City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 7/29/05

July 29, 2005


To:       Mayor and Members of the Council

From:  Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Tillicum Summer Outreach Program award:  The Community Capacity Development Office (OCDO) selected Lakewood’s Tillicum Summer Outreach Program to receive a Coordination Honor Award, to be presented at the National Weed and Seed conference in California on August 22nd.
  • Camp Murray: The city manager met this week with Major General Lowenberg, who is the adjutant general in command of Camp Murray, as well as the director of the State’s Military Department, to discuss mutual concerns, including facility security, the boat launch, the traffic along Berkeley and Union in Tillicum, and the city’s urban growth boundaries.  The City and Camp Murray have an excellent working relationship, including a recently approved joint training agreement related to the Counter Drug Task Force.
  • Planning Advisory Board: The PAB conducted a study session this week to review a draft Public Participation Plan for the regulation of group homes, correctional facilities, in-patient facilities, and mental health facilities in Lakewood’s Public Institutional Zoning Districts.   The audience included representatives from DSHS, Keep Lakewood & Steilacoom Safe (KLASS), the Oakbrook Neighborhood Association, and the Clover Park School District.  The draft plan was well received, and it is anticipated that the Board would adopt it on August 3rd, to be followed by presentation by the PAB chair to the City Council   
  • Group Home Procedures: The community development director met with a select working group representing DSHS, the Oakbrook Neighborhood, and adult family home interests, to review draft administrative procedures for the uniform permitting, inspection, and enforcement of accessory dwelling units, adult family homes, bed and breakfasts, daycare facilities, group homes, group-care facilities, home occupations, and rental housing complexes located within residential zoning districts.  The procedures would increase accountability on the part of property owners and DSHS administrators, and further introduces levels of coordination between the City and DSHS that are not currently in place.  Once final revisions have been made, Lakewood will request that the document be reviewed by policy analysts with the state.  It is likely to be reviewed by the PAB in September, to be followed by a presentation to the City Council.  The process has been complex in that it involves the regulatory elements of the Fair Housing Act, the American with Disabilities Act, state law and administrative code, local zoning and development regulations, business licensing, and construction and building codes in one coordinated document. 
  • Department of Corrections: The city manager met again this week with the Secretary of the State Department of Corrections (DOC) regarding the City’s opposition to siting the Progress house work-release program at Western State Hospital.  DOC was urged once again to drop consideration of the WSH site and to initiate a broad-based site alternative selection process. 
  • Lakewood Idol: The City held the Lakewood Idol 2005 finals at American Lake Park on July 26th.  Eight finalists competed after being selected to advance from a pool of 29 contestants at an audition held earlier this month.  The judges were Roger Laybourn, Dr. Benjamin Keller and Tillie Donaldson. Angela Baum, age 15, took home the grand prize of $250 (courtesy of Columbia Bank) and the title of Lakewood Idol 2005.  She will now represent Lakewood at the Battle of the Idols at the Puyallup Fair on Friday, September 16th where she will compete for $1,000, a recording session, and a photo shoot.  Angela is a student at Lakes High School and a member of their award-winning choir.  She “wow’d” the crowd Tuesday night with a soulful rendition of “How Come You Don’t Call Me?”  Event sponsors included City of Lakewood, Columbia Bank, Crane’s Creations, and Desert Sun Tanning.
  • Code enforcement: Code enforcement action was initiated on the Refuge Recovery House, a group home, located at 10310 Kendrick.  The City issued a stop work order on July 22nd which resulted in follow-up inspections and may lead to a declaration that the building is unsafe because of illegal construction and zoning violations.  The group home is supposed to be used as a transitional housing facility for homeless addicts; however, it appears that recently released Corrections inmates are residing at this location.  The State Department of Health and the Department of Corrections have been contacted; because of their respective jurisdiction over the individuals involved.
  • Marine Services Unit on American Lake: Over the past 10 days, MSU has added another 25 hours of patrolling, and an additional 15 hours spent at the ramps conducting 36 vessel inspections. Five sound meter checks were completed with none passing, with two warnings and three having their boating day cut short.  On the weekend of July 16th, two of boats were not allowed to launch because of previous noise level warnings, and no corrective action taken.  12 boaters elected to leave the lake in lieu of citations. Officers did 176 spot checks on vessels and assisted 5 boaters with mechanical or operator difficulties.  The number one boating violation is still “direction of travel”. LPD/MSU Intern Brianna Burroughs has created an educational boating pamphlet for citizens, which she will be handing out at American Lake Park boat launch and answering questions.  MSU has also established contacts at both Lake Steilacoom and Lake Louise.
  • John School and Vice Task Force: Our interlocal agreements supporting the John School and Vice Task Force were approved by Tacoma City Council, and the newest partner to the program is now St. Joseph’s Hospital.
  • Bike Patrol Officers: Officers Joe Sandall and Jim Lofland have completed the IPMBA Bike Certification through the Bremerton Police Department.
  • Public Safety in the Parks: Officers have been sweeping the parks at closing and assisting the lifeguards in closing down. Because of the recent encounters of juveniles swimming off the dock at Harry Todd Park the Parks department will be stenciling “NO SWIMMING” on the docks.  One adult has been cited for criminal trespass to exclude him from American Lake Park for continually creating problems.  Five additional people were kicked out of the park for the day.  One juvenile was arrested for obstructing and resisting arrest.  Two gang members were ID’ed at Springwood Park and the information was passed onto the Gang Officer.  A total of 11 hours were spent on Bikes in the parks. In Fort Steilacoom Park, numerous juveniles were surprised when two bike officers arrived at their illegal social gathering.
  • Landmarks and Heritage Board: The Board met this week and reviewed its historic properties inventory handbook (71 properties in all) with the purpose of selecting 10 properties for potential National Register placement, or for local landmarks designation.  Because Lakewood is comprised of several different historic communities, Lakewood provides an incredible variety of cultural resources.  Once this selection process has been completed, it would be the Board’s desire to contact those specific property owners and determine if there is an interest in pursuing landmarks designation.  Designation is entirely voluntary. 
  • Steilacoom Kiwanis: The city manager was the guest speaker on July 28th at the Steilacoom Kiwanis on the subject of “state of the city”.
  • Community Policing; District 2 Team Members held the first English/Spanish Block Watch Meeting on July 21st , which was well attended by 12 local community members and Officer Angel Figueroa, who interpreted in Spanish for those who did not speak English.  Thanks to Officer Figueroa and Community Service Officer Gail Conelly for setting up the meeting.  District 3 Team Members Officer Austin Lee and Community Service Officer Laurie Lowery have successfully worked with the owner of the 7-11 on South Tacoma Way and the parent company in implementing a Crime Prevention Program due to the high number of 911 calls generated from the business. This is one of our ongoing projects on South Tacoma Way; we are currently working with The Golden Lion Motel in a Crime Prevention Program, and the Sage Terrace Apartments just successfully completed their program.