Notes from March 18, 2019 Shoreline City Council Meeting

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Shoreline City Hall
Photo by Mike Remarcke
Notes from March 18, 2019 Shoreline City Council Meeting
By Pam Cross

Deputy Mayor Doris McConnell called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.  Mayor Hall was excused for personal reasons.

Debbie Tarry presented the City Manager’s Report
  • March 20, 6:30 to 8:00pm City Maintenance Facility Open House to learn about alternatives for expansion. North City Water District, 1519 NE 177th St
  • Tuesdays 3/26, 4/23 and 5/28 Home Improvement Workshops 6:00 to 8:00pm at City Hall. Reserve an appointment to discuss your project There is also a vendor fair that does not require an appointment.
  • Public Reminder: The Planning Commission will meet on Thursday 3/21 at 7:00PM in the Council Chamber 
Council Reports
  • National League of Cities Conference was attended by Councilmembers Roberts and McGlashan and several of their colleagues.
  • The third class of the CityWise Project graduated tonight. 
  • The Deputy Mayor read a letter expressing support for the survivors of the hate crime in New Zealand. 
Public Comment
  • The following people spoke in favor adding Amendment #1 to the Comprehensive Plan. (1517 and 1510 NE 170th Street Land Use and Zoning) 
    • Joseph Irons, Melissa Irons, Venetia and Samaria Irons, Matt Orren, Helju Coder, Joshua Tubbs 
  • The following people spoke against adding Amendment #1 to the Comprehensive Plan. (1517 and 1510 NE 170th Street Land Use and Zoning) 
    • John McCoy, Mark Rettmann, Yuna McCoy, Kristi Reffmann, Diane McCoy, Kelly Martinez, Justin Sakountong, Allison Sakountong, Brian Ellsworth, Yoshiko Saheki, Sandra DiStefano. 
  • The following people spoke in favor of adding Amendment #2 to the Comprehensive Plan.(Update Natural Environment Goal V)
    • Carmen Tran, Nara Kim, Maria Solano, Mary Haanen, Lee Keim, Ann Lynch, Lois Harrison, Carter Case. 
  • Dennis Heller asked Council to include a dedicated 6,000sf including a commercial kitchen to the new Community and Aquatics Center for Senior Services.
  • Kaye Pethe thanked the Council for its continued support for the Senior Center. 
The Agenda was adopted unanimously.

The Consent Calendar was approved unanimously.

Study Item (a) Discussing the 2019 Comprehensive Plan Amendment

The Staff report was presented by Steve Szafran, Senior Planner, and Rachael Markle of Planning and Community Development

Review of the Comprehensive Plan is limited to once per year. A list (Docket) is prepared of the Proposed Amendments. These items have not been evaluated. Council is discussing which items should be studied or not. That decision will be made on April 15, 2019.

Councilmember Chang recused herself from the discussion of Amendment #1 since she worked for the father of one of the applicants for several years and does not feel she can be impartial. Chang left the dais.


Will failure to include the proposed Point Wells Amendment prevent Council from responding in a timely manner if something comes up during the year? The Assistant City Attorney, Julie Ainsworth-Taylor, does not foresee anything happening this year. This issue is still in court and nothing is moving quickly. It can be added to the Docket next year.

Amendment #1 (1517 and 1510 NE 170th Street Land Use and Zoning) is unclear at this point since there was so much “angst” involved. A couple of Councilmembers wanted to review the current information before making a final decision. Council was inundated with letters and speakers, both pro and con, but per Councilmember Scully, got “off script” by focusing on the character of Irons BC instead of the Comprehensive Plan. Councilmember Roberts commented there have been missteps all down the line. If Irons BC was told years ago he was out of compliance, why wasn’t something done then? Robert feels it is worth added study of the land use properties for/against. He suggested finding a solution maybe working with development codes or a conditional use permit. The Council was not in agreement whether it should be included in the Docket.

Amendment #2 (Update Natural Environment Goal V by limiting greenhouse gas emissions to 1.5 degrees centigrade of global warming above pre-industrial levels (in lieu of 2 degrees C.)

Council appeared to be in favor of adding this Amendment but asked what will the new goal mean in terms of implementation? Staff responded that implementation costs would be part of the study if it is brought forward.

New Requested Amendment (Fircrest Campus Excess Property Land Use and Zoning)
This Amendment was requested by the 32nd District Legislators to include a Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Concurrent Rezone

There are multiple entities involved in the development of the Fircrest Campus property. It is all one zone at this time. Cost to the City is estimated at $160,000 which includes staff time from several departments. Because the rezone is requested before the property has been subdivided, there was some question of why the rezone should be done before the division of the property is decided. Other comments included the desire to have the City involved every step of the way,

No action was taken at this meeting because the Amendments are Study Items only. The decision will be made at the April 15, 2019 meeting.

Study Item (b) Discussion of Amendment # 1 to the City’s 2017 – 2027 Comprehensive Garbage, Recyclables, and Compostables Collection Contract with Recology CleanScapes Inc. and Proposed Ordinance No. 858 Amending SMC 3.01.500 Solid Waste Rate Schedule to Reflect the Amendment to the Contract with Recology CleanScapes Inc..

Staff report by Randy Witt, Public Works Director and Kevin Kelly, General Manager of Recology Services.

The purpose is to amend the City’s contract with Recology. The current problem is there is just too much garbage put in with the recyclables.

Left: example of residential pick up
Center: business pick up
Right: multi-family pick up
Each one contains contaminants

Contamination includes film and plastic bags, foam, or too wet to use.

Last year China banned key recyclables (called the China Sword). It is extremely difficult to meet China’s 0.5% contamination standard. Even with that, China has a complete ban on mixed paper and #3-#7 plastics. Recology has pursued new markets, and reached out to customers on clean recyclables. The recycling markets are saturated and prices are low.

The Recology Contract Amendment Goal is no greater than 5% contamination of collected recyclables. The following step will be no greater than 3% contamination of collected compostables. This will make it easier to recycle and thereby keep costs lower.

This is what will be implemented:

1. Plastic bags and films are no longer accepted (these can be recycled at participating grocery stores/pac)

2. Enhanced communication

3. Education with quarterly “where does it go” workshops

4. Incentive “Golden Cart and Dumpster Program” awarding $25,000 to customers who demonstrate strong compliance

5. Contamination reduction at the customer:
  • There will be visual audits of recyclables., If contamination is present, a notification tag will be left. 
  • After two notices of unacceptable contamination, the container will be tagged and still collected. 
  • But on the third and every subsequent audit, the recycling container will be rejected, and a contamination fee will be applied. 
  • The recycling bin could ultimately be removed if the contamination continues without customer response. This will increase the cost of their garbage pickup by moving what could be recycled into their garbage pick up.
6. A visual “pad inspection” will occur once/month of the different collection trucks to see if a pattern emerges.

Ordinance 858 will amend the solid waste rated schedules as follows:

For additional recycling information go to Recology website sorting guidelines.

Discussion by Council

The compliance program may result in reduced recycling and increased garbage as people become resentful of the fines and fees. If recycling is not picked up, it won’t fit into the garbage cans and may end up in the parks or by the road. Recology can pick it up as garbage but there will be a charge. Tagging without fines might be useful. Education is important because we all have questions about what is recyclable. Sometimes we overlook that a coffee cup that could be recyclable based on material is not recyclable because it’s not clean. Although there is not a lot of data regarding compliance results, this program has been implemented other cities. No data is available from Seattle's attempt because it was discontinued. Recology has found most customers are aware of the worldwide garbage issue and are cooperative. The fines will get the attention of business customers. Plastic #3-#7 as well as knowing that the triangle does not mean it is recyclable. It just identifies the type of plastic (e.g., low grade) and has nothing to do with recycling. To be fair to customers, when there are changes to the acceptable list, people need to be notified first.

Since this is a contract issue, the contract will have to be reworked if the Council wants to make changes.

It is scheduled to return to Council April 1, 2019 as an Action Item.

Study Item (c) Discussion of Ordinance No. 857 Adopting Permanent Plat Alteration Regulations (notations on Plat, not private covenants)

Assistant City Attorney, Julie Ainsworth-Taylor, provided the staff report.

Replacement of the Interim regulations adopted on Dec 10, 2018. Staff would like this placed on Consent Calendar for April 1st so the interim regulations can be replaced with permanent regulations.


If there is a note that is not against the law (such as minimum lot size or only SFH), the owner can also get that removed but only by a vote of the majority of the people in the plat. That is a state law. This ordinance is providing a process that Shoreline doesn’t currently have,

The historic records remain but are not applicable.

Placed on consent calendar for April 1, 2019.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:25pm.


Anonymous,  March 21, 2019 at 12:43 PM  

I do believe the Washington state supreme court case in April 2016 said it was unconstitutional for refuse collectors to snoop through trash at the curbside and also made it impossible to charge fees associated with such activity. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Save Shoreline Neighborhoods March 22, 2019 at 10:30 AM  

A couple of additional notes on the NE 170th St Rezone proposal. John McCoy spoke for over 200 Shoreline neighbors near this proposal that are with the Save Shoreline Neighborhoods citizen group opposing this privately-initiated rezone.

To elaborate on what Councilmember Scully stated, we've tried to transcribe what he said based on the meeting video on the City's website:

I'm not supportive of the Irons' brothers amendment, and I don't want to see us go through a year. Because, we're all kind of off-script on what a Comprehensive Plan amendment and rezone are all about. It's not about whether we like the Irons Brothers, and when we're getting character references and kids, we've lost the script, right? This is land use. So we're not looking at a particular business. In fact, we're prohibited from looking at a particular business. We can't say 'we don't like this business, get out', 'we like this business, come in.' We just can't do that. We've got look at the City as a whole, then the neighborhood, then the parcel, and apply to a bunch of criteria found in the Comp Plan. And although you can make the argument — it's not a bad faith argument, there's enough there in the land use policies for the Irons Brothers to have brought this, I'm not accusing you of bad faith — but I'm not seeing anything in our Comp-Plan-change or our rezone criteria that makes me want to take a hard look at this. It's a successful business and I think that's fantastic, and I will hate to lose you if you can't find a location in Shoreline, but I'm not seeing a reason to take these residential parcels, which are part of a residential neighborhood (although they're adjacent to commercial) and make them commercial. I don't have much to add to that, except to say that I hope the emotion calms down, because, I'm certainly not up here feeling resentful towards anybody, and I want to make everyone happy. It's a question of "do the Comp Plan criteria fit the proposal?" and I'm not seeing that and I don't want to see a year of study and community angst and potential harm to the Irons Brothers business only to have, at least me, at the end, vote no on something that I'm pretty sure going in that I'm not going to vote for. So I would encourage us to vote against that at our next meeting when we consider whether to put that on.

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