Notes from Shoreline City Council meeting March 15, 2021

Friday, March 19, 2021

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council Meeting
March 15, 2021

Notes by Pam Cross

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

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry


King County cases have now plateaued and are not continuing a downward trend. Ages 20 to 39 are seeing significant increases. So there is a real need for people to continue to follow good practices.

Please continue to protect our community
  • 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.
  • Outdoor gatherings with a limit of 15 people from two households.
  • Get tested at the first sign of illness. Then please stay home. Don’t go to work and don’t go out in public if you’re not feeling well.
  • It is always safest to stay at home.
City Hall remains closed to the public. Most services can be accessed online, by phone, or by drop off. For more information visit

COVID-19 Vaccinations

Go to for the most up-to date information on eligibility and locations providing vaccines. Supply has increased so appointments should be easier to schedule.

Proposition 1 

Proposition 1 will appear on the April 27 ballot for park improvements and park land acquisition. You can see a factual community presentation on Thursday March 18 at 12pm and Monday March 22 at 12pm. Learn more about it at

Public Reminders

There will be a Planning Commission remote meeting on Thursday March 18 at 7:00pm. This will include a Public Hearing regarding zoning code amendments to allow enhanced shelters in the MB (mixed business) zone. For additional information go to

Council reports

Bellevue Councilmember Jennifer Robertson and Councilmember Chang met with Rod Dembowski, our King County Council representative, to discuss their concerns about where Metro is restructuring its routes when light rail opens. Metro is planning to redistribute the hours elsewhere. We need more of these hours in order to get more people to light rail. That was the idea: transit routes feeding into the light rail system. Without this, light rail cannot succeed.

Public comments
 (written comments available on line)

Ameer Dixit, Shoreline,
Jodi Dixit, Shoreline,
Janet Way, Shoreline, Shoreline Preservation Society, and
Kathleen Russell, Shoreline, Save Shoreline Trees,
spoke against rezoning of the property near the 192nd and Aurora Ave. Park n Ride

Rebecca Jones, Seattle, operates a business in Shoreline, spoke in favor of saving Shoreline trees

Marlin Gabbert, Shoreline, spoke in favor of building townhouses near the 192nd and Aurora Park n Ride

Jackie Kurle, Shoreline, spoke regarding monitoring of the operation of the enhanced shelter, and its impact on the community

John Ramsdell, Shoreline, requested that healthcare including Medicare for All be added to the Shoreline Legislative Priority list

Approval of the Agenda
Agenda adopted by unanimous consent.

Approval of the Consent Calendar
Consent Calendar approved unanimously by roll call vote.

Action Item 8(a) Action on Resolution No. 470 - Amending the Council Rules of Procedure

This resolution was discussed at the March 1st meeting. It proposes changes to Council Rules that set forth the order of business for a meeting, and includes housekeeping edits to the Order of Business for Regular Meetings.

Presentation by Jessica Simulcik Smith, City Clerk
No staff report required.


Approved unanimously 7-0,

Study Item 9(a) Discussing the 2021 Federal Legislative Priorities

For 2021, staff proposes a focus on COVID-19 relief and continued advocacy for transportation funding policies that support station area investments that connect to light rail.

Presentation by Jim Hammond, Intergovernmental Program Manager

Hammond introduced Jake Johnston, President of the Johnston Group, which is a Federal Affairs consulting agency that has been working with the City since 2003.

The purpose of Federal Legislative Priorities is to provide a clear statement of City values and interests, to provide clear communication with the delegation, and clear direction to staff. This is important because there are so many people and so many interests speaking out. In order to be an effective advocate for our interests, they need clarity and consistency to help the City be heard. At the Federal level, we are advocating for funding for our priorities. Locally, we determine how those funds are used most effectively for the City’s interests and values.

Some other key priorities are support for marginalized communities, climate change, salmon recovery / watershed restoration, and gun safety.

Jake Johnston spoke about what’s going on right now.
There is a lot of information being discussed in the media about COVID relief. I can better spend this time responding to any questions there might be rather than try to do an exhaustive amount of detail. The money should be available to the State in three to four weeks. It then has 30 days to transfer those funds to the cities. There will be two payouts: one this year and the other in 2022. It is expected to last until 2024 over an extended period of time.

Community Project Funding is the ability for members of Congress to designate certain projects within their community for direct grant support (formerly referred to as “earmarked”). It has not been available for last the eight years. There are now some very strict guidelines in place.

Transportation funding reforms are needed for medium sized cities. Shoreline has access to the Build Program. There is a rural set-aside that funded two projects, and every other award has gone to a community of at least 100,000 in population. The smallest city to obtain a Build Grant was Everett. Most have gone to Spokane, Seattle or Vancouver. So we have been working to develop a medium sized city set-aside. (Shoreline population est. 58,000)


Regarding the medium sized city set aside. Will it ever really happen? We’ve been working on it for a while.

Reply: it takes time. Lots of time. We’re making progress. The problem is Shoreline fits into the size band between 50,000 and 200,000 population size. We need to determine a legitimate size to that band. On the other hand, new discretionary grant programs in the Transportation Funding fit Shoreline perfectly.

Universal Health Care needs to come into the conversation, although not as the City’s first priority because we have other priorities where the City provides the only voice.

Green stormwater needs some attention. We recently learned that a lot of the harm to coho salmon comes from stormwater runoff from urban roadways. This is particularly important to Shoreline because most of its water goes into the Sound untreated.

We also have to look at culverts and infrastructure that are associated with transportation.

Things like The Endangered Species Act is a good act, but it’s Federal law. Those mandates cost us a lot of money. It’s important to continue to work to get the federal government to step up to providing funding.

This will come back on Consent on March 29th.

Study Item 9(b) Discussion of the 2021 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Docket

Presentation by Steven Szafran, AICP, Senior Planner
Rachael Markle, AICP, Director

The City is limited by state law and the City’s adopted procedures to processing Comprehensive Plan amendments once a year, with exceptions only in limited situations. This year’s Preliminary 2021 Docket was presented to the Planning Commission on February 4, 2021 and contained one privately initiated amendment applying to a single parcel located adjacent to the Park n Ride at Aurora Ave N and N 192nd St.

Amendment #1

Amend the Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map Designation from Public Facility to High Density Residential and change the Zoning from Residential, 18 units/acre (R-18) to Residential, 48 units/acre (R-48).

Amendment #2

Amend the Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map Designation from Public Facility (and High Density Residential ) to Mixed Use 1, and the zone to Mixed Business for the 192nd Park n Ride lot.

As stated at the beginning, these items have not been evaluated by staff. The question is should they be added to the Docket for study.


High density residential: does it include both R18 and R48?

Reply: yes.

If the King County Metro property is rezoned to mixed business (MB), aren’t there step down requirements if you’re abutting R6?

Reply: yes. And building setbacks.

Metro’s property still has to stay a Park n Ride even if it is rezoned MB, right?

Reply: There are conditions attached to that site. There has to be Park n Ride but I don’t know how many spaces have to be retained. I’m not familiar with the contract.

I don’t support an increase in density to R48 when it’s adjacent to R6 single family homes. I believe we need a buffer.

Reply: The “buffer area” is already zoned R18 so it can be developed right now under the R18 zoning.

It appears that both north and south of the Park n Ride is mixed business. Correct?

Reply: Yes, along Aurora.

R18, as currently zoned, would allow 10 townhomes. Although it would include cutting down the trees. Due to slope and size of lot, R48 is a pretty good jump.

When we consider what kind of Comprehensive Plan Designation we want along the Aurora Corridor, that would be an appropriate time to address changes.

We need to do some zoning clean up along Aurora to get some consistencies. Including getting private property that is zoned public facility correctly zoned.

Is there a difference in tree retention between R18 and R48?

Reply: No there is not.

What stormwater requirements will have to be done? And are they different between R18 and R48?

Reply: No, the codes are the same regardless of the zone. Low impact development is required to be worked out first.

On the 1st Amendment (changing from R18 to R48), which of these zones would work best in consideration of our environmental goals and our affordable housing goals? If we’re going to lose the same number of trees, and have the same run-off, does it make sense to try to house more people there?

Reply: I can look at this, but basically the difference in impervious area between an R18 and R48 is slight. 5% difference.

What about looking at it on a per unit basis?

Reply: You would have less of an impact based on a per unit evaluation.

These are interesting data points but in the context of this discussion, we need to look at this as a regional issue. Let’s not create a new data set for just this property - let’s consider that when we are redoing the Comprehensive Plan.

It’s important to note, though, that R18 and R48 have the same impact on tree retention even though that is counter-intuitive.

There are also the concerns about the intensity of the development, the amount of traffic, how busy it seems around you. That’s why a transition zone is important.

We do have to balance Community Values with development. The Comprehensive Plan has a very broad brush for Comprehensive Plan designations. Zoning is a fine brush. There is a big difference in scale and scope in a high density zone. Broad brushes and fine brushes don’t always work together.

With this property, challenges such as the very steep slope need attention too.

We should think about why certain properties are designated as public facilities. There are essential public facilities that need to be zoned under Washington Code. City Hall is not a public facility. We need to think about this in the next Comprehensive Plan.

On March 9th this will return as an Action item, with staff to prepare two amendments:
  • One to remove to Amendment #1 from the Docket, and
  • One to add Amendment #2 to the Docket.
Study Item 9(c) Discussion of Ordinance No. 926 - Limited Tax General Obligation Bond 2021 – Vehicle License Fee Supported Transportation Improvement Projects

Presentation by Sara Lane, Administrative Services Director

The City has dedicated the Vehicle License Fee (VLF) to support the Sidewalk Rehabilitation and the Annual Road Surface Maintenance Programs. Traditionally, the City has programmed both programs to work on a “pay-as-you-go” basis. Given the current favorable bond market and a desire to speed delivery of this work, staff recommends issuing one or more series of debt that would be supported by a pledge of the VLF revenue. This would allow us to move that schedule ahead and accelerate it.

This Ordinance authorizes the City Manager to execute agreements within authorized parameters. This would be valid for one year. If we go to the market right away but aren’t successful getting terms that meet our objectives, we can monitor the market for up to a year.

The Ordinance allows us to use either a competitive Public or Private Sale. We anticipate moving forward fairly quickly with a competitive private placement. This allows for faster, lower issue costs and is the best option to get the most effective pricing due to the size of the issuance.


The staff report mentioned an “impairment claim.” Can you explain what that is?

Deanna Gregory, Pacific Law Group, replies: If there is a movement to revoke or otherwise change the VLF (Vehicle License Fee) that is being pledged to repay the bonds, the City would have a claim in response to that measure, that there would be an impairment of contract. The bondholders have an expectation that the source of revenue be available.

Will this allow us to expedite or to allow us to do even more projects?

Reply: Expedite but not necessarily any additional projects. We are looking at faster. This is sidewalk rehabilitation, not new sidewalks, as well as road surface maintenance.

How much more are we going to be able to do by speeding things up?

Reply: Instead of looking at $750,000/year being available for sidewalks repair and another $750,000/year for annual road maintenance under “pay as your go,” we would now have $8M available to spend over three years so it’s quite a significant amount. How that translates into additional feet of sidewalk we can get repaired, I can’t answer that. But we will have additional revenue coming in to support more debt so we could issue additional tranches of debt.

This would allow us to issue debt up to $8.35M and not less than $1M increments.

Reply: We will likely be doing the full $8M at one time. Once we hit $8.35M, I will bring it back to Council.

Will this be included in the Capital Improvement Plan that we’re developing later in the spring, or next year?

Reply: The one in the spring that staff is currently working on.

So then we’ll have a sense of where staff thinks the most effective use of this will be sidewalks repair or road maintenance - or a combination?

Reply: Exactly

How does the current ordinance read? Is the money from the VFL evenly distributed between sidewalk maintenance and road maintenance or is there any specific allocation?

Reply: The distribution is evenly distributed however Council has authority to change the use to any authorized transportation project.

This will return on Consent March 29th.

Meeting adjourned.


Jeff March 19, 2021 at 6:28 PM  

Thank you, Pam for these reports!

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