Notes from Shoreline council meeting May 3, 2021

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council Meeting
May 3, 2021

Notes by Pam Cross

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

Proclamation

I, Will Hall, Mayor of the City of Shoreline, on behalf of the Shoreline City Council, do hereby proclaim May 2021, as MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH in the City of Shoreline.

Approval of the Agenda
Agenda adopted by unanimous consent.

Report of the City Manager


COVID UPDATE

As of this meeting, it was believed that King County would be moved back to Phase 2. However, Governor Inslee has extended the current phases for an additional two weeks to see if the fourth wave of new cases and hospitalizations has plateaued.

There is a North King County vaccination site operating out of the Shoreline Center located at 18560 1st Ave NE # 1, Shoreline, WA 98155.

You can make appointments at this site by putting your name on the University of Washington waitlist. Call 1.844.520.8700

You can find other locations offering appointments by contacting the number or going to the website shown below.


Please continue to protect our community.
  • Wear a well-made snug fitting face mask.
  • Limit activities with unvaccinated people from outside your home. A fully vaccinated person is at least two weeks past their second shot, or in the case of the J&J vaccine, two weeks past their single shot.
  • Avoid crowded spaces.
  • Improve ventilation in workplaces, businesses, and homes.
  • Stay home and get tested at the first sign of illness or if you were exposed to someone who has tested positive.
  • And finally, we encourage everyone who qualifies to get vaccinated.
It’s time to register for Summer Camp!


PUBLIC REMINDERS

The Planning Commission will hold a remote meeting on Thursday, May 6 at 7:00PM where they will provide an update on local development and long-range planning.

Council Reports
None

Public Comment

France Giddings, Shoreline,
asked for a total moratorium on cutting any more trees until 2048 due to loss of trees resulting from the development of light rail.

Jackie Kurle, Shoreline,
although not against the enhanced shelter, spoke in favor of making sure the operational aspects of it are fully attended to.

Jack Malek, Shoreline, member of the Planning Commission,
was happy to see the three amendments to the enhanced shelter Action item 8(a) as a way to ensure its success. As respects the threshold for emergency calls, it should be frequently reviewed and revised with input from the community.

Nancy Pfeil, Shoreline,
does not believe the discussion of rezoning at the location of the enhanced shelter met the requirements of a quasi-judicial proceeding.

Approval of the Consent Calendar
Consent Calendar approved unanimously by a vote of 7-0

Action Item 8(a) Action on Ordinance No. 929 - Amending Certain Sections of the Shoreline Municipal Code (SMC) Title 20, Including Establishing a New Section, SMC 20.40.355, Setting Forth Regulations for Enhanced Shelters in the Mixed Business Zone, and Replacing Interim Regulations

Presentation by: Steve Szafran, AICP, Senior Planner

On April 12, Council discussed the proposed amendments which include a new definition for Enhanced Shelters and Indexed Criteria to mitigate any impacts from the proposed use.

Staff recommends approval of this Ordinance.

DISCUSSION

Motion and second to adopt Ordinance 929 as recommended by staff.

Motion and second to adopt Amendment #1 (definition of public agency).

Councilmember Roberts had proposed Amendatory Motion #1 for housekeeping purposes.

No additional discussion

VOTE
Amendment #1 passes unanimously 7-0

Motion and second to adopt Amendment #2 (adding fire department calls)

This is part of the accountability that the neighborhood wishes to see. If we’re going to look at police calls, it makes sense to include fire calls because there will probably be more fire (EMS) calls than police calls.

No additional discussion

VOTE
Amendment #2 passes unanimously 7-0

Motion and second to modify Amendment #3 (distance from schools) reducing distance from 1,500 feet to 1,000 feet

This is a more realistic figure for the City of Shoreline. And we need to realize that this will be for a possible site that might be considered in the future. The shorter distance leaves a number of properties as possible locations. Future sites may not be along Aurora. As Metro continues to modify its routes, there may be other areas that can offer the same accessibility to transit. And other sites may be located in neighborhoods where having a distance from schools make sense.

This type of guardrail may help us prevent the issues that have faced other cities who did not require this level of accountability. That may be one of the reasons the Planning Commission recommended we adopt it. This groundwork we’ve done should make it easier to develop the next shelter.

I don’t think this will make it any safer. Why create extra hoops for a future location to go through? I haven’t seen anything to support that this distance would make a difference in safety. We want to house homeless people. Helping the homeless helps the City maintain our parks and prevent illegal camping in them. We don’t want to stigmatize people for being homeless.

I didn’t like 1,500 foot distance. On the other hand, I don’t think 1,000’ removes enough properties. I think it will be decades before Shoreline will have another shelter because they’re too expensive to obtain the property and too expensive to run.

This will be on the books for an enhanced shelter so it doesn’t matter if there’s no current or foreseeable plans for one. We should have it in place on the books so that people considering it will know what is expected and it doesn’t need to be argued over. The City maps could look a lot different when another shelter is developed.

Obtaining data from staff on the necessity of distance from schools would have required a very large research project. But we did learn during this process that a lot depends on how the shelter is run, and who the clients are. We visited a shelter in Seattle that looked wonderful, but it was brand new so you couldn’t really determine what the effects were. And there were plenty of stories about other shelters’ effects on neighborhoods, including hangers-on selling drugs, which is something we’ve seen with the Methadone Clinic here. This isn’t an attempt to stigmatize the homeless, but we shouldn’t pretend there aren’t problems. Some sort of distance from school age children makes sense

We want our children to be safe in their schools and elsewhere in the City. We invested a lot when we redid Aurora to make it more family friendly and safer. But I think the Be a Good Neighbor Plan that we required for this shelter is designed to keep the community safe.

VOTE
Amendment #3, modified to 1,000 feet, fails by a vote of 3 to 4
Opposed CM Robertson, DM Scully, CM McGlashan, Mayor Hall

VOTE ON MAIN MOTION
Ordinance 929 excluding Amendment #3
Passes by a vote of 6-1
Opposed CM Chang

Action Item 8(b) Action on Ordinance No. 930 - Amending Development Code Chapters 20.20, 20.30, 20.40, and 20.50 and Chapter 13.12 Floodplain Regulations for Batch #1 of the 2021 Development Code Amendments

These amendments were discussed at the April 19, 2021 meeting.

Presentation by: Steve Szafran, AICP, Senior Planner

Changes recommended by the Council were made to the following:

#3 Allows a public agency such as Sound Transit to apply for a land use permit for a public project without the requirement of the property owner’s signature.

Council thought the original wording was too broad. The intent was to have this apply to transit agencies working on regional projects. The proposed changes make the wording narrower to reflect this intent.

#9 This amendment clarifies that the density for a parcel with multiple zoning districts will be rounded after the density of each zone is calculated.

Both examples referred to rounding up. Council asked for an additional example showing rounding down. A rounding down example was added.

#11 Clarifies when staff can approve a 25% parking reduction when a new development is proposed within a quarter mile of a light rail station or other high capacity transit facility.

A parking management plan is expensive and may discourage development in the light rail areas. And it may not be necessary since these projects will be near completion when Sound Transit opens their light rail line.This restriction has been removed.

#14 Expedited permit review without additional fees is included under Deep Green incentives.

Staff proposes this be withdrawn and reconsidered during the MUR-70 development discussion.

DISCUSSION
Motion and second to adopt Ordinance 930.

Motion and second to reject previous amendment #3, and replace as modified in this staff report.
No additional discussion.

VOTE on #3
Passes unanimously by a vote of 6-0 (CM McConnell has left the meeting).
Noted that the word “formerly” is replaced by the word “formally” as read into the record.

Motion and second to approve amendment #9
No additional discussion.

VOTE on #9
Passes unanimously by a vote of 6-0

Motion and second to reject previous amendment #11, and replace as modified in this staff report.
We have had previous great discussions of this. It makes sense since the light rail system has not yet been completed.

VOTE on #11
Passes unanimously by a vote of 6-0

Motion and second to amend SMC 20.50.400A to strike out the words “with a complete pedestrian route from the development to the transit stop that includes city approved with curbs and sidewalks and street crossings”

This is very similar to #11. Eventually we will have these pedestrian routes. But we won’t have them right now. Developers should not be penalized in the interim.

VOTE to amend SMC 20.50.400A
Passes unanimously by a vote of 6-0

Motion and second to approve amendment #14 to withdraw the amendment and discuss later

Staff provided two alternatives for amendment #14. One was to withdraw, and the other was to approve but with an implementation date of 12/31/2021. We want to protect projects that are in the pipeline. Does staff recommend one of the alternatives over the other?

Reply: Staff is ok with either alternative, but I would prefer withdrawing for later discussion about the development in the MUR70 zone

If withdrawn, current projects are vested, correct?

Reply: the incentive continues for projects in MUR70. In this zone, you have to build to the Built Green Standard. So the question is, do we want to give an incentive to something that is already required?

Current project developers have been told they get the incentive. By using the other alternative with the 12/31/2021 date, they will have time to file applications before the incentive expires on that date. The advantage to this alternative is it gives an end date to providing the incentive for something you have to do anyway.

We need to get projects going. They are long in the planning. Whenever we draw a line, some people lose out. I don’t see a huge difference between the two choices. And we’re just talking about expedited permit reviews. I think keeping it all together to be discussed at once is the better choice.

We do want to know what the incentives are, and the costs of development. So this fits right in with the entire discussion of MUR70 rather than doing this as a one-off.

Maybe “incentives” maybe isn’t the right term. It’s an offset. We want green buildings. Green buildings cost more. So expediting permits and some of these discounts is one way for us to get to the public benefits of green building and affordable housing. We may never want to take these incentives away.

Staff has limits to expediting permits. So at a later date that should be considered if we have to contract out permit work, which would be an additional cost.

VOTE on #14
Passes unanimously by a vote of 6-0

VOTE on main motion Ordinance No. 930 as AMENDED
Passes unanimously by a vote of 6-0

Action Item 8(c) Action on Resolution No. 475 - Adopting a Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for 2022 Through 2027 and directing the TIP to be filed with the state Secretary of Transportation and the Transportation Improvement Board.

Presentation by Nytasha Walters, Transportation Service Manager

The draft 2022-2027 TIP was presented to the City Council on April 5, 2021 for discussion. The staff presentation was immediately followed by a Public Hearing on the plan, as required by state law. After the hearing, Council commented and asked several questions regarding listed projects, funding, and possible new projects to consider which are addressed in the staff report. With the exception of the addition of a statutorily required item pertaining to the preservation of railroad right-of-way, the draft 2022-2027 TIP narrative has not been edited since presented on April 5, 2021.


Councilmember Roberts stated he would like to add two amendments to the TIP as potential projects for Safe Routes to Schools.

Our next application for Safe Routes to Schools is Fall of next year. It is not essential for these routes to be added to the TIP to be eligible for Safe Routes to Schools. We are looking for the most competitive and highest need.

Two of the locations are listed as Medium Priority in the Sidewalk Prioritization Plan. Wallingford Ave from N 150th to Meridian is not listed in the Sidewalk plan.

Staff recommends no adjustment to the draft TIP with the exception of the railroad right of way.

DISCUSSION

Motion and second to adopt Resolution No. 475
Motion by CM Roberts and second to add the unfunded school projects proposed to the TIP.

I don’t see the point of adding the sidewalks to the TIP since they are on the staff’s radar and the current list is well rounded. Adding these little additions here and there just adds more to the TIP.

During the last budget process, we got lots of support from the community, including the school principal, for adding the sidewalks proposed to the TIP. With the existing sidewalks that have been added near there, having on the TIP elevates them and signals the community we want these. There is no cost to listing on the TIP.

Why did you select these two? Are there higher priority school sidewalks that haven’t been added to the TIP?

Reply from staff: We don’t put Safe Routes on the TIP unless directed to by Council. It doesn’t give them a higher priority. When we look at Safe Routes, we look at what’s going on. We look at the demographics and collisions, highest need and most competitive. We may package with something close to it that has collisions. The priority classification I mentioned earlier is from the Sidewalk Prioritization Plan. But that doesn’t mean we would not consider them for funding if we think they would be competitive. We don’t control the selection criteria. We want something that will be successful. We don’t know what the situation is going to be in Fall 2022. We are aware of these projects.

We have the Sidewalks Prioritization Plan, so why add these three that are medium priority. Aren’t there some that are considered high priority on that list that haven’t been added to the TIP?

Reply: I don’t have the list but a lot can happen between now and fall of 2022.

We get requests for specific items all of the time: guardrails, sidewalks, speed bumps. We have to rely on staff as well as concerns for equity for folks not as familiar with the process or don’t have the contacts.

VOTE for the amendment to add the school projects to TIP.
Fails by a vote of 1-5
Opposed: DM Scully, CM Robertson, CM McGlashan, Mayor Hall, CM Chang

I’m going to oppose the main motion. Every budget cycle we have this discussion. Always we hear no it’s not the time, that we need to follow the process and follow the scorecards. The situation has changed. When are we going to revisit the scorecard? What will it take to recognize we need protection of young children?

It makes sense to add these school locations to the TIP, but I’m concerned we’re not adding all of them. Without knowing more about all of the school locations and their priority, I hesitate to add just three.

It’s going to take a long time to get all of the sidewalks built, but we are now starting through the process of design and implementation. We have to trust staff to put forward the most potentially successful applications.

That’s a good question - When do we review the scorecard?

Reply: we’ve talked about this a bit at the staff level. We were not planning to revisit the entire list in the short term. When there are significant changes that occur, that would be the time to look at specific locations. But we would need a process. This does not appear to be a case where we would likely see a significant change in priority. The Prioritization Plan was a very rigorous process. Safety was one of the criteria we looked at and we looked at hundreds of sidewalks. It took 2 years to do that. It will be at least a couple of years before we do any major reevaluation.

Debbie Tarry: 2017-2018 is when we did the program

We don’t want to blow up any of the work that has been done. I’m concerned that we don’t have an automatic update. Not to change the criteria but we should look at creating an update schedule.

Reply: we update all of our transportation plans every 10 years. We can talk about it at the staff level. I do understand your point.

VOTE Resolution No. 475
Passes by a vote of 5 - 1.
Opposed CM Roberts

Mayor Hall retires from the meeting, asking Deputy Mayor Scully to preside over the next item.

Study Item 9(a) Discussing the 2020 Year-End Financial Report

Presentation by Sara Lane, Administrative Services Director


2020 was an exceptional year in many regards. However, Shoreline’s economy has proven to be fairly resilient during a pandemic that has impacted the economy regionally, nationally, and worldwide.


The staff report provides great detail on the 2020 Year-End Financial Report so I won’t go into that now.

Sales tax was good news. Revenues were up or steady in all areas including construction, retail trade, and hotels/restaurants.

Gas taxes and the local criminal justice tax that we receive on a per capita basis were down reflecting statewide results.

Parks and recreations significant losses were offset by not having the expense of additional staff for those programs.

And we did receive $2.5M from the federal CARES Act. It covered costs directly related to the City’s COVID-19 response, small business support, and human services support.

DISCUSSION

Councilmembers expressed appreciation for the report and noted that because of the planning of our City staff, City Manager, and with support from Council, Shoreline has weathered the pandemic as well as possible.

Meeting adjourned.


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