Don Jensen will continue to lead the Longview City Council after he was unanimously re-elected Thursday as mayor.
The vote came immediately after Chet Makinster, Steve Moon and MaryAlice Wallis were sworn in by Judge Marilyn Haan. No one else on the council was nominated for the position.
“Thank you very kindly for you allowing me to guide council again for two years. I am very happy to that. I’m just thankful,” Jensen, who has been mayor since 2013, said after the vote.
The council then immediately and unanimously elected Councilman Mike Wallin as mayor pro-tem.
In other business, the council approved zoning code changes which will reduce requirements for minimum lot size, density, building height, maximum impervious area, design standards, and the off-street parking code.
There will now be no density limit for R-3 and R-4 districts but any multi-family building exceeding 30 units need a minimum lot size of 12,000 square feet (slightly more than a quarter-acre).
In addition, all facade requirements were eliminated.
After a member of the public expressed concern about possible conflict of interest for Wallin, a realtor, City Attorney Jim McNamara said it was an unfounded accusation.
“Anything that council does, especially in a city the size of Longview, is necessarily going to affect council members,” McNamara said. “The focus when you look at conflict of interest is if a council member is taking action that will directly benefit them or member of their family. And this is so far removed from that.”
The council voted unanimously to accept the zoning changes.
“This is setting an opportunity to create a more marketable situation for both the developer and renter, so it’s a good opportunity for the community,” Councilman Moon said.