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.”


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:

City of Ridgefield logo

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).

State of the City Address on Saturday

City of Ridgefield logo

Mayor Ron will present his State of the City Address Saturday, June 18, 2016, 11:00am, at Overlook Park, Corner of Pioneer Street and Main.

Farmer’s Market opens at 9:00am and Mayor Onslow’s presentation begins at noon.

Before and following the presentation Upfront Band will provide live entertainment with Jazz – Latin – Classic Rock – R&B – Oldies – Pop music.  Enjoy listening and dancing to the music of Chris Bidleman (keyboards, vocals) and Steve Burpee (saxophones, vocals), the founders of the band. Chris and Steve are joined by Robert Schultz on drums and are often fused together with good friends Ed Couture on bass (upright and electric) and Larry Pindar on guitar (plus vocals, flute and sax).

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

New City Logo

R logo

The City of Ridgefield will soon begin implementing findings from a brand and identity project which began in July 2015. The project focused on identifying the story, soul, and direction for Ridgefield and creating a way for the current stewards of the

City to nurture that story and assure that it endures. To enable the City to tell the Ridgefield story in one unified voice, the branding project identified the pillars of Ridgefield’s identity:

  • Enriching natural environment
  • Small town charm and connected, active community
  • Inspiring opportunities for residents, visitors and businesses

These pillars will be incorporated into the City’s message through its website, brochures, marketing and other avenues of communication. One of the first things residents will see is the unveiling of a new logo. Each element of the new logo represents a unique attribute of the Ridgefield community. The typeface represents the forward and upward movement of the City, while retaining its tradition and small town charm.

The Sandhill crane reflects the City’s commitment to the environment and its vibrant and active community.

Much of the City’s new logo and overall branding came from the people of Ridgefield. A Brand Advisory Panel of local stakeholders was established; surveys were distributed; and focus groups, workshops and meetings were held with City Council members, residents, and representatives from the Port of Ridgefield, the Ridgefield School District, the Ridgefield

National Wildlife Refuge and members of the business community. “It’s an exciting time for Ridgefield,” said Steve Stuart, City Manager. “We are forward thinking but rooted in tradition. So when we plan for our City’s next chapters, we want to capture our community’s energy and aspiration, while making sure to understand and hold on to our small town charm and deep connection to the environment. I think this work tells a story true to our place and that gives us a path to accomplish it.”

The City has created a fiscally responsible replacement strategy for the new logo and brand.

Logo items will be gradually replaced as opposed to immediately performing a broad replacement. The logo will be incorporated into newly produced items and as inventories of existing items are depleted or are in need of replacement, the new logo will be integrated.

Patrick Hildreth Brand & Design, a local boutique design company based in Camas, led the branding project. Patrick was born and raised in the region and brought a rich understanding of  how Ridgefield fits into the larger context of the region. His work in brand and design goes back well over a decade and includes work with many of the regions municipalities, nonprofits and businesses.

For more information about the new Ridgefield brand identity and logo, please contact City Hall at (360) 887-3557 or visit the City’s website at

Basarab Sworn in as City Clerk

Julie B

Julie Basarab is sworn in as Ridgefield’s new Clerk.

City Council Meeting Summary 04-14-2016:

City Council

Council Business Items:

  1. Ordinance No. 1205 – Approval of Budget Amendment: Some of the items for the budget amendment include revenue increase for 90 additional SFR permits. Increase to E2 planning contract – hourly charge will be increased effective 7/1/16 work load increase due to development activity, platting etc. Contract increase for development inspection and plan review services to support increased development. Temporary employee to handle administrative duties for the permit technician. Allows permit technician to focus on permit processing and code enforcement. For more budget amendment items please refer to Exhibit A which is available on the City’s website. (First Reading Conducted).2. Ordinance No. 1206 – Amendment to RMC 2.08.040 (City Clerk): Section 2.08.040A of the Ridgefield Municipal Code state – The city clerk shall be a full-time, exempt position who shall exercise general supervision over the administration department of the city. Due to the recent re-organization and re-assignment of duties, the City Clerk may/may not be an exempt position under state and federal wage and hour law; and will not exercise general supervision over the administration department of the city. Therefore, City staff recommends deleting RMC Section 2.08.040(A). (First Reading Conducted).
  2. Motion – Approval of Final Plat for Taverner Ridge Phase 7: The Ridgefield City Council granted conditional approval to the preliminary planned unit development and preliminary plat for the Taverner Ridge Subdivision through issuance of a Final Order in January 1997. The preliminary approval of the subdivision contemplated 9 separate phases of development. Since 1997, the first four phases have received final plat approval. The developer is now requesting approval of the final plat for Phase seven. Planning and Engineering staff have reviewed the final plat application and have determined that the final plat complies with the 1997 Final Order, the approved engineering plans and other applicable standards and regulations. (Approved).

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 April 28, 2016.)

City Council Meeting Summary 03-24-2016:

City Council

Council Business Items:

Motion – Approval of code enforcement officer designation. City Council appointed Permit Technician Lindsay Regan as code enforcement officer for the City of Ridgefield. Permit Technician performs a variety of responsible and complex duties to assist the Community Development Department functions and programs including monitoring and enforcing City ordinances, codes, and regulations related to land use, building, housing, health and safety, and other matters of public concern. (Approved).

  1. Ordinance No. 1204 – Approval of concomitant rezone agreement for Royle property. The Developer, as part of the Comprehensive Plan hearing process requested the Council consider a change in designation from Urban Medium to Urban Low, and a change in zoning from RMD – 16 to RLD – 8 for the northernmost parcel. The remaining parcels are designated Urban Low with RLD – 8 zoning except the westernmost parcel zoned RLD-4. Developer agrees to submit a conceptual development plan to the City showing compliance with the zoning and density requirements of this Agreement within one hundred twenty (120) days of the effective date of this Agreement. Additionally, the Developer agrees to submit a Planned Unit Development (“PUD”) application for the entire Property in order to assure that the density requirements are met. (Public Hearing and approval of the ordinance conducted).
  1. Motion – Approval of planning commission 2016 work plan. Each year the Planning Commission completes an annual work plan summarizing the items that the Board intends to take on for the upcoming year. Chair Bush presented the plan to City Council for approval. (Approved).
  2. Mayor Onslow proclaims the month of April to be “Earth Celebration Month.

Community Development Report – 105 single family residential permits issued through the month of March.

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 April 14, 2016.)

City Council Meeting Summary 03-10-2016:

City Council

Oath of Office was conducted for Sergeant David Bone and Officer Kendra Leonard.

Council Business Items:

  1. Ordinance No. 1204 – Approval of concomitant rezone agreement for Royle property. Developer as part of the Comprehensive Plan hearing process requested City Council consider a change in designation from Urban Medium to Urban Low, and a change in zoning from RMD-16 to RLD-8. The remaining parcels are designated Urban Low with RLD-8 zoning except the westernmost parcel zoned RLD-4. City Council approved the request, subject to the City and Developer entering unto an agreement that requires the entire project site accommodate the expected population with the least dense zoning category available under the Ridgefield Development Code. Public Hearing and first reading of the ordinance conducted.
  2. Motion – Approval of professional services agreement for E-Government services. The City has outgrown the current financial, utility and payroll software due to growth and financial requirements. City has found a vendor, Accela, that offers a comprehensive integrated solution for each of these options. The solutions offered are available through the state contract system with the Department of Enterprise Services through a third party vendor Carahsoft. (Approved)

Community Development Report – 58 single family residential permits issued through the month of February, 18 single family residential permits are approved and 20 single family residential permits are undergoing plan review check.

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 March 24, 2016.)

City Council Meeting Summary 02-25-2016:

City Council

The City recently used the Lean continuous improvement process to review and streamline its utility billing and receipting process. The employees involved in the Lean Kaizen team presented City Council with an overview of its accomplishments including increased communication with customers such as a calendar of payment due dates and a brochure explaining the invoice and billing process.

Council Business Items:

1) Ordinance No. 1203 – Approval of 2016 Ridgefield Urban Area Comprehensive Plan Update. City Council conducted a public hearing at the February 11th meeting, two issues were noted in the Draft, and staff has corrected the identified issues. Additionally, Council requested staff prepare maps for both the Royle request within the 45th and Pioneer sub-area plan, and the Urban Downs request. (Approved – Ordinance was adopted with amendments).

2) Motion – Approval of Interlocal Agreement with Clark County IT for Reimbursable Services – Police Vehicle Laptops. Staff contacted Clark County IT for possible contracted service, Clark County IT has the necessary personnel, understanding and knowledge of the MDCs, and agreed to offer their services on a 3-month trial basis then enter into a reimbursable contract. (Approved).

3) Motion – Approval of Final Plat for Hawks Landing Subdivision. Planning and engineering staff have reviewed the final plat application and have determined that the final plat complies with the 2014 Final Order, the approved engineering plans and other applicable standards and regulations. (Approved).

Council Report:

Mayor proclaims the month of March 2016 as “Ridgefield Youth Arts Month”.

Planning Commission Appointment – Whitney Jones was appointed to the Planning Commission, Position #7.

Salary Commission Appointment – Gary Adkins was appointment to the Salary Commission, Position #3.

Executive Session: City Council entered into executive session per RCW 42.30.110(1)(b). After the executive session City Council moved to approve the City’s purchase of Parcel 68372000. (Approved).

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 March 10, 2016.)

City Council Meeting Summary 02-11-2016

City Council

1) Study Session – Cobalt Community Research presented City Council with an overview of the community survey update. Survey will help Council with strategic planning decisions, identify which aspects of community provide the greatest leverage on citizens’ overall satisfaction and explore service assumptions to ensure the baseline service measures are understood.

Council Business Items:

1) Approval of CREDC (Columbia River Economic Development Council) 2016 Clark County capital campaign investment. CREDC, together with its public and private partners, is undertaking an employment land inventory and site readiness for Clark County. (Approved).

2) Public Hearing – City Council conducted a public hearing on Ridgefield School District Capital Facilities Plan. School Board of Directors modified its Capital Facilities Plan and recommends that City Council adopt the plan and collect school impact fees in the amount of $6,530 for single and multi-family residents. (Public Hearing conducted).

3) Public Hearing – City Council conducted a public hearing on downtown-waterfront subarea plan. This update maintains the vision, direction, framework, and much of the content of the Action Plan first proposed with the adoption of the Integration plan in 2011, with updates to reflect progress that has been made and additional planning efforts related to the downtown, waterfront, and marina district in the past five years. A few items the sub-area plan includes are providing for pedestrian friendly access and circulation which is addressed by the Downtown Circulation plan. The Port and City have also focused on providing for public access to Lake River by moving forward with the Pioneer Street Railroad Overpass project and by encouraging pedestrian, bicycle, and bus access throughout the downtown and waterfront areas through thoughtful multimodal design. (Public Hearing conducted).

4) Approval of contract for construction of restroom at Abrams Park. The project was bid with an optional expedited construction timeline to have the restroom completed by March 18 for Opening Day of Little League at the park. The City received six bids on the project. After bid opening one bid was withdrawn, and one bid was found non-responsive because the proposal was not signed. The lowest responsive bid was from JRT Mechanical of Battle Ground. (Approved).

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 February 25, 2016.)

City Council Meeting Summary 01-28-2016:

1) Fire District Commissioner Larry Barlel presented an update for Clark County Fire and Rescue. Fire Chief Recruitment is currently underway.

Council Business Items:

1) Approval of professional services contract with HDJ Design Group for design and permitting of the 35th Avenue roundabout project. With the assistance from HDJ Design Group the City was successful in securing $2.154 million in grant funds for the project. Project design and permitting is anticipated to be complete by summer of 2016 with construction of the project beginning in the fall. (Approved).

2) Approval of 2016 Parks Board work plan. Some of the items on the 2016 work plan are parks and trail development, strategic planning for new parks/trails, recreation complex development, trail/trailhead-access coordination, volunteer and community based action, funding, community and interagency networking and relationship building, and water access. (Approved).

3) Mayor Onslow proclaimed the month of February 2016 as “Community Service Month”.

Staff Reports:

Events: February 6th is First Saturday “Tail Gate Party;” please join us for tailgate activities and community chili challenge at Overlook Park beginning at 10AM. Ridgefield Community Service Day is Saturday, February 20th interested volunteers please join us at the Community Center at 9AM.

Community Development: 19 new home permits issued for January, 11 new homes permit are approved/ready for issuance and 6 new home permits are under review. ICD High Performance Coatings Phase 2 permit issued. Groundbreaking at the site should begin on Monday (February 1st).

Pioneer Street (SR501) road closure update: Single lane of traffic is currently open until further repairs are made. Geotechnical engineers from the Washington State Department of Transportation will assess the long-term stability of the slope and determine next steps.

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 February 11, 2016.)

Notes from the City Council Meeting

City Council

Following is Mayor Ron Onslow’s synopsis of Ridgefield’s City Council meeting held on January 24, 2016 – the first meeting of the New Year.

Selection of Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem: First item on the agenda was selection of Mayor and Mayor-pro-tem. Your Mayor and Vice Mayor are voted on by the Council and the term is for two years. Ron Onslow was voted Mayor, and Lee Wells as Mayor-pro-tem. This will be their fifth term as such. Both men have been in office the past eight years. We both sincerely thank the Council and Community for their faith in us.

Planning Commission Presentation: A presentation was given by chair Jerry Bush of the Planning Commission on their accomplishments for the year of 2015. Highlights included a golf cart zone, floating structure building codes, comprehensive plan updates and studies on revised impact fees for parks & traffic.

Ridgefield School District Presentation: A presentation was given by Dr. Nathan McCann on the levy being presented to the Ridgefield School District voters in February. This levy, if passed, will provide funding to help support educational and student support programs. This funding bridges the gap between what the state pays & the actual costs of operating our schools.

Note: Ridgefield has the lowest levy tax rate in Clark County.

Council Business Items:

1) First reading on a development agreement with ODC Ridgefield Heights LLC. This development would be located South of Cedar Ridge development, adjacent to areas located in the Donut Hole. This agreement is on the city’s website. A large number of citizens testified on this proposed development and had a number of questions that Ridgefield staff and the principals of the development are to answer in the coming week. These will also be put on the city’s website. No decision was made and there will be another public comment period in the future.

2) A hearing was held on the proposed Water Capital Facilities Plan update. (No decision)

3) A hearing was held on the proposed Transportation Facilities Plan update. (No decision)

4) A reading, public hearing and motion passed on Ordinance 1202 amendment to Title 13 “Public Utilities”. This was the result of studying efficiencies in the city’s billing brought forth by city staff. They were recognized by Council for their progressive and cost-saving thinking.

Notes: -final tally of new home permits issued for 2015 is 248.

– 40 acres was annexed in 2015 , south of Royal Rd.

– alley improvements are virtually complete

– CenturyLink construction complete

– ICD coatings phase 2 is in review

– S. 11th project has been approved

– In 2015, there were 594 total permits of all kinds issued, 216 more than 2014.

– Studies of three areas in Ridgefield:(Junction, 45th& Pioneer and Downtown/Waterfront) are in final  stages or complete.

For more information, see the City Council webpage here. (Detailed minutes will be posted following approval by the Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting on January 28, 2016.)

Council is sworn in

Julie Basarab issued the oath of office

Julie Basarab issued the oath of office to our returning council people at the City Council meeting last week. They are, left to right, Darren Wertz, David Taylor, Lee Wells and Sandra Day.

Synopsis of City Council meeting 12/17/15

A) Mark Brown our Washington State lobbyist gave a Legislative update.
B) The 4 newly elected (in this case newly reelected) Councilpersons took the oath of office. They were: Sandra Day, David Taylor, Darren Wertz, Lee Wells
C) Waste Connections gave their annual report, and we thanked them for their continued support for our “clean up day” and “4th of July” participation.
D) Marie Bouvier reported on the Parks Board accomplishments for 2015. Note: I will give a summary of that report in an article to follow.
E) Discussion on the interlocal agreement for joint representation on the C-Tran Board of Directors. A motion to agree was passed.
1) Public Hearing  and discussion on the proposed sub-area plan for 45th & Pioneer. (Note: this was the first hearing)
2) Public Hearing and discussion on the proposed sub-area plan for I-5 Junction. (Note: this was the first hearing)
3) Hearing on notice of Petition to Annex 40.5 acres of Adkins property. Motion made and passed to accept.
4) Discussion & motion to accept new Floating Homes Structure Code for our Marina. This was passed with changes to address time elements. (This also followed a 2nd public hearing)
5) Certain equipment as surplus was authorized for its sale.
6) Appointments to Several Commissions were approved, I will recognize those appointments in a following article.
7) Recognition given to those who have served on those commissions.
Sincerely submitted,
Mayor Ron Onslow, Mayor, City of Ridgefield