Councilors File for Re-Election

Don Stose, John Main, and Ron Onslow all filed this morning for reelection to Ridgefield City Council seats, and Emily Enquist filed for a position on the Ridgefield School Board.

Hillhurst Highlands Planned Unit Development project.

The City will conduct a public hearing on the proposed subdivision of 25.05 acres on land on 3 tax lots at 24304 NW Hillhurst Road on May 15, 2017 at the Ridgefield Community Center, 210 N. Main Ave, Ridgefield, WA beginning at 6:30 PM. The public is invited to present written comments or to testify.

The land is now zoned RLD-r and the proposal is to build 79 housing units, including open space, parks, trails, road and utility improvements. The applicant is Hinton Development Corporation.

If you are concerned about too many new homes being built in Ridgefield this is the time to make your views known.

The application materials are available for inspection on request at City Hall, 230 Pioneer St, Ridgefield, WA, during normal weekday business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM through 4:30 PM. Printed copies of the application materials are available at a reasonable cost. A staff report will be available for review on May 8, 2017.

 

 

Ridgefield’s Community Development Report

I you are interested in reading Ridgefield’s Community Development Report for April, follow this link: http://ridgefieldwa.us/wp-content/uploads/4-2017.pdf

Hillhurst Highlands Planned Unit Development project.

The City will conduct a public hearing on the proposed subdivision of 25.05 acres on land on 3 tax lots at 24304 NW Hillhurst Road on May 15, 2017 at the Ridgefield Community Center, 210 N. Main Ave, Ridgefield, WA beginning at 6:30 PM. The public is invited to present written comments or to testify.

The land is now zoned RLD-r and the proposal is to build 79 housing units, including open space, parks, trails, road and utility improvements. The applicant is Hinton Development Corporation.

If you are concerned about too many new homes being built in Ridgefield this is the time to make your views known.

The application materials are available for inspection on request at City Hall, 230 Pioneer St, Ridgefield, WA, during normal weekday business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM through 4:30 PM. Printed copies of the application materials are available at a reasonable cost. A staff report will be available for review on May 8, 2017.

Save the Date!

Mayor Ron Onslow will give the State of the City address February 7th at 6pm in the Performing Arts Center at Ridgefield High School. The subject is: “Growth/Inspiration/Opportunity”. He is  inviting everyone and including a first grade and third grade class.  Our growth, businesses, projects and future will be featured.

New Officer in Ridgefield

Last night I attended the City Council meeting, where Officer George Turkov was sworn in as a new member of the Police Force.

City Clerk swears in Office Turkov

City Clerk swears in Office Turkov

Officer Turkov was born in part of the former Russia, and moved to Sacramento as a child. He has been through training, and will be a welcome addition to our city.

Please welcome Officer Turkov and his wife Christine.

City Council Meeting Summary 11-03-16:

city-of-ridgefield-logo-rectangularCouncil Business Items:

  1. Study Session: Cheyenne Robinson with Buxton conducted presentation to City Council on Retails Recruitment and Retention Solution.
  2. Public Hearing on 2017 Property Tax Levy and Revenues: The total 2017 Revenue Budget totals $18,631,192, including $4,993,296 associated with internal transfers from existing funds.  In comparison, the 2016 final Revenue Budget was $22,796,922, with $6,579,722 associated with internal transfers from existing funds.  The overall net decrease in the proposed revenue budget when compared to the 2016 Budget is approximately $4.2 million an 18.3% decrease from the 2016 budgeted revenue. (Hearing conducted).
  3. First Reading on Ordinance No. 1222 – 2017 Property Tax Levy: The 2017 budget includes a statutory maximum 1% increase in the current property tax levy exclusive of additional revenue resulting from new construction, improvements to property annexations, and any increase in the value of state assessed property. The 2017 General Fund expense budget has increased 2.86% over the 2016 final expense budget to account for contractual and inflationary increases. Adoption of the 1% property tax levy increase does not match current inflation, but is needed to maintain a balanced budget. (First Reading Conducted).
  4. First Reading on Ordinance No. 1223 – 2017 Storm Water Utility Rate Code Amendment: City staff contracted with FCS group, one of the most preeminent consultants in our region, to conduct a rate analysis as required by the City’s Budget Policy. The rate analysis was conducted in 2016 and looked at expenses and revenues for the next 10 years for the Storm Water Utility. As a result of the rate study it was determined that rates for 2017 should increase $1.46 per bi-monthly billing cycle per equivalent dwelling unit. (First Reading Conducted).
  5. Second Reading on Ordinance No. 1221 – 2016 Budget Amendment: The total budget amendment request is for $534,926 which includes $371,453 in new expenditures, $109,750 in additional revenue recognition, and $163,473 in net transfers from both special revenue and operating funds. The total fund balance reduction is $261,703. (Adopted).
  6. Motion – Approval of Community Garden Regulations: The City is developing regulations for community gardens to more transparently and comprehensively manage ongoing operations of the garden. The proposed regulations were developed based on examples from other cities and feedback from current gardeners, and reviewed for consistency with existing park regulations in RMC 8.18. (Approved).
    For more information, see the City Council webpage (Final minutes will be posted following approval by the City Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting on November 17, 2016).

City Council Meeting Summary 10-13-16:

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Council Business Items:

  1. Study Session – Finance Director Kirk Johnson conducted presentation on 2017 budget – initiatives and capital projects.
  2. AWC Director and Washougal Mayor Sean Guard presented City with 2016 Small City Success Municipal Excellence Award for Ridgefield First Saturdays program.
  3. Public Hearing and First Reading of Ordinance No. 1219 – Ridgefield Mixed Use Overlay: The purpose of Ridgefield Mixed Use Overlay is to encourage development of mixed-use nodes outside the central city in the Pioneer & 45th and Ridgefield Junction subareas. Mixed-use sites are intended to combine commercial, residential and office uses on sites distinguished by high-quality architectural and site design that integrate common open areas, connections between uses and to adjacent sites, and a sensitive response to environmental features. (Public Hearing and First Reading conducted).
  4. Public Hearing and First Reading of Ordinance No. 1220 – Commercial Design Standards: The purpose of Commercial Design standards is to develop regulations that ensure commercial property is developed in a way that suits Ridgefield’s unique character and identity. (Public Hearing and First Reading conducted).
  5. Resolution No. 515 – Parks and Trail Standards: Standards are intended as a tool for developers to use in identifying locations and amenities for parks and trails, and as a guide for discussions between the City and developers to ensure that the projects will best meet the City’s long-term recreation needs. (Approved).

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City Council Meeting Summary 09-22-16:

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Council Business Items:

  1. Presentation – Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency Update provided.
  2. Presentation – Planning Commission Quarterly Update on 2016 Work Plan.
  3. Second Reading on Ordinance No. 1218 – Stephenson Vista Development Agreement: The Stephenson Vista subdivision (then known as Stephenson Manor) received preliminary approval on August 14, 2006.  The current developer acquired the property in 2015 and has been diligently pursuing development of the parcel since acquisition.  The applicant has requested a two year extension of the preliminary plat approval to August 14, 2018.  As part of this agreement the applicant has agreed to provide LED lights, the establishment of a Home Owners Association, and has agreed to meet the architectural design guidelines contained in the Ridgefield Development Code.  (Approved).
  4. Resolution No. 514 – Approval of Bonding Reimbursement for Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex Project: City is currently underway on a project, the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex, to design and create a master plan document for a shared recreation complex between the City and the Ridgefield School District. The City recently purchased property for the project and would like to add flexibility in funding sources for the recent purchase. In the event the City issues tax-exempt bonds for the construction of the project, IRS regulations allow the City to reimburse prior expenditures with the proceeds of that bond. (Approved).

Mayor Report: Proclamation on National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

For more information, see the City Council webpage (Detailed minutes will be posted following approval by the City Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting on October 13, 2016).

City Council Meeting Summary 09-08-16:

Council Business Items:

  1. Presentation – Parks Board Chair Marie Bouvier presented Parks Board quarterly update on 2016 work plan.
  2. Presentation – Public Works Director Bryan Kast presented final draft update on water and storm water rate study.
  3. Public Hearing and First Reading on Ordinance No. 1218 – The Stephenson Vista subdivision (then known as Stephenson Manor) received preliminary approval on August 14, 2006.  The current developer acquired the property in 2015 and has been diligently pursuing development of the parcel since acquisition.  The applicant has requested a two year extension of the preliminary plat approval to August 14, 2018.  As part of this agreement the applicant has agreed to provide LED lights, the establishment of a Home Owners Association, and has agreed to meet the architectural design guidelines contained in the Ridgefield Development Code.  (Public Hearing and first reading conducted).
  4. Ordinance No. 1216 – Second Reading on Petition to Annex Petition the Brown Property: The City approved the Notice of Intent to Annex for the Brown property on August 11, 2016, the first step in the direct petition method for annexation.  The City received a Notice of Petition to Annex on June 22, 2016, the second step in the process.  The annexation notice is for 107.58 acres (111.42 acres with adjacent right of way) contained within 18 parcels. Staff provided the Petition to Annex to the Clark County Assessor’s Office for review, Assessor’s Office issued a certificate of sufficiency certifying that the signatures represent 60% of the assessed property value within the annexation area, which meets the state annexation minimums. (Council conducted second reading and adoption of the ordinance).
  5. Motion – Approval of Amendment to Comprehensive Plan Map: During the sub-area planning process, the Council adopted the 45th and Pioneer sub-area plan on December 17, 2015.  The preferred sub-area plan map for the 45th and Pioneer sub-area plan shows the zoning boundary following the natural topography of the land north of the proposed 15th Street/11th Street alignment east of 45th Avenue. While finalizing the documents for the 2016 Comprehensive Plan update, inadvertently followed the parcel lines to apply zoning controls in compliance with the adopted sub-area plan.  In order to correct this error staff is presenting this item to Council so that Council can affirm that the 45th and Pioneer sub-area map was intended to control application of zoning controls within the sub-area. (Motion approved).
  6. Motion – Approval of Bid Award for N. 4th Place Project: In 2015 the City applied for and received a CDBG Grant for reconstruction and drainage improvements on North 4th Place between Mill Street and Division Street. This project will re-open the alley to through traffic and will connect to the Mill Street Improvements Project and the 5th Avenue Improvements project, both previous CDBG funded projects. City received eight bids on the project, with the lowest bid submitted by Advanced Excavating Specialists (AES) of Longview. (Motion approved).
  7. Motion – Approval of Bid Award for Reiman Guardrail Project: In 2015 the City identified a project to extend and add additional guardrail along Reiman Road. The roadway is adjacent to a creek and in some areas there is a slope down to the creek that could pose a hazard to cars if they were to leave the roadway. The project was bid via the small works roster and the City received two bids on the project, with the lowest bid submitted by Peterson Brothers of Sumner WA. (Motion approved).
  8. Motion – Approval of Bid Award for Division Street Storm Water Project: The City’s 2008 Stormwater management plan identifies the upsizing of the Division Street Storm line as the number one project. A majority of the runoff from the northeast section of down-town flows to this storm line. In 2015 heavy rain from a thunderstorm overwhelmed the pipe causing flooding on Division Street. This project will increase the pipe size from 12 to 24-inches and will include provisions to allow a stormwater treatment facility to be retrofitted to the line in the future. The project was bid via small works roster and the City received two bids on the project, with the lowest bid submitted by Tapani, Inc. (Motion approved).

Mayor Report: Mayor appointed Beth Wills to Parks Board, Position No. 7.

Proclamation on Legendary Teacher Day and Constitution Week was read into the record by Mayor Onslow.

For more information, see the City Council webpage (Detailed minutes will be posted following approval by the City Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting on September 22, 2016).

City Choses New Chief of Police

The City of Ridgefield is pleased to announce that John Brooks has been selected to serve as its new Chief of Police. The City is enthusiastic about Mr. Brooks’ qualifications and his personal ties to Clark County. He worked his way through the ranks from police officer to Captain during his 25 years of service at Portland Police Bureau. He is a graduate of Washington State University, an FBI National Academy Graduate and has been a resident of Clark County for 15 years.

Mr. Brooks is excited to take on the role of Ridgefield Police Chief and become more familiar with the community. “My first priority will be to meet and establish relationships with the citizens of Ridgefield, local businesses, neighborhood groups, the men and women delivering service, and other area leaders with a desire for a safe community and a government leadership worthy of trust.”

City Manager, Steve Stuart, thanked the citizens and staff who participated in the selection process and provided valuable insights in making the final hiring decision. “Our thorough interview process and rigorous background investigation confirmed that Brooks is the right choice for Ridgefield. He has a solid law enforcement background, a high-energy engaged and collaborative leadership style and the vision to plan for the future needs of our growing city while maintaining high levels of service.”

Brooks first day with the City of Ridgefield will be Monday, October 3, 2016. The City will schedule a reception in October to allow all interested community members the opportunity to meet Chief Brooks.

City Council Meeting Summary 08-25-16:

Study Session:
City Council conducted a study session on introduction to the 2017 baseline budget.

Council Business Items:

  1. Presentation – Salary Commission Chair David Kelly presented update on Salary Commission.
  2. Presentation – Finance Director Kirk Johnson presented second quarter 2016 financial report.
  3. Public Hearing and First Reading on Ordinance No. 1216 – Petition to Annex the Brown Property: City received Notice of Petition to Annex on June 22, 2016. The annexation notice is for 107.28 acres (111.42 acres with adjacent right of way) contains within 18 parcels. Staff provided the Petition to Annex to the Clark County Assessor’s Office for review, Assessor’s Office issued a certificate of sufficiency certifying that the signatures represent 60% of the assessed property value within the annexation area, which meets the state annexation minimums. (Council conducted public hearing and first reading of the ordinance).
  4. Ordinance No. 1213 – Second Reading on Brown Development Agreement: The City, during the development of the 2016 Ridgefield Urban Area Comprehensive Plan, requested the subject area be considered by Clark County for an Urban Growth Area expansion.  The Clark County Board of Councilors considered the requested expansion for inclusion and ultimately granted the request at a duly noticed public hearing on June 21, 2016.  Clark County Ordinance 2016-06-12 was adopted by the County on June 28, 2016 and is effective ten (10) days following adoption, or July 8, 2016. The development agreement proposes a number of items that will control development of the property. (Council conducted second reading and adopted Ordinance No. 1213 as presented).
  5. Ordinance No. 1214 – Second Reading to Authorize Condemnation Process: The City of Ridgefield has determined that current facilities for the public library no longer meet the needs of a growing community. As a result the City has been looking for property for an expanded public library facility that will meet the needs of the community now and into the future. The only remaining site vetted by the City Council as a potential location for expansion of the Ridgefield Community Library, based on the needs analysis, site evaluation, and community input , is properties located at the corner of Mill and Main, and extending west along Mill to Railroad Ave. The City has every intention of working with the current property owners of the selected location to come to an agreement on purchase of the property. City has mailed notice to the property owner of record via certified mail to provide required notification per RCW 8.25.290. (Council conducted second reading and adopted Ordinance No. 1214 as presented).
  6. Ordinance No. 1217 – First Reading of Repealing Ordinance No. 753 – RMC 3.64: City Council approved RMC 3.64 to set aside funds in the water and sewer funds for the purpose of repairing and replacing existing capital facilities. At the time of approval, rates collected for these services, were used to support operations and maintenance. It was determined that 5% of rates needed to be set aside to repair and replace the existing infrastructure. The City transferred the sewer collection system to Clark Regional Wastewater District in 2014 and the treatment system to Discovery Clean Water Alliance in 2015. The City is no longer responsible for repair and replacement of the capital facilities for sewer. Staff is requesting to repeal Ordinance 753 removing the requirement from code. (Council waived the second reading and adopted Ordinance No. 1217 as presented).
  7. Resolution No. 512 – Approval of Amendment to Financial Management Policies: Finance staff recommends removing all reference from code relating to reserve policies and incorporating applicable reserve policies in the financial management policy document approved by Council. A companion recommendation, Ordinance No. 1217, has been submitted to Council to repeal RMC 3.64 Water/Sewer Capital Facilities and Equipment Replacement Fund. (Council approved Resolution No. 512 as presented).
  8. Resolution No. 513 – Approval of Debt Management Policies: Industry standards and best practices for debt management policies suggest a comprehensive policy document that addresses all aspects of issuance and management of City issued debt. The Finance Department has developed a document that addresses the purpose and objectives for debt management for the City of Ridgefield. (Council approved Resolution No. 513 as presented).
  9. Motion – Approval of City Manager 2016-17 Employment Compensation Agreement: City’s employment agreement with the City Manager provides the City Council with the option of granting the City Manager a bonus based on his previous year’s performance and the extent to which his performance exceeds established goals and specific criteria. The agreement calls for the Council to assess the City Manger’s performance in these areas no later than the end of April 2017. Council will use the results of the assessment, along with the City Manager’s annual performance evaluation, to determine any compensation adjustment effective in April 2017 for 2017-18. (Council approved motion as presented).
  10. Motion – Approval of Land Purchase for Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex: City Council approved an amended 2008 development agreement with the Kennedy family and Urban NW Holdings, LLC that includes a provision to purchase 5 acres of land and receive 2.5 acres of land by donation. The City will be using the 7.5 acres of land for the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex. The purchase is being funded through a combination of Park Impact Fees ($755,000) and Real Estate Excise Taxes ($370,000). The City has added a claim for the full purchase amount, which includes $100,000 in earnest money and the remaining $1,025,000 due at closing, to the claims and payroll consent agenda. (Council approved motion as presented).
  11. Appointment of Planning Commission Member: City Council approved Mayor’s recommendation to appoint Paul Young to the Planning Commission, Position No. 1.

For more information, see the City Council webpage (Detailed minutes will be posted following approval by the City Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting on September 8, 2016).

Citizen Speaks about Gee Creek

Tevis Laspa read the following at the City Council meeting tonight. I think it bears repeating for those who weren’t there.

“I am writing to address the harmful effects of untreated storm waters on Gee Cree and its wildlife, and to request the City to effectively and economically treat storm water before an anticipated State mandate requires Ridgefield to do so.  This would help preserve Gee Creek and would reflect Ridgefield’s commitment to protect our environment.

Ridgefield does not treat  storm waters in “old town” Ridgefield.  As a result, run-off from heavy rains which contain pollutants such as oils, grease, antifreeze, and dog feces,  run directly into Gee Creek.  While Gee Creek has proven to be resilient, its population of Coho and Coastal Cutthroat trout are low.  The water level in Gee Creek is also low at this time of year, and thus does not dilute storm water pollutants as it did when it contains more water in the winter.

As you know, Ridgefield has a population of 7,500 and is the fastest growing city in the State of Washington.  When the population reaches 10,000, the State Department of Ecology will require Ridgefield to treat its storm water.   I am asking you not to wait, but rather to proactively ensure that our waters remain clean.

Last year I worked with Public Works Director Tim Shell to help locate a piece of property suitable for building a treatment facility.  Heidi Johnson said she would be willing to sell a piece of property to the city for a storm water facility, and that she  wanted to short plat her property.   I understood that the City would pursue a loan from the Department of Ecology to build a facility, but have since learned that the plan was changed.   While there may be other properties available to treat the storm waters in old town Ridgefield, I was dismayed to learn that the pipe line that emerges at 4th and Division is to be expanded in size without storm water treatment.

I am urging the city to expedite  building facilities for treating stormwater going into  Gee Creek, and help preserve this precious asset.”

Thanks

Tevis Laspa, 932 N. Main Ave.

Wertz Earns Certificate

Ridgefield City Council Member Darren Wertz recently received an Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership (ACML) from the Association of Washington Cities (AWC). Councilman Wertz completed over 60 hours of training credits to earn this distinction and demonstrated valuable service to his community.

The CML program is designed to enhance the ability of elected municipal officials by providing knowledge and skills to effectively operate within the law, plan for the future, secure and manage funds and foster community and staff relationships.

Mr. Wertz initially served on the Ridgefield city planning commission and since 2008 has been on City Council. He holds degrees in economics from UCSD Revelle College and University of Oregon Graduate School. He is married to Ridgefield native Juanita (Finch), raised his family in Ridgefield and served the community and people of Clark County through Rotary, Boy Scouts, American Legion, Board of Equalization, as Planning Coordinator an Economist for Clark PUD and on the planning commission.

Mr. Wertz has held licenses as Commercial Real Estate Broker, Washington State Water Manager III and Certified Cash Manager. He has served on the Mt. Hood Ski Patrol for over 18 years and is a decorated Army veteran.

Committed to “good government” Mr. Wertz strives to create for future generations a safe, prosperous, healthy and highly desirable place to live.

AWC is a private, non-profit, non-partisan corporation that represents Washington’s cities and towns before the state legislature, the state executive branch and with regulatory agencies. Membership is voluntary; however AWC maintains 100% participation from Washington’s 281 cities and towns. The goal of AWC is to create and maintain livable cities and towns throughout the state.

City Council Meeting Summary 06-09-16:

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Council Business Items:

  1. Public Hearing and Resolution on Walker-Rohrer development restriction removal. In 2008 City Council approve annexation and development agreement for Walker/Rohrer/Callaham/Schuster properties. Section 4 of the agreement outlines a restrictive covenant applied to all properties that restricts development of the subject properties until City Council determines that public facilities are adequately funded in City. (Public Heating and Resolution Approved).
  2. Public Hearing and first reading of Ordinance on development agreement amendment on Walker-Rohrer. The proposed amendment to the Development Agreement applies primarily to properties owned or controlled by Holt (formerly Walker and Rohrer). The amended development agreement will allow the Holt properties to develop at densities and dedicate 2.0 acres of parkland to the City. Holt will also make 6.0 acres of parkland available for purchase. Trail development in compliance with the 2014 Comprehensive Parks. As part of this amendment the applicant has agreed to comply with the neighborhood design standards (18.210.060) for this development, as well as the lighting standards (18.715) requiring LED lighting throughout the development. (Public Hearing and first reading conducted).
  3. Public Hearing and Resolution on 2017-2022 Transportation Improvement Program. Per RCW 35.77.010, the legislative body of each city and town, pursuant to one or more public hearings thereon, shall prepare and adopt a comprehensive transportation program for the ensuing six calendar years. The six-year program shall specifically set forth those projects and programs of regional significance for inclusion in the transportation improvement program within that region. Exhibit 1 presents the staff-prepared City of Ridgefield Six Year Transportation Program for 2017-2022. (Public Hearing and Resolution Approved).
  4. Resolution approving official newspaper. RCW 35A.21.230 provides that “Each code city shall designate an official newspaper by resolution. The newspaper shall be of general circulation in the city and have the qualifications prescribed by chapter 65.16 RCW.” RCW 35.23.352(7) further requires that code cities under 20,000 population request bids for an official newspaper on an annual basis. The sole bid received was submitted by the Reflector. Therefore, the lowest responsible bidder is the Reflector newspaper. (Resolution approved).

For more information, see the City Council webpage, here. (Detailed minutes will be posted following approval by the City Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting on July 14, 2016. – City Council meeting on June 23rd has been cancelled).