City Council Roundup | Oct. 15, 2019
Posted on 10/17/2019

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

Council Hosts Public Hearing on 2020 Budget

The Newcastle City Council held the first of three public hearings on the 2020 preliminary operating and capital budget at the Oct. 15 meeting. One citizen spoke during the hearing and talked about trails projects. The Council did not discuss the budget. They’ll do that during an Oct. 18 budget workshop at City Hall from noon to 5 p.m. Citizens are encouraged to participate in the budget process and offer comments and suggestions at upcoming City Council meetings. The City of Newcastle is committed to keeping residents informed. View the budget, relevant news articles, important dates, meeting agendas and other materials at newcastlewa.gov/budget2020.

Council Reviews Proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendments

The City Council reviewed five proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is a long-range plan that guides decision making to ensure steady progress toward achieving the City's desired future. The Council elected to delay any action on the amendments to a future meeting. View the Comprehensive Plan staff report for a full summary of the proposed changes. Here’s a quick synopsis of the five amendments:

1. Parks, Trails and Recreation Element: The last major update to Newcastle’s Parks, Trail & Recreation Element was completed in 2013. An update is necessary to maintain eligibility for Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office grants. This amendment has a long list of changes, including updates to trail maps, trail descriptions, reprioritization of parks projects and much more.

2. City Tree Management Policies: This amendment adds policies and goals for the protection and management of City-owned trees.

3. Capital Facilities Element – School Impact Fees: The amendment adds the Issaquah School District’s most recent Capital Facilities Plan and adopts its current school impact fees.

4. Lake Boren Rezoning: This amendment rezones approximately 10.88 acres of City-owned property along the eastern shore of Lake Boren as Limited Open Space, ensuring the area is primarily earmarked for recreational uses. The properties are currently zoned R-6, which is intended for the development of medium density, single-family homes.

5. Hill Family Rezoning: This amendment rezones about 13 acres of a property adjacent to Newcastle Elementary School from R-1 to higher density R-6, which would be consistent with that of nearby subdivisions.

Hazard Mitigation Planning

Newcastle Public Works Director Jeff Brauns, who also coordinates the City’s emergency response, is working with a consultant to prepare a plan that assesses our community’s disaster hazards and identifies strategies to address those risks. The document will serve as an annex to the King County Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan, which is currently undergoing its five-year 2020 update. With an approved plan, the City is able to compete for grant funding to address hazard mitigation projects and secure reimbursement following a declared disaster. View a summary of Newcastle’s risk, vulnerability and impact to the hazards such as earthquakes, wildfires and landslides here.

General Updates

— The City Council appointed two new residents to Newcastle’s volunteer Commissions. Chris Villaseñor was appointed to the Planning Commission and Erica Wood was added to the Community Activities Commission.

— As noted in the City Manager’s Report, King County installed traffic calming and pedestrian safety upgrades to the Risdon Middle School crosswalk at Southeast 70th Street and 116th Avenue Southeast. Improvements include a raised island and additional signage.

The Newcastle City Council wants to hear from you! Members of the public are invited to share thoughts during public hearings or two open public comment periods at meetings. Regular meetings of the City Council occur on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at City Hall, starting at 7 p.m. You can also email your thoughts to Councilmembers. To send a message to the entire Council, email citycouncil@newcastlewa.gov.

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