Big Hangar

Browning Hangar, MDA Timeline and Subsequent Ordinances

The Master Development Agreement (MDA), which governs development of the entirety of the Mueller PUD, was enacted on 2 Dec 2004, and Catellus corporation was contracted as the master developer, tasked with leading the transformation of the site from a decommissioned airport and industrial warehousing facility into a mixed-use residential/commercial district.

The historic Browning Hangar (Bow-Trussed Hangar) is mentioned several times in the MDA:

1) MDA, Page 63:

Section 8.1 - Catellus' Development Covenants
(k) Sale of Open Space.

Except for the Control Tower and Bow-Trussed Hangar, Catellus will not sell, lease, convey or otherwise transfer ownership of any portion of the Open Space except to the Owners' Association or a dedication to the public. All sales, leases or other transfers of the Control Tower and/or the Bow-Trussed Hangar, or any portion thereof, must be approved in advance by the City, which approval will not be unreasonably withheld.

This section makes it clear that the city must approve a sale of the hangar IN ADVANCE of the sale. Under the current process where Catellus is negotiating with a private party and the city to get approval for a sale, there will be no opportunity for public review or comment before the sale is complete, and any assurances of a "seat at the table" are entirely up to the discretion of the new owner after the fact. 

2) MDA, Exhibit M, Current Zoning
[Rezoning] Ordinance No. 040826-61
Page 3

Part 4 - Definitions
Section (A) (10) OPEN SPACE means the land use areas identified on Exhibit C (Land Use Plan) as OS-1, OS-2, OS-3 and OS-4. The Open Space land use areas are intended to provide a continuous system of open space along the perimeter of the Mueller PUD community, and include community facilities such as the fire station, school, bow-trussed hangar, and control tower. Mixed-use buildings are permitted.

When the property was rezoned from airport to PUD, the hangar was included in OPEN SPACE and defined as a COMMUNITY FACILITY.

3) MDA Exhibit W - Design Guidelines
Chapter 5, Open Space and Recreation
Section 5.2 - Lake Park

Bow-Trussed Hangar: The bow-trussed hangar structure should be studied to determine the feasibility of retaining it as a landmark within the park for community use, a publicly oriented commercial-recreational use and/or as a sales and information center for Mueller.

It's clear from this language that the hangar was originally included as a component of Lake Park, and that there were multiple potential use cases contemplated for the long-term future of the hangar.

4)Main Agreement
Exhibit D - Illustrative Property Plan

Map clearly indicates the hangar as part of Lake Park. It is worthy of note that, to this day, there are no commercial entities of any kind in the Lake Park area.
5) MDA, pages 73-74
Section 8.9 - Bow-Trussed Hangar and Control Tower

(a) Bow-Trussed Hangar. Within one year from the Effective Date, Catellus shall conduct a study regarding the temporary structural support of the Bow-Trussed Hangar to maintain its structural integrity pending a decision regarding its long term future. Such study must be reasonably acceptable to the City and Catellus shall implement all measures reasonably required thereby. Within two years from the Effective Date, Catellus shall also conduct an economic reuse feasibility study regarding the Bow-Trussed Hangar. Following completion of such study, the City and Catellus shall meet to develop a long term plan for the Bow-Trussed Hangar taking into account the (i) findings of the study, (ii) economic costs of the long term plan, (iii) health and safety of the public, and (iv) desire to retain the Bow-Trussed Hangar due to its historical significance. Catellus shall implement all measures reasonably required by such long term plan. Such long term plan may include the sale or lease of the Bow-Trussed Hangar.

This is the section that required Catellus to restore the structural integrity of the hangar, and to conduct an economic reuse study. I could find no public record of this study, but it is presumably the document which identified the preferred long-time use as a restaurant/bar, and is driving the current effort to sell the site.

5) Ordinance No. 20090423-087: Amending Mueller PUD Zoning District - Effective May 4 2009


P A R T 6
The Mueller PUD land use plan under the Original Ordinance, as amended, is modified and amended as shown in this Part 6 as to land use areas, density, site development standards, sign districts, and permitted uses.

Subsection C
2) A cocktail lounge is a permitted use in the historic hangar and Mueller Central site within Lake Park in OS-2 land use area.

This city ordinance is the first documented mention of a cocktail bar as a permitted use for the hangar, presumably following the feasibility study Catellus was contractually obligated to conduct by the MDA. Passed in 2009 with no record of public input. Worth noting that at the time, the hangar was still considered to be part of the Lake Park OS-2 land use area.

6) MDA pages 67-68:
Section 8.2 - City's Development Covenants
(h) City's Park Maintenance Contribution

The City, as the current owner of the Property, has set ambitious social and economic goals for its redevelopment including the construction and maintenance of publicly accessible open space. Traditionally, the City obligates itself to maintain publicly dedicated open space. It is contemplated by the parties that first Catellus and then the Owners' Association will maintain the publicly accessible open space as a benefit to the City. Due to the City's current ownership of the Property, the ambitious social and economic goals of the City, the nature of this project in revitalizing an urban infill location, Catellus constructing regional drainage infrastructure for this infill area, and the City's traditional obligations with respect to maintenance of publicly accessible open space, so long as a Catellus Event of Default does not exist hereunder or under the executed Special Warranty Deeds prepared from the form attached hereto as Exhibit T, the City, through its Parks and Recreation Department, or successor department, and subject to annual appropriation, agrees to provide an annual payment in an amount to be agreed upon to Catellus or the Owners' Association to offset its anticipated maintenance costs to the same level as if the City were to retain maintenance responsibility for the publicly accessible open space in a manner consistent with other City maintained publicly accessible open space (the "City's Park Maintenance Contribution"). Upon transfer or assignment of any of the Property that is publicly accessible open space by Catellus to the Owners' Association, Catellus shall have no further obligation to maintain such portion of the Property and the City shall confirm in writing with the Owners' Association its agreement to fund the City's Park Maintenance Contribution to the Owners' Association in substantially the same manner as provided herein.

This section is one of the more problematic in the MDA in the sense that it makes it quite expensive for the city to designate the hangar as parkland. By changing the hangar site to parkland or publicly-owned open space, the city would forego millions of dollars from the sale of the property as well as future property tax revenues realized from private ownership; in addition, the city would be committed to providing annual maintenance payments to the Mueller POA commensurate with similar costs for other city-owned property.

7) Ordinance No. 20200123-077: Amending Mueller PUD Zoning District - Effective Feb 3 2020

Ordinance doubled the allowed square footage for cocktail lounge in OS-2 from 5000sf to 10000sf. It mentions both the hangar and the Catellus admin office building.
Existing zoning states that parks and rec / community rec usage already permitted for OS-2.
Site development regs for OS-2/hangar.
Site is permitted for potential alternative revenue stream of leasing comm tower built on roof of hangar.