Notes from Shoreline City Council meeting Oct 15

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Shoreline City Hall
Photo by Mike Remarcke
Shoreline City Council Meeting 10/15/2018 
By Pam Cross

Presentation of City Manager Debbie Tarry
  • Hamlin Halloween Haunt Friday 10/19 6-8:30 family friendly event 
  • Sound Transit Community Meeting on 145th Corridor on 10/17 two meetings 1 and 6pm .An opportunity to provide input for parking, sidewalks and lane configuration. 
  • 185th Project Corridor Walking or Bike Tours 10/21 RSVP required 
  • Planning commission will meet 10/18 in Council Chamber regarding potential expansion of the Deep Green Incentive Program. Public comment is welcome. 
Council Reports:
  • Councilman Roberts. From last week’s PIC meeting (Public Issues Committee) draft legislative agenda has been shared with the Councilmembers for comments. King County has released its draft plan for their Affordable Housing Action Plan. While it is essentially a good plan there are some areas that may be of concern. 
  • Mayor Hall reported that the S/P Bond Rating meeting went well. Also the State Auditor gave Shoreline a completely clean audit with no findings or management issues. 
Public Comments:
  • Action Item 8a (Ordinance 844) is before Council for the first time tonight so there is an opportunity for the public to speak after the Staff report as well as at this time. 
  • Action Item 8b (Ordinance 838) is what a “quasi-judicial” action which means there was a public hearing before the Hearing Examiner which creates the record for Council’s decision. The Council cannot accept public comments at this time. 
There were no public comments on any issue.

Approval of Agenda:

Councilman Scully proposed adding an Action Item 8c to discuss adding Shoreline to the amicus brief prepared by the city of Olympia regarding the legality of a city income tax. After discussion the Motion failed 3 to 4 due to lack of time.The Mayor noted that the Association of Washington Cities has signed onto it so it will be moving forward.

The two Study items were switched in sequence without objection. With that the Agenda was approved. The Consent Calendar was also adopted.

Action Items:

8a Adopting Ordinance No. 844 – Authorizing the Acquisition of Real Property for the Purpose of Provision of Sewer Service Utility and Uses Related Thereto by Negotiated Voluntary Purchase, Under Threat of Condemnation, or by Condemnation

The City Attorney, Ms. King, gave the Staff presentation.

Ordinance 844 authorizes Staff to move ahead for acquisition of property already conveyed to the City. The City has authority to operate a sewer system (RCW 35.67 and 35.92) and to assume a Special Purpose District (RCW 35.13A.030). The City has been in the process of assuming Ronald Sewer District. The property under discussion contains a lift station (pump station) and related facilities that serve about 48 Shoreline houses. The City’s retention of the property is necessary for the current and future protection and continued operations of the sewer system. Staff recommends adoption with one amendment to clarify all of the parcels by including the list of parcels. The amendment is necessary because there were subsequent boundary consolidations and the City wants to be clear what parcels are required.

Rule of Procedure 3.5 (requiring three readings) was waived by a vote of Council due to the urgency to adopt this ordinance tonight.

Council discussion included the parcels will be priced at market value which may be more or less than the $10,000 previously paid. All six parcels may not be applicable, depending on the location of the easement. We want to make sure acquiring the easement for the pump station includes the easements required to pump in/out. Other entities may have other rights to these properties but we are only interested in protecting our easements and we need to act now to protect our easement rights. It is hoped we can work this out without condemnation procedures, perhaps by voluntary granting of easements.

The motion passed unanimously.

8b Adopting Ordinance No. 838 – Rezone at 14507 and 14511 Stone Avenue North

Miranda Redinger, Shoreline Senior Planner, presented the Staff report.

Briefly, the applicant requests rezone from R48 (residential) to MB (commercial mixed business). There is no planned development in the proposal. The project meets the decision criteria in the Comprehensive Plan. The Hearing Examiner recommends approval of the rezone and Staff recommends adoption of ordinance 838.

At this point the Mayor reminds of Councilmembers of the importance of reporting ex parte communications.

Council comments included concern that the lack of proposed development plans could result in increased rents depending on the nature of future development. While most neighbors responded favorably to the rezone, there is no indication that current tenants were queried. However since this proposal meets the necessary criteria, it was adopted by a vote of 6-1 move to adopt. Councilmember Salomon voted against.

Study Items: 

9a Update on Sound Transit ST3 145th / SR523

Natasha Walters, Shoreline Transportation Services Manager
Paul Cornish, BRT Program Director
Kathy Leotta, ST Project Manager for the 145th/SR 523 BRT Project

There was a lengthy, detailed presentation and discussion of everything from outreach efforts to the necessity of getting this project done correctly and on budget. Topics included impacts on property and traffic, non-motorized access to ST stations, pedestrian sidewalks and crossings, queue jumps for transit to improve speed and reliability, private vehicle usage, interagency requirements, and cost and schedule.

Now that consultants are onboard this project is moving very quickly along the entire corridor. They are currently working on community and stakeholder engagement.

The original Representative Project is now being refined. Key considerations include transit speed and reliability, impacts on property and traffic and trying to mitigate those impacts, non motorized access to the stations, coordination with local plans, WSDOT and transit, and cost and schedule. Shoreline and Seattle expressed a desire for transit priority improvements on NE 145th (bus-only lanes, queue jumps), pedestrian crossings and good access to BRT stations by all users.

Refinement 1. Repurpose current lanes. Can we use existing lanes space to reduce property purchases? Queue jumps require widening roadway in those areas. WSDOT requires consideration of roundabouts at every intersection. They will analyze and present to WSDOT, however queue jumps through roundabouts will not work. 

Refinement 2. more sidewalks and shorter queue jumps.

A third option is Intersection Refinement that adds left turn lanes from NE 145th to SR 522. This could be included in options 1 or 2.

The next steps are further refinements and outreach, continued interagency meetings, and city meetings.

Council discussion summarized:

145th has been a challenge for a long time. Public officials from Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and Bothell seem to be more concerned about this section of the project than their own sections because if 145th doesn’t work, the whole project won’t work.

This is a very high volume traffic road. Volume is currently higher than when road diet and rechannelization effects stop working. We can’t have people stuck in traffic, sitting in a bus for 10-20 minutes to go the last mile and a half to the station, so buses need to be the priority. We may need full BAT lanes the entire corridor because eliminating a lane or just putting in queue jumps is not going to work. On the other hand, people will still be in cars. Some won’t want to drive to a place to catch a bus to get to light rail to take them to work, and some will find it’s more convenient and takes less time to drive. We don’t want short term fixes to get transit moving and then have to go back and completely redo sections of it to accommodate different lane configurations.

One project assumes an additional lane, the other would be taking a lane away. Making a designated bus lane will be a challenge. We need assurance that the ST plans are provided to City Staff so they will have time to consider how this is going to affect our community before ST finalizes the plan.

In ST3 the project everyone agreed to was to add a lane for increased capacity for buses, yet we are talking about taking away a general purpose lane. 145th is SR 523. It is a major regional connector, not a local street. The whole corridor is one state highway to another state highway to a freeway. This is a gap the State needs to address. it is really important to look at it as a system.

The City of Seattle owns the south side of 145th. They need to do more than acknowledge property acquisition but “prefer not to go that way”. We cannot pretend there is no property impact. Property acquisition has to be on the table in order to provide wider lanes, wider sidewalks, more lanes, and turn lanes. The Council recognizes that it wasn’t fun to have to send this message to Shoreline residents but you can’t pretend it won’t happen.

We need to be conscious of the interests of the property owners, but we also need to maintain a vision of how to move thousands of people through this corridor for years to come. How do we get it right?

Is there a level of service (LOS) goal? No. All parties involved have their own LOS depending on the objective. It’s not going to be a straightforward choice of which LOS, but developing one that considers all concerns.

Shoreline has been looking at this project for a very long time. Now we are talking about more tradeoffs and less budget. Current traffic backs up at the left turn lights. Left turn lanes will help that for now. But the projections may be excluding what we don’t even know about how traffic volume will increase. We shouldn’t start making too many concessions yet.

When looking at all these designs, how will ST decide what’s good enough?

ST acknowledges they won’t be able to solve all the problems on 145th. They will consider travel times and traffic impacts such as access to the corridor, while staying supportive of property owners. The budget will mean trade-offs. ST wants to get the transit through and the traffic is up to WADOT and the cities.

9b Presentation of the Proposed 2019-2020 Biennial Budget and the 2019-2024 Capital Improvement Plan

Debbie Tarry, City Manager
Sara Lane, Administrative Services Director
Rick Kirkwood, Budget Supervisor

From the Staff Report:

“The City Manager is required to submit the 2019-2020 Proposed Biennial Budget to the City Council no later than November 1, 2018. Tonight’s presentation will introduce the 2019-2020 Proposed Biennial Budget document to the City Council, provide policy background concerning its development, highlight key budget issues, highlight the proposed 2019-2020 work plan, and propose a budget review process and schedule. Although we work with a two year budget in order to keep financial sustainability, they are taking a 10 year view.”

The Staff Report includes 8 pages of graphs and charts outlining the budget. This is far too detailed for a summary here. A copy of the Staff Report is available on the City of Shoreline website.

Council comments included questioning the difference in FTE (Full Time Employee) in various cities. Shoreline has added city landscaping employees this year increasing FTE, as well as adding a “half person” here and another there. Other cities are probably contracting out many of their operations (landscaping, city attorney services, permitting etc.) resulting in fewer FTE. The expense is there, just in a different part of the budget.

The schedule for the Budget and CIP Review follows.
  • September 17, 2018: Presentation of Preliminary View of the 2019-2020 Biennium Budget and the 2019-2024 CIP (done) 
  • October 15, 2018: Presentation of Proposed Budget and CIP (done)
  • October 22, 2018: Discussing department budgets 
  • October 29, 2018: Discussing department budgets and the CIP
  • November 5, 2018:
    • Public hearing and discussing the Proposed Budget and CIP
    • Discussing final 2018 Budget Amendment
    • Public hearing and discussing the 2019-2020 property tax and revenue sources
  • November 19, 2018:
    • Public hearing and discussing the Proposed Budget and CIP
    • Adopting the 2019-2020 Property Tax Levy,
    • Adopting the 2019-2020 Biennium Budget and the 2019-2024 CIP 

The Meeting was adjourned at 8:53pm to be followed by an Executive Session.


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