Notes from Shoreline council meeting Sept 16, 2019

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Shoreline City Hall and Council Chamber
Photo by Steven H. Robinson
Shoreline City Council Meeting
September 16, 2019
Notes by Pam Cross

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

All councilmembers were present.

Mayor Hall declared 09/21/2019 Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry in the City of Shoreline.

The proclamation was presented to James Pabiniak, Hopelink Shoreline’s Food Bank Supervisor.

The Mayor also thanked the Twin Ponds and Sunset volunteers who grow fresh vegetables for the food bank at their community gardens.

Report of the City Manager Debbie Tarry

Sept 23, 2019 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm Under Our Skin: Conversations About Race. Join in a discussion on race and inclusion using the Seattle Times “Under Our Skin” video project at Dale Turner Family Y in the Rotary Room. This session will focus on the terms: ally, micro aggression and white fragility.

Park volunteer work parties are Saturdays and Sundays in September. This week work parties will be held at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park, Twin Ponds, and Hamlin. Additional details including times and meeting locations available online.

Public Reminders

The Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Sept 19th has been cancelled. The next meeting will be on Oct 3rd.

Council Reports

Councilmember Scully attended a Continuum of Care homelessness advisory meeting. The focus now is working out the details between Seattle and King County. Once this major central piece is in place and running smoothly, attention can be turned to extending the system to Shoreline and other cities.

Councilmember Roberts stated that Sound Cities Association had a robust discussion at their meeting prior to the Continuum of Care meeting. There was concern that this process is not going as fast as expected.

Public Comment

Zhen Li, Kenmore, has 3 parcels of land in Shoreline around 145th. Sound Transit will take about 20’ of this property which will impact his planned project. He wants to see what can be done to protect his interests. Council doesn’t answer questions during public comment, but will ask staff to contact him.

Theresa LaCroix, Shoreline. The senior center worked to create greater inclusion and diversity in programming for underserved groups in 2018 when one-time bond funding was proposed by King County. In 2019 this was changed to a competitive hub process.

Ginny Scantlebury, Shoreline, picked up the same topic, listing the various and numerous projects that are now on hold because of lack of funding. (This list of projects is available online in written comments for this meeting)

Mike Dee, Lake Forest Park. He appreciates that Shoreline is talking about slowing down the process while the City reviews how the Fircrest proposed Master Plan fits in with its codes.

The agenda was approved unanimously. 

The Consent Calendar was adopted, without discussion, unanimously.

Action Items
8(a) Public Hearing and Discussion of Ordinance No. 865: Amending the City of Shoreline Commute Trip Reduction Plan

Staff report by Nytasha Walters, Transportation Services Manager

Shoreline is required to have a Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Plan because it is located in a county experiencing the greatest automobile-related air pollution and traffic congestion. The aim is to develop and implement plans to reduce single-occupant vehicle trips. The CTR Plan must be updated at least once every four years per state law. The current Plan has an effective period through the 2015-2019. Staff would like to utilize the state CTR Board exemption by extending the City’s current CTR Plan for the 2019-2023 cycle without any additional updates, allowing a thorough review of the plan’s targets and program strategies over the next few years as staff updates the Transportation Master Plan.

Public Comment
Mike Dee, Lake Forest Park,  appreciates that there’s a hearing so the public can comment on it.

Closed public hearing


Councilmembers support the extension in order to look at the Transportation Master Plan at the same time. Shoreline should take advantage of the available extension. If no changes are necessary, there is no need to update. This is good government efficiency.

Ordinance moved to the Consent Calendar.

Study Items

9(a) Discussing Ordinance No. 868 – Establishing a Citywide Moratorium on the Filing, Acceptance, Processing, and/or Approval of Applications for Master Plan Development Permits and Applications for Essential Public Facility Special Use Permits

Staff report by Rachael Markle, Planning and Community Development Director

Staff recommends that Council consider a citywide moratorium on the acceptance of applications for Master Development Plan (MDP) permits and Essential Public Facility (EPF) Special Use Permits.

Staff has worked with the State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) on other attempts to Master Plan the Fircrest Campus that have not progressed to the application phase. However, the recent Fircrest Master Development Plan (MDP) includes the expansion of existing uses on the campus, new uses that would support persons with developmental disabilities, and the siting of Behavioral Health Facilities. These had not been previously contemplated by the City.

Additionally, other state agencies have expressed interest in advancing their missions on the Fircrest Campus.

Staff determined that the City’s strongest tools for local control over current and future uses of property within its boundaries are zoning, permitting, and development standards.

A moratorium will allow staff time to study the current approval criteria for permit types in relationship to the City’s goals and policies, and determine and adopt adequate and relevant processes to best evaluate a plan that includes the siting of an Essential Public Facility. This decision is based on these considerations:

  1. Master Development Plan permit decision criteria may be outdated
  2. Master Development Plan permit criteria may not be adequate for siting Essential Public Facilities
  3. Master Development Plan permit process may not be the best method to conduct multi-agency planning
  4. New uses from the State Legislature are not yet defined and regulated locally (i.e., Behavioral Health Facilities)
  5. The City’s process for siting an Essential Public Facility is unclear
  6. Clear and robust decision criteria is needed as a guide for the Hearing Examiner

Staff recommends the City hold a public hearing on 10/07/2019 and implement a 6-month citywide moratorium on the acceptance of applications for Master Development Plan (MDP) permits and Essential Public Facility (EPF) Special Use Permits.


This has been an interesting journey. For years the Fircrest property has been completely underutilized. Then the City received one map and, shortly thereafter, another completely different map. After years of inactivity, the State is moving faster than anticipated. This landscape will keep changing, and the City can’t keep putting off a decision by implementing a moratorium every time DSHS comes back with a new plan. What happens if the State calls it Essential Public Services? There are lots of questions about what DSHS is proposing. We don’t know what a Behavioral Health Facility is or what it looks like. Is that type of facility allowed within current campus zones? DSHS wants three independent 16-bed facilities side by side, presumably because of Federal funding of 16 bed facilities. If the intent of federal law is to not concentrate them in one place by limiting to 16 beds, then thwarting that does not achieve the federal goal.

This is a large property located in Shoreline so Council has to protect the property and the community. The State is not as responsive to the community as the City is, because our systems are set up to protect the community. The moratorium would give Council the opportunity to hear from the community. With multiple property owners and divergent interests, a moratorium will also give all of the property owners time to come to some kind of agreement.

CRISTA and Shoreline CC, the other campuses in Shoreline, tried to use their land as efficiently as they could. Land is scarce especially within walking distance of light rail. But this latest approach from DSHS does not seem efficient. Also, the current Master Development Plan permit process is not designed to mediate between State agencies. We have part of the land owned by one state agency and leased to another, one independent elected official vs a governor appointed department secretary. It is messy. The community must have a chance to weigh in. However, we must keep in mind that the City will have to deal with these state agencies in the future so we don’t want a legal land use battle with State.

As part of the process for approving a Master Development Plan, we should consider the layout of the land, maximize needs of the community and preserve open space in order to maintain a good quality of life. In the most recent map, there is no public open space, no public benefit, and who knows what the legislature will want to add? This makes it difficult for the City to trust our partners.

Do we need a moratorium to change the code? If we allow ourselves 6 months, we can get some of these items done by the 12/31/2019 deadline. The DSHS secretary has requested a meeting for October 14th. Maybe there will be progress at that meeting so we can determine whether or not we want a moratorium.

Per Margaret King, Shoreline City Attorney, we can always remove a Moratorium in the event the 10/14 meeting changes anything.

This Ordinance is scheduled for October 7th for Hearing and action.

Meeting adjourned at 7:28pm


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