Notes from Shoreline council meeting August 10, 2020

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Pam Cross, reporter


Shoreline City Council Meeting
August 10, 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.

Proclamation of Celebrate Shoreline

2020 marks the 25th birthday of the City of Shoreline, which is indeed a reason to Celebrate Shoreline. This annual event commemorates the City’s incorporation with activities designed to spark celebration and community spirit. It traditionally takes place over multiple days and venues to encourage community participation, however this year it will look a bit different. This milestone birthday will have to be celebrated with social distancing in mind.

Report of the City Manager’s Office
Assistant City Manager, John Norris provided the report

COVID-19 Update

King County continues to see an average of about 100 new cases per 100,000 people each day. The target is to get new cases down to 25, so we have a long way to go. New cases in Shoreline are down.

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. Governor Inslee has updated the mask requirement to include wearing masks in common spaces like elevators and public hallways, even when you are alone in those spaces.The safest thing you can do is to stay home if at all possible.

Please continue to 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.

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 Online City Services for additional information.

Shoreline turns 25 this year. We have the following events to mark this celebration:

Shoreline Has Gratitude Event Citywide throughout August

Shoreline has gratitude for:
  • Linda Burt who has made over 500 masks for adults and children these past months,
  • DarNesha Weary who launched the Shoreline Black Lives Matter group, putting Black youth in charge of local demonstrations,
  • Diane Hettrick of Shoreline Area News for publishing the daily COVID statistics and pursuing all the COVID news that especially affects our residents, and
  • Fran Calhoun who for many years spearheaded and organized the large National Night Out potlucks for Hillwood Terrace.

If you know someone who lives or works in Shoreline and who has made a difference in your life, or if you are one of those people, send us an email and tell us about your work or the work of someone you know in the community. We will share all of these tributes during the month of August on our Facebook page.

Yard Sign Art and Sign Parade Citywide August 9-17

Celebrate our community by decorating a Celebrate Shoreline yard sign and placing it in your window or in your yard, or along the Interurban Trail between 175th & 185th for a parade of signs.

More signs and chalk are available for free at City Hall and Spartan Recreation Center. Mondays-Fridays 8:30 to 4:00. Knock on the front door at City Hall and a lobby attendant will bring you the supplies. At Spartan Rec center, park in the parking lot and call 206-801-2600, and they will bring you what you want.

The Can Castle Contest is still active. It’s a food drive and a competition. Teams build castles or other structures from canned food, snap a picture, then bring it to us for donation to Hopelink. Register your team HERE


Council Reports

Councilmember McConnell attended the Zoom Transportation Forum where it was announced that King County Metro General Manager Rob Gannon will step down to take a position in his home state of Montana. Deputy General Manager Terry White will serve as Interim General Manager starting August 1. He has been a member for 33 years and currently oversees all of Metro Operations, which includes bus, rail, and marine service, facilities, and vehicle maintenance.

Next fall they plan to ramp up metro service to about 85% of Pre-COVID levels. They have been communicating with larger employers so they can coordinate transportation needs with reopening service. Full fare will return in the fall.

Deputy Mayor Scully attended All Home Coordinating Committee meeting. There have naturally been some delays due to COVID. He is still pushing for services in North King County while the location of services is still under discussion, but North King County has much lower needs so we’re not likely to see a lot of services here.

Councilmember Chang was asked to serve on a panel discussion at last week's Metro Annual Meeting. It was a large zoom meeting of 450. Terry White led the meeting and did a wonderful job. Metro is an essential part of the recovery and there seemed to be a positive attitude of being a part of something bigger that permeated the meeting.

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.

The following speakers offered comments on Agenda Item 9(a) Siting a 24/7 Shelter/Navigation Center to Serve Homeless Single Adults in North King County

Speaking in favor of using The Oaks at Forest Bay Nursing Home

Corinne McKisson, Shoreline
David Lowe, Kenmore
Stephanie Henry, Shoreline
Vivian Korneliussen, Shoreline

Speaking in opposition to the specific location 16357 Aurora Ave N

Sudeeptha Jothiprakash, Shoreline
Joanne Godmintz, Shoreline
Diane Pfeil, Shoreline
Stan Ciez, Brier, owner of a building in Shoreline
Gaurav Bansal, Shoreline

Meghan Peterka, Shoreline, stated she frequently hears “I do not trust the City.” We should trust and act together instead of wasting money fighting each other if we want to get things done as a community.

Dawn Jordan, Shoreline, has a daughter who was the target of a hate crime. The family is still being harassed so they do not feel safe here. Residents have witnessed and reported incidents but no one responded from the police.

Stephanie Angelis, LFP, is supporting Dawn’s statement particularly the lack of response by Shoreline police.

Jen Britt, Shoreline. Supports keeping the dog park open at the Fircrest location.

Kathleen Russell, Shoreline, Save Shoreline Trees. We have been encouraged to talk with project managers when we have issues with trees on private developments. When we did this, in spite of a cooperative owner, the resulting delay means the trees may not survive. We need a quicker process.

Bruce Amundson, Shoreline, expressed his thanks to the Council for accepting the gift of “Big Red” as part of a planned series of large permanent public art along Aurora on city-owned land. Joseph Kinnebrew is a nationally known sculptor and Northwest native. (Refer to Consent Calendar agenda item 7(c))

Big Red by sculptor Joseph Kinnebrew



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

ACTION ITEMS

Interim regulations are preferred by staff because there is no requirement for a Public Hearing so they can be implemented more quickly. Public Hearings are required after the change is made.

Action Item 8(a) Public Hearing on Ordinance No. 893 – to hear citizen’s comments on Interim Regulations to Allow for Additional Extensions of Application and Permit Deadlines Beyond Those Provided for in the Shoreline Municipal Code Due to COVID-19 Impacts

Rachael Markle, Director, Planning and Community Development, made the presentation

In order to prevent permits from expiring due to unforeseen circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Manager enacted Temporary Emergency Order No. 6. It was replaced by Ordinance 893 to further extend the application deadlines. This Ordinance was discussed at the July 20th Council meeting and was adopted on the Consent Calendar at the July 27th meeting. The Interim regulations will stay in place for 6 months and can be renewed at 6 month intervals.

There were no speakers signed up and no one called in during additional time allowed.

Action Item 8(b) Public Hearing on Ordinance No. 895 – to receive citizens comments on Interim Regulations for Outdoor Seating

Andrew Bauer, Senior Planner, made the presentation

This ordinance adopts interim regulations to remove regulatory barriers and fees for eating and drinking establishments to create outdoor seating areas thereby allowing these businesses to resume table service within COVID-induced seating and capacity restrictions.This Ordinance was discussed at the July 20th Council meeting and was adopted by unanimous vote at the July 27th meeting. The Interim regulations will stay in place for 6 months and can be renewed at 6 month intervals.

There were no speakers signed up and no one called in during additional time allowed.

Action Item 8(c) Adopting Resolution No. 464 - Approving the Purchase of Real Property Located on the South Side of North 185th Street, Identified as Short Plat No. 98038, Recording No. 19991105900005; King County Tax Parcel Nos. 7276100015, 7276100016, 7276100017, 7276100018, and 727610TRCT; and Authorizing the City Manager to Take the Necessary Steps to Complete the Property Purchase

Nathan Daum, Economic Development Program Manager, made the presentation

This property will be used for a new, 0.7-acre park on N 185th Street near Ashworth Avenue N (1367 N 185th Street). The proposed park would allow for a loop walking trail, public art, natural vegetation, and a small play area.

In 2017 the Parks Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan identified this proposed park. The PROS plan also called for secure sustainable funds (Park Impact Fees were established by Ordinance 786) and in 2020 Shoreline received King County Conservation Futures Tax grant which included 100% funding for this park.

Land to be purchased for new park on 185th


Public comment

There were no speakers signed up and no one called in during additional time allowed.


DISCUSSION

Motion and second to approve the Resolution for purchase of the property.

This is a good location for a park due to the increasing density on 185th. This area is missing a park - and this one is fully paid for, requires only minor improvements, and the only cost to the City is its continued maintenance. This is a natural space, with possible wetlands, native plants, and native trees.

Vote: Resolution passes unanimously 7-0.


STUDY ITEMS

Study Item 9(a) Discussing an Update of Council Goal No. 5, Action Step No. 7: Siting a 24/7 Shelter/Navigation Center to Serve Homeless Single Adults in North King County

Colleen Kelly, Community Services Manager, made the presentation
Nora Gierloff, Planning Manager, is available to answer questions

Staff is seeking Council direction for public outreach and development of interim regulations to allow it.

In April we began a process of developing partnerships with North King County Cities and other key stakeholders to site a 24/7 shelter/navigation center to serve homeless single adults in North King County. A task force was formed and held its first meeting July 9th. Community engagement and information sharing was raised and agreed to be a very necessary component of the process.

In June, staff became aware that The Oaks at Forest Bay Nursing Home (The Oaks), located at 16357 Aurora Ave N, was closing and the property was going to be offered for sale. Shoreline was approached to see if there was any interest. Around this same time, the State of Washington announced a Department of Commerce grant focused on expanding shelter capacity around the State. With the combination of these two events, Shoreline reached out to the County to see if they had any interest. Since that time, King County has expressed interest in leasing the property and partnering with the King County Housing Authority for potential acquisition. The facility could serve as an emergency shelter for single adults in the short term (likely three to seven years), and permanent supportive housing in the long term.

Staff worked with King County staff and Lake City Partners to put together an application for the State grant for this property. If it stays on track, a 24/7 Navigation Center could be achieved by the first of the year. The state grant is likely to provide the overwhelming share of operating funds for the first 2.5 years.

There are challenges. The majority of the site is zoned R-48 with the parking lot zoned R-18. Homeless shelters are not allowed in those zones. Additionally, the quick pace of these developments did not allow time to begin a community engagement process before now.

Zoning at and around the proposed site of the homeless shelter


There is time pressure. The County is seeking assurance that the City supports this use as money will need to change hands very soon.

The King County Housing Authority is confident that this process could proceed. Key provisions are that payments would start September 1st in the amount of $55,000/month until the property closes on or about February 1, 2021. These payments would serve as lease money while the property due diligence is continuing. This money goes towards the purchase price if the deal closes, but is forfeited if not closed.

The lease payments also prevent the sale of the building to another party while providing access for clean up, cosmetic updates, and other improvements so the building could be prepared for occupancy as early as late December.

Staff recommends capitalizing on the these unique circumstances (money, shelter-ready due to previous occupancy), and develop interim regulations that would allow up to 60 to live in a navigation center operating on this site.Additionally, we would need to implement an outreach and communication plan to ensure its success in the community.

DISCUSSION

What is the City committing financially? Reply: Short term: nothing whatsoever. The funding will come from King County and the Housing Authority.

What kind of financial support are other partners likely to ask of Shoreline? Reply: Council may be asked to continue to provide $26,000 in Human Services funding to Lake City Partners in support of the rotating winter shelter program and the Homeless Outreach Worker.

Interim regulations have the advantage of speed with a public hearing after the fact, but we don’t usually use it for zoning changes. Would we be looking at using a Conditional Use Permit?

Reply: this will be a multistep process. We are suggesting an interim ordinance because of the timeline King County is requiring. That would allow us to discuss any criteria or conditions that might be operationally part of a navigation center. There would then have to be a follow up, going through the whole zone amendment later. There are a number of ways to look at the options.

Occupancy is limited to up to 60 singles. Is this because of COVID? Could there be more? Reply: No, the plan is for 60. Staffing is also based on 60 residents. There is no plan to increase the number of residents after COVID.

What is 24/7 navigation? Is it low barrier or no barrier?

Reply: It is low barrier entry. People can’t be screened out due to background information or even if under the influence as long as their behavior is manageable and not dangerous to others. On site there will be a code of conduct prohibiting alcohol, weapons, and drugs. Low barrier means ease of access: trying to get people in; not keep people out.

People don’t want to leave their community for housing in another city. We have homeless people here. Where do we want them to live? In our parks? By the Interurban Trail? We can’t tell people to not camp in a park, when there’s no place else for them to go. Many of them are from our community. But whether they grew up here or not, they are here now living next to the parks or trail. Are more people going to be homeless when eviction preventions end? These are our residents and we should support them. We need housing to support people who are homeless due to issues involving mental health and/or drug use. But we shouldn’t assume without a home means using drugs. All people should be treated fairly. Housing is first. The homeless need to get off the street and into a stable environment so they can obtain services and apply for jobs.

Is this the right location? It is close to metro, the methadone clinic and other services, but is there a place easier to control? This is a good building for this use however the location butts right up to single family housing. It’s important to protect the neighborhood single family homes. A home is a family’s biggest investment. There is a fence and hope it stays or is improved if necessary to protect the security of the neighborhood. It is very close to the Richmond Highlands Rec center as well as the Seattle Select Baseball building that is used by kids all the time. Shorewood HS is right there. What about the proximity to child care centers? Housing is first. People need to get off the street and into something that is supportive. But then what?

Reply: there are no regulations about proximity to parks, schools, daycare or things like that. Current homeless regulations are based on operational considerations like the code of conduct that was mentioned previously.

King County is asking if the City is in support of a navigation center at this location. If we give them this, it is not an interim shelter. King County’s plan is that in 3-7 years they would be looking to build supportive housing with the navigation center as part of it. So the navigation center would become a permanent part of Shoreline. We should be talking about multiple sites and weighing the pros and cons of those sites. We don’t have enough details for a long term decision. We need to see what this would bring to Shoreline. We don’t want our own Pioneer Square. There needs to be a more robust discussion of the long-term outlook. We need more of a public process. Mitigation is all we will be discussing if we go ahead now.

Are we overlooking additional costs of police and fire/EMS response? It was a nursing home so don’t see an increase. We should look at comparable navigation facilities and see if volume is actually that much greater for this type of use.

Will it have an effect on the development of Shoreline Place? This development has paused anyway because of COVID, would this affect it too? There was a huge community process before we proceeded with this development at 198th and Aurora. With the navigation center, we are talking about the details after the decision.

It would be nice to find a location in Kenmore, Bothell, or North Seattle. But where would the money come from to buy a similar building? Who would spend the time running all over trying to locate another building. Importantly: we don’t pay for this one. All we have to do is agree. There are rooms and showers and laundry all in this building. Yes, this is happening very fast. Faster than anyone thought. We’re going to get more public comment. But we talked about it in April and then at our retreat. Here’s the property, here’s the grant, it’s time to move forward on what feels almost like a gift. If we don’t move in this direction, we need to remove it as a Council goal.

It is important to remember that this decision is not about children. This facility is for single adults from King County - not just Shoreline.

It is sometimes frustrating for Council to be criticized if we act too quickly or act too slowly. The Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness was not successful. Now we wish government would act more quickly and more efficiently to address homelessness. That is what this offers. We have made some pretty grand statements and set some lofty goals. We all have homes. It’s convenient to say we don’t want people without a home to live near us. But all Shoreline residents need a safe place to stay, take a shower, eat a meal. Vision House is opening another 10 units this month for families with children. Compass Housing and Hopelink report that there are 50 children living at Ronald Commons attending Shoreline schools. There are issues and concerns with this location. But we have to ask ourselves If not here, where? We’ve looked all over Shoreline. If not us, who? If not now, when? We need to support this and we need to protect our residents and make Shoreline a safer place. And we need to work with people in the surrounding neighborhood community so that their safety and their importance as a community is not forgotten in this process.

This is not a final decision. What staff is asking is can we move forward with this? Can we tell King County that we’re interested and to secure the grant and do the public outreach to go ahead.

Study Item 9(b) Discussing Ordinance No. 898 - Amending Shoreline Municipal Code Chapter 8.12 Rules for Use of Shoreline Park Facilities

Eric Friedli, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director, gave the presentation

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services (PRCS) staff issue over 900 permits annually for use of parks and recreation facilities at various locations around the City. In 2019, staff began a process improvement effort to review, update and formalize the guidelines and operations manual for parks fields and facility rentals. Proposed Ordinance No. 898 would adopt amendments that provide clarification for the field and facility rental operations. The process improvement also resulted in a new Field and Facility Rental Operations Manual. The Operations Manual provides greater detail on guidelines and processes for requesting and issuing permits for use of parks facilities, including the sale of goods or services. The goods or services cannot be inconsistent with public recreation purpose and cannot be similar to city offered programs.

The permit process has been streamlined. This is the website

DISCUSSION

There was no discussion. The Ordinance is added to the 09/14/2020 consent calendar.

Study Item 9(c) Discussion of the Eastside Off-leash Area Lease Agreement with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Eric Friedli, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director, made this presentation as well
Nathan Daum Economic Development Program Manager is available to answer questions



The City has been leasing land from the State of Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) for the Eastside Off-leash Area since 2013 when the rent was $200/month. In June 2020 the rent increased to $1,000/month for July and August. In September the monthly rental rate will increase to fair market value which they determined to be $4,356. This puts it $18,224 over annual budget.

If the City were to terminate this lease and replace the Eastside Off-leash Area with an interim off-leash area in James Keough Park, staff estimates this option will cost between $75k and $150k in one time funding to put in fencing and provide parking. It will take three months to implement. The cost range is because they haven’t done a formal study.

Staff recommends trying to negotiate with the State. We have a reasonably good chance that fair market value has been overestimated. The property is not zoned commercial and is a small piece of a much larger parcel, making the comparable properties not appropriate. If we are not successful, we can give the required 14-day notice to terminate the lease and replace the Fircrest location with an interim off-leash park in James Keough Park. Or we can skip challenging the State’s appraisal and terminate the lease by 8/15 and vacate by 9/1 and open an interim off-leash park at James Keogh maybe in 12/2020 depending on funding.

DISCUSSION

Is it possible to do a month to month lease until then James Keogh park is ready?
Reply: yes. It’s two weeks to two weeks.

Have we talked with our legislative delegation about problems we’re having or this challenge? 
Reply: No. They are aware of it but there are larger issues at Fircrest.

This is such a huge increase in rent. Do they really want us to keep using that area?

Reply: they were never happy about having the off-leash area there. The rent we paid wasn’t worth their time to do the paperwork. $200 was a screaming good deal for two acres. However we did bring goodwill and some security. And prior to that they were earning zero dollars. They want the off-leash area in a very controlled environment due to the residents with developmental disabilities. At one point they told us they were shutting the dog park down. Instead they curtailed its hours. I don’t think Fircrest wants it there. It was a polite appraisal. The state knew the shortcomings and just ignored it.

What could Fircrest do with that area?

Reply: Well, it's all speculation when it comes to real estate. A wide variety of things are allowable uses in a campus zone. But there is not a master plan on file yet. Without a campus master plan, nothing can proceed.

We should to try to re-negotiate the lease. We can’t pay the price they’ve quoted. It’s a popular dog park, meets our equity goal of locations across the city, and we would like to keep a presence on the property to show we are still a player at Fircrest. When we talk about our next park bond, we need to raise James Keough higher on the list. Moving from $52k to $150k for a temporary fix is ridiculous. It makes more sense to try to keep the park at Fircrest and work on modifying the appraisal with the State. We have to remain cognizant of the budget shortfalls that are looming.

Are we talking about using the entire James Keough Park for dogs?
Reply: Probably 1/3 to 1/2 of it. That would be about same size as the Fircrest location.

How closely will it mirror the full park concept design?

Reply: Not much. The interim solution is to locate the off-leash area closer to the south end of park instead of north where drainage and other developments will be required. If we put at the south end, we would probably redesign the park concept around the dog park.

What about using North Hamlin to keep the park on the east side?

Reply: We didn’t consider it. James Keough and Ridgecrest Parks have long been thought of as good locations for an off-leash park. Ridgecrest has land available, but because of light rail construction the parking is restricted to street only which would affect the neighborhood.

Worried about the equity issue of moving it from east to west. Then all off-leash areas will be on the west side. We need a new location with clear commitment for the City’s east side as soon as possible.

The fact is that Aurora is the actual center of our city - not I-5. James Keough Park is east of the center. Not every amenity is going to be east of I-5. The area between I-5 and Aurora is geographically on the east side.

People will let their dogs run wherever is close by if there isn’t a dog park. People also let dogs run off-leash in Hamlin park when it’s right next to the dog park. So people that disobey the law will do it anyway regardless.

More important than the actual location, Shoreline does need another year round dog park. So we are only punishing ourselves if we just shut the Fircrest location down. We need staff to look into a solution for relocating it.

Meeting adjourned.




7 comments:

Anonymous,  August 13, 2020 at 8:53 AM  

For the longest period of time a tree company was using the area next to the eastside dog park as a staging area to store vehicles and heavy equipment. This is why the road into the park is in such a poor state. I am curious s to the rental agreement they had in place.

And - thank you for all of these updates!

Anonymous,  August 15, 2020 at 5:33 PM  

Nice dog photo - is that a Borzoi? Beautiful!

Anonymous,  August 17, 2020 at 2:55 PM  

$75k to $150K is a serious over estimation to convert James Keough park to an offleash area. The dilapitated sport courts can be turned into parking for a couple thousand. Doesn't have to be perfect. The rest of the park is already fenced so putting one along the center going North south can't be more than $20K. People should have to pay a fee to let their dogs play there which should pay for ongoing maintenance. Improvements can be made in the future using labor from the folks who want to go there in exchange for a permit to use the park.

Anonymous,  August 18, 2020 at 12:39 PM  

Sure, let's charge an entrance fee for the off-leash park. But why stop there? How about a use-fee for the playgrounds or the skate park? A lap-fee for walking around Paramount park and a mileage fee for the trails in Hamlin Park? Heck, we could even install a credit card reader on the bridge heading over to Richmond Beach park.....

Janet August 23, 2020 at 10:29 PM  

How does it cost 75K - 150K to create a new dog park? Would like to see that outlined.

Janet August 23, 2020 at 10:33 PM  

How much did the Big Red sculpture cost the city of Shoreline?

Janet August 23, 2020 at 10:35 PM  

I was able to find data on the Big Red sculpture and see that it was a donation. That’s wonderful.

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