City Council gives the OK to start updating subdivision code

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City-of-MLT-logoThe Mountlake Terrace City Council gave City staff the go-ahead to proceed with an update on the City’s subdivision code during Monday’s meeting.

The City’s current subdivision code was originally adopted in 1987 and City staff indicated that it is due for an update. The last update was in 2011.

Councilmember Bryan Wahl said it’s been a longtime goal of his to have the subdivision code updated along with the rest of the City’s development regulation. The goal would be to have the code consistent with state law and case law, he said, and to make it more efficient and attractive for economic development in the City.

“I’m thrilled were looking at it now,” Wahl said.

City staff indicated that there has been a growing interest in amending the City’s subdivision code, especially in light of the development potential of the Gateway site in the Freeway/Tourist District.

“That’s a key project for our economic development,” Wahl added.

City staff emphasized that the subdivision code is a method by which to divide up land that already has been approved by the zoning code. The subdivision code does not change anything with regard to what is seen on the ground; rather it does with the ownership of property.

The land use attorney the City has contracted with to assist with the Gateway site development has developed a model subdivision code that is fully up to date with current statutes and case law related to subdivisions and the attorney has agreed to allow the City to use her model code.

City staff first sought out City Council feedback on the updating of the subdivision code before bringing the issue before the Planning Commission.

The tentative schedule calls for the City Council to have another work session on the issue on Jan. 15 and then hold a Public Hearing on Feb. 2 with a possible adoption on that date.

In other business, the City Council unanimously approved a Right-of-Way package between the City and the Nile Temple for right-of-way, slope easement and temporary construction easement acquisition for the Lakeview Trail project. The contract is $71,600 with approval for an additional amount of up to $750 for professional evaluation costs utilized by the Nile Temple. The Nile has already agreed to the contract.

The Council also unanimously adopted the 2014 Revenue Bond Issuance Ordinance that allows the city to enter the bond market. The proceeds from the approximately $6.2 million water and sewer revenue bonds will be used to fund capital improvements for the water and storm water utilities over the next three years.

“Due to the City Council’s strong financial policies put in place in 2006, that include quarterly financial reviews, a multiyear utility rate structure, along with a high S & P bond rating, the city is in an excellent position to enter the bond market,” said Scott Hugill, Assistant City Manager.

The City recently received affirmation of its “AA/Stable” bond rating from Standard and Poor’s, which indicates the City is a quality borrower with very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments.

Finance Director Sonja Springer is designated to authorize the issuance of the bonds. Piper Jaffray & Company will sell the tax-exempt bonds in mid-December with the funds coming to the city by the end of the year.

The City Council also marked the 60th birthday of the City with a special PowerPoint presentation. The City was officially incorporated on Nov. 29, 1954.

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