Notes from the Feb 25, 2019 Shoreline City Council Meeting

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Shoreline City Hall
Photo by Steven H. Robinson
Notes from the February 25, 2019 Shoreline City Council Meeting
By Pam Cross

The Meeting was called to order at 7:00pm.
Deputy Mayor McConnell was excused for personal reasons.

City Manager’s Report (Debbie Tarry)

Council will hold its annual Strategic Planning Workshop on March 1st - 2nd.

Council Reports

Councilmember McGlashan thanked the City roads crew of 8 plus about 20 volunteers that worked tirelessly during the recent snowstorm, clearing streets around the clock trying to keep ahead of the snowfall. Now that the snow is mostly gone, the parks crew is clearing parks of twigs, branches and fallen trees. Residents are encouraged to report any fallen trees, especially if they are blocking pathways, to the parks department.

Mayor Hall met with about 10 of our legislators in Olympia to talk about Shoreline’s legislative agenda, and the City Manager and Mayor will be traveling to Washington DC to try to obtain additional funding for our transportation projects and our other Shoreline priorities.

Public Comment. There were 16 speakers.

Homelessness: Lisa Surowiec representing NUHSA, Colin D. Crook, Lois Harrison and Sara Betne spoke about homelessness and addiction issues in the city and schools of Shoreline. Council was thanked for its continuing work on these issues. More emergency shelters are needed for snow events and very cold weather. Judy-Bea Wilson would like Shoreline to provide a safe place to park for those people living in their cars or RVs.

Pool: James Mitchell (student) asked Council to consider changes to the planned pool. 8 lanes of adequate depth, a diving tower, and a large viewing section are needed. Dan O’Shea proposes use of a revenue bond in addition to a general obligation bond. Lyn Sherry and Betsy Rand are members of the steering committee of FAST (Friends of Aquatics and Swim Team) and added the old pool should not be closed until the new one is ready to open. We need the best pool at the best facility.

Irons Brothers rezone: Allison Sakownthong representing the Save Shoreline Neighborhoods, Mark Rettmann, and Justin Sakownthong spoke against the Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Rezone of 1510 and 1517 NE 170th St in Shoreline. The rezone would change the two parcels to Community Business. They want to keep the neighborhood zoned residential. Melissa Irons talked in favor of the rezone. Irons Brothers' intent is not to encroach on their residential neighbors, but to move the zoning border from the west side of their property to the east side.

Senior Center: Heidi Mair stated the importance of keeping yoga included in the Senior Center activities. She currently teaches at the center and pointed out the health benefits of yoga for people over 60. Judy Burstin cited exercise, friendship, and hot meals as reasons for the new Community and Aquatics Center to be as comprehensive as possible. Jim Wigfall CEO of Sound Generations stated that increasing the cost of the bond to add 6,000sf of dedicated space for Senior Services, including a commercial kitchen, at the new Center will be approximately $17/year per household. He asks Council to let the voters decide. Karen Nowitzki has not only made friends at the Senior Center but more importantly had help in recovering from her stroke. She supports the creation of a Senior Center that will cover all the needs of the elderly.

The Agenda and the Consent Calendar were approved unanimously without further discussion.

Study Item (a) Discussing and Update of Sound Transit 3 and State Route 522/145th Bus Rapid Transit

Staff Report:
Natasha Walters, Transportation Services Manager
Paul Cornish, Sound Transit
Kendra Dedinsky, Traffic Engineer

This presentation, including questions from Council, ran about 60 minutes. The detailed Sound Transit Update can be viewed online as part of the meeting agenda. ST talked about Provisional Stations - these are unfunded stations that will be studied for environmental impact. That way, when it comes time for ST to decide whether or not to add them, they will be equipped with the necessary information to make a decision.

There was a discussion of the use of traffic roundabouts. They are used to slow traffic for safety, are less expensive to maintain than a signaled intersection, and keep traffic flowing instead of stopped at a light. Concerns that came up during the Council discussion included the size of the footprint required for a multi lane roundabout, the ability to handle rush hour traffic if BAT lanes are shortened, and the probability that an inadequate number of lanes in a roundabout will back up traffic just the same as a signaled intersection will. How are we going to keep the buses moving? The E-line on Aurora is not rapid anymore. There are too many stops. A transit lane that offered 100% transit signal priority should be looked at. With or without a roundabout. ST does not plan to build sidewalks except where they put in BAT lanes, but most of the current sidewalks cannot be used by people with mobility problems.

The option for converting outside lanes to bus-only lanes is no longer being considered.

Study Item (b) Discussing Council Goal 5 – Action Step 9: Engage in an Analysis with Service Providers to Identify What Services and Processes Exist to Connect those Experiencing Homelessness and/or Opioid Addiction with Supportive Services and Identify Gaps That May Exist
Staff report
Jim Hammond, Government Relations
Rob Beem, Community Services Manager

This research and analysis with service providers will be used to identify what services exist, and to identify gaps in those services. Services that exist include multifamily tax exemption and inclusionary zoning, as well as Ronald Commons and 98th Affordable housing project (both with on-site services). Homelessness and opioid addiction are regional issues so the County is working on strategies. Identified gaps: permanent housing, homelessness prevention funds, emergency shelter beds, daytime gathering place (for showers and laundry as well as contact with outreach services), transportation, opioid treatment services, opioid use prevention and education (“just say no” does not work), partnership building/engagement in the private sector, youth shelter and services. Shoreline helps fund the emergency weather shelter with Lake City Partners for winter, however there are only 30 beds.

Council is appreciative of the hard work that went into this analysis. The City cannot afford afford to do everything on the list. The next step is determining where to start.

One suggestion to increase housing availability is the use of ADU and cottage homes. This would not require a lot of money from the City, but they could facilitate the process. One caveat: increased housing does not drive down the cost of rent. Rents are market driven. Some type of subsidy is necessary for someone currently experiencing homelessness.

Safe lots for RVs and cars with the City providing sanitation services and help with permitting was also suggested.

City funds that go to Hopelink are instrumental in keeping people in their homes so they don’t become part of the homeless population. In the long run, it costs less to keep people in their home than to find them new housing.

The Council would like to keep this moving forward. Council requested Staff provide status updates every 6 months. This will allow the person who replaces Rob Beem, who is retiring, to have some time to get up to speed.

Study Item (c) Discussing the Aging Adult Services Strategy

Staff report
Rob Beem
Mary Reidy, PRCS

This study item involved City Staff and the entire Shoreline senior serving community to highlight the City’s strengths as well as identify gaps. The objective is to serve the full spectrum of Aging Adult Recreation Needs, recognizing that needs go far beyond recreation alone. Shoreline is among the communities with the highest percentage of population over 65. The span of services for this age group is expanding as the baby boomers reach retirement. Shoreline is a great place to grow up and we need it to be a great place to grow old. Goals include maintaining continuity of services, enhancing public spaces, engaging ethnic and culturally specific communities as well as aging men, sustaining meal programs, providing respite care for caregivers, and developing a closer relationship between the senior center and the City. Council suggestions included coordination between different entities to provide complementary instead of competitive programming.

The Mayor praised the efforts of Rob Beem for his contribution to the City over the last several years and wished him well in his retirement.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:40.


1 comments:

Anonymous,  February 28, 2019 at 4:09 PM  

"Safe lots for RVs and cars with the City providing sanitation services and help with permitting was also suggested."

NO.

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