City Council Roundup | June 5, 2018
Posted on 06/12/2018

The Newcastle City Council roundups offer a digest of notable items for those who can't make it to the regular meetings. Listen to the audio from the June 5 meeting here and view the meeting agenda packet hereView past City Council roundups at newcastlewa.gov/councilrecaps.

Council Previews Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

The Newcastle City Council received a preliminary draft of the 2019-2024 TIP, a six-year planning document that outlines the city’s future transportation projects. The TIP is a state-mandated guide that ensures municipalities plan ahead to carry out and coordinate transportation projects that benefit their communities.

As a planning document, the TIP doesn’t commit the city to fund any particular project. Projects must be authorized through the city’s normal budget adoption process. State law requires communities to annually update their TIPs. At the June 5 meeting, the council reviewed the proposed TIP update, discussed different projects and made some initial changes. 

One of the projects councilmembers discussed was an effort to relocate the transit center located on Newcastle Way that is not currently in use. The transit center was deactivated due to traffic backups at the intersection occurring when buses would pick up riders. A temporary shelter was installed near Newcastle City Hall.

The Downtown Strategic Plan identified an opportunity to combine the transit center with a new small public plaza along Newcastle Way near HomeStreet Bank. The City Council requested additional information about inexpensive alternatives, which could include leaving the temporary shelter in place.

Councilmembers chose to remove plans for Lake Washington Boulevard/112th Avenue Southeast intersection improvements from the TIP while staff gathers more information. The 2019-2024 update also includes a new project that would bring more non-motorized improvements to Southeast May Creek Park Drive.

Public Works Director Jeff Brauns also presented a few potential ideas that came out of the Downtown Strategic Plan. The proposed TIP includes a new project for entry signage that would enhance the downtown area and welcome visitors to Newcastle. Though not currently on the TIP, Director Brauns presented these downtown projects for council consideration: 132nd Place Southeast pedestrian improvements, Coal Creek Parkway streetscape improvements and a raised intersection at Newcastle Way and 132nd Place Southeast.

June 5 represented the Newcastle City Council’s first look at proposed updates to the TIP. The council will continue discussing the TIP, hold a public hearing and consider adoption of the annual update at its July 3 meeting.

Learn more about the TIP, the projects and proposed updates in Director Brauns’ PowerPoint presentation here.

Preserving the Baima House

The Newcastle City Council approved a non-binding memorandum of understanding for plans to preserve the historic Baima House, a King County landmark that stands as one of the few remnants of the city's bustling coal-mining industry. Pacific Coast Coal Co. House No. 75 was built in the 1870s and served as a homestead for miners and their families.

Owners would like to donate the house to Newcastle and move it to a different location on the property where it will be a part of a new public park. In exchange for bearing the costs to safely relocate the historic house, and develop and dedicate the park, the property owners are seeking flexibility in certain development density and dimension provisions for future development of the remaining property.

The initial MOU sets the stage for a potential development agreement that would be brought forward for City Council consideration in the future. View the MOU here.

Other News

• The Newcastle City Council directed City Clerk Sara McMillon to craft a comprehensive policies and procedures manual for City Council operations. The manual will include everything from meeting rules of procedure to council responsibilities.

• The City Council’s Finance Committee decided to add a second monthly meeting that will focus solely on long-range financial planning, Councilmember Tom Magers announced.

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