Here’s what to expect on your November ballot

September 30, 2015

NEW — 3:26 p.m. Sept. 30, 2015

Former Newcastle Planning Commissioner Rob Lemmon’s voters’ pamphlet statement begins with a declaration.

“I’m Rob Lemmon, and I was a candidate.”

“Was” is the operative word there, as Lemmon withdrew from the Newcastle City Council Position No. 3 race shortly after he filed. Due to what he called a “logistics” issue, King County Elections did not receive his withdrawal paperwork in time, so his name will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot.

But make no mistake, he is not a candidate for the Newcastle City Council, Lemmon said. Read more

Allen Dauterman is lone candidate for City Council Position No. 3

September 30, 2015

NEW — 3:21 p.m. Sept. 30, 2015

Newcastle City Council candidate Allen Dauterman takes his unique situation in stride.

Dauterman, chairman of the city’s Planning Commission, is running unopposed for council Position No. 3. Yet, the general election ballot will tell a different story.

Allen Dauterman

Allen Dauterman

Rob Lemmon’s name will appear alongside Dauterman’s, but Lemmon, a former planning commissioner himself, has made it clear that he is not a candidate. Read more

Candidate filings set up two council races

May 20, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. May 20, 2015

Current and former commissioners from both the Planning and Community Activities commissions will go head-to-head in this fall’s Newcastle City Council election.

Community Activities Commissioners Linda Newing and Victoria Sandoval both filed to run for council Position No. 1, currently held by Councilwoman Lisa Jensen who announced she would not file for re-election.

Current Planning Commissioner Allen Dauterman and Rob Lemmon, a former commissioner who resigned in December, both filed for Position No. 3. Mayor Steve Buri announced earlier that he would not file to retain his seat.

The terms of Positions No. 2 and 4 are also set to expire at the end of the year. Incumbents Gordon Bisset and Carol Simpson announced they will both run to keep their seats. Neither council member drew a challenger. Read more

RSD development agreement, Newcastle 2035 on Feb. 17 council agenda

February 14, 2015

NEW — 12:45 p.m. Feb. 14, 2015

The Newcastle City Council will hold its second meeting of the month Feb. 17.

There are only two items listed under the evening’s general business, but both are vital components to the city’s future.

First, the council will consider a development agreement with the Renton School District pertaining to construction of the new middle school.

The agreement proposes relief to the 30-feet height restriction in that particular zoning area. It would allow the district to construct the school building to a maximum of 45-feet, if approved. Read more

Orville McDonald fills Planning Commission vacancy

March 5, 2014

The Newcastle City Council has appointed resident Orville McDonald to fill the Planning Commission vacancy left by Deputy Mayor John Drescher.

McDonald is a senior product manager at Microsoft, and has background in acquiring and managing rental properties, as well as land development.

Orville McDonald 2013

Orville McDonald

“Having lived in a variety of places, what drew my young family and I to Newcastle is the sense of community and how well it has been laid out,” he wrote in his application.

Read more

Newcastle seeks new planning commission member

August 1, 2011

NEW –  4:30 p.m. Aug. 1, 2011

The city of Newcastle is looking to fill a vacancy on the city’s planning commission. Interested persons have only until Aug. 12 to apply.

The new member’s term begins Sept. 1 and runs through Sept. 1, 2015.

Applicants must be Newcastle residents and be at least 18 years of age. Planning commission members are appointed by the mayor with confirmation from city council.

Read more

Carol Simpson will seek re-election to council seat

June 3, 2011

Councilwoman Carol Simpson announced in May that she will seek re-election this fall. Simpson — who has Position 2 on the council — joins Deputy Mayor Steve Buri, Councilwoman Lisa Jensen and Parks Commission Chair Andrew Shelton on the November ballot.

None of the candidates who are slated to be on the ballot have yet picked up opponents, although candidates have until June 10 to file for election.

Carol Simpson

Members serve at large and represent the entire city, rather than specific neighborhoods or defined geographic areas.

Simpson has lived in Newcastle since 1998. She is a retired architect — although still a licensed one — and she began her work on the council in 2008. Prior to being elected as a councilwoman, she spent eight years as a member of the planning commission.

Read more

City drive-thru ban is likely to be overturned

June 3, 2011

Drive-thrus will likely be welcome again in the city’s downtown, as the City Council has begun reviewing several sections of code relating to the area.

Drive-thrus were banned from the downtown area in 2007 after the city conducted a study and found that drive-thrus were contradictory to the city’s vision of having a pedestrian-friendly downtown. Drive-thrus already in use were exempt from the ban.

The council has not yet finalized overturning the ban — which was recommended by the Planning Commission — as it will review several other sections of city code and make its alterations in one motion.

The other sections of code the council will review concern floor-area-ratio requirements, distances between storefronts and right of ways, and maximum building heights. The Planning Commission will review each section of code first and then recommend changes to the council.

If the council approves the draft of the new drive-thru code, a drive-thru can be built if it is not on the side of a building facing the right of way, if it has a landscaping screen to conceal it and if its car queue area is not adjacent to pedestrian walkways.

Also, drive- thrus must meet several criteria regarding safety, traffic impacts, public service impacts and impacts to future development.

Read more

Celebrities to come to Newcastle in June for golf tournament

April 1, 2011

UPDATED — 2:30 p.m. April 1, 2011

A crew of celebrities will take to The Golf Club at Newcastle June 27 for the fifth-annual Jim Mora Celebrity Golf Classic, event organizers announced in March.

The Jim Mora “Count On Me” Family Foundation is organizing the event, which raises money for Special Olympics Washington, the Boys & Girls Club of Bellevue and other local children’s charities.

The 2010 tournament raised more than $211,000, and the money benefited 17 charities.

Celebrities who attended last year’s event included Super Bowl champion football Hall of Fame inductee Marshall Faulk; five-time NBA MVP Bill Russell; NBA Hall of Fame player and coach Lenny Wilkens; former Seattle Mariner Jay Buhner; former NBA players Detlef Schrempf and Slick Watts; and Hall of Fame NFL player, five-time Pro-Bowler and three-time Super Bowl champion Michael Irvin.

The tournament is free and open for the public to attend, although those who wish to participate must pay a fee. Organizers will announce this year’s list of attendees in early May.

Read more

Work plans approved for 2011 planning, parks commissions

March 4, 2011

The City Council approved the 2011 Parks Commission and Planning Commissions work plans with a 7-0 vote at its March 1 meeting.

Drafts of the work plans were first presented at the Feb. 15 joint City Council, Parks Commission and Planning Commission meeting.

This year, the Parks Commission will review the city’s comprehensive plan — which details the city’s vision — updating the parks, recreation and open space portions. The city needs to update its comprehensive plan every six years to be eligible for state grants. The plan has not been updated in eight years.

The Parks Commission will also discuss ways to increase recreational opportunities, possibly through collaboration with the Coal Creek YMCA and Regency Newcastle.

The commission will take an active role in community events once again this year, as well as in Newcastle Days. In the third and fourth quarters of the year, the Parks Commission will create a draft of trail construction standards and a public art policy.

The Planning Commission will review the city’s community business center for the first and second quarter of the year.

It will discuss issues such as the city’s restriction on drive-thrus, the city’s 75-foot building-height limit and floor-area-ratio density requirements.

The Planning Commission will work on the review through the second quarter of the year. In the second and third quarter, the Planning Commission will discuss possibly allowing greater used of impervious surfaces in the city’s mixed-use development zones north of Lake Boren and northeast of the Newcastle Golf Club Road and Newcastle Way intersection.

It will also discuss allowing more impervious surfaces in open spaces, such as in the site of the future sports park north of Southeast 95th Way. City code states that only 2 percent of open space may contain impervious surfaces, such as asphalt pathways and parking lots.

In the third quarter, the commission will also propose amendments to the city’s comprehensive plan and discuss extending the city’s developer stimulus program, which delays development fee collection.

In the fourth quarter, the commission will perform its annual code cleanup and update its code regarding communication infrastructure.

The Parks Commission is a nine-person advisory body to the City Council that works on issues regarding city-owned parks. It works on park planning, park design, park construction, park and facility development, renovation, trails and paths, recreation programs and special community events, according to the city’s website.

The Parks Commission meets at 6 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month in Council Chambers, 13020 Newcastle Way.

The Planning Commission provides advice and makes recommendations to the City Council regarding the city’s comprehensive plan and development codes. It meets at 6 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month in Council Chambers.

Parks and Planning Commission meetings are open to the public and have opportunities for public comment.

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