Notes from Shoreline council meeting Oct 28, 2019

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Shoreline City Hall and Council Chamber
Shoreline City Council Meeting
October 28, 2019
Notes by Pam Cross


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

Deputy Mayor McConnell proclaimed November 15, 2019, as America Recycles Day in the City of Shoreline. America Recycles Day encourages everyone in our community to conserve resources and protect our environment by reducing waste; recycling and reusing materials; and purchasing items made from recycled materials. Stephanie Henry from Ronald United Methodist Church accepted this proclamation.

Ronald United Methodist Church is one example of how local organizations can provide leadership in waste reduction. They recently established the Shoreline Flatware Lending Library. The lending library makes reusable supplies available for free to anyone in the community, with an associated Facebook page and Google Form for submitting requests.

Report of the City Manager Debbie Tarry.

Oct 31st from 9:30am to 12:00pm Indoor Playground Halloween at the Spartan Recreational Center. Children ages 1-5 are invited to arrive in costume and join games and activities. $3 per child.

Nov 2nd Día de Muertos Celebration at the Spartan Recreational Center from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. A night of live music, traditional dance, and you can bring a picture of a loved one to put on the community altar. Food is available for purchase. Admission price is based on a sliding scale of $0 to $25 per person. This event is co-sponsored by Shoreline/LFP Arts Council and the City of Shoreline.

Nov 2nd, 11:30am is the Million Stair Challenge Closing Event at the Richmond Beach Library. Celebrate all of the participants and winners at this celebration. Bring a lunch dish to share for a potluck.

Additional details of all events available online.

Public Reminders

The Shoreline Pool, Spartan Recreation Center, and Richmond Highlands Recreation Center will be closed on Nov 7th for a department retreat. Evening programs for Nov 7th will not be available. Regular programming will resume on Friday Nov 8th.

Council Reports

Councilmember Robertson attended the King County Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C). This group includes King County and 17 partners in Washington. The presentation by the Clean Energy Transition Institute focused on required steep reductions in energy-related CO2 emissions, a process frequently referred to as “deep decarbonization.” Efficient use of “electrification,” (powering as much of our economy with electricity as we can), will help us get to deep decarbonization.

Robertson also attended the Animal Medical Center ribbon cutting event at the corner of 175th and 15th (the former Walgreens site). This facility will be open on Oct 30th. In addition to all of their other services, they are creating an animal blood bank for dogs. Donations welcome.

Councilmember Scully spoke about the Continuum of Care (homelessness) general meeting where different cities could send representatives to ask questions. There were some concerns about parts of it. But the system that we have now isn’t working and that should be kept in mind. This will add accountability by combining Seattle, King County and others. 

Public Comment

There was no public comment.

The agenda was approved unanimously.
The Consent Calendar was adopted, without discussion, unanimously.

Discussion/Action items

8(a) Adopting Resolution No. 448 - Declaring the City Council’s Intent to Adopt Legislation to Authorize the Maximum Capacity of a Sales and Use Tax for Affordable and Supportive Housing in Accordance with Substitute House Bill 1406

8(b) Adopting Ordinance No. 869 - Authorizing the Maximum Capacity of Local Sales and Use Tax to Fund Investments in Affordable and Supportive Housing Pursuant to SHB 1406 and Establishing a New Chapter, Chapter 3.17 of the Shoreline Municipal Code

In order to receive the sales tax credit the City must pass 8(a) a Resolution of Intent no later than January 27, 2020 and then an Authorizing Ordinance no later than July 27, 2020.

Colleen Kelly, Community Services Manager, did the staff report for both (a) and (b).

This was last discussed at the October 14th Council meeting. SHB 1406 authorizes Shoreline to impose a local sales tax, credited against the state sales tax. The maximum sales tax credit is estimated to be $81,700 and is available for up to 20 years. This is not a new tax or an increased sales tax.

The terminology “impose the tax” is confusing because it sounds like something new. But these are sales tax dollars that the state is already collecting and they have essentially carved out part of those sales tax dollars for the City to use in Shoreline. Shoreline wants to accept this opportunity to take local control over the portion of the taxes that is allowed for the Affordable and Supportive Housing. Purposes allowed by this tax are: acquiring, rehabilitating, or constructing affordable housing; operations and maintenance costs of new units of affordable or supportive housing; rental assistance; all uses must serve those at 60% area median income (AMI) or below.

There was no discussion

Motion to approve (a) was approved unanimously.
Motion to approve (b) was also approved unanimously.

8(c) Adopting the Preferred Option for the 185th Street Multimodal Corridor Strategy

Council previously discussed and selected the Preferred Option of mid-block cross sections along the corridor at their July 22, 2019 Council meeting. The 185th Street Corridor has distinct characteristics throughout. No “One Size Fits All” design can work along the entire corridor. The study team divided the corridor into five segments. Since the July 22nd Council Meeting, the study team has modified the extents of Segments B and C to better accommodate future traffic movements. Staff is seeking Council’s adoption of the Preferred Option as modified in order to prepare the final report and begin the next step in the process.

Nora Daley-Peng, Senior Transportation Planner, presented the staff report
and was supported by Kendra Dedinsky, City Traffic Engineer

The presentation focused on refinements to the mid-block cross sections, with a summary of supporting analysis, project delivery approach, and funding strategy

Note: This quite detailed analysis, including diagrams, is available in the staff report that is attached to the meeting agenda. For each segment there are changes to sidewalk widths, bike lane locations, curb to curb width and so forth.

During summer 2019, the team analyzed the Preferred Option in respect to transit speed and reliability, traffic level of service, preliminary roadway design, intersection control (2 scenarios have been considered), incremental redevelopment coordination, including a Standard Plan for the Engineering Development Manual for off-street bike path adjacent to a sidewalk since this configuration is new for Shoreline, right-of-way needs and planning-level cost estimate, SEPA non-project review (The State Environmental Policies Act (SEPA) process identifies and analyzes environmental impacts associated with governmental decisions), project delivery approach, and funding strategy.

The Preferred Option supports future frequent transit service by proposing corridor improvements that would optimize the speed and reliability of transit service, as well as strengthen pedestrian and bicycle access to/from transit stops. In particular, the Preferred Option provides a minimum of 11-foot wide lanes for buses (Segment B provides 12-foot wide BAT lanes, Segment C, D, and E provides 11-foot wide lanes), accommodates bus turning movements at intersections, and allows adequate room for future bus stops.

The Project delivery approach implements the corridor vision in logical, incremental, and strategic steps in the near term (zero to five years), midterm (five to 10 years), and long term (10+ years).

The fundamental Funding Strategy to implementing the 185th Street Multimodal Corridor Strategy is to avoid competing with resources needed to deliver the City’s obligated corridor improvement projects by utilizing a schedule that will follow behind them. Some notable planned corridor improvement projects include the 145th Street Corridor, the 145th Street / I-5 Interchange, and the 175th Street Corridor.

Discussion

There was a motion and second to approve adoption Preferred Option as modified for the 185th Street Multimodal Corridor Strategy

Council expressed appreciation for including the option of underground utilities and for retaining the mature trees on the north side of 185th.

Question: Capacity is a problem along parts of the project due to narrow roadway and desire to not encroach on current housing. But on D, 10th Ave NE, why are we saving parking even on one side of the road?

Answer: The curb to curb is somewhat flexible so some parking space can be used for driveways if necessary. It is such a short area, there’s not a lot of room to get much use out of a third lane. And it’s important to have the intersections working well. Parking is important to pause traffic making future retail visible. They will continue to look into this.

Question: Aren’t the intersections too small for roundabouts? Especially the multilane traffic circle?

Answer: Yes. But the intersections will have to be modified even with signalized control, especially when considering the space needed for u-turns. So they’re fairly comparable in size.

Question: On D / E, between the traffic and the bike lane there’s a two foot buffer. What is that exactly?

Answer: It’s a painted zone with “cross hatching” instead of just a single stripe separating the bike lane from the traffic lane. And the space provides an opportunity to create something different in a few years.

Question: What about biking alongside parking cars. Couldn’t the bike lane along 10th move to the other side of the trees.

Answer: We looked at it, but envisioned this five block segment as a mixed business zone with sidewalk cafes and slower traffic. There is quite a lot of space. 7’ bike lane. Also they wanted to maintain a consistent way of bike travel rather than up on the curb, but then you have to be pushed out into the street in the next block. That can be another conflict zone.

Comment: Downtown Seattle has travel lanes, then parking, then the buffer and then the bike lanes - all on the street. Something that can be considered as this moves along, maybe. 

Question: Roundabouts, how does that work with transit? Is it possible to use a single lane roundabout?

Answer: A single lane will not be able to handle the projected traffic. It would need to be two lanes around and out. We also looked at maintaining BAT lanes, where buses travel through, or no BAT at the intersections.

Comment: We are expanding lanes in Segment B while we’re using road diets elsewhere in the City. 4 lanes are more threatening for pedestrian crossing.

Response: Traffic won’t be as heavy all day. And the BAT lanes will not be utilized much of the day because you won’t have a constant stream of transit traffic.

Comment: However, we don’t have good enforcement of BAT lanes now and some people like to speed down them to bypass stopped or slowed traffic. Worse yet, the car may be following a bus and the pedestrian will see the bus, but not necessarily the car behind it. We don’t know how effective the BAT lanes will be and it is the most costly alternative. The three lane road seems a better option.

Response: The type of volume projections that we’re talking about here are greater than we currently see on Aurora. As development comes along we will have to rethink a lot of this, especially pedestrian crossings.

Comment: Traffic volumes greater than Aurora adds perspective to what we are trying to accomplish here.

Question: Please clarify the sidewalk width requirements in Segment B.

Response: We are trying to build the sidewalks just once. 6’ is the minimum. But if it’s next to an MUR 70, code requirement is 8’. Or next to a multi-unit project, the requirement might be 8’. So we don’t want a developer to put in an 8’ sidewalk, then have to rip it out because we need 6’ sidewalk and 6’ bike-path. We settled on a 12’ dedication as the least restrictive choice.

Question: There is a plan for a bike path from Richmond Beach to the transit station. The bike lane has a gap from Dayton to Aurora, west of segment A.

Comment: This needs more study because we really need to address it. But it can be done as a separate process. We don’t want to force that process on top of this 185th corridor project. The Engineering Development Manual matrix includes this bike route completion but it has been put on a back burner until we know how Point Wells will come into play on RBR.

Deputy Mayor McConnell characterized this as an awesome scary study. So much going on and we need the public to know. This is a whole different look from what is there now. 4 lanes is a lot of traffic and there are concerns about the accessibility for pedestrian crossing.

There are more improvements to be made. Increased traffic will make crossing so difficult at legal but unmarked intersections. So many things based on projections because we don’t know how this will play out - how many people will take transit, use the bike lanes or walk to the station. No hurry to adopt this today.

Question: What is the downside to waiting?

Answer: Redevelopment is happening right now, so it’s possible that changes to curbs and sidewalks will need to be redone to be compatible with this project. We have to consider the budget, timing of development and light rail. This is a high level concept to find a place for everything: buses, cars, bicycles and pedestrians. We will need design engineering. The question is how much more fine tuning can we do before we start design engineering. And we need 4 lanes to move transit and keep it from getting stuck in traffic.

Vote to adopt passes 5 to 1, with Councilmember Roberts dissenting.


Study Item 9(a) Discussion of the Light Rail Station Subareas Parking Study

Kendra Dedinsky, City Traffic Engineer, provided the staff report

Anticipating the increased demand for on-street parking resulting from the completion of light rail stations and from increased density around the light rail stations, the Shoreline City Council allocated $25,000 annually from 2018 through 2021 to obtain baseline parking utilization information, identify current and anticipated future on-street parking capacity challenges, and discuss tools to manage parking now and into the future within the light rail subareas.

Subareas Parking Study purpose

Shoreline parking codes are generally covered by SMC 10.05 - Model Traffic Ordinance, which includes only a few minor amendments to State laws. For example, Shoreline prohibits parking in front of mailboxes during certain times of the day which is not covered by State law. Shoreline’s law does not update the monetary penalty for parking violations, which leaves the cost of ticket fees lower than the City’s cost of processing them.

Multiple groups oversee elements of on-street parking: Code Enforcement & Customer Response Team (CECRT) handles abandoned or junk vehicles; Shoreline Police Department is responsible for all parking related enforcement actions (ticketing and impounds); Traffic Services takes care of all right of way signed parking restrictions and management of parking related permits.

Common parking management tools include signage for time of day/day of week restrictions, load zones, and restricted parking zones. Shoreline uses restricted parking zones signage around Shoreline Community College. They will also be used around the light rail because they normally prioritize residential and short term parking over commuter parking.

Shoreline does not currently use the following tools but likely will in the future:
  • dedicated enforcement staff, max time ordinances (e.g., 4 hour parking) will help retail, metered parking, special use zones (taxi, car hailing parking), and real time information and emerging tech.
Over the last few years Shoreline has increased parking restriction signs in response to complaints, but enforcing parking violations is a low priority due to other needs. This illustrates the need for a dedicated staff.

Thorough on-street parking capacity and utilization data collection and analysis was performed for the 145th and 185th Light Rail Station Subareas, extending approximately 1⁄4 mile beyond the rezoned boundaries. 

For context, the target for on-street occupancy is set at 70-85% consistent with industry standards. The current subarea parking supply shows a significant surplus of parking on the vast majority of streets within and surrounding the subareas. 

Even in the more conservative scenarios, occupancy is not expected to exceed 70% in the next 10 years.These projections do not account for the parking demand that will be generated by the start of light rail service. 

To deter “hide-and-ride” parking, which should be discouraged given negative environmental and community impacts, significant expansion to the City’s Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) program is likely needed prior to the start of service. Most changes unlikely until 5-10 years.

The following represent some basic near-term (0-5 year) recommendations staff will pursue:
  1. Continue to utilize basic time of day and load zone parking restrictions as needed.
  2. Update Restricted Parking Zones (RPZ) policies, procedures and fees to prepare for anticipated new RPZ’s surrounding the two light rail stations.
  3. Use existing study data to inform the Engineering Development Manual Street Matrix update process.
  4. Explore potential development code updates to encourage or incentivize reduced car ownership.
  5. Consider updating Transportation Master Plan policies around parking specific to land use context.
Staff is also seeking Council direction on two recommendations for which additional in-depth discussion would occur at a later date
  • 6. Monetary Penalty Code Updates
Parking violations currently represent a cost to the City as monetary penalties are lower than the cost of processing the tickets through King County District Court. At a minimum, staff recommends setting City-specific monetary penalties to offset the cost of processing tickets.
  • 7. Dedicated Enforcement Staff
Based on existing shortages in enforcement resource in comparison to current demand, and in anticipating future demand, staff recommends funding a part-time parking enforcement position in the 2021-2022 biennium budget. A dedicated parking position would help to address current demand and would prepare the City for major impacts anticipated with the start of light rail service. Funding for this position could be offset by monetary penalty code updates, if adopted.

In the five to 10 year range, staff recommends:
  1. Potential implementation of special use zones for ride-share and ride-hail services.
  2. Establishing basic real time parking information technology at light rail stations.
  3. Dependent on actual growth, performing a feasibility analysis of metered parking in key locations.
In 10 or more years, staff recommends:
  1. Implementing metered parking in key locations, dependent on growth and feasibility/financial analysis.
  2. Expanding real time parking information systems, depending on market demand.
Discussion

Interesting reports and it is obvious we are poised for major growth. Signs and meters in Shoreline? A little sad but a reflection of the growth that is heading here. Time limitations are fine (2 or 4 hour) but hopefully we can put off meters for a long time so as not to discourage visitors to our City. This is a lot of information and includes background information as well.

Question: Where are these resident requested parking signs being put in?

Answer: Generally all over the place, as higher use of on-street parking increases so concern about sight lines around intersections (e.g., no parking north of here)

The State hasn’t updated fines, some more rural areas don’t need to worry so much about parking but other more urban areas have updated their fines so we can see what they are charging when we decide to go down this path.
In the SE corner of the City, there is multifamily construction on both Seattle and Shoreline sides of 145th. The multifamily projects have dedicated parking for the tenants/owners but not enough so they move out into the single family residence zones which are just packed. Hope we can pay some attention to that area, and get it cleaned up before we have to address the light rail subareas.

High parking fees can be very regressive. We don’t need to be revenue neutral and don’t need to make a profit on it, but fees should be high enough to be a deterrent. If there is available legal parking within 1/4 mile, then there’s no reason to park illegally.

The sooner we can do real time parking information, the better. It will discourage circling the block or driving up to a full garage to see signage “parking lot full”. These signs are necessary far enough away that you will know there is no parking. If you’re taking a freeway exit, and think there may be a spot, a real time sign saying the lot is full will save time. Staff plans to work with Sound Transit on this.

Changes are coming to our City. But since these are long term plans, we will have time to adjust to the changes as they occur.

Meeting adjourned at 9:43pm



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