Council approves PEAK parking

Satisfied with provisions designated to protect the surrounding neighborhood while providing a youth center near the high school, City Council approved 4-1 the amendments to a development agreement with the school district regarding the Boys and Girls Club’s PEAK project.

Councilmembers Jim Pearman, Dan Grausz, Steve Litzow, and Mayor Bryan Cairns voted for the agreement while Mike Grady dissented. Councilmembers Sven Goldmanis and El Jahncke were absent.

In their discussions prior to the vote, supporting Council members noted the significance of the amendments and the compromises that were made by the parties involved. The most important amendment among those Council members was the agreement by the parties to commit to a unified scheduling system that will coordinate events to prevent overlaps and parking nightmares.

“The fact the school district has had difficult scheduling events for the many uses there speaks to the need of a unified scheduling mechanism,” Mayor Cairns said. “And now we have that.”

Council members also appreciated the school district’s promise to enter a separate interlocal agreement to reduce parking demand at the high school in the future. In addition, Council mentioned the city’s previous plans to improve the roads and put in a traffic signal in the area.

Under the approved agreement, Council and the district have agreed on the number of required parking spots and at what times they will be available for PEAK use. They also establish the guidelines for notifying neighborhood residents of large events and the penalties for noncompliance. Residents must be given a 5-day written notice of any event that will impact the neighborhood.

The city may also issue a $500 per day penalty should the club schedule an event that overlaps with the school district, city, pool, or other tenant. For other violations, the city can fine the club $250 per day.

According to city attorney Londi Lindell, Council holds the option to terminate the agreement should the club continually violate the agreement.

The agreement requires the Boys and Girls Club to provide 99 new stalls just for PEAK users. There will be additional 156-shared stalls from the district that will be reserved exclusively for PEAK users after 3:30 p.m. except when the district has a special event.

While the total number of parking spaces for PEAK will be 255, the club has agreed it will not schedule activities or events that require more than 99 spots prior to 4 p.m.

The city will also put up restricted parking signs, such as for 2-hour parking, along the east side of 86th Avenue between S.E. 40th and 42nd Streets to provide an extra 20 short-term parking spots for PEAK, pool, or child care users.

The agreement approved on Monday also obligates the Boys and Girls club to assign an employee for event scheduling and parking enforcement and it must also aggressively enforce all signed parking restrictions to make sure high school kids or other non-PEAK users are not taking spots away from other tenants such as Youth Theater Northwest.

The club agrees to operate the building as a local club and not a regional facility.

Before the PEAK project moves forward, the school board must accept the agreement as well. The school board plans to make its decision during its meeting on Thursday.

After the agreement is finalized, the project will need to get a Conditional Use Permit approved by the planning commission. This permit is required because PEAK will be a non-residential facility constructed in a residential zone.

PEAK will also have to get approved by the city’s design commission. At that point, the commission members must determine if the project complies with the city’s development regulations, is acceptable in terms of the size and location of its site, fits within the traffic capacity of surrounding streets, and is consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan.

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