Notes from Shoreline council meeting November 30, 2020

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council Meeting
November 30, 2020

Notes by Pam Cross

The meeting was held remotely using the Zoom platform.

Mayor Hall called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.

All Councilmembers were present.

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry

COVID-19 Update

A reminder that the new statewide restrictions remain in effect through December 14.

Remember to wear a mask when engaged in any sport, including pickleball.

The King County average over the past 14 days has grown to 383 new cases per 100,000 residents. Remember that the target is 25 per 100,000. Also in King County, the number of positive tests is 15.4% and the target for positive tests is 2%.

In Shoreline, we have had 236 new cases in the past two weeks. Hospitalizations have also increased.

Protect our community by taking prevention measures:
  • Wear a face covering, especially indoors in public settings regardless of the distance between people.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands regularly.
  • Maintain six (6) feet of distance, indoors and outdoors.
  • Gather ONLY outdoors with a limit of five (5) people.
  • Get tested at the first sign of illness. And then stay home! Do not go to work or to stores if you’re not feeling well.
Additional information

Public Reminders
  • The Planning Commission will hold a remote meeting on Thursday Dec 3 at 7:00pm
  • The PRCS/Tree Board will hold a remote meeting on Thursday Dec 3 at 7:00pm
Council Reports (all meetings were attended virtually)

Councilmember Chang attended a Special Meeting of the Regional Transit Committee. It was the first time Metro provided what the system might look like when equity, productivity and geographic diversity are implemented. They created three different maps. The current system is much sparser in South King County, but in looking at the proposed additions, there was virtually nothing in North King County. A lot of work still needs to be done to make a balance.

Public Comment

The following people spoke in opposition to the enhanced shelter:

Jackie Kurle, Shoreline
Diane Pfeil, Shoreline
Nathan Pfeil, Shoreline
Nancy Pfeil, Shoreline

Approval of the Agenda

Approval of the Agenda adopted by unanimous consent.

Approval of the Consent Calendar

The Consent Calendar approved unanimously by roll call vote.


Discussion of Resolution No. 467 - Declaring the City’s Commitment to Building an Anti-Racist Community - Sponsored by Councilmembers Roberts and Robertson

Christina Arcidy, Management Analyst, made the presentation

Tonight Council will consider adoption of Resolution 467, committing to Shoreline becoming an Anti-Racist Community, that was sponsored by Councilmembers Roberts and Robertson.

Draft wording was presented at the Nov 16 Council meeting. There have been no changes to the draft. Staff recommends adoption.


Move and second to adopt the resolution.

Councilmembers Robertson and Roberts thanked the members of the community who worked to bring this together, the City staff, and the thoughtful conversation at the Nov 16 Council meeting.

This is an ongoing commitment of the community and the Council. It’s going to take work. Shoreline has not been immune from racism. It’s in our City’s history and survives in different forms to this day.


Passed 7-0.

ACTION ITEM 8(b) Adopting the 2021 State Legislative Priorities

Jim Hammond, Intergovernmental Program Manager, made the presentation

Tonight we are looking at the final list of State Legislative priorities that adds two changes to the proposed list we discussed on Nov 16.


Move and second to adopt.

Does this motion include the two modifications made by staff? Yes.


Passed 7-0.

Study Item 9(a) 185th Street Station Subarea Plan Progress Report 2015-2020

Andrew Bauer, Senior Planner, made the staff report

In March 2015, the Shoreline City Council adopted the 185th Street Station Subarea Plan and area-wide rezoning. Rather than rezoning the entire subarea at once, it was broken into three distinct phases. Phase 1 of the rezone took effect immediately, while phase 2 goes into effect March 16, 2021, and phase 3 will become effective March 16, 2033.

Phase 2 is the smallest of the three phased areas, but it does include a substantial number of properties that have the MUR-70 zone. MUR-70 (mixed use - residential - allowing 70 dwelling units per acre) is intended to provide for more intense development.

A progress report of Phase 1 is required before moving to the next phase. The complete Progress Report 2015-2020 is available as an attachment to the staff report.

We haven’t seen any activity yet in the MUR-70 zones. This could be because of a variety of different factors, such as small lot sizes requiring aggregation of several properties for a larger scale development. Developers need to meet the density requirement in order to take advantage of the incentives offered. Other market factors could also be at play.

New units occupancy.

Most units are owner occupied which is similar to citywide data. Apartments are mostly 1 bedroom units. There have been no 3 bedroom units. But this was a small sample size.

No commercial development at this time.

There is the challenge of converting single family residences for commercial use. It is also the question of needing tenants and owners to support commercial enterprises before we see any development there. We would expect more commercial development when light rail is operating.

Utilities generally have the capacity to serve the growing population. Upgrades for water and sewer will be needed. Electrical lines on 185th are also being upgraded to serve the new demand.


The 185th street Multimodal Corridor Strategy completed by Sound Transit was a huge milestone in advancing the vision for the subarea plan, making a cohesive vision for the land use.


It is anticipated we will need 43 acres of new parks/open space to serve the subarea population. Areas have been identified so planning and acquisitions are underway.

Although we are early in the plan, growth is tracking with assumptions in the plan. We have to wait and see what COVID-19 means for development and how that plays out. Capital investments are keeping pace with the actual growth and development, and there are always opportunities for improvement.


I’m concerned about nothing happening in MUR 70. We knew it would be an issue but it’s tough when you see a very large development bringing in commercial to Mountlake Terrace station. What can we do to make things happen here? Staff will take a look at this to determine if we have to make some changes to our planning for MUR70.

As happened with Aurora Ave, we didn’t see the development that we had expected. But now it’s coming. The light rail station hasn’t even arrived so development will be down the road. It will be a year after light rail comes online before we see development in MUR70. We do need a complete sidewalk network by finding ways to encourage complete sidewalks to be built by the developers.

Still there should be more application activity. It can take several years to complete some of these projects. Staff needs to look at the regulations and incentives again with the goal of encouraging the kind of development we want. We could consider eliminating the development agreement process. It takes a lot of time and creates a lot of uncertainty. Maybe we should codify certain standards that we really want to see. Of course that would be less flexible but more predictable.

We need to encourage developers to build more efficient units if we want to keep rents affordable.

We may want to revisit charging for parking garages separate from rent. There is some incentive to not have a vehicle, but it also means they might park on the street. The multi-family tax exemption (MFTE) has turned out to really increase the City’s revenues to increase city services so we should think about expanding and extending it.

I don’t think there’s enough we can give in a development incentives that will result in a significant enough change. Are these artificial roadblocks? Are we hearing developers complaining that they’d do “this” if it weren’t for “that”? Need to focus on getting the infrastructure in place (sidewalks, parks, utilities) or at least planned out and ready to go.

One thought about sidewalks: when a new project is going up, they end up tearing up any sidewalk that was there and rebuilding it so I’m a little worried about the inefficient use of tax money if we build these sidewalks (that are expensive) and then the developer has to rebuild it after all the utilities are put in and all of their heavy equipment has moved from the site.

It can take up to 2 years to develop because we’re still 4 years off from light rail. Developers don’t want to build a large building without light rail being there. We should open phase 3 at same time as 2. It’s not that much more property. That seems to be where we are getting our general development right now.

I like seeing more apartments. Townhouses are nice but they are not “affordable.”

Why is there a void in the number of bedrooms? Why aren’t there 2 or 3 bedrooms?

Staff will be presenting to the planning commission on Thursday

We must have some facts. Is there historical information about property density like MUR70 starts moving? We must be proactive in determining why the development isn’t happening. It has taken a long time in other cities. Just zoning MUR70 will not bring development. We won’t see anything until the station opens.

End discussion. Will talk about it at their retreat.


Discussing the Addendum to the Feasibility Study for Transfer of Development Rights and the Landscape Conservation and Local Infrastructure Program (LCLIP) in Shoreline

Steven Szafran, AICP, Senior Planner, made the presentation

The presentation will move quickly from the basics from LCLIP, and focus on the scenario analysis that they asked us to do in July as the main part of the presentation. 

  • LCLIP = Landscape Conservation and Local Infrastructure Program (RCW39.108)
  • TDR = transfer of development rights
  • TIF = tax increment financing
Nick Bratton of Forterra

This tool is encouraged by the Growth Management Act to use the private market to encourage growth where we want it, while preserving those resource lands for forests and farming.

LCLIP is a combination of TDR and a form of tax increment financing to provide a financial incentive for cities to use TDR. The 2020 Feasibility Report has been updated and the report finds that the City stands to gain $8.3 to $12.8 million dollars for infrastructure improvements from revenue generated by new development over a 25-year period if all the City’s allocated TDR credits are placed.

To maximize the benefits of the program, Shoreline should commit to using its full allocation of TDR credits if it chooses to adopt LCLIP.

Morgan Shook from ECONorthwest

The three scales of implementation:
  1. Station area emphasis within the light rail subareas.
  2. The next scenario covers the light rail station areas and Town Center.
  3. The last scenario, or full utilization, covers light rail station area, Town Center and the business commercial district.
Mike Murphy available from Kingco to answer any questions


Is there a downside? I don’t see one. Should we open this to the widest area of Shoreline or should we stay in light rail zones?

Program is set up well, we take more density in exchange for TDR but also conserve open spaces and green spaces throughout King County, and we raise added revenue for the City.

The incentives go beyond what is available in our development code. It raises costs for developers to go above and beyond. We traded some maximizing of lot coverage for better design and more efficient uses during our townhome discussion. That is a new approach for zoning. We want developers to do things right, not just easy.

Parking reductions should be everywhere, not just in this program. We already have height incentives. Doesn’t incentivize the most efficient use of our land.

Since this development code regulations are included, do we remove the incentives that are there and replace with LCLIP incentives?

Reply: these would be new incentives and see how they interact with those we already have.

ABC areas, is there an order to them?

Can start with lower # credits and build up. But leaves a lot of money on the table so it’s best to take the full amount you need. It takes into account the amount of growth, the geography, and the number of TDR credits.

What if we don’t get the growth we planned on?

Can’t reduce it. So there are milestones, 50% of credits need to be placed by year 10.
There’s no financial punishment - you just don’t collect as much as you wanted.

Why is this so important.

To save farmland, forestry. Regionally this is really important to King County.

Prefer clustering of the taller buildings rather than spread out across the City

Overall agreement to move forward.

Meeting adjourned.

Correction: In the discussion on Study items 9(a) the sentence should have "without" instead of "with".

"It can take up to 2 years to develop because we’re still 4 years off from light rail. Developers don’t want to build a large building without light rail being there. We should open phase 3 at same time as 2. It’s not that much more property. That seems to be where we are getting our general development right now."


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