Council moves to ban RVs from parking in nonresidential areas

Also: City is seeking a grant to improve safety measures near Federal Way High School.

The Federal Way City Council heard a first reading of a proposal to ban the parking of recreational vehicles on nonresidential streets.

The bill is a proposed addition to Chapter 8.50 of the Federal Way Revised Code.

“Recently, people have been parking recreational vehicles on city streets in a variety of zones for extended periods of time, including commercial and business zones,” the background information documents on the bill state. “Often, these recreational vehicles generate garbage and other waste, which not only degrade the visual appearance of the city, but also contribute to parking and safety issues.”

The current code doesn’t regulate parking of recreational vehicles except for the parking of those on private property.

Kent van Alstyne, assistant city attorney, presented the revision and answered questions during the discussion at the Feb. 20 council meeting. The new ordinance would add a $250 fine for anyone who parks an RV on the street in a nonresidential zone.

Councilmember Jack Dovey said that a follow-up ordinance was a work in progress in the Land Use and Transportation Committee (LUTC) that would add clarification about restrictions for RVs in residential zones, but for now, they want to at least begin with this first addition to the code.

Federal Way High School safety improvements

The Land Use and Transportation Committee (LUTC) requested approval to apply for a grant to improve safety measures near the Federal Way High School.

The grant is through the Complete Streets program and would not be considered a capital project, so it would not change the priority order of other transportation improvement projects on the city’s agenda.

The city has already added a protected turn by borrowing signals from another city, and this budget would help Federal Way buy permanent traffic signals once that loan is returned.

The grant is through the WA State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB), which issued a call for rapid implementation projects.

Federal legislative priorities

The council approved the 2024 federal priorities for their upcoming meetings with Congressman Adam Smith, Senator Patty Murray, Assistant Secretary Alejandra Castillo and a possible meeting with Senator Maria Cantwell during mid-March. Economic Development Director Tanja Carter presented the priorities to the council.

The central priorities that the city council will advocate for at these meetings include: Funding for a community space in the Town Center Three development; Federal Way Community Center facility rehabilitation; increased childcare access; and support for park improvements like the conversion of natural grass to artificial turf at Celebration Park.

Community Center updates

A public commentor expressed frustration about the Federal Way Community Center’s refurbishment process and the impact it is having on guests that utilize it.

One specific complaint focused on the hot tub/spa that is currently closed. The council approved a request from the Parks Department for funds to replace both the spa pump and the slide pump that supplies water to the slide flume. The total cost for both is approximately $29,708.78 and will take about 12 weeks to be completed.

In the memorandum on the topic, it explains that “the reason for the extended lead time is the NSF 50 safety regulation that requires these pumps to be epoxy coated to extend their useful life.” NSF 50 refers to the recreational water safety standard for chemicals and equipment.

The temporary locker rooms that were approved for rental at the last council meeting have not yet arrived, but Parks Director John Hutton said they are getting close, and that all of the required steps to attach sewage and plumbing lines appropriately have been completed.