By Sally Gillie, Monitor
The city of Monroe’s $2 million sale of the Galaxy Theatre property to Beta-Kelsey Station is expected to close on Nov. 30, which means the city will no longer be landlords of the multiplex theater.
The finalization of the sale has been delayed while the city negotiated with Beta-Kelsey and Galaxy to resolve several issues, including the matter of easements on the nine-acre property. Those negotiations are on their way to being resolved satisfactorily, said Jeff Sax, Monroe Economic Development Director. The easements will open up the property to cross traffic between Kelsey Road and the Galaxy Theatre, and also allow access through the gravel lot behind the theatre.
The city council met in closed session during its Nov. 20 meeting to approve final paperwork on the property easement, and those details have not yet been made public, said Sax.
Sax said the change of property ownership means that Beta-Kelsey Station will hold the lease for the movie theater, which will stay open for business as usual. Terms of the lease, which call for annual payments of $156,000, will remain the same. As a result of the sale, the city will no longer have to pay $20,000 a year in lease-hold taxes, said Sax.
Mayor Robert Zimmerman thanked Sax and city attorney Zach Lell for their efforts in recent weeks on behalf of the city to reach a final agreement between Galaxy and Beta-Kelsey Station.
City clerk position included in 2013 budget
The council approved adding one new hire to the city’s administrative staff in 2013. That position will be a city clerk/public records employee to help with the growing number of requests for public records information. The city finance committee met earlier in the month to look at ways to fund the position. Mayor Robert Zimmerman expressed concern about long term funding. It was decided that the money for the new hire will be taken out of the city’s undesignated fund balance. The new position will cost an estimated $90,000 a year, which includes a $59,000 salary and benefits.
Chain Lake rezone
The council took final action to overturn a 2010 ordinance that rezoned five acres on Chain Lake Road and north of Mountain Ridge Road. The ordinance had changed the zoning to allow for higher density housing, but that was contingent on a developer’s agreement that called for future construction to be retirement housing/assisted living, single family homes or a type-one group home.
However, that development never happened, and ownership of the property has reverted to the banks. As a result of overturning the ordinance, any future rezone will have to go through a public hearing process before the city planning commission.
Preliminary subdivision on Dennis Street addition gets approval
The Dennis Way subdivision was given preliminary plat approval.
Developer Rick Hansen plans to create 26 single-family lots on the property at 16011 Dennis Wy., located north of Main Street and south of 159th Street S.E.
Approval for the development requires that Hansen abide by conditions set by City Hearing Examiner Phil Olbrecht, who reviewed Hansen’s application in October and has issued two determinations on the project. Those conditions include requirements that Hansen provide frontage improvements for the subdivision, including curbs, gutters, sidewalks and street trees, and that traffic control devices and street signs be installed before final plat approval is given. Hansen will also be required to keep any existing trees that may be located within the setbacks on the western boundary of the development, and install a six-foot fence along the northerly boundary of the subdivision.
Objections to the development, voiced by neighbors, have included concerns about the impacts resulting from bringing in higher density housing to the neighborhood and the loss of trees.