Notes from Shoreline council meeting April 12, 2021

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council Meeting
April 12, 2021

Notes by Pam Cross

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

Councilmember Robertson was excused for personal reasons.


I, Will Hall, Mayor of the City of Shoreline, on behalf of the Shoreline City Council, do hereby proclaim the week of April 18 through April 24, 2021 as VOLUNTEER WEEK in the City of Shoreline and encourage all residents to continue their good work supporting the community, and express appreciation to those who have helped others during the pandemic.

Approval of the Agenda
Agenda adopted by unanimous consent.

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry


We are simultaneously in a very optimistic and very precarious place. The pace of vaccinations continues to accelerate, however we still face the possibility that we are at the beginning of a fourth wave of infection. Mutated strains are increasing every week.


Darnell Park

Good news for this park located off the Interurban Trail at 165th Street! It’s an open space with a lot of potential. However it suffers from an overrepresentation of non-native and invasive plants.

Darnell Park

Kaleidoscope Landscapers, located in Shoreline, has committed to donate a day of labor every month to help restore the park’s biological integrity and to design an open space that is aligned with our goal of providing safety for those who are utilizing the park.

Earth Day Every Day

Public Reminders

The Planning Commission will hold a remote meeting on Thursday, April 15 at 7:00pm to provide the Transportation Master Plan Update

Council Reports

Councilmember McConnell attended a remote meeting for the National League of Cities Transportation and Infrastructure Services Committee. The Committee is totally aligned with local and State priorities. She is proud that Shoreline is a member of the National League of Cities and sees it as a real asset to moving our agenda along.

Mayor Hall: As Councilmembers know, funding for the non-motorized bridge to connect pedestrians and bicyclists across I-5 to the new light rail station at 148th is in proposed budgets in both the State House and Senate. It is dependent on getting a funding package. The funding package that is moving forward right now is the Carbon Cap-and-Invest Bill. It has passed the Senate and is in front of the House.

Mayor Hall regarding COVID: We and our local businesses have sacrificed so much in the past year. To go this far, it’s frustrating people are still getting sick with COVID. Please don’t put yourself at risk - hang in there as the vaccine rollout continues.

Public Comment (written comments available on line)

Edgar Sioson, Shoreline

Parking minimums may be a benefit resulting in reduced vehicle traffic and safety for pedestrians and bicycles, but he is not in favor of them.

Dicky Leonardo, Shoreline

Re Prop 1, one of the parks is very near the enhanced shelter. Want to make sure our families have access to this park and it is not overcome by the houseless. What are the City’s plans to ensure this?

Jackie Kurle, Shoreline

Supports helping the homeless population, but wants to make sure the City and the operators of the enhanced shelter are paying full attention to the community’s needs and being fully transparent with what impacts are happening.

Approval of the Consent Calendar

Consent Calendar approved unanimously by roll call vote. 6-0

Action Item 8(a) Action on Ordinance No. 928 – Repealing Ordinance No. 780 and Provide for a New Shoreline Municipal Code Chapter 13.05

Presented by Randy Witt, Public Works Director

The assumption of the Ronald Wastewater District (RWD) requires that the City of Shoreline develop and implement a new municipal code chapter to establish its governing authority by which the City will own and operate the wastewater utility. The City Council passed Ordinance No. 780 on October 2, 2017, which updated Shoreline Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 13.05 establishing the regulations for the new wastewater utility. Proposed Ordinance No. 928 (discussed at the March 29, 2021 meeting) would repeal Ordinance No. 780 and replace it with a new SMC Chapter 13.05 that updates the regulations for the wastewater utility.

The issue of late charges came up at the March 29th meeting. A 10% late charge is consistent with Ronald Wastewater’s current policy. Late charge language was added to SMC 13.05.130(B) including a waiver policy allowing a waiver once per year without cause. Waivers with cause will be allowed with Director approval.

Otherwise unchanged since the last meeting.


No additional discussion.


Ordinance 928 is adopted unanimously by a vote of 6-0.

Action Item 8(b) Action on Resolution No. 474 – Repealing Resolution No. 417 Regarding Wastewater Financial Policies

Presented by Randy Witt, Public Works Director

Related to above Action Item 8(a), proposed Resolution No. 474 would repeal Resolution No. 417 which set forth the Wastewater Revenue and Customer Service Policy, so that the Administrative Services Director can exercise the rule-making authority granted in Ordinance No. 928.

It is unchanged from the proposed resolution discussed on March 29th.


No additional discussion.


Resolution 474 is adopted unanimously by a vote of 6-0.
Presented by Steve Szafran, AICP, Senior Planner

In April of 2020, the City began a process of developing partnerships with North King County cities and other key stakeholders in support of siting a 24/7 shelter/navigation center to serve homeless single adults in North King County.

Funding through the Department of Commerce to expand homeless shelter capacity became available in June 2020. The City then partnered with King County and Lake City Partners for a site at 165th and Aurora (formerly The Oaks).

On October 26, 2020, the City Council adopted interim regulations for the operation of an enhanced shelter in the R-48 Zone. King County has established a 24/7 Enhanced Shelter on the site under the interim ordinance. The interim ordinance will expire in April if not renewed or permanent regulations put in place.

Permanent regulations will allow enhanced shelters in the Mixed Business (MB) zone, subject to index criteria. The Hearing Examiner held a public hearing on March 17, 2021 regarding this rezone and on April 2, 2021, issued a decision recommending approval.

Index criteria include: who can operate it, inspection requirements, a code of conduct, location with frontage on a principal arterial and within 1/4 mile of transit stop with frequent all-day service, a solid 6’ fence abutting residential zoning districts, an acceptable parking plan, and a memorandum of agreement with the City.

Two additional Index Criteria have been added.


The Oaks site is shown with 1 mile radius outlined by the blue dotted line.

The dark green are eligible sites.

The lighter green are those that are zoned Mixed Business but would not be eligible. For example, the lighter green site on Ballinger Way is not eligible because it does not meet the transit criteria.


If Councilmembers have additional ideas for index criteria, how would that affect the Oaks Site? Would the new index criteria apply to shelters already in operation?

Reply from City Attorney Margaret King: Oaks is currently existing so subsequent changes to index criteria will not affect Oaks.

If The Oaks site is changed to permanent supportive housing, (King County has indicated this is a possibility) and if Oaks continues as an enhanced shelter after the supportive housing is built, would we then apply any new criteria? Obviously during construction, the Enhanced Shelter would have to cease operations at the site. If the enhanced shelter then comes back, will updated index criteria apply?

City Attorney: I hate to give a “squishy answer” but it really depends on the facts of the case, length of time it was not operating, what their intent was and other factors.

I would like to consider adding a criteria for distance from schools. This would not apply to the Oaks because the school is outside of the distance (1,500’ or 1/4 mile) I am thinking of. But we are making permanent regulations now and have to think of future sites.

Reply: there is no current conversation about distance from schools, but we can definitely come back with a proposed amendment

I’m not in favor of the school distance requirement. Most of the school distance requirements we have are there to keep kids from temptation (such as a pot shop near a school). But the homeless are not so toxic they need to be kept away from schoolchildren.

We had this school distance discussion with pot shops and I don’t think it was just to keep temptation away. I believe it was just a use that needed some distance from children. I’m not saying shelters are dangerous. But I think we need to remember that children are not adults.

We might not even have any qualifying lots that would be near a school. But if there are, wouldn’t we want some distance from schoolchildren so they can walk without fear?

Minimum distance to schools concerns me. What if a shelter is renovated so it is closed 12-18 months during construction. I don’t really want a future council to say nope can’t do it because you’re too close to a school.

We could make the distance to a school such that the Oaks would still be conforming. And I’m not implying homeless people are “toxic.” But results depend on the mix of the residents we have in an enhanced shelter. Some of the shelters we looked at in other cities had issues with drug dealing that was happening around the shelter, and we had a problem with the methadone center that’s even closer to Shorewood HS.

I think coordination with the Shoreline Fire Department should be included in the Memorandum of Agreement. We include law enforcement but EMS calls are likely to be responded to by the SFD and I would like a threshold of calls to include EMS. These are City resources that are drawn upon.

Referring to Mr. Leonardo’s comments today, I am very sympathetic for everyone who wants to use a neighborhood park for the purpose for which it was designed. It should be a place for everyone, housed and unhoused, to use for recreation. Not as a place to camp. Now we have shelter space, and a community sense that we don’t want camping in our parks. It is trespassing.

My concern with guidelines is we don’t want to make it so difficult to operate a shelter that the houseless are forced outside again in cars or in our parks.

I don’t think the requirements we have are onerous. There is a lot more to manage than for a private home and this is where we can put limitations and guardrails that our community would want us to do.

At the most we will have one more shelter in Shoreline under these index criteria.

I would to add an amendment that shelters shall be operated by a “public agency” instead of state, county or local government. This recognizes that perhaps a federally recognized tribe might want to operate a shelter.

What is the maximum occupancy at Oaks?

Reply from Debbie Tarry: The current agreement limits it to 60. Code puts overall at 100 but we reduced that based in part on the size of facility.

Setting limits on the number of residents is a good idea and helps avoid some of the over concentration issues that we have heard about in other jurisdictions. 100 feels consistent with the other homeless shelter (not an enhanced shelter).

We really appreciate both the staff and the Planning Commission working on this. We put together the interim regulations as quickly as we could because we were under certain deadlines. But we want to take more time putting together the permanent regulations. We want to take more time to be thoughtful now.

This is coming back to us May 3rd.

Study Item 9(b) Discussing Ordinance No. 922 - Amending the 2021-2022 Biennial Budget (Ord. No. 903) for Uncompleted 2019-2020 Operating and Capital Projects and Increasing Appropriations in the 2021-2022 Biennial Budget

Presented by Rick Kirkwood, Budget and Tax Manager
Sara Lane, Administrative Services Director, available to answer questions

Due to delays and other unanticipated issues, some appropriations were not expended in the 2019-2020 Biennial Budget. To provide adequate budget resources in the 2021-2022 biennium to pay expenditures incurred for operating programs or to complete capital projects in progress, re-appropriation of a portion of the 2020 ending fund balance for expenditures in the 2021-2022 biennium, commonly referred to as a reappropriation or carryover, is needed.

This was a very brief presentation. Mr. Kirkwood referred Council to attachment B in the staff report for the details.


Can you clarify the lines in the above chart that pertain to the City Maintenance Facility?

Reply: the plan was to set aside $6M for the City Maintenance Facility. Some of that was appropriated during the last biennial budget as phase 1 expenditures started proceeding. But through the adoption of the 2021-2022 budget, timing became better known in terms of when that set-aside would be needed, so there’s $2.759M that’s appropriated in this current biennium plus some carryover from the last biennium that didn’t get spent. That’s how you get to the $2.979M in the right column.

Out of the $6M that I mentioned, that’s where then the $3.636M comes to because, in addition, once the City Manager saw how the fund balance panned out at the end of the biennium, she wanted to set aside more funding and that’s why the amount of set aside designated for the City Maintenance Facility has increased.

Sara Lane: the City Manager had identified a target of putting aside $1M per year into that savings dependent on the availability of additional one-time funding. So that’s why that additional amount is added in the right hand column at this time.

Rick Kirkwood: We put it in the table in this format to show how much of that one time support for the City Maintenance Facility is actually appropriated through the actions that the Council takes versus the amount that’s set aside to be appropriated in a future year. That way it’s really an accounting of all of the intended uses of the fund balance.

There’s an amendment to the financial policies to say that reserves for the wastewater utility shall be no less than 20% of budgeted operating reserves. This is consistent with all of our other policies. We’ve also tried to keep some of the other policies of Ronald Wastewater moving forward. Did Ronald Wastewater have a similar reserve policy? And, thinking about all of our utility funds, is 20% the right number of required reserves?

Reply: we will definitely look into it as part of the Wastewater master plan. It’s a question that was asked and answered when we prepared the surface wastewater plan.

I don’t believe they did.There was a solid analysis in terms of the amount of reserves they would need for capital planning and system replacement, but I’m not aware of any specific written policy that spoke to specific calculation like what we have for our surface water.

Reply Sara Lane: Confirm that they didn’t have a policy but they monitored very carefully to ensure that they had adequate operating funds. We are trying to make it consistent with our Surface Water fund and we continue to determine that this is the appropriate level as we move forward with further master planning.

How far are we from 20%?

Sara Lane: We anticipate that they will be within that.

This will return on Consent April 26.

Study Item 9(c) Discussing Ordinance No. 923 - Amending the 2021-2022 Biennial Budget (Ordinance Nos. 903 and 922)

Presented by Rick Kirkwood, Budget and Tax Manager
Sara Lane, Administrative Services Director available to answer questions

During the first quarter of 2021, staff identified several operating programs and capital projects that require additional funding due to unanticipated needs that were unknown in November 2020 at the time the 2021-2022 Biennial Budget was adopted. Additionally, the City is moving forward with the assumption of the Ronald Wastewater District effective April 30, 2021, which requires amendments to both the operating and capital budgets for the Wastewater Utility Fund. Staff is requesting that the 2021-2022 biennial budget be amended to provide funding for these programs and projects.

This was a very brief presentation. Mr. Kirkwood referred Council to attachment B in the staff report for the details.

Financial Policies

Wastewater Utility Fund Reserve: The City shall maintain an operating reserve within the Wastewater Utility Fund in an amount equal to no less than 20% of budgeted operating revenues excluding treatment charge pass-through.


No additional discussion.

This will come back on Consent April 26, 2021.

Meeting adjourned. 8:13pm

Correction 4-16-21: updated citizen comments


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