Notes from Shoreline Council meeting May 18, 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Pam Cross, reporter

Shoreline City Council Meeting
May 18, 2020
Notes by Pam Cross

Pursuant to Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-28, in an effort to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Shoreline City Council Meetings will take place online using the Zoom platform and the public will not be allowed to attend in-person. You may watch a live feed of the Meeting online; join the Meeting via Zoom Webinar; or listen to the Meeting over the telephone.

Mayor Hall called the meeting to order at 7:00pm
All councilmembers were present.

Report of the City Manager Debbie Tarry

COVID-19 Update

Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order has been extended to May 31st. No gatherings are allowed and City Hall and recreation facilities remain closed to the public. All public and private gatherings are prohibited. Playgrounds, sports courts, picnic shelters, and ball fields remain closed. The Richmond Beach Saltwater Park parking lot also remains closed. Crossing the railroad tracks on foot is against the law and extremely dangerous. Use only allowed crossings. Police will continue to conduct emphasis patrols.

The current Phase 1 of Reopening allows for retail with curbside pickup, car washes, auto sales, landscaping, and current construction. Stay home unless it’s essential to go out (for groceries, medical appointment, or a job). Continue to practice social distancing while walking or visiting city parks. And wear a mask when social distancing is not possible.

King County Public Health directs residents to wear a face covering in any indoor or outdoor space where you may be within 6’ of someone who does not live with you. Face coverings should be made of cloth - do not use medical masks. Your mask should cover your nose and mouth at all times. Businesses are required to post signage of their rules regarding masks.

Additional information including FAQs: kingcounty.gov/masks

If you need help:
  • Hopelink Food Bank and Supplemental Weekend Food Support are food resources. Call 206.385.9385 before 5pm on Wednesday for Friday delivery
  • Statewide moratorium on evictions
  • Utilities will remain on
  • Unemployment benefits have been expanded
  • Health Benefits Exchange is enrolling
  • Call 211 for other resources
You can sign up for email alerts at shorelinewa.gov/alerts

Additional information available at:
Public Reminders
  • The May 21 Planning Commission meeting has been cancelled.
  • In honor of Memorial Day, there will be no Council meeting on Monday, May 25.
  • The PRCS/Tree Board will meet via Zoom on Thursday, May 28 at 7PM. Comments can be submitted online, by email, or through the postal service.
There were no Council Reports

Mayor Hall mentioned the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St Helens.

The Mayor stated that he frequently issues Proclamations on behalf of the the City Council. There are two types: (1) calendared proclamations that are formally presented to individuals during Council meetings and are listed on the agenda, and (2) uncalendered proclamations that are awarded without appearing on the agenda. In order to promote visibility of uncalendered proclamations, the Mayor will begin announcing these at Council meetings.

Proclamations
  • The week of May 16-22, 2020 is proclaimed Safe Boating Week in the City of Shoreline.
  • June 5, 2020 is proclaimed National Gun Violence Awareness Day in Shoreline.
There was no Public Comment.

A motion was approved to amend the agenda to include as a Study Item the extension of Temporary Emergency Order #5. This order suspended the ban on retail use of plastic bags.

The agenda as amended was approved unanimously.
There was no Consent Calendar.

ACTION ITEMS

Action Item 7(a) Public Hearing and Approving Community Development Block Grant Funding to Hopelink in the Amount of $188,739 and Lake City Partners in the Amount of $15,000 in Response to the COVID-19 Emergency

Bethany Wolbrecht-Dunn, Grants Administrator, presented the staff report

The Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, was created under HUD Title 1 in 1974. Shoreline receives approximately $322,000 per year allocated as follows:
  • $70,840 for Shoreline and King County administration
  • $80,500 Major Home Repair Loans
  • $16,100 Housing Stability Program
  • $154,560 Capital Projects Funding
The Coronavirus Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $190,388 of CDBG funds for the City of Shoreline. These CDBG CARES Act funds are referred to as CDBG-CV. There is no limit for use on human services, there is a limited 5-day public comment period to avoid unnecessary delay, and funds must be used in response to the COVID emergency.

Shoreline has access to an additional $32,435 in repaid home repair loans from the Federal Block Grant Program. Staff recommends that the City Council hold the required public hearing and then move to adopt the allocation of CDBG-CV and reprogrammed CDBG funding to Hopelink (for financial assistance) in the amount of $202,063 and Lake City Partners (for hotel vouchers) in the amount of $15,000. The $5,710 balance goes to King County for administrative fees. In the event FEMA or other funding becomes available for Lake City Partners, the $15,000 will go to Hopelink. It should be noted that King County reduced the amount of administrative fees normally charged.

Public Hearing opened for public comment.

There was no public comment. Extra time was made available for people who wanted to call in their comments.

Hearing closed.

Discussion

Motion and second to approve funding.
Council requested and received confirmation that these funds will be spent in the City of Shoreline. Councilmembers asked whether other organizations such as the senior center food program had been considered as recipients of the funds. Response: It may be possible for future funding. It is important that this money is made available as soon as possible, and rents are a huge issue. CBDG-CV funding is complicated so it would make more sense to fund the senior center food program through a different source and keep the number of CBDG-CV contracts to a minimum.

Council recessed for 10 minutes.

Councilmember McConnell had previously disclosed that she is on the board for Hopelink in an unpaid position. Margaret King, City Attorney, stated that as such, this position must be disclosed (it was) and McConnell’s vote cannot be responsible for passing a motion in favor of Hopelink.

No further discussion.

Motion passed as presented by unanimous roll call vote 7-0.

STUDY ITEMS

Study Item 8(a) Discussing the State Route 522/NE 145th Street Sound Transit Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project

Nora Daley-Peng, Senior Transportation Planner introduced
Paul Cornish, ST BRT Director, who did the presentation.

Sound Transit (ST) is transitioning from Phase 2 to Final Design/Phase 3 of the SR 522/NE 145th BRT project. Mr Cornish’s presentation briefed Council on the project’s progress, main changes to the design, and the next steps toward project implementation.

The project currently includes eight station pairs in the north Lake Washington area, with stops in Seattle, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, and Bothell, and a service connection to Woodinville. This report is too highly detailed to try to summarize here. The project scope and schedule update included timeline and opening date changes due to COVID-19. Meetings and community outreach were impacted by the stay-home order and social distancing. Online open houses, phone calls and other outreach continued but without the interest or effectiveness of in-person contacts.

Discussion

145th may be one of the most dangerous roads in the County. How will this project make the road safer for all users? 
Reply: The addition of sidewalks, landscaping and moving the stop away from the 522 and 145th intersection will make it more hospitable for pedestrians and transit riders. 
What about vehicle safety? There are multiple unsignalized left turns. 
Reply: We have looked at restricting left turns at some of these intersections but ran into conflicts with school bus routes. There are some plans for the future that include street widening but there are no plans to add left turn lanes. 
How confident are you of the $10M and $1M funding discussed in the staff report? 
The reply sounded cautiously optimistic. 
What about predicting ridership. It is down now, but won’t people be commuting in the future?
Reply: we don’t know. When it comes to fall out from COVID-19, we just don’t speculate.

End of discussion.

Study Item 8(b) Discussion of Ordinance No. 889 - Amending Chapter 10.05 SMC, the Model Traffic Ordinance, for Clarity and to Establish a City Monetary Penalty for Parking Violations

Kendra Dedinsky, City Traffic Engineer, and Randy Witt, Public Works Director, gave the presentation

Anticipating the increased demand for on-street parking resulting from the start of light rail service, and increased density around the light rail stations, proposed Ordinance No. 889 will increase the minimum parking violation monetary penalty from $20 to $50. The current citation costs the City about $10 each.


A non deputized parking enforcement position with specialized training and equipment will be necessary. This person would probably be half-time.

Based on assumptions of limited data, and intended to be only directionally correct for discussion purposes, this program is not projected to cover all costs associated with it.

It will not reach a cost neutral balance until over 5,500 citations per year are issued. That represents about four times the total tickets issued in 2019.

The language proposed states that if a person is found in violation they shall be deemed to have committed a parking infraction and shall be subject to the $50 penalty. But police can always exercise their discretion on whether or not to issue a ticket. There is no quota requirement.

Discussion

Is $50 too high? Parking enforcement is a service to allow access to businesses and available parking for residents’ guests and service providers. It is not intended to generate revenue. However, the parking fee has to be high enough to discourage people from violating parking limitations and to prevent those who work in Seattle from parking all day on Shoreline streets for less than the cost of parking downtown.

Is the $25 late penalty too much? If you get several parking tickets in a week, many people won’t be able to afford to pay. Yes but people ticketed everyday? If they choose to park that way, maybe this is not an equity issue. Also, if the late fee it too little, people won’t make an attempt to pay the ticket. Unpaid parking tickets are a headache and additional cost to the City.

Since this program will not pay for itself, the ticket and late fees may need additional discussion. For example, the fee could be $30 now and increased to $50 when parking becomes an issue.

Staff will prepare a lower ticket price amendment for discussion when this comes back as an action item.

Study Item 8(c )-Discussion of Temporary Emergency Order #5 Suspension of Prohibition on Plastic Retail Carryout Bags

This item was added to the agenda tonight, so there was no staff report. On March 31, 2020 the City Manager issued this temporary order that is set to expire May 31, 2020. “The purpose of this Temporary Emergency Order is to provide a temporary suspension of certain provisions of SMC Chapter 9.25 Retail Carryout Bag Regulations to allow for retail establishments to provide plastic carryout bags to address the COVID-19 public health emergency.”

The public health order remains in effect. The purpose of this discussion is to determine if the suspension should extend beyond May 31, 2020 and if so, for how long.

Discussion

The main issue now is customers cannot bring their own bags into most stores. Some stores offer paper, some offer paper or plastic, and a few others offer only plastic. No numbers are available for how many stores offer plastic only.

Since King County is still in Phase 1 of reopening, it might be wise to provide the City Manager longer than a 30 day extension in order avoid doing this again next month. Perhaps until a specific time or a certain phase of reopening would make more sense.

It is essential to keep the retail workers safe. Could shoppers bring their own reusable bags and bag their own purchases so the workers don’t need to handle them? We can’t force the stores to accept reusable bags. If paper is available, should we allow plastic? We don’t know the available supply of paper bags. We have had great compliance with shoppers using their own bags and we don’t want to have to start that process all over again. Should we allow plastic? Very few stores are using just plastic.

City Manager Debbie Tarry will look into it.

Meeting adjourned 9:22pm

Note: There will be no council meeting next Monday because of the Memorial Day Holiday.



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