Notes from Shoreline Council meeting Sept 30, 2019

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Shoreline City Hall and Council Chamber
Photo by Steven H. Robinson
Shoreline City Council Meeting 
September 30, 2019
Notes by Pam Cross

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

Deputy Mayor McConnell was excused for personal reasons. Councilmember Scully took over as Deputy Mayor in her absence.

The Mayor declared October 2019 as Safe Shoreline Month.

Accepting the proclamation on behalf of the City was Pat Ducey, long time Emergency Response Team volunteer.

Report of the City Manager Debbie Tarry

Proposition 1, the City’s bond measure, has been placed on the November ballot. If approved, this will allow the City to construct a new aquatics, recreation, and community center and make improvements to four community parks. To learn more about it visit

The Million Stair Challenge kicks off October 1, 201-. Track your stairs anywhere, and log your numbers on the City website.

The Million Step Challenge closing event is October 2, 2019 at 6:30pm at Paramount Park. Bring a dish to share at the potluck. Awards will be distributed.

Registration is still open for the October 5 Monster Mash Dash, the annual 5k family fun run and walk. Check in at 8am at City Hall. The race starts at 9am and goes along the Interurban Trail. $10/adult, $5/youth. Kids under age 5, free.

The final Shoreline Farmers Market is October 5, from 10am to 3pm at Shoreline Place, 155th and Aurora. Enjoy live music and food while you support our local farmers.

Also on October 5, 5pm to 9pm, is the opening of a new art exhibit at Shoreline City Hall. “Museum of Unnatural History” is an exhibition by 40 Northwest artists curated by Anne Marie Grgich. The Show runs through November 29.

Public Reminders

The PRCS/Tree Board will hold a special meeting Thursday, October 3. This meeting continues discussion from the September 14 Board retreat of the Board’s priorities and objectives.

There were no Council Reports

Public Comment

Joseph Smith, Shoreline, had questions about Prop 1. The Mayor explained that the Council does not engage in conversation during Public Comment and suggested a public meeting. He also pointed out staff are available to meet with him.

The agenda was adopted unanimously.

The Consent Calendar was approved, without discussion, unanimously.

Discussion Item

Discussion of Ordinance No. 851 – Adopting a New Chapter 3.90 to the Shoreline Municipal Code Relating to Assessment Reimbursement Areas and Latecomer Agreements

To encourage economic growth and development in the Community Renewal Area for what is now called Shoreline Place, Council adopted Ordinance No. 705, a planned action ordinance that identified mitigation associated with development, including 11 transportation projects to support redevelopment of the area. Staff concluded there would be a benefit to the City and other developers to receive reimbursement from future developers that will utilize and benefit from the right-of-way improvements.

Staff report by Margaret King, City Attorney

State law authorizes assessment reimbursement areas, sometimes referred to as “latecomer agreements.” These tools enable a property owner who has installed street or utility improvements to recover a portion of the costs for any excess benefit created by those improvements from other property owners who later develop property in the vicinity and utilize the benefit from those improvements. A prerequisite to the latecomer agreements process is having in place a specific ordinance that requires the improvements as a condition of property development. The proposed ordinance is the subject of this discussion.

This is not an extra cost, but a cost sharing mechanism to be more equitable to the first-in developer. These agreements can extend 20 years. It provides an incentive to the developer, knowing that part of the cost of making the improvements will be reimbursed.

State law lists required procedures of assessment reimbursement, notification, hearing, ruling and recording of contract.

A latecomer agreement for streets is optional, but state law requires one for utility districts. The city administers and collects the money and passes it along to the developer. A city can participate with a developer and receive its pro-rate share of reimbursements the same as the developer.

For new developments, a city can create its own reimbursement area, finance the costs of improvements, and become the sole beneficiary of reimbursements.

Proposed Ordinance 851 follows RCW 851 by listing the same procedures but also allows for public comment to the Council.

Generally no hearing is required. All of the parties seem to generally agree.


It makes sense to have a city ordinance for streets and frontal improvements, but why utilities? Why don’t they go through the utility itself?

Reply: The idea is to make the ordinance flexible enough in the event the City has a utility (like its stormwater utility), controls a utility, has a joint operating agreement with one, or acquires one.There will still be separate agreements with each utility because the assessment and reimbursement is very specific to each utility. 

The applicant is required to submit a map of areas that will benefit from the improvements. Who determines which properties are involved? 

Reply: the developer selects the properties and submits it to the City. The City makes the final determination.

What happens if the property interest is sold? Who receives the funds from the latecomer agreement? The original developer? Or the current owner? 

Reply: State law requires notification to the City if ownership changes, especially as respects utilities.This notification should include what they want done with the reimbursement. If they don’t, claims for reimbursement may be denied for failure to follow the required notification. Rules promulgated by the public works director should detail notification requirements.

The city can contribute but the city doesn’t have to front any costs, correct? 

Are the parties usually in agreement? Or is there a lot of squabbling? 

Reply: Generally, everyone agrees. It’s pretty straightforward because the statute outlines what you can and cannot charge for. An inflationary measure is included. But it’s everyone’s right to ask for a Hearing.

Moved to October 14 on Consent.

Council recessed to a Closed Session pursuant to RCW 42.30.140(4)(b) Discussing Collective Bargaining

Per 42.30.140(4)(b) Council may hold a closed session to plan or adopt a strategy or position to be taken by the City Council during the course of any collective bargaining.

Meeting adjourned at 8:18pm.

Correction: City staff attorney is Margaret King


Anonymous,  October 2, 2019 at 2:47 PM  

I am pretty sure the City of Shoreline attorney is named Margaret King, not Barbara.

DKH October 3, 2019 at 2:27 PM  

Thank you. Correction made.

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