Notes from Shoreline City Council August 17, 2020

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Reporter Pam Cross


Shoreline City Council Meeting
August 17, 2020

Notes by Pam Cross


The meeting was held online using the Zoom platform.

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

Report of the City Manager’s Office, Debbie Tarry

COVID-19 Update Please continue to take prevention measures seriously.

Face coverings are required in all indoor public places, and outdoors when you may be unable to maintain six feet of distance from others. Businesses are required to enforce the use of face coverings for all customers and visitors. Masks are also required in common spaces like elevators and public hallways, even when you are alone in those spaces.

Practice physical distancing of six feet or more, minimize contact with those outside of your home, wash and sanitize your hands frequently, and avoid large gatherings and poorly ventilated spaces.

Get tested at the first sign of illness.

The safest thing you can do is to stay home if at all possible.

City Hall and recreation facilities remain closed to the public. Most City services are available online or by phone. Drop off and pick up of packages, including permits, is available. Contact Shoreline remote services for additional information.

Yard Sign Art and Sign Parade Citywide

Thanks to all of the participants who helped Celebrate Shoreline! and our 25th birthday by displaying artwork along the Interurban Trail and throughout the community.

The Can Castle Contest is currently being judged. Winners will be announced soon.


Bring your cans of food to Spartan Rec from 2-5pm on Aug 19, or to the Shoreline Farmers Market from 11am-1pm on Aug 22. They will deliver the donations to Hopelink! All donations are welcome.

Please don’t bring donations directly to Hopelink! as they are not currently accepting donations directly from the public.

SR 522/NE 145th Stride BRT

This is the final week of the Online Open House. Learn more about Sound Transit’s Stride bus rapid transit coming to SR522/NE 145th and share your thoughts on your travel preferences. More information is available at SR522 BRT

Fall Recreation Registration

Registration opens soon for fall recreation programs, including “Out of School Time” camps that will provide full-day camp opportunities for kids and teens that support remote learning and provide other activities. Shoreline schools are opening remotely and these camps will be helpful to working parents who are unable to work from home and do not have access to other childcare options.

Registration dates are Tuesday, Sept 8 for Shoreline residents; Thursday Sept 10 for LFP residents; Friday Sept 11 general registration.

More information at shorelinewa.gov/registration

Public Reminders

Planning commission will meet Thursday, Aug 20 and Thursday, Sept 3 at 7pm

PRCS/Tree board will meet Thursday, Aug 27 at 7pm

All meetings will take place remotely. For information on how to participate, go to shorelinewa.gov/calendar

This is the last Council meeting before recess. The next Council meeting will take place on Sept 14.

City Hall will be closed for business on Monday Sept 7, Labor Day.


Council Reports

Mayor Hall, on behalf of Council, proclaimed Sept 2020 as National Recovery Month in Shoreline. This year’s theme in King County is “Rising Above it All: Wellness, Resilience, and Recovery.” Among other goals the hope is to encourage individuals and communities to take action to help expand the availability of effective prevention, treatment, and recovery support services for families and individuals in need.

Mayor Hall read a letter from the City Council to Eric Friedli congratulating him on his retirement, and thanking him for his dedication and leadership contributions to the City Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services/Tree Board.


Public Comment

Due to the number of speakers, time was limited to 2 minutes each. Complete comments can be listened to in the video of the meeting available on the Shoreline website. Written comments are also available.

Navigation Center 16357 Aurora Ave N. 
One story, sprawling building with parking lot in front.
Hedges in front, then grassy area, sidewalk and street tree.



The following speakers had many questions about locating a Navigation Center at the intersection of 165th and Aurora. They expressed multiple concerns, including the lack of public outreach to the neighborhood, local businesses, and schools prior to selecting this location for this occupancy.

Vancouver, WA and Seattle both have Navigation Centers but neither is close to single family homes or schools. Council should look how these low barrier facilities have impacted those neighborhoods. This location is in close proximity to schools, parks, and a daycare. At the previous meeting Councilmembers mentioned homeless families with children and people suffering temporary distress. But this Center is for adult single males. Why not women and children? It is not clear what the shelter’s rules will be. Navigation Centers do not require residents to stay. They can possess drugs but cannot use them at the Center. Where do you think drugs will be used? There are already problems with drug use in the park. What exactly is “low barrier”? If there are no requirements for entry, can residents still be asked to leave? It does not appear that residents are required to take any social services or to sleep there, and some prefer to sleep outside near the centers. We need to look at the long term effect on the community. Can we expect crime rates to increase? Prostitution? Drug dealing? These results near other low barrier centers have been reported in the local news. Will Shoreline Place still be as attractive to the developers and future tenants? There are time constraints on the purchase, but that should not be an excuse to skip public outreach before this decision is made. Council is ignoring the concerns of the citizens’ safety. Owners of single family homes have rights too. Who will take responsibility for the safety of the children?

Vinay Venkatesh, Shoreline
Mithuna Srinivasan, Shoreline
Guru TG, Shoreline
Gaurav Bansal, Shoreline
Sudeeptha Jothiprakash, Shoreline
Joanne Godmintz, Shoreline
Nancy Pfeil, Shoreline
DJ Kong, Shoreline


The following speakers expressed concerns about Shoreline police and the Council with respect to Black Lives Matter and the response of police to people of color in Shoreline.

The speakers would like to see greater participation in BLM events by members of the Council to show their support for the Black youth who are organizing in favor of equal treatment. There is support for defunding the police and specifically prohibiting use of assault rifles by the police. A person brandishing a knife does not need to be shot by an assault rifle that is designed to kill, not wound, the target. Shouldn’t a taser be used instead? $34M could be better spent on social services and expanding the Response Awareness De-escalation and Referral (RADAR) program. Council needs to hold the police accountable for their actions. At a single incident, police are slow or unresponsive to calls from POC, while arriving quickly when someone calls to report the actions of POC. People have cell phone cameras and will be using them to “police the police.” Speakers don’t want to live in a city that isn’t welcoming to all.

They would like to see BLM events shown in the Shoreline Currents for those that rely on that as their source of information about Shoreline activities.

Rosa Rice-Pelepko, Shoreline
Courtney Ewing, Shoreline
Kara Adams, Shoreline,
Benjamin Hanowell, Shoreline
William Oliver, Shoreline
Stephanie Angelis, LFP
Corinna Sullivan, Shoreline

Mayor Hall stated they are listening to BLM, and paying attention to emails and phone calls, and marches. They hear and agree with the urgent need to stamp out racism. We cannot silently allow racism to exist in a just society. Council acknowledges it is part of the system that has denied rights to black and indigenous people. Laws have been changed but racism still exists in many different forms. They have heard that POC don’t feel safe or treated equitably by police when everyone should feel safe and that is Council’s responsibility. We have a long way to go. We should all speak out against racism.


Approval of the Agenda adopted by unanimous consent.
The Consent Calendar adopted unanimously by roll call vote
.


ACTION ITEMS

Action Item 8(a) Public Hearing to Receive Comments on Authorizing the City Manager to Accept Sound Transit’s Offers on and to Execute Modification of Plat Restrictions (Dull’s Subdivision No. 2) That Affects a City-owned Parcel (PN 2111600046) and First Amendment of Protective Covenants (Shoreline Park Subdivision) That Affects a City-owned Parcel (PN 7772400200)

Juniper Nammi, Light Rail Project Manager, presented the staff report.

Lot in Shoreline Park subdivision owned by city.

Sound Transit acquired properties for the Lynnwood Link Extension (LLE) project within seven subdivisions which are bound by restrictive covenants on the subdivision plat that govern how property within the subdivision can or cannot be used. Sound Transit needs to alter these plats to modify the restrictive covenants so they no longer apply to the property that it has acquired within this subdivision so the LLE project can be built and operated on these properties.

Sound Transit wants to remove these restrictive covenants only from the properties they acquired, not from the whole subdivision. In order to remove the parcels from the subdivisions, State law requires they offer compensation in the form of payments based on property value impact of proposed changes to remaining property owners. All other property owners have accepted the offers to date. Sound Transit held its own public hearing in May 2019.

For the Old Ridgecrest park (parking lot), $30k has been offered to the City and for Shoreline Park, Tract A, designated parks property used for surface water pump station, $40k has been offered.

Public Hearing opened for Comment

No one signed up. Additional time allowed to make comments. There were no speakers.

DISCUSSION

No additional discussion

Vote: Authorizing the City Manager to Accept Sound Transit’s Offers passed unanimously 7-0


STUDY ITEMS

County Councilmember
Rod Dembowski

Study Item 9(a) Discussion of Issues of Shared Interest with King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski


King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski represents the 1st Council District in King County, which includes the City of Shoreline. Consequently, Councilmember Dembowski and the City Council have a shared interest in maintaining a common understanding of information, interests and priorities that make a difference in the lives of Shoreline residents. Tonight’s conversation will explore some of those shared interests.

King County Councilmember Dembowski:

The County has been focused on Covid-19. We are fortunate to have a great public health department with very capable folks providing a coordinated health response. 

It appears that numbers of infection, hospitalizations and deaths are declining because people are taking it seriously. 

Thanks to the City of Shoreline for providing the location for the ACRC (Assessment Recovery Center) at Shoreline Center. They are currently assessing what is needed to restore the playfields so they can proceed to get them back to their original state.

Transit ridership is down substantially and a slow comeback is expected even after a vaccine is available. We think we’ll see permanent changes as more people work from home into next year or maybe permanently.

The system of peak hours for transit has been shifting to all-day-frequent network. Actually, this system will be easier to run. We are fortunate Light Rail will be opening in Shoreline as these changes happen. Metro service is changing routes to feed light rail. 

Because revenue is sales tax driven, we have lost several million dollars. Over 10 years it is expected to reach $2B. We did receive some federal money that helped mitigate that loss, but Metro was still forced to do some layoffs and offers of early retirement. Now we can shift to rebuilding. Metro requires passengers to wear masks, but they rely on voluntary compliance. Masks are now available on the buses. Metro is still not charging fares in order to try to protect the operators by boarding at the back (fee boxes are in the front, next to the driver).

The County received about $282M in federal CARES Act money and passed out about $175M to date for public health response, food security, housing support, behavioral health support and economic recovery. There are a lot of subprograms within those categories including veterans and senior citizens. The County is providing support to respond to youth homelessness in Shoreline. The City has provided zoning and support, housing, and more shelter space. 

We were able to get a $55K commitment for a Youth Homelessness Advocate funded through Youth Care as a resource centered in Shoreline. This is less costly than a drop-in facility while providing a means to connect kids to items that are available already.

As respects the public comments regarding the proposed Navigation Shelter:

Shoreline has a great reputation for wanting to do its share for the homeless. The Third Door Coalition proposal is pretty specific on how to solve homelessness: 6,000 new housing units. (The Third Door Coalition is an all-volunteer, cross-sector group of business, nonprofit providers, healthcare professionals, academics and advocates.) And they are asking every community to step up and take a share of that. The neighbors have valid concerns. But we need to work with the community to make this work. 60 isn’t that many people. We believe people commit fewer crimes when they have housing and feel safer. So while we understand the concerns, we can talk through them and mitigate them. Interim shelter use is a path to permanent housing. We got rid of old fashioned shelters where people can stay only for the night. Because it doesn’t bring stability, it doesn’t work. People feel much more stable if they can lock their door, eat a meal, and have access to services. We hope Shoreline will be a partner in this venture.

Finally, we’re excited about getting the Conservation Futures Tax levy (CFT) dollars to acquire new park land at the intersection of 185th and Ashworth in Echo Lake.


DISCUSSION

Navigation center.

Part of the reason people have concerns is a result of zero public outreach before Council pretty much gave it a thumbs up. That is unfair to the neighborhood and the City as a whole. Councilmembers may not have been aware of the nature of the nearby businesses. Developers of Shoreline Place have expressed serious concerns about the effect on leasing. The building with individual rooms is great, but the location is terrible for a harder-to-house population of single adult males. This has happened so quickly we need public outreach. People want this project paused so they can really have a say, or maybe even use it for women and children. Shoreline is generous and people realize something needs to be done about the homeless, but this is a well-kept neighborhood of single family homes with a lot of kids. The Navigation Centers in existence are not very successful and have introduced a problem that is impossible to eradicate overnight. A neighborhood may not immediately collapse when a low barrier center is opened, but a neighborhood can die slowly and not recover.

Reply: I have heard from many Shoreline residents on this. I agree it needs to go through the process because these are legitimate concerns. It was expedited due to the unexpected offer of the property. People support housing for women and children - single men are tough. Some are vets. Some just need help with sobriety. In Kenmore, very similar concerns were expressed even though it was a Mary’s Place for families. That shelter has been a success and the neighbors’ worries did not develop. One way to make it work is to manage the size. Renton’s Red Lion that was leased for 200 occupants has been a problem overwhelming Renton and had adverse impacts on many of the businesses.

An occupancy of 60 is small?

Reply: That’s what I was told. Between 50-100 is the target with 100 the maximum they want. There’s a sweet spot to bring in cost effective services.

So the goal is having the residents meeting with a counselor? Getting diagnosed?

Reply: That’s my understanding, with referrals to other agencies for services. Someone mentioned that occupants don’t have to sleep there. I hadn’t heard that and that should be handled with rules and restrictions. Homelessness is a problem in Shoreline just like everywhere else. A lot of people are sleeping on benches or living in cars or RV’s, tucked in street ends or parking lots here and there. So we need to get them in housing. Housing first works. But it needs to be in the right place. Identifying if this is the “right place” is a reasonable request. We need to do the actual process, not just a listening session.

We need a facility in the North End of the County because that is where these people live. We can’t pick and choose and select only women and children. The men need a place to sleep too, so they’re not in the parks or on the Interurban Trail. When Ronald Commons was planned we heard the same fears. They did not turn into reality. Ronald Commons does house women and children, and is very well run which has helped tremendously. Where else would the Navigation Center go? The City needs to be part of solving how this facility can be well run. If we don’t do this now, it probably won’t be done for 10 more years.

Reply: Because of Ronald Commons, youth homelessness has reduced significantly in Shoreline.

Why do we have to have a low barrier facility? Could we add some barriers to alleviate some concerns?

Reply: I think It is possible to negotiate the terms of the population it serves. Maybe that’s all on the table? We’re doing pretty well for women and children, but transitional housing for single adult males is tough. There is the partnering with the King County Housing farther north on Aurora, that is for the hard to serve. (The City of Shoreline, in partnership with King County, Community Psychiatric Clinic, and Catholic Housing Services, is developing 80-100 units of permanent supportive housing for people that were homeless or experiencing housing instability. This includes individuals dealing with chronic mental illness.) King County doesn’t have the time or money to house the goal of 6,000 people, so acquiring hotels or congregate care facilities like this one lowers the cost and brings a solution much quicker. That is the appeal of this facility.

Some Councilmembers were unaware of the daycare that has been there for 30 years. The owner is concerned that people won’t continue to bring their children there. There’s a children’s baseball center that has the same concern. Kids aged 10-18 hang out before and after events, meeting parents who are dropping off or picking up. There is a lot of youth activity that is unsupervised so it’s really important to recognize this issue. We need public input before it’s opened. The occupants should be required to take the services.

Reply: Neighboring businesses had the same fears in Kenmore. Let’s dialog and let’s learn. What is a “navigation center”? What does that mean? Fear is a natural response to limited knowledge. There is drug activity occurring now in public without a Navigation Center.

We need to work with the community to recognize their needs so they feel safe and secure. But if you think about it, apartments are low barrier and so are single family homes.

Reply: The long term vision is permanent housing.

(Comment: the operations of the Navigation Center, including staffing, services provided and rules of conduct, were not included in the staff report for the August 10th meeting.)

Please provide an update on the King County Charter Amendments

Reply: Every 10 years King County reviews their Charter to make sure it’s fresh. Several proposed amendments will be on the November ballot.

There are clerical changes such as changing “citizen” to “resident” and conforming language to current State law to make surplus property available below market value when used for affordable housing; Subpoena power for the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO). This citizens group represents the interests of the public in its efforts to hold the King County Sheriff’s Office accountable for providing fair and just police services; Modifications to Inquests when there’s an in-custody death in jail or by police; Allowing County Council to establish or modify the duties of the King County Sheriff; and Return to King County Sheriff as an Appointed Position for the ability to recruit nationwide, hire a Sheriff who is not a politician since they would not be elected, and ease of making changes to the position if necessary. Incidentally, cities like Shoreline who don’t have their own police force don’t get to vote for the Sheriff. Voters in Seattle, Kent ,Renton, Bellevue, Auburn and others that have their own police departments do.

Study Item 9(b) Discussion of Updates on Secure Scheduling

The staff report was presented by

Emily Rankin, City Manager’s Office Fellow
Christina Arcidy, CMO Management Analyst

On March 27, 2017, staff presented a discussion summarizing the intent and scope of secure scheduling regulations implemented in the city of Seattle. 

The Seattle Ordinance provided predictable hours and pay, advance notice of work schedules, the right to request schedule preferences and other employee rights for 1) retail and quick/limited food service establishments with more than 500 employees worldwide, and 2) full-service restaurant chains with more than 500 employees and 40 restaurant locations worldwide. Now that two years have passed, Council wanted to discuss the findings from the implementation and impact of Seattle’s ordinance, and determine if there is interest in implementing similar regulations in Shoreline.

A constantly changing schedule is bad for the employee and results in unpredictable pay and an inability to make a work/personal life balance. These jobs are held disproportionally by POC compared to city demographics.

After the first year, there was some improvement. However, managers were frustrated with the process and didn’t understand predictability pay. There was poor knowledge of the regulations among workers, especially those with limited English proficiency. Some corporations assigned a Human Resource person to assist, while others did not.

How would similar regulations affect Shoreline? The City would have to determine what regulations are appropriate here and what work places they would apply to. The City would have to develop penalty and enforcement mechanisms. This would entail outreach to businesses and employees, and an analysis of other cities. The Shoreline Municipal Code would have to be updated as appropriate. About 65 Shoreline businesses (2.25%) could be affected.

Because of the limited results and the use of resources, staff does not recommend moving forward with an Ordinance. It would be a big expense for a small proportion of jobs in Shoreline.

DISCUSSION

The purpose of the regulations is to make bad places better. Some businesses do it anyway, but this is intended for the ones that don’t. I don’t see expenditure of significant resources. It is a good way to make sure all Shoreline businesses are good places to work.

There was something in the staff report about a House and Senate bill? How expensive is it to pursue at the State level? Making the change at the State level would make more sense.

Reply by Assistant City Manager John Norris: There is some movement at the State level. We don’t know if it will move forward.

Does staff have time to start looking at an ordinance?

Reply: They would have to put this into their work plan after first establishing its priority. It might be next year before they can come back with an ordinance. It will definitely impact other work.

I’m trying to remember why we brought this up back in 2017. Were there employee issues in Shoreline? Or did we want to me-too with Seattle? Because right now, with the situation caused by the COVID pandemic, this is not the ideal time to address this. The businesses are working different hours with restricted customer access, some closed, some re-opened and closed again. They are working with limited staff and so forth. Maybe the State will address it. Why overwork our staff with something that’s not that critical. The cities mentioned in the staff report are much larger than Shoreline.

Appreciate the intent and the need to protect workers. In reality, this should have been addressed long ago. But the State level is better.

Council is generally in agreement to not move this forward at this time. Recent events have presented challenges with our budget as well as the problems the companies are having. If the City had additional resources, it would make more sense to put those funds towards diversity and inclusion. Do not view as a priority now.

Meeting adjourned.

Council held a Closed Session via Zoom following the meeting.

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.




4 comments:

Anonymous,  August 20, 2020 at 6:36 AM  

Can anyone tell me where Shoreline Park, Tract A is located?

Shoreline Park is next to the swimming pool, but this seems an odd place for a water pump station so my guess is it may be somewhere else? But since the article mentions it is park property, I am not certain.
*****************
For the Old Ridgecrest park (parking lot), $30k has been offered to the City and for Shoreline Park, Tract A, designated parks property used for surface water pump station, $40k has been offered.

Anonymous,  August 20, 2020 at 10:28 AM  

A few comments: "There is support for defunding the police and specifically prohibiting use of assault rifles by the police. A person brandishing a knife does not need to be shot by an assault rifle that is designed to kill, not wound, the target". Support amongst whom? All firearms are designed to kill, and the goal of LEOs is to neutralize a threat as rapidly as possible for their safety and the safety of the general public. In the real world criminals don't have weapons shot out of their hands and Tasers aren't the superweapon most people assume them to be. And please provide #s for the use of assault rifles as opposed to sidearms, and there use in deadly force incidences by Shoreline PD.

DKH August 21, 2020 at 2:01 AM  

The subdivision is called "Shoreline Park" - nothing to do with the actual park by the swimming pool.The City owns one lot (PM 7772400200) within Shoreline Park subdivision (Tract A), which is a
Parks property and is the location of a surface water pump station
The address in the records is “vacant land”.

DKH August 21, 2020 at 2:08 AM  

Pam Cross sent a graphic which I just added to her report.

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