Notes from Shoreline City Council meeting February 10, 2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Shoreline City Hall and Council Chamber
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Shoreline City Council Meeting
February 10, 2020
Notes by Pam Cross

Mayor Hall called the meeting to order at 7:00pm
Councilmember Roberts was excused for personal reasons.

Report of the City Manager Debbie Tarry

Join neighbors and other community volunteers to restore and improve Shoreline Parks. Volunteer work parties will be Saturdays and Sundays in February. This week work parties will be at Twin Ponds, Hamlin and Richmond Beach Saltwater Parks. Check the city’s online calendar for additional details.

Sunset School Park Playground is getting replacement playground equipment. To let the City know which of several options you like best, attend the public meeting on Wednesday February 12, 2020 from 7:15-8:00pm at Richmond Highlands Recreation Center. Online comment forms are also available at

Middle School Night is Saturday February 15, 7:00-11:30pm at Richmond Highlands Rec, 16554 Fremont Ave N. This free event is for 7th and 8th graders and includes games, music, crafts, activities and food.

School’s Out Recreational Swim at the Shoreline Pool Feb 17 - 21 during Midwinter Break. Fee is $3 person and hours are 1:15 - 2:45pm.

Public Reminders

In honor of President’s Day, City Hall will be closed Monday February 17, and there will be no Council meeting. Spartan Recreation Center and Shoreline Pool will operate on regular schedules.

The Planning Commission will meet on February 20 at 7pm in the Council Chamber.

Council Reports

Deputy Mayor Scully attended the board meeting of the Continuum of Care (King County planning body that coordinates housing and services funding for homeless families and individuals). The timeline is now moving quickly. Later tonight we will be discussing what Shoreline can do. We should keep in mind that while we aren’t being asked to pay more towards the countywide effort, we aren’t necessarily going to get more services, at least in the short-term.

Councilmembers McGlashan and McConnell attended the SeaShore Transportation meeting. To keep up with Washington's transportation and road funding needs, a road usage charge (RUC) is being explored. The pilot program is done. You can view the results here

Councilmember Robertson attended the meeting of the Puget Sound Regional Councils Economic Development District Board. The discussion concerned the impact of development on housing, housing as a regional issue, locating housing near transit and services, the need for more affordable housing, and how to balance and connect jobs with housing.

Robertson presented best film award for the Shoreline Short Short Film Festival. The winner was Black Champagne by Jeremiah Williams. It is an animated musical video.

Public Comment

Note: When there are more than 10 speakers, the time limit is 2 minutes. This limit appeared to catch some speakers off guard. This is a reminder to prepare a speech for 2 minutes as an alternative to the usual 3 minute limit in the event there are more than 10 speakers. You can always provide a copy of your comments to the clerk for later distribution to Council.

Ginny Scantlebury, Shoreline, spoke in favor of Shoreline’s Community Court that started in January 2020. (Agenda Item 9b)

Lee Keim, Shoreline, commenting on the Master Development Plan, asked that the City stay with existing green building standards. (Agenda item 9a).

The following people spoke in favor of Save Shoreline Trees to retain the approximately 130 trees scheduled for destruction for new sidewalks on Dayton Ave N by the WSDOT building remodel.

Gayle Janzen, Seattle; Ann Bates, Shoreline; Kathleen Russell, Shoreline; Barbara Johnstone, Shoreline; Kara Pomeroy, Shoreline; Kristi Magee, Shoreline; Melody Fosmore, Shoreline; Evon Arraci, Shoreline; Janet Way, Shoreline; Robert Seidman, Shoreline; Ginger Hayra Gunn, Shoreline; Ann Lynch, Shoreline; Derek Blackwell, Shoreline; Richard Ellison, Seattle; Greg Spyridis, Shoreline; Arielle Simmons Steffen, Shoreline; Anna-Marie Murphy, Shoreline; Nancy Cole, Seattle

Laethan Wene, Shoreline, spoke against building on the Fircrest site.

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


8(a) Adoption of Ordinance No. 879 – Amending Shoreline Municipal Code Section 3.27 for Multi-family Property Tax Exemption Conditions Within the Shoreline Place Community Renewal Area

Nathan Daum, Economic Development Manager, made the presentation

At the Jan 27th meeting, Council discussed proposed Ordinance No. 879, which would repeal the 500-unit cap on the Property Tax Exemption for the Shoreline Place Community Renewal Area. Council will determine whether to increase the cap or remove it entirely. Council may consider increasing the cap to 1,688 which is the total number of units planned This is the only residential target area in Shoreline and in King County to have a limit.

Motion and second to approve Ordinance 879 per staff recommendation.


We need affordable housing, but having a cap puts this one development area at a disadvantage.

On the other hand, Shoreline Place was supposed to be mixed retail/housing. The City had a difficult time getting agreement to include retail. Current zoning allows all residential. If we delete the cap, we could end up with 100% housing because building housing is more attractive with the Property Tax Exemption. There are lots of places throughout Shoreline for housing, but Shoreline Place was supposed to be a mix of uses where people can walk to retail.

Move and second to retain section 1 language but amend the number of units to 1,688.

We are trying to find a way for place-making, to make this a place we want to go to. Amending to a 1,688 cap allows the development to proceed. We shouldn’t need to beg and plead to get some commercial included. We need to fix the code for the future so commercial programs can pencil out.. Right now, without the Property Tax Exemption, we’ll get all high end housing and condos. We need affordable housing. The tax exemption as an incentive may not be the best way to go, but we shouldn’t start picking it apart project by project.

Nathan comments: we are at a very early stage of community development. Hopefully this project will happen as proposed and they’ll get the interest from the investment community. Housing is still very hot but retail is in transition into more of the restaurant and other small retail we are interested in having. We need the customer base to move in and shape the space. Once the momentum begins, there will be an opportunity to leverage that and explore some of these other code or policy changes as incentives for things we would like to see more of.

Is there a way to create a nightlife like Edmonds has?

Reply: We have the potential but we need a partnership of investors and regulations. Incidentally, the type of development in Edmonds probably wouldn’t be allowed today (dependent on street parking). Cities, including Shoreline, are moving back to walkable urbanism instead of large parking lots and large venues.


Amend to 1,688 units fails 1-5 with Councilmember Chang supporting
Amend to delete cap passes 5-1


9(a) Discussion of Ordinance No. 882 - Amending Title 20 of the Shoreline Municipal Code Related to Master Development Plan and Special Use Permit Decision Criteria and Criteria for Essential Public Facilities and Repealing the Moratorium Established by Ordinance No. 868

Andrew Bauer, Senior Planner with Community Development, made the presentation.

The 6 month moratorium was enacted in response to renewed activity by the Department of Social and Health Services to submit a Master Development Plan for the Fircrest School Campus that may include the expansion of existing uses on the campus, new uses that would support persons with developmental disabilities, and the potential siting of an Essential Public Facility (EFP). This is the last Campus zone without a master development plan.

The Essential Public Facility (EPF) under consideration at Fircrest is a Behavioral Health Facility. Essential Public Facilities are defined by statute RCW 36.70A.200 and are typically hard to place facilities that nobody really wants in their jurisdiction or neighborhood. However they have to be somewhere, and the idea is to regulate them and mitigate their impact as best we can.

Proposed Ordinance No. 882 is currently scheduled to be brought back to Council for adoption on March 2, 2020.


Although this has arisen from the Fircrest Campus Master Development Plan, these changes will apply to all campuses in Shoreline.There is no need to extend the moratorium. We are talking about “essential” public facilities and failure to move on this may prevent the City from exercising any control. This code will meet our needs without going too far in regulating a facility that is someone else’s business to design.

Is a Special Use Permit required because it includes an Essential Public Facility (EFP)?

Answer: Yes. If a Master Development Permit includes an EPF, then a Special Use Permit is required. If there is no Essential Public Facility, no Special Use Permit is needed.

Ordinance 882 will return as an Action Item on March 2nd.

9(b) Discussion of Recommendations Related to Council Goal 5, Action Step 9—Engage in an Analysis with Service Providers to Identify What Services and Processes Exist to Connect those Experiencing Homelessness and/or Opioid Addiction with Supportive Services and Identify Gaps that May Exist

Colleen Kelly, Community Services Manager, made the presentation

This is an update to Feb 2019 Council meeting when a number of gaps in services were identified for those experiencing homelessness and/or opioid addiction. Progress has been made in the last year: development of the Regional Homelessness Authority; Shoreline’s volunteer operated severe weather shelter opened this winter; availability of Local sales tax 1406 ordinance allowing Shoreline to claim taxes from the State that could be used for rental assistance for Shoreline residents through HopeLink; Department of Commerce grant to develop Shoreline Housing Action Plan; other collaborative opportunities related to affordable housing.

Right now King County’s most critical need is for a 24/7 year-round shelter / navigation center in North King County. It needs to serve Shoreline residents along with other North King County residents, but does not necessarily need to be located in Shoreline.

Currently nothing like this exists for single adults. It is difficult to locate a site for a 24/7 year round shelter and there is no site currently under consideration. We need to start a process with other cities in North King County to eventually identify a site so that funding can be requested. These inter-city conversations have not yet begun.

The greatest enhancement we can make is a comprehensive approach to outreach. This would entail a fully integrated staff position that can work in partnership with police, RADAR (an effort by the Shoreline Police Department to address the rights and needs of individuals with behavioral health issues and/or developmental disabilities), community court, and partner agencies.


The navigation center is for single adults. What about youth? Do they need a separate facility?

Reply: Yes they do. King County is looking at options specifically for young adults between the ages of 18-24. We are waiting to hear if there is a need for a separate facility or if there are different strategies. Shelter is not necessarily identified as the best strategy for that age group.

We are a city of about 50,000. 85 people split among five cities is our current unsheltered population. That is not a big number and is something we should fix. Why “housing first” when everything else (mental health, opioid addiction) needs fixing too. Because if it’s someone without a house, going from a park bench to a tent to whatever, even with the best mental health assistance, if there’s no place to go, it won’t work.

Collaboration with police - what does SPD think?

Reply: Chief Ledford is very supportive of outreach, but putting a shelter in Shoreline is problematic because it might attract people from other cities. There are legitimate concerns so there’s a need to be upfront with the local community as well as law enforcement to solve, not create, a problem.

It is nice that we are moving forward, even if slowly. Staff did a great job of breaking down this overwhelming subject into individual bite-sized pieces.

9(c)Discussing the 2020 Federal Legislative Priorities

Presentation by:

Jim Hammond, Intergovernmental Program Manager
Jake Johnston, Johnston Group, our Government Affairs Consultant for Federal Issues.

I will begin by addressing Mayor Hall’s request for the status of affordable housing for the very low income on city owned property on 198th and Aurora. The operational partner, Community Psychiatric Clinic, was merged into Sound Mental Health which does not do the type of program we had contemplated. The project is back on track with Catholic Housing Services taking the lead on the project and operating it in a very similar way to its Patrick Place Apartments in North Seattle. The large amount of capital that Community Psychiatric was bringing from the sale of land in South Lake Union will still be attached to the project. We are waiting for a final schedule for the project but estimate a 9 month delay.

The role of the federal agenda is to give clear direction to City representatives, provide consistent information about City priorities, provide policy guidance for the dynamic legislative environments which, in turn, allows the City to take advantage of opportunities.

Our number one legislative priority is finding federal funding support and policy support for the city’s goals to redevelop its infrastructure. Infrastructure is too expensive to do at the city level. We particularly need funding for the NE 145th Corridor transportation projects (interchange, corridor, bike/pedestrian bridge). We have been looking at build grant money and unsuccessfully applied for the last 2. But we compete in a pool with every urban city in the country for the same amount of money. We are too small to compete against Chicago, Manhattan, Los Angeles and Miami. No matter what the economic benefits are of our project, we don’t have the population size to compete equitably in this program. But our delegation recognizes this and we’re seeing a growing recognition of the problem in the US House. Legislation has been introduced called the Build-Up program that will take 1/3 of the available funding for use in cities with populations between 10k and 75k. To provide some perspective on this, Congress has $1billion allocated to the Build program this year. We are currently looking for bipartisan support for the Build Up program. Shoreline competes very well for these grants (except for the size of our population).

There is of course more to the agenda such as support for community and economic development programs, strengthening federal tools for climate and environmental issues, preservation of municipal taxing authority, policies regarding equity inclusion and safety and enhanced tools for funding local needs

This will come back to Council for Consent in a couple of weeks

Council left the dais to meet for an Executive Session: Property Acquisition (20 minutes)

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.

Potential action may follow.

Council returned at 9:45.

Motion and Second to authorize the City Manager to authorize the city’s real estate broker to negotiate a purchase and sale agreement for the property located at 709 150th St, Westminster Triangle, and fund the initial acquisition through BAN (bond anticipation note).

This will satisfy our PROS Plan goals of maintaining our level of service for our parks which includes adding acreage for use by our growing population and a walking distance of no more than 15 minutes to a park from every household. The seller is committed to selling this property as an open space for Shoreline rather than to a developer. The City will look into ways to fund the potential purchase.

The motion passes unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 9:50pm.


Tracy Tallman,  February 12, 2020 at 7:56 AM  

Thank you to Pam Cross for these detailed, fabulous reports. I so appreciate getting this information in this format so I don't have to watch the videos. I know they are not quick or easy to compile.

Anonymous,  February 12, 2020 at 10:53 PM  

Stop turning Shoreline into a dumping ground for low-barrier social service siting. We allow camps at churches, we have Ronald Commons, we have the new 192nd facility coming up. You're giving away millions of dollars in revenue for affordable housing tax breaks. We've reached our limit, unless the plan is to blight the city and drive everyone out.

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