Notes from Shoreline council meeting January 11, 2021

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council Meeting for 
January 11, 2021

Notes by Pam Cross

The meeting was held remotely on Zoom.

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

All Councilmembers were present.

Proclamation

Mayor Hall, on behalf of the Shoreline City Council, proclaimed January 18, 2021 as Martin Luther King Day and encouraged all residents to work to end racism and fight for justice for all.

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry

Governor Inslee has announced a new phase system for the reopening of the State called the Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery Plan.



No region has met the criteria to move to Phase 2. Once in Phase 2, each region must continue to meet three of the 4 criteria listed above. In our case that includes Snohomish and Pierce Counties as well as King County.


Some of the Phase 1 restrictions are not significantly different from the old plan. There are some extremely limited opportunities for entertainment, fitness facilities and gyms. 


Shoreline has removed the closed signs from the playgrounds. Please note that the equipment is not sanitized.

While Shoreline has reopened tennis/pickleball courts, continued access is dependent on users following the social distancing and mask wearing requirements.

King County and Shoreline positive COVID-19 trends have continued to rise over the last couple of weeks.

The King County average over the past 14 days was 281 new cases per 100,000 residents. Remember that the target is 25 per 100,000.

Please continue to protect our community by taking the following 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 shorelinewa.gov/covid

The Department of Public Health has been releasing information about the vaccine distribution phases. Washington is in Phase A.

FindYourPhaseWA website and app is expected to launch January 16, 2021 which will give you the opportunity to determine when you are eligible for the vaccine.

Public Reminders

None

Council Reports

None

Mayor Hall stated that Councilmembers Roberts, Robertson, and Chang will be on the Parks review committee.

Public Comment

Jackie Kurle, Shoreline - spoke about security around the enhanced shelter and the need for sidewalks

Approval of the Agenda

Agenda adopted by unanimous consent.

Approval of the Consent Calendar

Consent Calendar approved unanimously by roll call vote.


Study Items

9(a) Discussing Ordinance No. 910 - Amending Shoreline Municipal Code Chapter 8.12 to Expressly Prohibit Waterfowl Feeding in City Park Facilities

John Featherstone, Surface Water Utility Manager introduced
  • Kristie Lovelace, Surface Water Program Specialist, made the presentation
What’s the problem with feeding waterfowl?

People feeding waterfowl has increased the population size of waterfowl, which has resulted in more fecal waste. This waste contains harmful bacteria and viruses transmittable to humans. 

Waterfowl also spend more time on the beaches in anticipation of the bread and crackers.

More waste on the beaches means there is more waste where humans recreate. Waterfowl and humans harass each other when they are in the same location.

Waste also increases the nutrients in water which can cause harmful algae blooms that have serious health effects for humans and animals.

It was determined that the cause of the 8 week closure of Hidden Lake was waste from water fowl.



In the picture of Echo Lake you can see the brown droppings on the beach. This waste was also in the water which resulted in the beach closing .

Final signage has not been determined, but we would like to take a light-hearted approach that will encourage education and following the rules.


Enforcement and citations will be rare and only for repeat offenders.

The proposed code amendment language:

Feeding waterfowl prohibited. No person shall place, deposit, scatter, or distribute food of any kind or nature in any park with an intent to feed waterfowl.

We believe that this will address the Council Goal of Stewardship of the Natural Environment.

DISCUSSION

Notices will be on the beaches. What about private property owners on lakes?

Reply: Lake-property owners tend to be supporters of a healthy lake. We may consider postcards or mailers but have found that in-person contact is most effective. We are at the lakes frequently, testing water and watching for algae blooms and use the opportunity to talk with individuals.

There seem to be more people feeding pigeons in parks than feeding waterfowl on beaches.

Reply: Feeding pigeons does not show a direct relationship with health hazards like that seen with waterfowl.

In a way this is disappointing because we used to take our kids out to feed the ducks when they were little. Of course, science has changed our outlook on that. But is an ordinance needed or can we just start with signs? Also, it can be terrifying to be approached by someone in uniform when you’re not sure what you’ve done. Finally, enforcement will have to be equitable.

Reply: We want to have the grounds to support our position when we talk to these offenders. We need to have a law to reference, in the same way we do for pet waste and littering.

Have there been repeat offenders?

Reply: yes, one or two.

We can do this in Shoreline, but what about other jurisdictions like the State. What will this really accomplish?

Reply: we are seeing so many waterfowl on the beach waiting for people to feed them. If we stop feeding them they will get off the beach. It's really localized right at the beaches. At Hidden Lake there is just one spot for feeding waterfowl. The bacteria and pollution really build up there. This is where dogs wade in the water and get a drink.

We want to create a community where people feel safe but laws set the norms for the behavior we expect. Smoking in city parks has reduced since we made it against the law. Another example is the leash law. This is just one tool in the tool box to shift behavior that is better for the environment, better for people and better for animals.

Why just waterfowl? Couldn’t we say don’t feed any wild animals?

Reply: Tonight we’re just focused on waterfowl and maintaining the quality of the water.

This will come back as an Action Item to allow for more public input and for additional discussion by Council.


9(b) Discussing Ordinance No. 918 - Authorizing the Placement of a Ballot Measure on the 2021 April Special Election Ballot to Authorize a Property Tax Bond Measure for Park Improvements and Park Land Acquisition

John Norris, Assistant City Manager, made the presentation

We have discussed this topic multiple times, most recently on December 7, 2020. This is a brief summary.



The current parks and open spaces bond measure (approved by voters in 2006) is set to be retired in 2021 and will be removed from property tax bills in 2022.


Staff would like Council’s instructions regarding a Voter’s Pamphlet. It will cost between $2,000 and $5,000. It will require pro/con committees in order to prepare the statements for the pamphlet.

DISCUSSION

A Voters Pamphlet is important. It gets the information about the ballot to the voters and t is a way to remind people to vote. The pro/con committees also do great outreach to citizens.

We have a decent shot at passing this in April. Especially since people are staying home and desperate to get out to the parks. We’ll have a captive audience. Meeting the validation requirement might be difficult. If we have pro/con committees (for the Voters Pamphlet) we can have the pro committee focus on validation in order to get the people out to vote. This should be pretty easy to sell at this price tag. In April we can take advantage of the momentum of the big turnout this past November.

Note:

Bond Validation
  • To pass, bonds must validate two ways:
  • A minimum 60% “yes” vote
  • A minimum voter turnout of 40% of the voters who cast ballots in the last general election within the district (35,231 Shoreline voters cast ballots in Nov 2020 @ 40% = 14, 094)

Looking at past performance you see mixed results for bond measures in April and February elections (except for fire districts - people love fire districts and appreciate the work they do). There is better voter turnout in November. Rather than risk a low turnout, we can adopt this and just change the date to November.

The last parks bond measure that had a really high price-tag passed the majority of the voters but did not meet the 60% criteria. So people value and support our parks.

Jan 2022 is when the tax takes effect?

Reply: Yes.

Putting it on the November ballot wouldn’t make a difference?

Reply: Initial planning for issuing the debt would be delayed if it goes on the April ballot but can’t tell how significant that would be. We can look into that.

If we fail to meet the validation requirement, we can bring it back to the voters. In November the same validation figures will apply. But in April 2022, the validation requirement based on votes cast may be lower.

Funding is already a couple of years old. The longer we put this off, the more likely we won’t be able to do everything planned.

Returning as an Action item on January 25, 2021.

Council recessed for 30 minutes for an Executive Session: Litigation and Potential Litigation - RCW 42.30.110(1)(i).

No action will be taken by Council following the Executive Session

Meeting adjourned

Correction to bond validation paragraph: Shoreline voters cast ballots in Nov 2020 @ 40% = 14, 094). Original text said 2021.



1 comments:

Anonymous,  January 14, 2021 at 10:19 AM  

People love fire districts? Of course they do, protection of people and property always ranks higher in the mind of the public when compared to parks. A well-funded fire department also results in lower insurance rates.

This is so biased, Shoreline Public Schools have been supported by the voters, people also like having excellent K-12 education over parks.

Mind you, I enjoy parks a great deal but there needs to be some honesty in the city staff presentations.

Fire and school districts have direct taxation power, which is what the City of Shoreline is competing for in these elections.

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