Notes from Shoreline council meeting July 19, 2021

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council Meeting
July 19, 2021

Notes by Pam Cross

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

Approval of the Agenda
Agenda adopted by unanimous consent.

Report of the City Manager, presented by Assistant City Manager John Norris

City Hall is now open to the public from 8am - 5pm, Monday through Friday. Masks are required for all visitors (vaccinated and unvaccinated) and social distancing will be practiced.

Since reopening July 6th, there have been an average of 20-30 visitors per day. Most visits have been for permitting services, to receive licenses or to pay Wastewater utility bills.

Remote services are still available and encouraged.

This fire ban does not apply to private property.

The enhanced shelter is very close to its full capacity of 60 residents.
There has been some staff turnover of entry-level case managers. This is not atypical but does mean that more time has to be spent hiring and training new staff.


The North King County vaccine site is now closed. Walk-in vaccinations are available at most pharmacies in Shoreline. You can locate the site nearest to you at


For additional information and the calendar of walks:


The PCRS/Tree Board will hold a remote meeting on Thursday, July 22 at 7pm


Deputy Mayor Scully attended the Lake Ballinger Watershed Forum. Shoreline is involved as a stakeholder since Echo Lake drains directly into Lake Ballinger. The news was they had trapped a 70 pound beaver below the dam that was wreaking havoc. How a beaver that size was not detected for months will remain a mystery. It was safely relocated by one of the local Indian Tribes that relocate beavers up to the mountains.

Councilmembers McConnell and Roberts attended some zoom meetings with the National League of Cities. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for informal networking before and after the meetings. We are looking forward to a possible in-person meeting in November


At the request of the King County Department of Community and Health Services, Mayor Hall, on behalf of the Council, proclaimed the month of September 2021 as National Recovery Month.

Public Comment

Jackie Kurle, Shoreline
Enhanced shelter sounds like it is going well. I want to continue to encourage ongoing oversight as it nears capacity.

Kathleen Russell, Shoreline, Save Shoreline Trees
New 6’ wide sidewalks on 5th Ave NE between N 178th St and N 182nd Ct will result in 23 significant trees being removed.

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

Action Item 8(a) Appointment of Pro and Con Committee Members for City of Shoreline Proposition 1: General Obligation Bonds for Parks, Improvements and Park Land Acquisitions

Eric Bratton, Communications Program Manager, made the presentation

The Pro and Con statements will go into the Voters’ Pamphlet, along with the City’s explanatory statement.

Pro Committee Applicants
  • Brian Branagan
  • Katie Schielke
  • Mary Ellen Stone
Con Committee Applicant
  • Joseph Smith

Motion and Second to add the three applicants listed above to the Pro Committee.
Motion and Second to amend the motion to include the applicant listed above to the Con Committee.

Amended motion passes unanimously 7-0.

Action Item 8(b) Action on Ordinance No. 937 - Amending the Shoreline Municipal Code to Add Chapter 10.22 Street Racing

Julie Ainsworth-Kelly, Assistant City Attorney, made the presentation
Shawn Ledford, Chief of Police, was available to answer any questions

This was discussed at the June 21, 2021 meeting. Proposed Ordinance No. 937 would amend the Shoreline Municipal Code to add a new chapter, Chapter 10.22, regarding Street Racing, addressing risks to both racers as well as spectators.

At the June 21 meeting, Council had some concerns:

Should more than three corridors be designated Stay Out of Areas of Racing (SOAR)?
  • Staff response: If things get worse or other corridors start to be used for street racing, the regulation could be amended to add locations. Having a city-wide SOAR Area would be too burdensome for police.
Will Stay out of Areas of Racing (SOAR) Orders be effective?
  • Staff response: SOAR Orders provide Shoreline Police with an additional tool against repeat street racing offenders.
Do police have authority over both public and private property?
  • Staff response: The proposed regulations prohibit street racing on a street or within an off-street parking facility. “Off-street parking facility” is defined as being a public or private parking area. The inclusion of these off-street parking facilities is intended to address the use of such areas as church or grocery store parking lots for street racing activities. Activity that is clearly illegal is subject to citation, even if it occurs on private property.
Will including impoundment have unintended consequences for non-violating owners of racing vehicles?
  • Staff response: Staff elected to authorize the Municipal Court to have the discretion to impound a vehicle upon conviction of street racing. Shoreline Police could also impound, as is currently authorized by state law, but would do so on a case-by-case basis. Even with a SOAR Order violation, Police would still consider reasonable alternatives and would act consistently with King County Sheriff Office Policies. While there is a potential that a vehicle could be impounded that does not belong to the violator, the types of vehicles used for these races are unlikely to be driven by others.
Does proposed SMC 10.22.060(g) have a drafting error?
  • Staff response: This error has been corrected by Staff.


The proposed Ordinance does not refer to the Court having the discretion to impound a vehicle. Instead it says that if a SOAR Order is violated, a police officer, during the of the stop and arrest on the SOAR Order, can impound a vehicle.
  • Reply: The court orders the SOAR Order of impoundment. A police officer could also impound a vehicle according to state law.
Motion and Second to adopt Ordinance 937.

Motion and Second to strike Designation of No Racing Zones (10.22.050), and strike SOAR Orders (10.22.060).

This motion was intended to strike the SOAR Orders, and was amended on the advice of the City Attorney to include the No Racing Zones because without Stay out of Areas of Racing (SOAR), designating zones does not make sense.

Basically, I do not like making public trespass for violation of a crime (Note: the City Attorney noted at the last meeting, that private establishments also have another enforcement mechanism by seeking to trespass a violator from their property.) This would criminalize being on a public street in a public area for just being there.

It states in the staff report: “As staff noted, many jurisdictions are utilizing SOAR Orders successfully, or more successfully than those cities without the ability to seek such orders.”
I would like to know what you mean by “successful,” which jurisdictions did you speak with, and what kind of a response did they give you?

  • Reply: We spoke with a police liaison that was working primarily with South King County cities where most of this type of activity was happening. They thought that this was an important tool. Because these programs are fairly new there isn’t a lot of data available.

Your reply to my question of what do you mean by “successful” was answered with “a lot of jurisdictions are doing it.” Is there any evidence of success of SOAR Orders, using any definition of success?
  • Reply: Not that I’m aware of.
  • Reply by City Attorney Margaret King: I believe that statement was based on the information that was relayed to us by the King County Sheriff’s Office after they had talked to different police departments as far as what they saw as a reduction of the number of racing events that occurred. That is why they are asking all of the cities to add these provisions so that there will be consistent treatment regionally. If the term “successfully” needs to be modified to say that they “feel that they are getting some success,” then I apologize for overstating. I do not have data to support this.

Thank you for clarifying. I think this is something that people just think is a good idea. It’s a problem that’s in front of us, and we have a tendency to just “throw the book at” and hope for the best. It hasn’t worked before and it’s not going to work now. The way this process works is you get an Order and it’s on file. Once you have one of these Orders against you, you can’t drive on Aurora or Richmond Beach Road. What will stop street racing is the rest of the ordinance where people get arrested for doing it or watching it.

I don’t believe a lot of the racers we have seen here are Shoreline residents. Maybe the SOAR Orders would deter Shoreline residents from participating in these events. I don’t think police are running every license plate they see for a SOAR Order. And if someone from Everett or Snohomish County gets a SOAR Order in Shoreline, that’s ok with me that they can’t drive on Aurora or Richmond Beach Road. Until I can see that this would really affect Shoreline residents, I can’t support this. And criminal activity has to have some consequences.

How long does a SOAR Order last?
  • Reply: the Judge has the discretion based on recommendations by the Prosecuting Attorney.

When we got advanced notice of a racing event in Shoreline, we were able to mount a very big police presence in response. We found the organizers were not only not from Shoreline, they weren’t even from King County. Some people from Shoreline may participate in these events but we need to balance what the public’s expectation is. These events have been very disturbing to people in Shoreline.

The point of our laws is to reduce bad behavior that affects other people’s quality of life and the peace and quiet and safety of our community. We don’t pass speed limits so we can issue more tickets. We pass speed limits in the hope that we can keep our community safe. But some people don’t obey the laws.The repeat behavior of some of these folks involved in street racing is proof of that. The SOAR Orders can only be issued by a judge, so they are aimed at repeat offenders. I think it’s helpful to have a deterrent. South King County’s regional focus was impressive. We need to be partners and collaborate with other jurisdictions.

This only applies to repeat offenders?

  • Reply: It is intended for repeat offenders. The prosecuting attorney, in consultation with the Chief of Police can order a SOARS Order. But they are unlikely to request one after a first offense. It would be used to say “you were here once and now here you are back again”. It is discretionary - the judge doesn’t have to order it.

Sounds like lots and lots of discretion. It needs to be consistently enforced.

VOTE on striking Designation of No Racing Zones (10.22.050), and strike SOAR Orders (10.22.060).
Motion fails by a vote of 3-4 with Councilmembers Roberts and Robertson, and Deputy Mayor Scully supporting the Motion.

VOTE on Main Motion
Approved by a vote of 5-2 with Deputy Mayor Scully and Councilmember Roberts opposed

Study Item 9(a) Discussion of Ordinance No. 934 - Amending Shoreline Municipal Code Chapter 20.30 to Add Procedures for Subdivision Vacations and Resolution No. 481 - Adopting a Fee for Subdivision Vacations

Cate Lee, AICP, Senior Planner made the presentation

Since the 1900s, much of the City of Shoreline has been subdivided. Vacating such subdivisions will allow properties to be redeveloped under current zoning standards.

We’ve had plat alteration regulations in our code since 2019. This allows us to change one or more aspects of the plat document such as when there are limitations on the use or on the size of the lots in the subdivision. A vacation returns the land to its pre-subdivision state. The Planning Commission held a study session on this topic on May 20, 2021, and a Public Hearing on June 17, 2021. No public comments were made at the Hearing.

The proposed amendments create a process that will allow the land to return to its pre-subdivision state, including the removal of restrictions and easements associated with existing single-family development which may facilitate redevelopment of the MUR zoning districts, as well as zoning districts Citywide, for their intended purposes. An example would be if a developer assembled lots and wanted to put in an apartment building or condominium.


Under what circumstances is someone eligible to apply for a subdivision vacation?
  • Reply: every property owner within the subdivision or portion of the subdivision must agree to the vacation. It’s different from the plat alteration process that only requires a majority of property owners

As a matter of clarification: What is the expectation of a neighborhood meeting since everyone has to agree to it?
  • Reply: Neighborhood meetings are required for all land use items. It is a way to have early outreach.

From the City of Shoreline Planning and Community Development (
  • The process for early development review begins with the pre-application meeting. The City meets with the applicant to discuss project feasibility. At this point the applicant is provided information on the City’s requirements, including the requirement for conducting the Neighborhood Meeting, the review process and timing.
  • The purpose of the Neighborhood Meeting is to provide an opportunity for the applicant to inform the neighborhood about the project early in its planning stages and ensure that the applicant pursue early citizen participation. The idea is to give property owners in the area an opportunity to learn about the proposals that affect them and to try to identify concerns in the early stages of the application process. Accordingly, the issues identified at the meeting may be addressed by the applicant before preparing the formal plans for the application.

No additional discussion.

This Ordinance will return to Council on Consent August 16. However, if members of the public raise questions or concerns, this can be removed from the Consent Calendar for additional discussion.

Meeting adjourned


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