Shoreline Council Meeting Notes 12-10-18

Friday, December 14, 2018

2018 Shoreline City Council
Seated Deputy Mayor Jesse Salomon, Mayor Will Hall
Standing from left:McConnell, Roberts, Scully, McGlashan, Chang

Shoreline Council Meeting Notes
December 10, 2018
By Pam Cross

A video of the meeting is available on the City’s website.

The meeting was called to order at 7:00pm by Mayor Hall.

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry
  • Last Saturday was Breakfast with Santa. Both sessions were sold out.
  • The Police Department held their annual all-staff meeting and employee awards presentation. Matthew Metzger was named Professional Employee of the Year, Brandon Moen was Sergeant of the Year, Eric Soderstrom was named Detective of the Year, and Deputy of the year was Edgar PiƱa Sanchez.
  • The Christmas Ship will visit RB Saltwater Park Wednesday, Dec 12th 7:30-9:00pm.
  • Kruckeberg Botanic Garden has their sparkling lights winter Solstice Stroll Thursday through Saturday, December 13-15 and December 20-22 from 4:30 to 8:30pm. Admission is free although a $10 donation is encouraged. Parking is available at the RB Congregational Church with a free shuttle.
  • The City is accepting applications for City Council Position #6 to fill the seat occupied by Deputy Mayor Jesse Salomon who is stepping down to serve in the State Senate.   Applications must be received by 5pm on January 3, 2019. The application is available on the City’s website.
Public Reminders:
  • Hearing Examiner public hearing Wednesday, December 19, 6:00pm - 8:00pm in Council Chamber regarding Sound Transit’s proposal to construct a portion of the light rail elevated guideway in the McAleer Creek buffer.
  • Planning Commission December 20 meeting has been cancelled.
  • The next City Council meeting will be Monday, January 7, 2019 after the winter recess.
  • Holiday Closures:
  • City Hall, Spartan Recreation Center and Shoreline Pool will be closed December 25 and January 1.
  • Spartan Rec Center and Shoreline Pool will close at noon on December 2 and December 31.
Mayor Hall presented a plaque to Deputy Mayor Salomon commemorating his six years on the City Council. The Mayor praised him for his work towards trimming the City budget and containing costs, for being a champion for the environment, working hard on clean water and on fish habitat, and for being the leading advocate for Shoreline’s up to 12-week paid leave for city employees who need to care for themselves or a family member with a medical condition.
Salomon thanked the Mayor and said he appreciates the kindness and compassion of the community. He said he is not leaving Shoreline, just representing the City in a different way.

Council Reports
  • Councilmembers McConnell and McGlashan attended the monthly SeaShore Transportation Forum. McConnell authored a letter to the Forum reiterating Shoreline’s needs for ST3. 
  • Councilmember Roberts attended last week’s Puget Sound Regional Council Executive Board Meeting. The ST Lynnwood Link Station has been changed from “candidate” to “approved.”
  • Mayor Hall announced that North Urban Human Services Alliance (NUHSA) awarded the Shoreline Council its President’s Award for its work to fund human services. (see article)
Public Comment. - There were 13 speakers.

Lance Young spoke on the agenda item Adoption of Ordinance No. 849 – Declaring an Emergency and Adding a New Section to SMC 20.30.420 - Changes to Approved Subdivision to Address Plat Alterations – as Interim Regulation.

He stated this appears to be a fairly complicated issue involving modification of plat notes or covenants. He was concerned that plats and covenants were the same thing but, having learned they are not, still feels the Council should follow the usual procedure of public comment before having interim change due to concern that neighborhoods have not been included in a discussion of their private property rights.

Lee Keim spoke in order to draw attention to 350 Seattle’s proposed ordinance to prohibit new fossil fuel infrastructure. The ordinance is scheduled to go before King County in January. Kine would like Shoreline to support the ordinance.

The remaining 11 speakers expressed their dissatisfaction with the current proposal for the new pool. They outlined the need for eight lanes in the lap pool with adequate depth for flip turns, a diving platform, and a large viewing area. Adequate depth is also necessary for water polo clubs. The reasons included adequacy for competitions, room for Shoreline’s growing population, desire to maintain swim/dive teams as a “no cut” sport. Swimming was presented as a healthy sport available to everyone including those who cannot compete in contact sports. It was suggested the outdoor green space could be reduced and the facility enlarged. Speakers included students and parents: Susie McDowell, Allison Jaquish, Raina Haltiner, Karl Lapham, Robbie Elerick, Isaac Poole, Kerri Hallgrimson, Charlie Miller, Timothy Sherry, Betsy Rand, and Aaron Franklin.

The Council approved the Agenda subject to moving item 7d from “consent” to “action.”
The Council approved the Consent Calendar unanimously.

Action Items

Action item 8a (formerly consent item 7d)
Adoption of Ordinance No. 849 – Declaring an Emergency and Adding a New Section to SMC 20.30.420 - Changes to Approved Subdivision to Address Plat Alterations – as Interim Regulation.

Margaret King, City Attorney did a quick presentation.
Ordinance 849 is to put into place an administrative procedure to process requests for plat alterations. There are notes that can be put on the face of a plat that further restrict such things as subdivision or other conditions located on a plat. The new process will follow RCW58.17.215 (see below)

There are covenants that can also be put on the face of a plat. Changing covenants that were filed with the plat requires the same provisions under RCW 58.17.215 (notice to all property owners, and approval by majority or all property owners, depending on what is being changed).

Ordinance 849 will be in effect for 6 months to allow the Council to establish temporary, interim regulations while the Planning Commission prepares a recommendation for permanent regulations. The interim regulations do not address private restrictive covenants.

From the Staff Report:
“The City’s Planning and Community Development Department has received numerous proposed developments that require an alteration of the recorded subdivision plat to remove restrictions, including density and use restrictions, in order to develop the property as allowed by the City’s current zoning. The recent spike in the need for plat alterations is due, in part, to the light rail station area rezones.

The number of plats requiring alterations, however, has revealed that the City’s existing subdivision regulations… does not adequately address the statutory requirements set out in state law in a streamlined manner.” (pac)

Council discussion:
Councilmember Scully requested the change from Consent to Action item because there were several questions from the public. Private restrictive covenants are not affected by Ordinance 849 and this would eliminate some of the red tape. He supports this ordinance.
Councilmember Chang had also received questions from the people concerned that changes were being made on how the plats could be modified. But the interim regulations still require consent of the property owners.

Ordinance 849 was adopted unanimously.

Action Item 8b
Adopting Ordinance No. 845 - 2018 Comprehensive Plan Amendments 8a-1
Steve Szafran, Senior Planner
When last discussed on Oct 29, 2018 there were changes proposed and discussed.
From Oct 29 meeting notes: “zoning, figures and other administrative type corrections, where later changes made the existing document inaccurate. Maps were updated with similar changes in property lines or zoning. For example, a zoning change made during the year needed to be updated so users could depend on its accuracy. Some amendments clarified ambiguities.” (pac)
Amendments 6 and 7 removed references to specific areas so these designations can be used for different areas. This will align with other land use policies.

Ordinance 845 was adopted unanimously.

Action item 8c
Adopting 2019 State Legislative Priorities 8b-1
Jim Hammond, Intergovernmental/CMO Program Manager
The legislative priorities were discussed during the Nov 26 Council meeting. There have been modifications made to reflect Shoreline’s interests and priorities.

Councilmember Roberts commented he especially liked the inclusion of environmental sustainability.

The 2019 State Legislative agenda was adopted unanimously.

Study Items

9(a) Discussing the Sound Cities Association Public Issues (PIC) Committee Policy Position on the Regional Affordable Housing Task Force Five Year Action Plan 9a-1
Jim Hammond, Alison Mendiola (Housing Coordinator, King Co Council), and Kelly Rider (Intergovernmental Affairs Manager, King Co Dept of Community and Human Services DCHS)

Councilmember Roberts brought this to Council because he, as a board member of PIC, is expected to vote on this at the PIC meeting this week.

The Task Force put together a Five Year Action Plan. Details are available by viewing the Council Meeting on the City Website.

The following is from the Council’s discussion:

Councilmembers Chang and McConnell have concerns with Goal 4 - Preserve access to affordable homes for renters by supporting tenant protections that will prevent homelessness. This includes preventing unnecessary evictions. As owners of rental homes, Chang and McConnell are aware of the already cumbersome and expensive eviction process and believe that a balance of landlord and tenants’ rights is necessary. Owners of one or two rentals rely on the steady income from rental units to meet their expenses and/or investment goals. Too many regulations on landlords will discourage people from investing in rental units.
Response: They are familiar with these concerns and discussions will continue.

Councilmember Scully suggested Goal 2 Increase construction and preservation of affordable homes for households earning less than 50% AMI (area median income). There is no affordable housing requirement that he could find (like we have in Shoreline) and there is only so much available state land and money. This isn’t going to happen without a more aggressive approach.
Response: Strategy (a) of Goal 3 incorporates affordable homes or mandatory affordable housing. The affordable housing requirement is in the area of 60-80% AMI. They want to include vouchers as well as affordable housing in order to get to 50% AMI.

Councilmember Roberts reminded Council that this is meant as a blueprint, not a mandate. He asked Staff if evictions are coming from landlords of fewer units, or larger property landlords?
Strategy (a) of Goal 4 talks about consistency of regulations. The Task Force is asking the legislature to adopt these policies because tenants aren’t necessarily aware of laws in different, even adjacent, jurisdictions. However he recognizes that the same rules may not apply to a large management company as well as the landlord with only a handful of rental properties.

Mayor Hall said the upcoming vote is asking PIC to support the Task Force Five Year Action Plan. His question to Staff is: will this discussion be enough or should the City Council prepare a letter or something to make sure this message gets across.
Response: Ongoing there will be opportunity to address these issues.

The Mayor stated this is a great action to address the symptoms of the housing crisis, but it does nothing about the cause. Prices increase because supply has not kept up with demand.
The Task Force has been asked to base decisions on the assumption that we’re going to have 500,000 more people living in King County in the next 20 years. However our public policies around economic development determine how many people will live here. So this assumption is not some independent variable. One of the things that needs to be done is to interrupt the causes. The County and the region needs to decide if it remains socially desirable for us to have policies that to continue to drive population growth at its current rate. There will be growth. Are there things we can do to reduce the demand on our housing stock.

Councilmembers had no concerns with Roberts supporting the Task Force. There was no vote since this was not an action item.

Study Item (b) Discussing Ordinance No. 850 - Amending Development Code Sections 20.20, 20.30, 20.40, 20.50, 20.70, and 20.230 9b1
Steve Szafran, Senior Planner
Paul Cohen, Planning Manager

The types of amendments were divided into 15 administrative, 8 clarifications, and 12 policy amendments.
The policy amendments initiated by citizens include
#24 - exempt significant tree removal based on parcel size
#26 & 29 - increased fines and penalties for illegally moved trees
#2, 12 & 15 - homeless shelter - create a definition, add homeless shelters to the Use Table, criteria the homeless shelter would be required to meet in order to operate in the City

Councilmember McGlashan, under #2, why does it state “may” provide sanitation services. Shouldn’t this be required? At least toilets? Mayor Hall agrees. Councilmember Scully pointed out that this is the definition. The criteria amendment #15 would cover whether or not this is a requirement.
Response: it’s a building code requirement under a different section of the Code

Deputy Mayor Salomon, 15e says that parking spaces must be provided for any workers or volunteers. Volunteers may be there only an hour or two. This seems onerous and unnecessary in Shoreline.
Response: if it is located in a commercial area, there likely will be parking lots.
Salomon agrees but doesn’t think it needs to be a requirement. He would like this changed.

Councilmember Roberts agrees with Salomon. Prefers “the parking plan will be submitted and approved by the Director” which would allow for different types of shelters (24 hour vs 10 hour, for example).

Mayor Hall asked for feedback from the rest of Council. McGlashan, Chang, McConnell and Scully agree with the discretion of the Director. Scully did provide an example from Seattle where employee’ and volunteers’ parked cars for a homeless shelter use up all of the available street parking in front of adjacent businesses. McGlashan states the Director should be aware of this possibility.
The Mayor requests Staff work on changing this section.

#3 New definition of landscape structures, combining such things as trellis and arbor.
#18 Allows height exceptions for roof type structures for commercial structures as used in MUR zones
#21 Allows Administrative Design Review process for single family residences, attached and multifamily, to get the into the code the City’s desire to create attractive and innovative site and building design

Roberts questioned #18 and parallel #17, which talk about exceeding the base height for roof top structures. Is there a maximum number of roof structures than can exceed this height? Multiple 15’ rooftop structures could make the overall height of the building appear 15’ higher (elevator, stairs, antenna etc.).
Response: too many structures will trigger building code calling it an extra story, which will not be allowed

The Mayor asked Staff to look into what other cities are doing, or what can be done, to limit the structures to keep it from getting out of control. This can be done before the next set of technical amendments, since it has not been an issue so far.
Response: Staff also suggest possible distance from the edge of the building

#27 - Tree retention for public improvements
#28 - Tree replacement for public improvements
These except trees that have to be removed for a city required or a city improvement project, so they don’t have to replace those trees that the city makes them take out.

Councilmember Scully says this is the same as giving an OK to clearcut the area. Often these situations can be worked around. For example, a new sidewalk can jog around an established tree. Scully would prefer at Director’s discretion or when it’s impossible to construct or some other thing along these lines.

After significant discussion including Mayor Hall and Councilmembers Scully, Chang, and Roberts it was clear that no one was completely comfortable with the way this amendment was worded. It is referred back to Staff for additional study and clarifying language to make the intent of the amendment clear. Councilmember Salomon mentioned that #24 should be included in this discussion since it removes the cap on the maximum number of significant trees that can be removed. This is referred to Staff.

#26 to increase fees for tree violations. Salomon believes the penalties should be greater. Staff says this will come up in the next batch because they have to go through the planning commission first. It is possible that #26 will result in lower penalties than currently in the books. This will be ‘do not follow’, but put on 2019 batch.

#33 - delete frontage improvements requirements for single-family residence conversion to commercial use (new station area) e.g. converting house to coffee shop. Requiring frontage improvements could deter people from doing these conversions. McGlashan points out these conversions can maintain a lot of character in a neighborhood. He also says we need adequate threshold for when frontage improvements are required.
#34 - waivers for frontage improvements allow public works to waive some requirements.
Roberts thinks the provision is pretty broad (#3). Roberts says it would be better if limited to certain zones. Chang asked about fee in lieu of sidewalks on frontage. Mayor Hall would like to bring this back for a separate study item.

These amendments will be reviewed again at the January 7th meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:40pm.


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