district’s hospital, health care facility, or hospice, as in the discretion of the legislature may seem justified. No religious qualification shall be required for any public office or employment, nor shall any person be incompetent as a witness or juror, in consequence of his opinion on matters of religion, nor be questioned in any court of justice touching his religious belief to affect the weight of his testimony. [AMENDMENT 88,1993 House Joint Resolution No. 4200, p 3062. Approved November 2, 1993.]

Choosing

Standard

These are my choices:

 

  1. Vote for the guy with an “R” by his name.
  2. Vote for the lady.
  3. Vote for the guy that wants to give everyone free stuff.
  4. Not vote at all.

 

So, I’ll discuss these in reverse order.

 

4) I have a lot of friends, acquaintances and family that have told me they’re not voting.  At all.  For any candidate.  Because the choices are horrible, neither/none of them are what our country needs, neither/none of them are (insert religious belief here).  Those are the top 3 reasons, but there are many more.  Let me state right now that I completely understand their reasoning.

I still think that not voting is like voting for the other person, just like staying silent is a form of approval.

 

3) I cannot vote for Bernie Sanders because (if he makes it through the Primary) the “free” stuff that he’s giving to everyone is paid for on the backs of the taxpayers.  That’s me.  So I’m not really getting free stuff; I’m working like a freedom-disabled person (*) to pay for my stuff so I can pay taxes to the government so they can give free stuff for other people who think they deserve the stuff that others don’t get unless they work for it.  Besides, it’s not possible for me to say “President Sanders” for the next 4 years without thinking of chicken.

https://berniesanders.com/issues/

 

2) I cannot vote for Hillary because she represents everything that is wrong with our society.  She is untrustworthy, unethical and incompetent.  Sure, she’s a former attorney, former first lady and former secretary of state.  The Whitewater scandal, Lewinsky, Benghazi and email; are just the short list of reasons the American public should never trust her (or anyone associated with, married to or birthed by her).

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/hillary-clintons-fifteen-biggest-scandals/article/2566193

 

She’s not intelligent enough to know about using a ‘private’ email server to discuss sensitive, top-secret issues and not honorable enough to defend our military and contractors in a foreign country.  Currently she’s unemployed while campaigning for the highest ranking job in our country.  As the Secretary of State her job was to manage foreign policy through the State Department.  The State Department is responsible for international relations, including

“The Department advances U.S. objectives and interests in the world through its primary role in developing and implementing the President’s foreign policy. The Department also supports the foreign affairs activities of other U.S. Government entities including the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Agency for International Development[citation needed]. It also provides an array of important services to U.S. citizens and to foreigners seeking to visit or immigrate to the U.S.

 

  • Protecting and assisting U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad;
  • Assisting U.S. businesses in the international marketplace;
  • Coordinating and providing support for international activities of other U.S. agencies (local, state, or federal government), official visits overseas and at home, and other diplomatic efforts.
  • Keeping the public informed about U.S. foreign policy and relations with other countries and providing feedback from the public to administration officials.

 

<Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_State>

 

Because she did such a terrific job protecting and assisting US Citizens, including a US Ambassador, we should of course trust her to take care of our country in a like fashion.

 

 

1) Trump.  The Hair, the marriages, the money, the bravado.  He may be a fantastic businessman, but that hardly qualifies him to be President of the United States.  He’s in many ways just as corrupt as Hillary and just as delusional as Bernie.  He’s been involved in racial discrimination, bankruptcy, sexual harassment and a slew of other financially biased deals and disputes; this of course makes him perfect as a politician, but lousy as the president. And, I don’t believe he’s the best guy for the job because he in no way represents what I believe a president should be.

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/04/donald-trump-scandals/474726/

 

So now, let’s discuss voting in Washington State…I have to declare my party affiliation to vote in the primary.  So, I’m forced to vote for a party and not a candidate.   Then my state further betrays my freedom to vote by casting all electoral votes for the “D” party, regardless of how many votes any other nominee received (since 1988).  Tell me again how my vote counts?  Explain to me how voting for the best candidate is possible?  Educate me on how the Electoral College is still a better method than popular vote after 229 years?

 

http://www.270towin.com/states/Washington

 

So, what’s a God-fearing, red-blooded, conservative, capitalist, life-long voting woman to do?

 

Sigh.

 

(*) formerly known as the word ‘slave’