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July 19, 2019 | 9:27am
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City Administrator details the City Council agenda for Monday’s meeting

The following letter to members of the Ferndale City Council is provided courtesy of Ferndale City Administrator Jori Burnett. It is regarding the Ferndale City Council meeting agenda for the regular meeting scheduled for 6pm, Monday, July 1st. The public is welcome to attend.

Councilmembers –

Your agenda for Monday night is as follows:

Item A: Public Comment

Item B: Consent Agenda, including authorization of June 5th and 19th 2019 payroll, approval of June 17th 2019 minutes, authorization of a budget amendment related to City Administrator settlement agreement approved June 17th, 2019.

Item C: Private Developments Update, Jesse Ashbaugh, Assistant Planner, will provide the monthly update on current private development projects.

Item D: Public Hearing, Downtown Design Guidelines – In coordination with Western Washington University and following review by the Planning Commission and the Planning and Land Use Committee, a series of modifications to Chapter 18.47 of the Ferndale Municipal Code (Downtown Architectural and Site Design Standards) are proposed. This chapter, first adopted in 2006, addresses required and recommended building and site design elements within the Downtown core (the City Center and Urban Residential zones). The chapter is not a zone unto itself and does not specifically address the different uses that are allowed in these zones.

The existing chapter has not been well-utilized, and from Staff’s perspective the chapter as it currently exists is rather cumbersome and difficult to navigate. In some ways the existing chapter may seek to over-regulate the design of buildings by mandating the inclusion of a specific number and type of architectural elements. This practice could result in buildings that must either meet a prescriptive pattern for design (all buildings must look the same or similar), and/or could result in rather gaudy developments, where more embellishments are not always better.

The draft chapter maintains requirements for architecturally distinct buildings (such as prohibiting long stretches of blank walls facing primary roadways), but is expected to allow architects and building designers with greater freedom to identify designs that make sense within the context of individual buildings, and within the code. The chapter and the subsequent design manual will feature photographs, renderings, and other examples of desirable and undesirable elements, and the entire chapter has been modified to be more readable and searchable.

Item E: Thornton Overpass Design for Wall Alternatives – The City Council is asked to authorize an increase of $31,562.16 to the existing Design Engineering (DE) contract with Reichardt and Ebe Engineering. This increase would pay for the development of two additional wall system plans and complete structural engineering design calculations, resulting in a total of three wall options for the overpass. The City had originally planned a pre-cast concrete panel wall facing; the two additional alternates would be gabion basket walls or shotcrete walls.

All three alternatives would be part of the ultimate construction bid, where the Council will have the option of choosing a likely less expensive wall finish at the time of the bid.

Although the City is requesting an increase to the scope of the design contract with Reichardt and Ebe, Staff believes that the overall project cost for design will still fall below the new requested not-to-exceed amount of $1,218.939.97.

Item F: Council Liaison Appointments – The Chair of the Old Settlers Association has requested the appointment of a new liaison to that group. Councilmember Jensen has volunteered to serve, and Councilmember Bersch, who initially indicated that she would volunteer, has withdrawn her name in favor of Councilmember Jensen.

The Ferndale Public Market liaison appointment is also available.

Item G-J: Mayor, Council, and Department Reports; Committee Minutes

For next time:

July 15th Financial Workshop: Please remember that the Council will be holding a financial workshop from 5pm to 6pm on July 15th. Councilmembers are invited to identify potential budget items and direction as part of the 2020 budget. Please contact relevant department heads if you have any questions. Following this work session, department heads will seek to work with individual councilmembers to gain a better understanding of the Council’s proposals and to identify ways in which the proposals can be incorporated into the overall work plan.

Finally, July 4th, is, once again, for the 243rd year, our country’s birthday. And even though it is the Constitution that permits the freedoms that we enjoy, the Fourth is when we get to celebrate them. And that includes celebrating our long Council meetings, our disagreements, our politics, the responsibility to be transparent to our residents, the ability to make local decisions – many of the things that make our jobs challenging. Thank goodness that we have the privilege of living in a country where these concepts even exist.

See you Monday – Jori

The public is encouraged to attend City Council meetings. They are held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month at 6pm in Council Chambers at the City Hall Annex at 5694 2nd Avenue.

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