Article VIII: General Development

Section 8.01 Boards and Commissions: Citizen boards, commissions, advisory committees and task forces provide an invaluable service in providing advice to the mayor and council that informs their decision making. The city council is empowered by state law and city ordinance to fill, by appointment, all boards and commissions established by such state law, charter or ordinance or such other advisory boards or commissions as the council deems necessary or advisable to appoint.  In the exercise of this power, council shall be consistent in its process and decision making to fairly select and appoint citizens who desire to serve.

Establishment; Boards, commissions, committees and task forces may be required under state law, established through city ordinance or established by motion of the city council. 

Appointment:  The city shall publicly announce all vacancies on boards, commissions, advisory committees or task forces by advertising and other reasonable methods.  Any resident of the community may submit an application for consideration of appointment.  The city council shall evaluate each applicant for appointment based on objective criteria established by council.  Members shall be appointed by a majority vote of council during a regularly scheduled meeting.  City employees may not be appointed to city boards and commissions.

Dissolution of Boards, Commissions and Committees:  Council may dissolve any board, commission, committee or task force that has completed its function or purpose with the exception of boards, commissions or committees required under state law.  Dissolution of some boards or commissions may require revisions to the Vancouver Municipal Code.  (As amended by vote of the people on November 3, 2015)

Section 8.02 Planning Commission: A city planning commission has been duly established under the provisions of the general laws of the state and is hereby recognized.  Its membership, duties, and powers may be enlarged by ordinance to enable it to recommend comprehensive municipal plans relating to planning, zoning, platting and land development, slum clearance, and the rehabilitation of blighted areas, and areas damaged by disaster.  Its reports and recommendations shall be submitted to the city manager who shall transmit the same to the city council, together with any additions or modifications.  The city council may adopt comprehen­sive plans or portions thereof, and do all things necessary or convenient to execute the same, and may cooperate with the state and federal governments and apply for, and receive, loans and grants in aid.   (As amended by vote of the people on November 3, 2015)

Section 8.03 Board of Adjustment: The city council may provide by ordinance for a board of adjustment of five members which may be given authority to hear and determine appeals from the ruling of the building inspector on the provisions of the zoning ordinance, and to grant special exceptions to, or variations from, the zoning regulations in accordance with standards and proce­dures prescribed by ordinance.   (As amended by vote of the people on November 3, 2015)

Section 8.04 Housing Authority: A housing authority has been duly established for this city under the provisions of the applicable law of the State of Washington and of the United States, and the city council is authorized to cooperate with the housing authority under the terms of the said acts, or as hereafter amended, or under other enactments relating thereto, and by ordinance to provide to the extent deemed necessary, safe and sanitary housing accommodations for persons of low income.  (As amended by vote of the people on November 3, 2015)

Section 8.05 Parks and Recreation: The city shall acquire, maintain and operate an adequate system of public parks and playgrounds and shall make ample provision for recreational facilities, supervi­sion, and programs, and may cooperate with school districts, public bodies, public corporations, and other organiza­tions to that end.  There shall be a parks and recreation commission appointed by the mayor, subject to the approval of the city council.  A member of the school administra­tion of each school district with territory within the city limits shall be appointed to the commission and up to nine additional members shall be appointed at large from residents of the city.  Commission members shall serve without pay, and shall have such advisory responsibilities with respect to manage­ment, supervision, and control of the recreational facilities and programs under the direction and supervision of the city manager as may be assigned by ordinance.  The commission shall recommend to the city council through the city manager all programs and plans for parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities, and supervision, and for the expenditures of all city funds to be devoted to such purposes. (As amended by vote of the people on November 7, 1978,  November 8, 1994, and November 3, 2015.)

Section 8.06 Library: Free public library services are provided for this city by a library district in accordance with state law. In the event that the district no longer provides such services to the city due to disincorporation, withdrawal or by other lawful means, the city council shall forthwith establish a free public library system and shall appropriate adequate sums for provision of ample library services, maintenance and operation. (As amended by vote of the people on November 2, 1999, and November 3, 2015)