Notes from Shoreline council meeting February 7, 2022

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Reporter Pam Cross
Shoreline City Council Meeting
February 7, 2022

Notes by Pam Cross

The remote meeting was called to order at 7:00pm by Mayor Scully. All Councilmembers were present.

I, Keith Scully, Mayor of the City of Shoreline, on behalf of the Shoreline City Council, do hereby proclaim February 2022 as BLACK HISTORY MONTH in the City of Shoreline, and encourage all residents to learn more about the history, contributions, and achievements of Black people past and present.

The agenda was approved by unanimous consent.

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry

COVID-19 Update
Cases have decreased significantly in King County as shown in the above graph. Public Health is optimistic that this trend will continue. However cases currently remain at a higher point than in previous waves.

ShoreLake Arts Lantern Festival

Teen Center Reopened

Regular hours are
  • 2:30 to 6:00PM Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • 1:30 to 6:00PM on Wednesdays
  • 2:30 to 11:00PM on Fridays
  • 5:00 to 10:30PM on Saturdays
Proof of COVID vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours are required for entry and masks are required inside the building.

Public Reminders

Council Reports

CM Pobee: I attended the SeaShore Transportation Forum for the first time. Thanks to CM McConnell, I was elected as co-chair which is quite a privilege. There is a lot to learn.

CM Mork attended the first Regional Water Quality Committee meeting. With the growth in the region and with the increasing concern on nutrients in the Sound, there will be rate increases. It’s just a matter of when and how much. We asked to have this discussion earlier in the year so that people can prepare for the increase.

Public Comment

There were multiple written comments as well as over a dozen speakers addressing Item 8(a) Update on the Sidewalk Rehabilitation Program.

Ofelia De Bernal, Shoreline
Rebecca Jones, Seattle
Barbara Johnstone, Shoreline
Nancy Morris, Shoreline
Kathleen Russell, Shoreline, Save Shoreline Trees

Concern about the number of trees to be cut for 6’-wide sidewalks on both sides of 5th Ave NE, a narrow busy road as well as the loss of mature trees due to sidewalks, current and future. Alternative sidewalk design or narrower sidewalks should be considered to preserve trees. Current sidewalk design does not consider the long term ramifications of climate change that can be mitigated by saving trees
The width of sidewalks changed after the voters approved the sidewalk bond by 52% of the voters.

Joelle Kemmerling, Shoreline
Suzanne Tsoming read a letter on behalf of Kathy Kaye, Shoreline
Mike Parker, Shoreline

Concern about 20th Ave NW from 195th to 190th St, the entrance to Saltwater Park.
10’ wide sidewalks are too wide for this street. 8’ would be more appropriate for a residential low density area. Current plan is 10’ shared use sidewalk on one side of the road. This doesn’t seem safe when people and bikes will travel in both directions.

Bill Turner, Shoreline
Carla Carroll, Shoreline
Lee Keim, Shoreline

Non specific area
Sidewalks are expensive when 10’ or 11’ wide for only a few blocks. Placing them within residential neighborhoods is not in keeping with the neighborhood. We could make more sidewalks and save trees by making them narrower.

More transparency is required on how the funds will be allocated. Support sidewalks but do not support removing trees to achieve these goals. We need to work around mature trees with cut-outs, narrower sidewalks, wrap-arounds and other considerations.

Janet Way, Shoreline
Referred to the letter she wrote that offers alternative sidewalk designs including photos. Shoreline needs to save its trees.

Robin McCLelland, Shoreline
Was a member of the sidewalk advisory committee and agrees sidewalks are needed and also understands the concerns about trees. Sidewalk priorities were based on needs of the users. Many different criteria were used to identify priority sidewalks. Council should review design flexibility based on needs for mobility as well as saving mature trees.

The Consent Calendar was approved unanimously 7-0.

Item 8(a) Discussion and Update on the Sidewalk Rehabilitation Program and 2018 Voter Approved New Sidewalk Program

Staff presentation by:
  • Tricia Juhnke, City Engineer
  • Laura Reiter, Project Manager for the Sidewalks Program

The following topics will be included in the discussion:
  • Status of the 2018 Voter Approved New Sidewalk Program;
  • Status of the Sidewalk Rehabilitation Program;
  • Key issues that impact both programs; and
  • Plans for future updates to the Sidewalk Prioritization Plan.
We do take saving trees seriously and want to try to address that as well.

In 2017 the Sidewalk Advisory Committee was established to focus on new sidewalks using the sidewalk prioritization plan. The Committee also looked at sidewalk rehabilitation and the ADA transition plan.

In 2018 Council adopted the Sidewalk Prioritization plan and reviewed the draft ADA transition plan. Council approved a $20 Vehicle License Fee (VLF) for sidewalk repair, and voters approved an increase of sales and use tax for new sidewalks. The VLF was then invalidated by voters, but reinstated by the State Supreme Court. This resulted in a delay in spending the VLF fees until the fee was reinstated.

We have made a lot of progress and are working on the remaining projects.

The 5th Ave NE design calls for a 6’ wide sidewalk, narrowed to 5’ to save trees. Initially it appeared 90 trees would be removed but this was reduced to 23.

20th Ave NW is in the early design stages. There will be a shared-use sidewalk on one side, 10’ wide and narrowed to 8’ at the south end where the entrance to Saltwater Park is. We hope to not lose any trees. We will have an arborist evaluate the trees before making a final decision.

An Implementation Plan was developed for the remaining 10 projects. Staff considered opportunities to bundle projects, redevelopment potential which would require the developer to improve the sidewalk, among others. All of the sidewalk projects are projected to be completed by 2028.
  • (Note: the complete New Sidewalk Implementation Plan is included with the staff report.)
Total cost for the 12 sidewalks is estimated to be $53.5M. Projected sales tax revenue is $57.5M.

We are working on our outreach program. We have updated our page on the City website

The webpage includes an introductory video and opportunities for comment and feedback. We are posting signs notifying of upcoming projects and sending advanced notice of upcoming work to the neighborhood.

We recognize the key issues are tree impacts, sidewalk width and location, steep slopes that will require walls, and property impacts. This is covered in some detail in our staff report. We need to keep in mind the Master Plan because we don’t want to put in new sidewalks that have to be removed in 5-10 years when something additional has to be added due to the Master Plan requirement (bike lanes, for example).

The question has come up about rescoring of the Sidewalk Prioritization plan.

TMP - Transportation Master Plan

ROW - Right of Way

The Sidewalk Rehabilitation Program was delayed because of temporary loss and uncertainty regarding its source of funding, as mentioned earlier. The ADA Transition Plan serves as the guide to prioritization for rehabilitation. At an estimated cost in excess of $180M, it’s going to take us a very long time to make a lot of progress.

The two projects in design right now are 15th Ave NE which we hope to complete by 2022 and 5th Ave NE scheduled for 2023. These sidewalks are narrow and buckled due to roots from oversized trees.

We have to measure saving trees vs. ADA compliance. It’s frequently impossible to do both and ADA compliance must take priority. We are already using arborists on all of our projects. We also do short-term fixes of patching sidewalks with asphalt, or grinding. Trees sometimes do damage to curbs and roadways as well.


Why did you go with a wider 10’ sidewalk on 20th Ave NE?
  • Reply: It was to accommodate all of the users. It’s just on one side of the road and must accommodate bikes. This is the smallest footprint because bike lanes take up a lot of space. Also, when we talk about bikers on sidewalks, we are thinking of the younger users who would not be riding in the roadway.
I like the idea of alternative sidewalk designs, thank you Janet Way. We do need more sidewalks with minimal impact to trees.

Alternative sidewalks need to be considered early in the design process. There seems to be a certain amount of frustration about them not being considered. Raised sidewalks work well - saving trees and providing mobility for all residents. How can we make sure they are considered early in the process?

The access to Saltwater Park 20th NW- we need to redesign this proposed change. The community was hoping for speed bumps or something to slow drivers, and sidewalks for better access to the park. The neighborhood does not accept the proposed design as seen in public comment. We are still in the design stage so I hope we listen to the neighborhood.

The 5th Ave NE width reduction to 5’ was in response to the neighborhood, correct?
  • Reply: yes it was.
Where will the bike lanes go on 20th NW?
  • Reply: in the roadway. The sidewalk usage by bikers is intended for those who are not comfortable in traffic, such as young children.
Regarding multi-use trails. How wide is the one on 195th?
  • Reply: it’s 12’ to 14’.
Is there best practices for the width on multi-use trails?
  • Reply: Yes, 12’ wide trail with 2’ flat shoulders (buffer) on each side. 10’ is considered the minimum standard.
Would it be possible to put a 6’ sidewalk on one side with separated bike lanes on the roadway going north and south?
  • Reply: Even though the the bike lanes would be the buffer, that’s a much larger area than we are looking at now, so it could have a bigger impact on trees. The wider it gets the more trees are at risk.
We are growing as a city. Sidewalks need to be accessible and safe for all users, people with children in strollers, people walking dogs, people with mobility needs including those in wheelchairs. We want a walkable city and we want a clean city. Trees and sidewalks need to co-exist. Trees are for a healthy environment. And we need sidewalks in order to get around. We want people out of their cars and using light rail, reducing our carbon footprint.

Sound Transit funds are being used for the 5th Ave NE project. If this project doesn’t develop, will the funds be returned for use somewhere else?
  • Reply: ST funds are for specific projects such as 5th Ave. ST gave us $2M for each station so we would have to reprogram the funds into within the 185th station area. But the project would need to be completed by 2024. It would be very difficult to complete a different project in that time frame.
I think 10’-12’ sidewalk would be perfect for Westminster Way. It would be safer by such a busy street. Also bike lanes would get people from Seattle to Shoreline Place. It could be a destination for people on bikes. I formerly biked to work and felt I put my life at risk every time I commuted.
  • Reply: 10’-12’ will have an impact on trees. We have looked at the project only broadly, and see that there will be definite tree impacts, but no measure of the potential impact since we are still in preliminary design.
We have shown that it doesn’t have to be trees v. sidewalks - we are already seeing we can have both as long as we compromise.

Do the bike lanes planned for 5th Ave NE use buffers or painted separation? Physical buffers would be safer for less experienced users.
  • Reply: Painted separation
6’ sidewalks are required for residential, 10’ when there is something non-residential. We need to talk about how this will work around light rail. The difference between residential and multi-use will not be clear cut. We need to find the basis for this distinction as far a sidewalk width.

Sidewalk maintenance is the responsibility of individual property-owners. How do we make sure sidewalks are maintained without solely responding to citizen complaints?
  • Reply Debbie Tarry: That would incur costs.
In 2023 you are reviewing the prioritization but using the same criteria. I don’t like the criteria used because I think safety was double-weighted. The classification of a road was used but not the traffic volume. Local roads around schools have high volume even though they have a low speed limit.

Thanks to all of the speakers. There were thoughtful comments and we all listened carefully to your concerns. I think we are moving in the right direction - we’re just not all of the way there yet.

Item 8(b) Discussion of Proposed American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Business Recovery Funding Allocation

Presentation by
  • Nathan Daum, Economic Development Program Manager
  • Selam Habte, Small Business Consultant
  • Paul Barrera, our partner from the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Chamber Economic Development Committee
Staff developed, based on Council feedback and direction, a comprehensive plan to make the best use of these funds within the required timeframes. The Human Services allocations were discussed at the January 24, 2022 Council meeting.

The comprehensive plan included targeting an allocation of $500,000 for the purpose of business recovery and stabilization. That will be the topic of this discussion.

Selam Habte was hired by the Chamber of Commerce that partnered with us, to work as Shoreline’s consultant for small business outreach. The objective of outreach is to cultivate ongoing relationships and to better understand local business needs, especially in light of the challenges of COVID-19 and economic recovery. 120 businesses were contacted.

Challenges facing small businesses include shortage of skilled employees, owners working 60+ hours a week to cover for missing staff, increased cost and availability of supplies, concerns about safety (predominately on Aurora Ave), slow foot traffic, and increasing rents. Most immigrant business owners are lacking access to recovery assistance information.

We can address those challenges using these funds. Part of the funding can be used for business coaching when needed. We can offer gift cards to business owners to help them recruit new employees. And offer citywide networking events to bring business owners and residents together to support local small businesses.

Staff recommends dedicated business advisory services for Shoreline businesses in the amount of $363,000 for three years (a federal match would cover 50%) and using Small Business Development Centers of Washington as the service provider.


You stated 120 Shoreline businesses were contacted. I did not see Arts and Entertainment. These business lost 91% to 100% of their income.
  • Reply: We have continued the outreach. The slides and list were “point in time” figures at the time of the preparation of the staff report. We started with commercial business grant follow-ups to see how those businesses were faring. Those businesses were in our commercial business areas and main street commercial storefronts because we were hoping to maintain their presence as we went through the pandemic. It’s very hard to find commercial users for commercial space for Shoreline. So we wanted to keep that focus in place. I had a discussion with our Arts administrator today about bringing more arts and arts professionals into this discussion as we move out to more home-based businesses. There are 3,000 business licenses registered to Shoreline, at least 1,000 are Shoreline based. So we’re just getting started.
A while ago we discussed Navigators as a use of ARPA funding to help folks find their way through available sources for COVID recovery. Is the Consultant, who has broad knowledge of resources, a replacement for the Navigator Program?
  • Reply: We have a separate person on-board for the navigator role. So they will work in tandem. For example, businesses are having difficulty filling positions at the same time the community is expressing frustration and lack of opportunity in Shoreline. We are working with both sides to bring folks together. The work is similar but from opposite sides of the issue.
We identified a real need to help businesses navigate existing assistance programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program. But there are multiple other assistance programs available through federal, state and county sources. Navigators help businesses find funding sources. I don’t want to lose that. I’m glad we continue with this because I don’t want to replace that with something different.
  • Reply (Debbie Tarry): Those navigator positions helped research what is available and going forward, they be with working with the human services side. Selam will help businesses connect with what is available. One does not replace the other.
What size is the gift card program as a percentage?
  • Reply: This is a program we are considering. We have to decide if it will be a meaningful use of funds. It would come out of the $44,000 remaining after other expenditures so it would be less than 9% of $500,000.
No further discussion.

Council retired for an Executive Session:

Property Acquisition - RCW 42.30.110(1)(b) and Potential Litigation - RCW 42.30.110(1)(i)
Session ended at 10:00pm without comment.



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