North Bend City Council walks back water ordinance

North Bend will work to improve conservation education and revise proposed ordinance.

A proposed city ordinance to enforce water conservation was unanimously rejected by the North Bend City Council after public hearing testimony and additional discussion.

The ordinance, introduced on April 2, would have imposed restrictions to water usage from the beginning of August to the end of October through limits on watering property to certain times and days per week.

At a May 7 city council meeting, the public hearing continued. The majority of citizens speaking were opposed to the ordinance for a variety of reasons including enforcement rules, insufficient data to show it would improve conservation and unconsidered risks.

Many of the citizens who gave comment did speak in favor of the city pursuing additional education efforts to improve the usage of water in the city. Some suggested creating a reimbursement program to promote citizens installing water-conserving technology in their homes, and those suggestions were received positively by the council.

In the council discussion, the majority of members stated their opposition to the ordinance as well. Councilmember Jonathan Rosen said an ordinance was the wrong way to approach the issue. Legislation should be a last resort to implement community behavior changes, he said.

Councilmember Alan Gothlef agreed but added that irrigation is the largest part of water use, and steps homeowners can take to improve their conservation efforts will result in a smaller amount saved than changes to irrigation use.

Also in agreement was Councilmember Brenden Elwood who suggested the ordinance go back to the work study process to reshape it into a form with a greater focus on education. Councilmember Ross Loudenback suggested directing staff to create a more robust conservation education program as soon as possible to reach out to as many residents and water customers as possible.

“If education has been a part of everybody’s comment here as well as other aspects of the ordinance, I see it as critical enough that we should not wait until it comes back from the planning commission,” Loudenback said. “Education is never going to be out of step from what we are trying to do here. So why not start an education program immediately?”

With the council in agreement on a direction, it unanimously voted to remand the ordinance back to a council work study for further discussion and also to begin work on an education program.

Councilmember Chris Garcia also addressed the audience at the meeting and suggested citizens send emails to the city about what they would like to see in an ordinance to address the issue of conservation.

More in News

AR-15 rifle seized by Seattle police. File photo
King County examines gun violence trends

Nearly 77 percent of shooting victims this so far year in county have been people of color.

In this file photo, marchers make their way from Trinity Episcopal Church in Everett on Feb. 26, 2017. Muslim refugees’ admissions into the U.S. have declined by 85 percent since the Trump administration came into power in 2017, according to the International Rescue Committee. Sound Publishing file photo
Report: Fewer refugees settling in U.S. and Washington state

Admissions are on pace to only reach around one-fifth of their limit in 2019.

From Olympia to Bellingham: Tiny home villages offer a path toward permanent housing

Beginning talks happening on Eastside village partnership.

Initiative and Referendum campaign collects more than 1,000 signatures

The campaign for direct democracy policies in Snoqualmie is halfway to its goal.

A high tide at Raymond’s Willapa Landing Park in Grays Harbor County, Washington. Sound Publishing file photo
On the West Coast, Washington is most prone to sea level rise damage

Report by the Center for Climate Integrity shows multibillion-dollar cost of battling back the sea.

Congresswoman Kim Schrier with volunteers part of the Issaquah, Sammamish, and Snoqualmie Moms Demand Action group. From left: Ashlee McDonald, Jess Smolinsky, Representative Kim Schrier, Mary Newcomer Williams, Rachel Harris, Erin Sloan, Mary Harris. Photo courtesy of Moms Demand Action
Eastside cities voice their support for gun violence prevention efforts

Issaquah, Sammamish and Snoqualmie mayors make official proclamations.

North Bend City Council. Courtesy photo
North Bend changes public records policies

City council approves updates due to increased number of requests.

Kelly Finnigan will perform at Carnation’s Timber! Outdoor Music Festival on July 12. Photo by Whitney Pelfrey
Kelly Finnigan to perform at Carnation music festival

Monophonics singer will make a stop in the PNW as part of his debut solo album tour.

This year, 415 seniors in the Class of 2019 earned Mount Si High School diplomas. The school’s 75th graduation ceremony was held Friday, June 7, at the Kent ShoWare Arena. Read highlights from the Class of 2019 online at valleyrecord.com.
MSHS graduates 415 seniors

The school’s 75th graduation ceremony was held Friday, June 7, at the Kent ShoWare Arena.

Most Read