Waterfront LID one step closer to reality

This morning, the City Council voted to move out of committee the legislation establishing a Waterfront Local Improvement District (aka LID).

Given how contentious the LID has been over the past year as it worked its way through the Council’s legislative process, it passed out of committee with remarkably little fanfare this morning: few public comments, and no last-minute amendments.

That suited committee chair Debora Juarez just fine; she and her Council colleague Sally Bagshaw have shepherded the LID legislation through its convoluted approval process, including a public comment process that the Council commissioned the Hearing Examiner to run on its behalf last summer. “It feels like I’ve been pregnant for three years,” Juarez said this morning just before the committee took its vote. (Juarez then jokingly asked for ice chips) Bagshaw, who is not seeking re-election this year, noted that she has been working on the waterfront plan for fifteen years.

The legislation is actually three separate bills:

  • the ordinance establishing the Local Improvement District;
  • an ordinance approving a “protest waiver agreement” with the owners of a majority of the property in the proposed LID in return for the city waiving its rights to increase the LID assessment in the future;
  • ¬†and operations and maintenance agreement for the new Waterfront Park.

You can read my previous articles that dive into the details of the legislation here and here.

The legislation heads to the full Council for approval on Monday afternoon. Following that and the Mayor’s signature, there will be a 30-day “protest” period (which the protest waiver agreement guarantees to be a non-event), and then a 30-day window for legal challenges to the LID.