Notes from Shoreline council meeting January 6, 2020

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Shoreline City Hall and Council Chamber
Photo by Mike Remarcke

Shoreline City Council Meeting 
January 6, 2020
Notes by Pam Cross

Jessica Simulcik Smith, City Clerk, called the meeting to order at 7pm.
All Councilmembers were present.

The Oath of Office for Newly Re-elected City Councilmembers, was administered by Shoreline District Court Judge Marcine Anderson
  • Council Position #2 Keith Scully
  • Council Position #4 Doris McConnell
  • Council Position #6 Betsy Robertson
Election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor by majority vote of Councilmembers
  • Mayor Hall
  • Deputy Mayor Scully
Report of the City Manager Debbie Tarry

Community Court and Community Resource Center begins Jan 7 and will be held every Tuesday from 1:30 to 3:30pm at Shoreline City Hall.

Community Court is an alternative problem-solving court for non-violent misdemeanants. It seeks to identify and address underlying challenges for those who experience issues with mental health, substance abuse, or extreme poverty. The accompanying Resource Center is open to the entire community - not just those involved in the Community Court. Some of the participants are Hopelink, Department of Social and Human Services, IKRON Greater Seattle which provides vocational and behavioral health services in an outpatient setting, and Goodwill Industries.

Park Volunteer work parties will be Saturdays Jan 11 & 18 at Twin Ponds and Hamlin Parks. Join neighbors and other community volunteers to restore and improve Shoreline Parks.

Prepare for winter weather. The City has a plan for snow events that includes pre-treating roads with an anti-icing agent. When snow begins, plows will concentrate on primary removal routes. Once snow stops and all primary routes are clear, plows move to secondary roads.

Details can be found on the City’s website.

Council Reports

Councilmembers Roberts and McConnell participated in the Association of Washington Cities Federal Legislative Committee where they adopted some basic priorities for the legislative association and also discussed new ways of engaging with our federal delegations at the Conference of Cities.

Councilmember McGlashan attended the Sound Transit meeting for the area north from Lynnwood to Everett. These cities are now planning the things Shoreline had to do several years ago - routes, transit oriented development around possible stops (exact locations are not yet known), traffic modifications and so forth. Peter Rogoff, Sound Transit CEO, said that they are still going ahead right now even though I-976 passed which may result in budget shortfalls.

Mayor Hall commented that there are four positions available for the planning commission and he is looking for volunteers from Council for the selection committee.

Public Comment

Speaking against the removal of 133 mature trees for 8’ sidewalks along Dayton Ave N. 
Jan Buchanan, Shoreline
Janet Way, Shoreline Preservation Society
Barbara Brandt, Save Shoreline Trees
Don Kuesal, North Seattle
Kathleen Russell, Shoreline
Ellie Rose, Shoreline
Krista Tenney, Shoreline
Ann Bates, Shoreline
Ruth Williams, Seattle - Thornton Place
Brandon Baugh, attends SCC, lives in Edmonds
Bill Turner, Seattle
Nancy Cole, Seattle

The City is still taking comments because, although permits have been issued, this project has not been finalized.

Go to the city website WSDOT project for additional information.

Sampson B Awuah, Shoreline. Hard working people deserve a place in Shoreline. The cost of housing is too high. Low income people can apply for subsidized housing. But those making $20/hour do not qualify for subsidies nor can they afford housing in Shoreline. We need a solution to keep hard working people in our City.

Naomi Hillyard, Happy Valley Shoreline

A car crashed from Richmond Beach Road and continued down the steep hill into her backyard in Happy Valley. This is the same stretch of road where a woman died after crashing down the hill and not being found for hours. Drivers on RBR cannot see the cars that crash and fall down the steep hill. Metal barriers that exist on other areas of RBR should be added as soon as possible. With snow in the forecast, this is even more dangerous.

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

ACTION ITEMS

8(a) Adopting Ordinance No. 871 - Amending Certain Sections of the Shoreline Development Code to Provide for Townhouse Design Standards

Cate Lee, AICP, Associate Planner gave the staff report

The Council discussed the proposed Development Code amendments on November 25, 2019. During the discussion, Council identified questions and/or concerns about several of the amendments that may result in modifications of the Ordinance.

The goal is to add quality townhouses that add value to the community and that will enhance the pedestrian experience. This process was started last January and there have been several meetings, a survey, and a public workshop.

Proposed standards include adding requirements for outdoor space, landscaping, improving how the townhouses look from the street, adding requirements for solid waste collection sites, and adding definitions for certain site design or building design elements.

Summary of Proposed Amendments
  • Clerical and accurate illustrations. Staff recommends acceptance of these amendments in a single motion #1-9
  • Illustrations to match code language recommended by the Planning Commission #10 
  • Staff amendments related to Planning Commission site configuration code language to allow for the amendments to better work together and achieve internal consistency and higher quality of design #11-13
  • Site configuration and weather protection (covered porches) language #14-15 Proposed site configuration language in SMC 20.50.160(c) requires that 40% of the units be within 25 feet of the front setback.
  • #14 Planning Commission proposed 40% of units have to be within 25 feet of the front setback except on lots up to 70’ wide where 30% would be required.
  • #15 weather protection square footage was increased to basically accommodate two people rather than one.
  • Site configuration and outdoor space identified by Council members #16-18
  • #16 reduces percentage of units located within 25’ of front setback on lots up to 70 feet wide from 30% to 25% in all zoning districts except MUR-45’ which has no percentage requirement.
  • #17 requires both private outdoor space and common outdoor space regardless of the size of the development or 
  • #18 each development shall provide a minimum of 800 square feet or 50 square feet per unit of common outdoor space, whichever is greater. 
Motion and second to approve Ordinance 871 (necessary in order to discuss)

Discussion

There are a lot of developments that have been built, and there are several in the pipeline so it is time to decide what are the types of buildings we want to see in Shoreline. The interiors of the current condo units are very nice, but the building exteriors don’t feel neighborly.

Council did envision a wide array of housing: townhouses, duplexes, walkups, and apartments. The variety makes a city more exciting. We don’t want to see blocks and blocks of walk-ups, but homes facing the street are important to pedestrians. Facing the street is important and greater diversity of housing choices can be beneficial. If this doesn’t work out, we can always change it.

Question: Clarify the differences between Staff and Planning Commission options.
Reply: There are two main differences.

(1) Site Configuration. The Planning Commission proposed 40% of units have to be within 25 feet of the front setback, except on lots up to 70’ wide where 30% would be required. Staff proposed 25% of units on lots up to 70’ wide in all zoning districts except MUR-45’ which has no percentage requirement.

This configuration is meant to create a “street wall” which enhances the streetscape and overall pedestrian experience. “Street wall” is defined as “A wall or portion of a wall of a building facing a public right- of-way that frames the public realm, creating a sense of enclosure for pedestrians.”

(2) Weather Protection. Ordinance language 20.50.170(B)(1). Each unit shall have a covered entry or porch with weather protection at least 30 square feet with a minimum width of six (6) feet and minimum depth of four (4) feet.

The Planning Commission proposed at least 20 square feet with a minimum width of four (4) feet and minimum depth of three (3) feet.

We need to balance aesthetics, affordable housing, and maintaining our environment including trees. We don’t need to maximize townhouses on every single lot, we can have condos or apartments allowing more trees to survive.

Decisions
  • Motion and 2nd to approve Ordinance 871 be amended to reflect the clerical errors and accurate illustrations #1-9. Passed unanimously.
  • Motion to approve to Planning Commission’s recommendation be amended to include Amendment #10 (site illustrations). No second so motion failed. (note: if Council approves #14, #10 is not required).
  • Motion and 2nd to approve #14 which states at least 40% of units within a site shall be located between the front property line and a 25-foot distance from the front property line to create a “street wall” which enhances the streetscape and overall pedestrian experience. 
This is a good way of preventing a blank wall and long driveway up the side. It makes it a place where people want to live. The staff recommendation makes it harder to configure but buyers will be in a better, more livable area. 

There was a public comment letter stating 70’ wide lots are actually slightly wider or narrower. Some of this is due to dimensional rounding when laying out a plat.

Language change of “up to 72’” would clarify the intent. However, this comment refers to the Planning Commission recommendation - not to #14 (staff recommendation). The planning commission recommendation had different percentages depending on width of lot. #14 does not provide this difference and requires 40% regardless of width of the lot.

#14 Passed unanimously

Motion and second to approve #17 requiring both private outdoor space and common outdoor space regardless of the size of the development.

The intent of this amendment is just to make rules for 9 unit and smaller developments. These rules already apply to the larger 10+unit developments.

This amendment addresses outdoor space.This amendment applies the same requirements regardless of the number of units. Private outdoor space is important even if it’s just a deck. Access to private outdoor space makes it livable whether used to grow plants or vegetables, or to barbecue dinner or just sit outside. Common open space is important as well. This amendment may encourage development by combining two adjacent smaller lots in order to make it cost effective.

Could this result in fences along individual owners property lines? Fences are not required between units but developers may put up fences for privacy if they have outside decks, for example. There is no regulation requiring privacy fencing although some developers may want to offer this. The personal space needs to be associated with the individual unit whether it’s a porch or a rooftop deck or balcony so it will not appear to be common space.

There are separate fence standards that would be available to owners.

If it appears there will be a bunch of 6’ fences everywhere, this can be part of the review that is scheduled to take place later this year about development around the light rail stations.

Would you want to buy a unit with a restriction for fences? Especially since these are fee simple rather than HOA, owners will expect fewer regulations.

#17 passes unanimously.

Motion and 2nd to approve #15 to increase size of weather protection.

We live in Seattle. We need large covered areas. May increase the cost going against the affordable housing target. May be too much regulation for too little benefit. This is just a minimum anyway.

#15 Fails 3 to 4.

Because #11, 12, and 13 all refer to #10 (which failed), these amendments are not applicable.

Vote Ordinance 871 as amended passes unanimously. Amendments included #1-9, 14, 17.


8(b) Adopting Ordinance No. 874 - Amending Shoreline Municipal Code Section 3.35.150 – Establishing the Municipal Arts Fund and Providing for Funding From 1% of Capital Improvement Plan Funding for Certain Capital Improvement Plan Projects

John Norris, Assistant City Manager, will make the presentation and Public Art Coordinator David Francis is available to answer any questions

In 2002, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 312 creating the Municipal Art Fund to provide funding for the City’s public art program. We are seeing less money than projected when this plan was created. Projected Municipal Art Funding for 2020 is $56,794 (actual funding in 2017 was $326,775). Approximately $100,000 additional comes from the General Fund. The General Fund supports one half of the Public Art Coordinator salary and provides support for the Shoreline Lake Forest Park Arts Council ($60,000 per year) and minor repairs to city-owned art ($10,000).

Recognizing that current Municipal Art Fund revenues alone are not enough to build and sustain the robust Public Art Program the City has begun, other funding sources are needed.

Staff recommends amending SMC 3.35.150 to redefine funding for the Municipal Art Fund and the City’s Public Art Program by expanding and clarifying the list of City capital projects that provide a 1% contribution to the MAF or to the Public Art Program: include funding for repair and replacement of projects with some exceptions, life cycle replacement, and all actual construction phase expenditures.

Current list of included projects 2020-2022 includes City Maintenance Facility, Park Improvements, Playground replacement, Roads Capital Projects 5th NE, Westminster & 155th, 145th corridor, and other miscellaneous projects resulting in $116,394. Expanding the number of projects if Ordinance 874 is adopted could increase this to $290,733. Some fund sources such as grants, bonds, utility ratepayers, etc. are prohibited from contributing to the Municipal Art Fund or from supporting general public art.

Motion and second to approve Ordinance 874.

Best route is to increase this fund right now. We need to consider different funding as we move forward because the fund is decreasing now. 

Move and second to postpone decision to March 23, 2020. Because the funding outcome from I-976 is still looming this needs to be part of the I-976 discussion. The delay would allow Council to have fuller discussions at their retreat. We have to think about parks and sidewalks and trees and pool - delay would be a good idea.

This 1% charge will increase the costs of the projects that are already high.

Motion to postpone decision fails 3-4.

(recess for 5 minutes to discuss utility funds)
Council returns to dais.

Currently utility, enterprise or Other Restricted funds are prohibited from contributing to the Municipal Art Fund or from supporting general public art. Proposed Amendment states that these funds do not contribute to the MAF, but are required to set aside 1% for art associated with their project.

A detailed procedure could lay out how to account for art being incorporated into a project and pooling funding from a collection of restricted projects to support public art.

Some of these items make more or less sense but there are good reasons why some of the items were excluded.

Motion and second to amend Ordinance 874 as follows SMC 3.35.150 (amended)


b. Each capital project included in the adopted Capital Improvement Program, except for projects in the City Facilities - (added wording) Major Maintenance, Utility or other restricted funds shall appropriate one percent (1%) of the Construction Project Phase budget for that project (emphasis added/pac) and shall display this budgeted amount as Public Art Plan Funding.

For example, you can’t take 1% of the sidewalk Bond to spend on public art.

This is a good way to include art in these huge projects that might otherwise be utilitarian. But this increases the cost.

Facilities are opportunities for art. But a pipe in the ground is not an opportunity for art. The Park 'n Ride at 192nd and Aurora offers art as a way to describe what is going on underground to control surface water and protect Echo Lake. So some utility projects have opportunities for art. And the Council has discretion for individual projects and could use that discretion to remove a pipe in the ground project from the 1%.

Motion to amend Ordinance 874 as follows SMC 3.35.150 (amended) fails 3-4.

Main Motion Ordinance 874 passes 4-3.


STUDY ITEM


9(a) Discussion of Resolution No. 451 - Amending the Recreation Program Refund Policy and Procedures

Mary Reidy, Recreation Superintendent provided the staff report

Currently, 100% of the summer camp fee is required at time of registration. Requiring payment in full at the time of summer camp registration creates an obstacle for many families (multiple children, limited cash resources). The new process requires a $50 non-refundable deposit for each registration at the time of registration, with three (3) set subsequent payment due dates to be made over a three-month period.

All registrations will have a $50 non-refundable deposit whether in full or a payment plan. Standard 14 day withdrawal notification required for all camps throughout the year.

Equitable access to PRCS programs and services is a top priority across the Department. We originally adopted refund policy and procedure in 2016. This was repealed and replaced in February 2018 with additional changes in November 2018. This is something that is being reviewed and “fine-tuned” over time.

Added to January 27 Consent Calendar.

9:25 20 minute recess for Executive Session. There is a possibility Council will take final action following the Session.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: Property Acquisition - RCW 42.30.110(1)(b) and Litigation - RCW 42.30.110(1)(i)

The Council may hold Executive Sessions from which the public may be excluded for those purposes set forth in RCW 42.30.110 and RCW 42.30.140. Before convening an Executive Session the presiding officer shall announce the purpose of the Session and the anticipated time when the Session will be concluded. Should the Session require more time a public announcement shall be made that the Session is being extended. 

Council returns to Chamber.

Move to discontinue with acquisition of the property identified by Ordinance 835 and terminate authorization granted to the City Manager and City Attorney authorized by 835.

(Parcel located at 17828 Midvale Ave N. for a Community and Aquatics center./pac)

No second. Motion dies for lack of a second.


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