Notes from Shoreline Council meeting June 24, 2019

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Shoreline City Hall
Photo by Steven H. Robinson
Shoreline City Council 
Regular Meeting 
June 24, 2019
Notes by Pam Cross



Mayor Hall called the meeting to order at 7:00pm

Deputy Mayor McConnell was excused for personal business.

Mayor Hall proclaimed July 2019 as Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Month for the city of Shoreline. The proclamation was accepted by Erik Ertsgaard, a youth Board member.

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry

Signs have been posted throughout Shoreline reminding citizens that fireworks are illegal. Call 911 to report.

June 29th and 30th is the Shoreline Arts Festival which will be held at Shoreline Community College this year. (16101 Greenwood). This free event includes visual arts, music, performances, crafts and food court.

Lunchtime Concerts begin July 9th. This annual event features family friendly entertainment every Tuesday, from July 9th through August 13th. Schedule and locations available online.

July 13th is the Cultural Heritage Festival from 5:30-9:30pm at Shorewood High School, 17300 Fremont Ave N. Live performances by people from a variety of backgrounds. Tickets are available at jhplegacy.org for this City sponsored event. $10 for students and $20 for adults.

Public Reminders
  • The next Council meeting is July 15th after Council recess.
  • July 11th, the Planning Commission will hold a special meeting and public hearing regarding the Shoreline Place Development Agreement. 

Council Reports

Councilmember Scully attended a meeting on the restructuring of the approach to homelessness throughout the County. They are now working through the many ideas, identifying those that will or may work, and those that won’t.

The federal Equal Access Rule says if you are receiving federal funds for operating your homeless shelter, you must admit anyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected class. A proposed new rule will take away the protection for gender identity. It is designed to prevent trans women from getting access to female shelters. The consequence is this will leave trans women with nowhere to go. He has asked staff to look into what the City can do to influence HUD to not implement this rule. Other members of the committee concur.

Councilmember Chang talked about changes to bus routes mentioned at the Regional Transit Committee meeting. In 2021 Sound Transit will be opening three new stations and, as was done around the UW, bus routes will be changed to deliver riders to the light rail stations instead of to downtown Seattle. Expect something similar to happen in Shoreline when our stations open in 2024.

Mayor Hall talked about the dedication of the Whale Trail sign at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park.


Public Comment

Boni Biery spoke about parks and asked why Sound Transit mitigation money is not being used at Hillwood Park’s wetland.

Julien Loh, Public Affairs Manager for Puget Sound Energy, urged Council to approve their franchise renewal for providing natural gas to Shoreline.

Pam Cross thinks financing neighborhood parks with philanthropic donations is unrealistic.

Laethan Wene asked about construction near his house on 175th making it very difficult for his residents to get around.

Jocelyne Doyon talked about construction of apartments around 175th and 15th and the impact on street parking. She wanted to know about zoning. (Staff met with her after public comments.)

[Editor's note: When the Arabella I was built at 15th NE and NE 180th the construction had to include sufficient parking, but owners were able to charge tenants extra to park there. Many tenants chose to park on the street, creating ongoing neighborhood problems. Codes have since been changed so that current apartments have to include parking in the rental price.]

The Agenda and the Consent Calendar were approved unanimously. 


8(a) Adopting Ordinance No. 859 – Establishing a New Chapter, SMC Chapter 5.25 Filming Regulations and Amending SMC Chapter 3.01 (City Manager's Office)

Council discussed proposed Ordinance No. 859 on June 10, 2019 and asked questions of staff. Staff is proposing a streamlined film-industry-specific permitting process with appropriate fees for filmmaking in Shoreline. These new policies and procedures will bring Shoreline into line with other film friendly cities.

Staff report by Nate Daum, Economic Development Program Manager

This discussion was limited to changes since the June 10th meeting. Staff amended the proposed Ordinance per Council’s suggestions: clarified that it applied to public property only; other fees are detailed in the Shoreline Film Manual; added penalty for failing to obtain a permit. Additionally, staff changed “personal use” to "non-commercial use."

The Ordinance, including the amendments, was adopted unanimously.


9(a) Discussing Ordinance No. 866 – Authorizing the Placement of a Ballot Measure on the 2019 General Election Ballot to Authorize a Property Tax Bond Measure for the Community and Aquatics Center.(CAC)  Proposed Ordinance:"

Staff report by Eric Friedli, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services


The ordinance also provides that qualifying senior citizens, disabled persons and disabled veterans are eligible, and can apply to King County, for a deferral or exemption from this tax.

The design has been revised to show how added features might be configured. This is still a concept design so it will be refined if we move forward with this project.

If the project comes in under budget, or if part of the cost is offset by other funds that become available in the future, the ordinance provides flexibility for use of the excess funds.

The School District (SD) is considering contributing $2.43M to the construction of the CAC at their July 15th board meeting. This would be predicated on an 8-lane pool with 500 seats for spectators, preferred scheduling for the School District, no additional fees for 50 years, and the SD will not be responsible for cost overruns. These details have not yet been negotiated. Should the bond measure be reduced by $2.43M? 

Potential language has been prepared for an amendment to add neighborhood park improvements to Richmond Highlands, Bruggers Bog, Hillwood, and Briarcrest (Hamlin Park).

The next steps: continued Council discussion and, if Ordinance is adopted, appointing Pro and Con committees from volunteers for the Voters’ Pamphlet for the November 5, 2019 general election.

Discussion

Councilmember McGlashan asks if there is a gym at the CAC? It isn’t in the concept design. Yes, the exercise/fitness room is on the second floor (the second floor isn’t shown on the slide).

Councilmember Robertson wants to include the neighborhood parks. We need to take advantage of the spaces that we have now to bring them up to the level of service that will attract more people to our community. If we don’t do it now, we will perpetually be in catch-up mode.

Councilmember McGlashan agrees with Councilmember Robertson’s comments. More people use parks than the CAC. Including the parks will appeal to more voters. Also he does not want to remove the SD contribution because it may not ultimately be supported.

Councilmember Chang said that initially she was in favor of limiting this to the CAC because the current pool is inefficient and past its usable life. But the CAC is more than just a pool, it’s a community center. She is now convinced that local parks need to be included. She is supportive of reducing the bond measure by $2.43M. The SD will vote on July 15th so Council has time to change the amount after we know how the SD vote goes.

Councilmember Scully, if voting tonight, would vote against adding parks because he thinks voters should vote on one thing at a time, and the small additional cost to homeowners will still make it more difficult for some people to live. However, he has heard from advocates for Hillwood, and Council talked with the Parks Board tonight, so he wants to think about it some more. 

He doesn’t have a problem removing the $2.43M from the ballot. That sum represents approximately the total rent the SD would be paying if we charged the same rent we charge anyone else for use of the pool. The extra pool lanes, diving depth and seating are needed for this size facility. This is not a joint venture: this is the City providing something that the SD is going to use. He believes the Excess Funds should be used to retire the bond early

Councilmember Roberts says the Excess Funds wording is very similar to the Sidewalk Bond. He thinks it should be up to the future Council and likes the flexibility provided. Historically they have tried to reduce the cost of the bonds. They recently talked about reducing the interest on the bond for City Hall. 

He is cautious about adding parks to the ballot measure because of the additional cost to taxpayers, especially those on a fixed income. And doesn’t agree with the parks selected by staff, except for Bruggers’ Bog and Hillwood. Also, these parks should be funded as initially proposed. He would add trails in addition to these two parks.

Mayor Hall remains deeply concerned about the CAC price tag and the impact on the taxpayers. The project has already been scaled back to make it more financially responsible. He’s very happy the SD is willing to help support this. 

There are other things going on: if the statewide initiative passes and takes away our Transportation Benefit Funding, then we have a massive sidewalks issue again because that’s the money that was going to get us ADA compliant.

He would like to get a consensus on a couple of things. Not a vote, just a consensus to see how it looks.
  • If the SD on 7/15 does approve the $2.43M, would we support reducing the bond by that amount? Is there anyone who would object? No-one objected.
  • What about the parks addition? 
    • Councilmembers are in agreement with adding the parks, with the exception of Councilmember Scully who hasn’t decided yet but is probably in favor of those four parks, because he prefers not to second guess the staff’s selection, and 
  • Councilmember Roberts does not agree to these parks and wants trails which were a higher priority in the report from the Park Funding Advisory Committee, and 
  • Mayor Hall is not comfortable increasing the cost of the bond measure but he might not be comfortable with the total cost anyway. He will support what the Council supports. 

Councilmember Robertson, responding to Councilmember Roberts, referred back to the PROS Plan which took considerably longer than the Park Funding Advisory Committee, was more involved, touched more people. Members went to events, held neighborhood meetings and public open houses which resulted in these parks being priority parks. They are on this list for a reason.

Councilmember McGlashan mentioned that for fixed income/low income residents an exemption from the taxes is available and is included in this ordinance. The City needs to emphasize this.

Mayor Hall said since there is no consensus, this could go either way on July 29th.

Mayor Hall circled back to the excess funds issue. It’s hard to guess what will happen in 20 years or what their priorities will be, so leaving some flexibility to future Councilmembers is a good idea.
  • Councilmember Scully doesn’t see this as an issue that needs to be addressed now.
  • Councilmember McGlashan is comfortable as is since it’s what Council has done in the past. 
  • Councilmember Robertson is agreeable IF the parks are actually included in the bond measure. If not, we’re saying we need this money for the CAC but if there’s any left over we’ll spend it on parks. Which leads her to another point: the title of the bond. If we go with a ballot that does NOT include parks, then we need to strike “parks” and “open space” from the short title because this is misleading. The City attorney agrees. 
  • Councilmember Chang would like some restrictions on the wording. 
No consensus.


9(b) Discussion of the 2018 Annual Traffic Report

Staff Report by Kendra Dedinsky, City Traffic Engineer and Mark Konoske, Police Captain

The Traffic Report is available online. It includes objectives, traffic/transit/pedestrian/bike activity, collision statistics, regional comparisons, injury collisions, pedestrian/bike collisions, other contributing factors, collisions by street classification, and collision location analysis. The data provided allows the police department to target enforcement, and education can focus on things that really improve safety.

There were 522 bus lane violations where drivers fail to turn at the intersection and can potentially collide with oncoming traffic trying to make a left turn.

Councilmember McGlashan noted there were 985 parking violations. Shoreline doesn’t have meters. 
Answer: there are more abandoned vehicles, and more reported vehicles in the neighborhoods with congested parking. This has resulted in more enforcement.

Councilmember Roberts asked: 
  • What is a “significant number” of collisions? Answer: there is no industry standard. The Target Zero Plan is used.
  • He suggested installing some flashing yellow markers around areas like the interurban trail. Drivers might not be prepared for bike traffic. Answer they have grant funding so they will be getting flashing markers for 10 crossings.
  • He thinks separated bike lanes should be considered as we design new roads. Mayor Hall pointed out people want safety but they also want to get quickly to their destination. The State has Target Zero, but we still have a 70mph freeway speed limit. Everything is a trade off. 

There was a spirited discussion of drivers using the bus lanes to bypass traffic on Aurora.

At 8:55pm Council retired to an executive session for 30 minutes. Council is not expected to take final action following the executive session.

Meeting adjourned at 9:26.



1 comments:

Anonymous,  June 27, 2019 at 8:53 AM  

The City needs to do a better job of selling to the public why the current aquatics center is so inefficient and needs to be replaced. I use this facility all the time. The truth is that we will get a smaller pool to replace the one we're losing.

When you have a large pool, you heat the water with a natural gas boiler as efficiently as possible. That's the lion's share of the energy use. If the problem is that the boiler is inefficient, then replace the boiler on site with one of a higher efficiency rating. If the problem is that the windows and doors leak out humid air, try some weatherstripping. If the problem is that the building needs a roof, put a roof on it. Add solar panels on top of the new roof if you're itching to spend civic funds.

All of these solutions are just the tiniest fraction of a teardown and relocation.

The pool as it sits today would be the PRIDE AND JOY of a less fortunate community. Get a city planner from elsewhere to look at the pool we have now, and s/he would start laughing at us for working to tear it down.

Why is the city prioritizing this foolishness?

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