November 27, 2017 Study Session Recap

Agenda: Available online here
Video:  Available online here

CM Baggett – excused absence, vacation

Ingrid Gaub & James Webb of City Engineering: Traffic calming program review and explanation.

Reviews can be initiated by citizen, HOAs and APD. First step is to discuss process and timeline of program with the initiator. Typically have backlog of 8-12 studies, so can beSpeHum1.jpg up to 12 weeks before study is done. Radar study is done 24/7 to obtain impartial data, then analyzed to determine if and how to address any issues at the site.  The results are shared with the study imitator.

It is typical that once calming measures are applied that a follow up study is done.  Several areas that have had calming measures applied discussed – including O St and 118th Ave SE.

Kevin Snyder, Planning and Development Director:  Resolution 5330, coming before Council next week.
Deed restriction. A 2014 WA state Dept of Ecology grant is ending. This grant assisted in purchasing land related to the Millcreek wetlands 5k project. Part of that grant restricted development of the land. This resolution maintains that covenant restriction. This can be reversed in the future, but the city would be on the hook for repaying the grant money “so it would probably not be a good idea.”

Jeff Dixon, Principal Planner:  Ordinance 6667 – 2017 Comprehensive Plan and Amendments.
State and city law prevent updating more than once a year outside of very limited circumstances. Amendment requests were advertised for in April in multiple places, only one Private amendment was requested (by Nexus Family & Youth Resource.)  Oct 18th Public hearing on all Policy/Text Amendments (9 City initiated) was held.  Nov 1st a Public hearing on all Map amendments (17 City initiated, 1 Private) was held.  The updates are being recommended to the City Council.

Jeff Dixon, Principal Planner:  Ordinance 6668 – 2018 School impact fees
   What is a (school) impact fee: “An impact fee is a fee that is imposed by a local government…on a new or proposed development project to pay for all or a portion of the costs of providing public services to the new development.” School impact fees must be used for “school facilities” that are addressed by a capital facilities plan element of a comprehensive plan adopted under the GMA (RCW 82.02.050(4) and RCW 82.02.090(7)). Typically, school impact fees apply only to residential construction or the residential portion of a mixed use building or development.

School districts are responsible for expending the impact fees but are not authorized to collect the fees. As a result, school impact fees require cooperation between school districts and the cities, towns, or counties administering the impact fee program. 

As per Auburn City Code, section 19.02, adjusting school impact fees for 2018 based on capital facilities plan on each of the 4 school districts that fall within city’s boundaries: Auburn, Kent, Federal Way and Derringer. Each district submitted plans, cover letter and environmental impact study.


These fees are processed as per city code 19.02.50.  Federal Way’s fee request is substantial (a roughly $11k increase from previous year, for multiple family development), causing discussion over the reasons why, and potential concerns on regional impacts from such an increase.

Lisa Tobin, Utilities Engineering Manager: King County Franchise Fees.

A year ago, on November 7, 2016 King County Council passed an ordinance assessing a fee to utilities passing through unincorporated KC areas. Only effects 3 small areas of City of Auburn that utilities pass through. This would cost the city approximately $2k/year – split equal across all 3 utilities. Currently the Council is being asked if the City should pass along costs to just impacted customers, or pay small fees out of utility funds and pass along to all customers?

Mayor Backus opposed fee a year ago when ordinance was open for comment a year ago November 2016. Ingrid Gaub also spoke before the King County Council against the fees.  The ordinance still passed. Video of the King County Council Meeting.

Candidly, it was said that this is method to assist King County to balance their budget.

Water and Sewer districts are impacted much more, and they may go forward with lawsuit to see if King County has authority under state law to charge this fee. As the City

The two locations to the right are within the CoA’s PAA. The location to the left belongs to Federal Way.

of Auburn has franchise agreement and way our agreement and law is written, the potential fee structure there. So, the question remains how to address bill from King County?

The City Council, were all unhappy (some more than others) regarding the fee.  There were questions of if this is a tax or fee raising the matter (by City Attorney Dan Heid) of potentially needing an executive session due to legalese of the matter matter.

CM Holman suggests annexing the 3 locations per the Washington State Growth Management Act to avoid the entire issue. 2 of the 3 areas impacted are within Auburn’s PAA (Potential Annexation Area), whereas the 3rd is within Fed Way’s making it more complicated.

In interim of discussing annexation: Thoughts are those 3 locations pay, unless it would cost more to bill them.

Sewer would come out of its own pot, as the locations are only a pass-through and do not utilize the service.  The posed if it would cost more to collect the fees from the roughly 20 homes in these 3 locations than would be collected.  That information is being obtained, as well as annexation information, and the matter will be further discussed.

Daryl Faber, Director of Parks and Rec: Ordinance 6669 – modifies Auburn City Code 2.82.020 regarding Auburn’s Poet Laureate.
This would modify the residency requirement of Auburn poet laureates. Currently they want to expand boundaries from city limit to south king to north pierce county region, but ensure that any nominee has has experience and nexus to city allows to be selected. Currently the Art Commission has a nominee who teaches at Green River. Passing this ordinance would allow the art commission and therefor City Council ability to selection future poet laureates based on work, quality and how it relates to Auburn.

Jeff Tate, Assistant Director, Community Development. & Public Works: Customer service dilemmas, session 2.
Reviewing several scenarios that occur at the planning/permitting counter and ways that they have been handled, as well as any questions, concerns or suggested improvements. These reviews are happening roughly every 6 weeks.

First scenario: an engineer or architect turns in an incomplete packet for a project to the county. As packets come with a check list of items required when they are turned in, Council advises ensuring Developers are included in communication regarding denial.  The hope is this will clear up confusion regarding delays.

Second scenario: When updating an existing home to change into a business, that is allowed per zoning, and wanting to add parking spaces that triggers the requirement for further infrastructure updates per coding. The number of spaces in this scenario is 5.  Council discusses options of changing codes (request list to review), as staff cannot ignore city code. Council also consider codifying when city professional staff can use discretion regarding codes.

Shelley Coleman, Finance Director: Third Quarter Financial Report

Total Operating Rev up $440k
Budget under $4.6mil overall
Budget overall under roughly $5mil

Warned that the city currently has a $6mil gap between income revenue and operating budget. Looking to fiscal end, we are unlikely to have $1million.  The current state of the budget will have no impact on proposed 2018 budget amends and staff increases. When planning in 2018, the stash box, stash box, recreational marijuana, pot, pot taxhowever, they will need to mind the gap for future.

State legislature took $10k in recreational marijuana tax revenue. Was originally $30k.

Deputy Mayor Wales inquired why a pet license costs less than a business license.

Recapped grant status and some project status for road constructions.  Ingrid Guab stepped in and answered questions alongside of Director Coleman to help move things along.

CM Wagner requested to see if need for more support staff with APD. Are needs of the department being met with increase of officers.

Discussed thinking forward to budget prep for 2019 – what are/will be Council’s priorities. There will be a budget workshop in beginning of February for Council and the Mayor.

At the end of the study session Councilmembers requested the following updates:

CM Peloza: Cemetery update, sister Cities update, Walk through on website updates
CM Trout-Manuel: Data on Domestic Violence cases and incidents in Auburn
CM Holman: APD has a program developing regarding DV and guns. Suggested this may be a good time to have the data on DV.
CM DaCorsi: Update on Homelessness.  The task force is reconvening, will get update after.


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