AI-3605       11.            
City Council Agenda
Meeting Date: 04/09/2013  
Subject: Reconsideration request - West Hills annexation/zoning ordinance
Presenter: Tom Utterback
Department: Development Services

Information
Recommended Action
Consider the request of Talis Abolins, attorney for New Life Holdings, LLC, for City Council reconsideration of a portion of the "West Hills" annexation/zoning ordinance (Ord. No. 2923) from 2008.   
Background
On November 18, 2008, the Puyallup City Council approved second reading of an annexation/zoning ordinance (Ord. No. 2923) related to the West Hills area. In addition to formally annexing the West Hills area, that ordinance also served to apply City zoning to real property throughout the annexation area. Nearly all of the residential portions of that annexation area - i.e. all parcels but the WSU Extension Center - received the City's RS-10 (single-family, 10,000 sq ft lot minimum) zone district. This request applies to the one area slated for a different residential City zone (i.e. RS-08, 8,000 sq ft. lot minimum) under Ordinance No. 2923.

The attached map shows a group of parcels, comprising approximatey 10.5 acres, located along the west side of Fruitland Avenue just south of Fruitland Elementary School, in proximity to the 21st Avenue SW (93rd Street East in Pierce County) street grid. During the City Council's 11/28/08 deliberation on the West Hills ordinance, the then-owner of this property, Rick Geinger, engaged with City Council regarding assigning RS-08 (vs. RS-10) zoning to this property. As reflected in the attached record of that hearing, Mr. Geinger requested the RS-08 zoning to facilitate his planned subdivision of the property and indicated his intent to incorporate certain amenities into the project in light of the slightly-higher zoning density. The City Council then approved that ordinance, including the requested RS-08 zoning for this property (the balance of the annexation area's residential lots were zoned RS-10). City Council minutes from that meeting reference those project amenities, including Fruitland Avenue frontage treatment and use of rambler units.

This RS-08 zoning intent was documented in an attachment (Exhibit A) to Ordinance No. 2923 (attached), under "Sub-Area #4" (pg. 4 of 5 in the ordinance). That Exhibit notes that the RS-08 zone provided the landowner the opportunity "... to develop a high-quality residential development with certain amenities to which he has committed (i.e. Fruitland Avenue frontage treatment, 25% single-story units)."  (NOTE: per code, homes within the RS-08 & RS-10 zones may up to 36' in height; the City does not normally place conditions on subdivisions requiring a percentage of rambler units).

Following annexation, Mr. Geinger submitted a residential plat application, known as Fruitland Estates, consistent with the new RS-08 zoning. Initial City review began on that subdivision project. In late 2010, New Life Holdings LLC acquired this 10.5 acre property and picked up the still-active preliminary plat application. During the subsequent processing of the preliminary plat, staff raised the issue of this "25% single-story unit" clause with the new owner, who responded that the standard was not consistent with their building plans.  Given that it was established in the original annexation ordinance, the City Attorney concluded that neither staff nor the Hearing Examiner had the authority to modify this single-story standard, and that City Council - who adopted the original ordinance - was the appropriate body to reconsider this matter .  
  
Given this, New Life Holdings attorney, Talis Abolins is now requesting that the City Council reconsider the intention of the West Hills annexation ordinance relative to this 25% single-story unit standard. A letter from Mr. Abolins, addressed to the Mayor and Council, is attached; it outlines the objections of New Life Holdings to the current plat project having to conform to this rambler unit standard. The applicant notes the annexation conditions, while part of a negotiation between the 2008 City Council and the previous property owner during that hearing, did not become part of the title on the property. New Life Holdings is therefore requesting that the rambler requirement not be imposed on their subdivision proposal.
Previous Actions (Discussions/Presentations)
The West Hills annexation/zoning ordinance (Ord. No. 2923) was considered during public hearings held by the Puyallup City Council on September 23, 2008 and November 18, 2008. The annexation became effective 1/1/09.
Summary of Proposal
New Life Holdings is proposing that the City Council reconsider Ordinance No. 2923 and remove any requirement that the 25% single-story unit standard apply to the RS-08 zoned property.
Alternatives/Options
The applicant's request before the City Council is for a reconsideration of Ordinance No. 2923, with the desired conclusion that the 25% single-story unit standard not be imposed upon the current Fruitland Estates Preliminary Plat application. The Council may find in favor of this request or, alternatively, may:

-    find that the cited rambler unit standard be enforced for this RS-08 zoned property; or  
-    reconsider the appropriate zoning for this property, given the RS-10 zone district applied to the bulk of the West Hills annexation area under Ordinance No. 2923.

Fiscal Impact
Amount Budgeted:
Bid Amount:
City Funding Needed for Project:
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Ongoing Staff Costs:
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There would be no noteworthy City expenditures associated with this annexation ordinance reconsideration.   

Attachments
ABOLINS LETTER
CITY COUNCIL TRANSCRIPTS 111808
PROPERTY EXHIBIT
City Council minutes 11-18-08
Abolins letter 4-09-13