Herald staff


  • ????Church ruling: The city council is expected to look at whether to allow churches to continue to operate in single-family land-use areas.

    That matter will be up for a public hearing at 7 p.m. Jan. 16 in the Gilbertson boardroom at 1601 Ave. D.

    City Manager Bill McDonald said the matter is not in response to any local church or a specific problem. He said the city simply wants to be ready with restrictions that would prevent “mega-churches” from locating in residential neighborhoods.

    “We’re talking about those churches that have thousands of members,” he said. “Those super-churches can’t really fit into neighborhoods without creating problems with traffic and parking.”

    The ordinance directs large churches into business districts. The proposed ordinance is being reviewed by the city’s legal experts to make certain that it doesn’t conflict with the government’s ability to regulate religious facilities, McDonald said.

  • No new taxes: There will be no new property taxes for residents of the city.

    The city council has passed the 2001 budget as proposed by the city manager Bill McDonald.

    The budget calls for street improvements, a new police car, park improvements and several new employees. The additions are possible thanks to a re-evaluation of property values that brought in new dollars and a strong retail economy that provides sales tax revenues.

    New positions will be in maintenance, parks and water departments. City employees also will receive a cost of living wage increase.

    The council also decided to continue business license fees, which range from $42 to $442 per year depending on the number of employees. The fees include a $17 assessment to help fund a visitors information center under design for downtown.

    The council also approved animal license fees: Altered cats and dogs are licensed at $10, unaltered at $36.

  • New library: Lewis Architects of Bellevue has been chosen to design and construct the new library.

    That approval came from the city council after a recommendation from a nine-member selection committee that studied 10 applicants.

    Construction was approved by voters in an $8 million bond issue in September. It will be built in the 400 block of Maple Avenue where a mill stands that is no longer in use.

    Lewis Architects has built many libraries in the area, including facilities in Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace and Marysville, and the Lynnwood expansion.

    Work on designs will get under way immediately with construction expected to begin in 2001. The library is expected to open in late 2002.

  • Youth center: A youth center, planned for 200 Second St., is a step closer to becoming a reality.

    The city council awarded $3,500 for design of the complex to Sconzo-Hallstrom Architects, Snohomish.

    The youth center will be at the site of Averill Field near the Hal Moe Pool and a planned skateboard park. A fund-raising campaign is under way. Several community groups are working on that.

    The youth center also will be within a block of where the library is planned to be built.

  • Budget approved: The Bothell City Council has adopted the city’s budget for 2001, and it includes a canine unit for the police department.

    The operating budget is $25,418,914, and the total budget is $61,667,133.

    City manager Jim Thompson said the council spent “many hours of analysis and review during three workshops with staff, four council meetings with public testimony and additional committee meetings.”

    Highlights include funds for the lease-purchase of a new fire ladder truck, and a new integrated financial and management system that will link multiple databases.

    Funds are allocated to address transportation needs including traffic calming initiatives, adding a new traffic sergeant and two patrol officers. The city will also add a second code enforcement officer in the Community Development Department.

    Copies of the budget are available for review at Bothell City Hall, 18305 101st Ave. NE.

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