Notes from Shoreline Council meeting March 7, 2022

Friday, March 11, 2022

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council Meeting
March 7, 2022

Notes by Pam Cross

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

Approval of the Agenda
The agenda was approved by unanimous consent.

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


This does not mean COVID is over. Future updates will follow only as needed.

In addition to thanking the community for keeping one another safe, we would like to recognize the 125 Shoreline residents who we lost to COVID over the last 2 years.

As you know King County vaccination requirements ended on March 1, which also applies to City recreation facilities. We are no longer requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test in order to enter Spartan or Richmond Highland Recreation centers.

The mask mandate will lift on March 12. Masks will not be required in City facilities, but we still recommend their use in our public spaces.



Public Reminders

NOTE: The Council Meeting for March 14 has been cancelled. The next meeting will be held remotely on Monday, March 21, 2022 at 7:00pm.

Council Reports

CM Pobee
attended the SeaShore Transportation meeting.
There were a lot of presentations made, including one by the City of Shoreline. There was a presentation by King County about the corridor. In the past we have talked about growth policy in a general way, but now we are looking at things separately. For example, air quality, safety, and equity are all now separate items. The good news is that there is about $5M in grants to do the feasibility and architectural studies and, later on, there is funding available to begin construction or to make changes to this corridor.

CM Mork attended the Regional Water Quality Conference.
There was an orientation to get everyone focused on water quality issues, followed by the regular meeting. The goals we’re working on are the Work Plan, and talking about upcoming rate increases earlier rather than later. Previously the County has preferred a large increase one year and a smaller one the next. We would like to make it more predictable with year to year smaller increases.

Mayor Scully and the City Manager kicked off the current CityWise Program.
I also talked to some 5th graders from St. Luke’s school who were interested in what the City is doing for water conservation.

Public Comment (2 minutes, amended to 3)
There were 11 speakers, one of which could speak now or following item 8(a).

Jackie Kurle, Shoreline
I appreciate the City keeping an eye on the operations of The Oaks Shelter. I see no reason it won’t be a success but want regular updates for the safety of the community and the occupants of the shelter.

Jack Malek, Shoreline
Re item 8(a)

NOTE: This comment has been moved to follow 8(a) for continuity of the narrative

The following speakers provided comprehensive and detailed comments about the amendments to tree regulations (refer to study item 9b of the Feb 28, 2022 Council meeting).

Melody Fosmore, Shoreline, speaking on behalf of the Tree Code Preservation Team
Kathleen Russell, Shoreline
Wally Fosmore, Shoreline
Rebecca Jones, Seattle
Bill Turner, Shoreline
Nancy Morris, Shoreline
Susanne Tsoming, Shoreline
Gayle Janzen, North Seattle
Ann Bates, Shoreline

Approval of the Consent Calendar
The Consent Calendar was approved unanimously 7-0.

Action Item 8(a) Action on Ordinance No. 958 – Waiving Council Rule of Procedure 3.6 and Amending Shoreline Municipal Code Section 13.20.040 to Except Temporary Construction Power from the City’s Undergrounding Requirement

Presentation by John Norris, Assistant City Manager

Although this was discussed last week, it is before Council tonight for the first time as an Action item. As a result, public comment will follow the staff report.

On February 28th, the City Council discussed the issue of required electrical utility undergrounding in the 145th Street Station Subarea and the impact on the Sound Transit Lynnwood Link Extension Project and development in the Subarea. This discussion was prompted by Seattle City Light’s (SCL’s) announcement that it was delaying its critical underground infrastructure project that is necessary to serve the Sound Transit light rail project at 145th street. The City’s current Municipal Code regulations prohibit new electrical facilities or extensions, additions, duplications, or rebuilds of existing electrical facilities being constructed on overhead poles.

Last week’s discussion covered both temporary power for construction and interim power for operations. Tonight’s discussion is about the allowance of overhead temporary construction power.

Ordinance 958 adds new Subsection E to SMC 13.20.040 that allows overhead temporary electrical service for construction. This will apply citywide and to all development projects.
The proposed Code language also states that “overhead temporary electrical service must be disconnected and removed when the project is connected to permanent electrical service or prior to Certificate of Occupancy, whichever occurs sooner.” This will ensure that temporary construction power will truly remain temporary, and that these temporary facilities will be removed from the City once no longer being utilized.

Alternative wordings are provided at Council’s request to make this a narrow allowance for overhead temporary construction power to specific areas of the City:
145th and 185th light rail station subarea's MR-70’ Zone

Reopen Public Comment

Jack Malek, Shoreline
I’m a planning commissioner and realtor. Thanks for advancing this to an Action so quickly. Want to speak to this because I think the recommendation is a little light. I could be wrong, but thought I read it’s just for construction instead of when occupied. They could not use existing power (it would not operate an elevator for example) to begin operation.

This could affect closing loans. Need to interim overhead lines for operation as well as construction. Developers are delivering affordable housing and transit-oriented housing, so they deserve a relationship with the City and certainty they can operate the building once it is constructed. .

No additional public comment.


Motion and second to approve Ordinance 958.

I think the discussion we had last week showed the importance of moving this forward. We’ve already made an exception for Sound Transit and I think we need to make an exception for other developers working in the same area.

Motion and second to amend Ordinance 958 to limit it to MUR-70’ Zone.

I think we should be very careful moving forward with this. As a City we want to make sure that our electrical wires are underground. Future projects could be addressed by amending this as the need arises. But I hope there are not other projects in this situation.

I agree. This is something we wish we weren’t having to do at all. So we have to write something narrowly.

Why did staff propose to make it citywide in the first place?
  • Reply: Our understanding from our staff engineers is that this is in a number of municipal codes (not in all). We tried to do as much research as we could, reviewing about 16 other jurisdictions. Some don’t have undergrounding code language at all. For those that do, this is a common exception. We already have codes requiring undergrounding. This ordinance is intended to just streamline that process and get construction started and not have utility work undergrounding be required up front.
Will having this in the MUR-70’ zone be helpful or harmful. Should it be broader?
  • Reply: From the current developers’ standpoint, making specific to MUR-70 will address their concerns. The broader question is, are there future projects that aren’t in front of us right now that may require it? Council could amend the Ordinance in the future. Staff had recommended broader code language and not just MUR-70’ so that we don’t have to amend the code again or bring Council another emergency issue if a developer in another area outside of MUR-70’ needs this exception. Also, from staff’s perspective, Council is supportive of our undergrounding code. This still will ultimately allow for undergrounding . A construction project will generally be in the one to two year range, depending on what’s being built, how complex etc. so that may mean that there are temporary overhead wires for 1-2 years, but ultimately underground as required by current code. Temporary power is quicker to install.
I agree with the amended motion. The City has been forced to be nimble because we don’t have underground 3-phase power and the undergrounding is not going to be completed in time for current projects. We can address other projects later.

In my experience, it is typical to allow temporary construction power and this Ordinance will provide one less bureaucratic area to slow things down. We have enough of those already. I do not support the amendment.

I support the amended motion. I don’t want to do business by addressing emergency motions. If we have a code change, we can do that in the usual course of business. When we have a specific crisis with a specific set of facts, then we should address that specific crisis and that specific set of facts. That way we can get adequate public comment because we’ve publicized it. I don’t like shooting from the hip. For that reason we also need to address operation interim power as soon as staff is able to bring that back to us.

Will ongoing power use (for operations) come back to Council for consideration?
  • Reply: Staff is still working on putting that together and it will come back as a follow up ordinance in the coming weeks. We did not want to hold up the temporary ordinance.
VOTE on the Amended Motion MUR-70’ Zone
The Amendment passes 5-2

CM Mork and McConnell dissenting.

VOTE on Main Motion
Passes unanimously 7-0.

Study Item 9(a) Discussion of the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) Update: Draft Auto Level of Service Approach

Presentation by Nora Daley-Peng, Senior Transportation Planner and
Kendra Dedinsky, City Traffic Engineer

What is the TMP?
The City’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP) is the long-range blueprint for multimodal travel and mobility within Shoreline. The last update to the TMP was in November 2011. For this discussion, staff will provide the Council with a briefing on auto level of service (LOS) policy options that define adequacy of auto capacity and flow on city arterials. The TMP update will provide a framework to guide investments in existing and new transportation infrastructure and programs over the next 20 years in accordance with the community’s transportation priorities.

The team is now working on multimodal LOS policies, draft modal plans, a process for prioritizing projects, and is preparing to launch Outreach Series 3 in April. Over the winter 2022, the project team will develop a draft layered transportation network of modal plans for pedestrian, bicycle, transit, shared-use mobility, and auto/freight modes.

NOTE: The detailed discussion includes several exhibits available in the staff report, beginning on page 9a-3 and continuing to 9a-10.

Auto Policy Approach

LOS - Level of Service

This doesn’t mean A is good and F is bad like in school grades. The City’s current LOS policy requires LOS D at signalized intersections on arterials and most unsignalized intersecting arterials. It is worth noting that while LOS A represents the lowest traffic delay, it is not necessarily the ideal standard to strive for as it is largely unattainable in more urban environments and significantly limits desired redevelopment.

V/C Ratio - Volume to Capacity Supplemental Standard

Simply put, this takes the peak volume of the roadway and divides it by the theoretical capacity which is established by regional models. Shoreline’s current standard is a V/C of .90 or lower on principal and minor arterials. This is not a standard engineering metric.

Growth Projects and Transportation Impact Fees (TIF)

We won’t talk about this today, but I want to point out that the level of service standard directly correlates to TIF paid by development (or by the City in cases where we have exempted development).

Modeling Analysis and Technical Findings

The preferred option for Shoreline is #2 because it anticipates the most growth and balances needs citywide. In the analysis, 2019 numbers were used as a basis in order to avoid the pandemic’s skewing of numbers.

When looking at 2044 Intersection Impacts, preferred option #2 would result in 5 intersections (out of 42) needing improvements. Option #1 would result in 6 and #3 would result in 3. We did not analyze every intersection in the City - these are just representative numbers.

The preferred option for Shoreline is #2 because it anticipates the most growth and balances needs citywide, consistent with the intersection LOS standard.

When looking at 2044 projections, there are number of corridors exceeding the .90 standard. Option #1 results in 9 corridor improvements or exemptions; #2 (preferred) results in 4.

This will return to Council in late March and early April.


Clarify what edge issues mean? How will it be identified and then mitigated?
  • Reply Kendra Dedinsky: If you allow for increased delay for particular intersections that butt up against residential areas, for example, we want to make sure that the adjacent intersections are actually performing at their lower LOS and that we’re not inherently producing a lot of cut-through traffic. This is something we need to work through with our consultant because it is something they have identified for us. We haven’t fully flushed this out yet.
When you move from .9 to 1.1, are you increasing or slowing the flow?
  • Reply: Slowing it down. You are increasing congestion, the higher the higher you go on that ratio.
Why are Dayton and 15th exempted?
  • Reply: That was set in our last TMP process in 2011. What they found was that future modeling would result in a V/C greater that .9 so we had to decide how to expand those roadways or exempt them. These are relatively narrow roads with little room to widen.
Regarding the idea of the grouping of intersections. It’s very frustrating as a driver to be stopped at an intersection, go through it, and then have to stop at the next one in one or two blocks. I know we’re not going for free flow, but it should be considered. We’re trying to intentionally make travel by cars a little less comfortable, in favor of walking and biking. Bu some residents are going to say “Thanks, Shoreline! You brought in all this density and now the roads can’t handle it.”
  • Reply: Thanks for that feedback. Travel-time metrics are important and we need to address that as we move along. It’s not something we can use as a forecasting tool.
What is Outreach 3?
  • Reply Nora Daley-Peng: I will be returning to Council on Mar 28 to go over our approach.
How has feedback from the community in the first two outreach events affected what we are discussing today?
  • Reply Kendra Dedinsky: We have feed-back about particular intersections and respect and recognize different issues and adjust our approach. We have heard from pedestrians and bikers as well as drivers.
How does funding work?
  • Reply Nora Daley-Peng: We will update our financial plan to address this but we need to know what our priorities are first.
Is 5th NE and 165th NE included in preferred option? It’s a pretty important intersection. You can get back to on this. I appreciate what you have done and recognize that these metrics are the best that we have at this time.
  • Reply: We can look into this intersection more closely as we move forward.
8(b) Discussing Ordinance No. 955 – 2021 Batch #2 – Miscellaneous and (State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Related Amendments Amending Development Code Sections 20.20, 20.30, 20.40 and 20.50

Due to limited time, the staff is asked to make a very brief summary and trust that Council has read the reports.

Presentation by Steve Szafran, Senior Planner

The amendments have been split into three topics: (1) “miscellaneous” will provide updates, clarifications, and policy changes to parking, residential setbacks, and adaptive reuse of commercial buildings that have been difficult to lease, (2) updates to the procedures and administration of SEPA and (3) modifications to regulations affecting the protection and preservation of trees.


Amendment 1 (#A1) Definition of “family”
Staff report states effective July 25, Senate Bill (SB) 5235 a city may not limit the number of unrelated persons occupying a dwelling, yet we still appear to have a limit of 8. You can get back to me on this.

Why do we have to still have to define a family as related by blood or marriage. I think this is something to consider striking. (There was general agreement with this.)

#A11 Re-use of commercial buildings
No new signs facing abutting residential uses. Could it be an upgrade of old sign? Broken sign? Trivial but I’m curious because I wouldn’t want this to stand in the way of repurposing the building.
  • Reply: Old signs can be repaired and upgraded. We just don’t want new signs facing residences.
I’m not fond of this amendment. These are non-conforming uses, holdovers of things that don’t meet our current standards. It’s a bad idea. While I’m sympathetic to the difficulty of leasing these buildings, I don’t know why we would want to encourage non-conforming uses.

Any idea how many lots we are talking about? What it looks like in your examples is that there is a lot of parking all around and I don’t see the parking disappearing in the foreseeable future. And some of these properties will be walked to by the neighborhood residents. I’d like to see these buildings used instead of vacant and boarded up.
  • Reply: These are parcels that have existed for a long time and are now non-conforming. The amount of money to make these buildings useable will trigger compliance with our existing code. That’s not going to happen. They will sit vacant until they are demolished and most likely be rebuilt as multi-family housing. This amendment was kind of a stop gap to allow a use until it is knocked down and something new is built that won’t be affordable and probably won’t attract local tenants. I don’t know how many lots there are totally.
  • Reply Nathan Daum, Economic Dev. Program Manager: It’s our expectation that there is a limited set of locations. And sometimes we are talking about changing from one commercial use to another. The buildings are there so we are looking for ways to bring them back into use to assist local development at a more affordable price. New construction is almost the domain of the national chains and the larger entities.
#A8 Front yard setbacks
I know the code will still require no more than 50% impervious. You were talking about potential ADUs and some other things. I can’t figure out why this amendment was proposed.
  • Reply: Just to provide more flexibility. I think a picture would help.
Yes, we need to see pictures of actual projects because the diagram in the staff report didn’t really help, and this would be a significant citywide change.

#A13 not including parking fees as part of rent
There’s a backstory to this. There a particular building that separated the parking fee from the rental fee. It was a low income building with many occupants using Section 8 funding. Section 8 will not pay for parking, but if it’s part of the rent charged, then they will pay for it. The local neighborhood of single family residences was flooded by people choosing to park on the streets rather than pay for parking. And then it became an equality issue. People who received the government funding no longer had their parking included in the rent. Many worked odd hours and needed a car to get to their jobs but now couldn’t afford parking. The building owner could make more money by renting out their parking spaces. So unless the government has changes its position, I don’t want to support this.

SEPA Amendments
These are necessary and I don’t see any big changes there. I think we can just move ahead with these.

8(c) Discussion of the 2022 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Docket

Presentation by Steve Szafran, Senior Planner

This year’s Preliminary 2022 Docket was presented to the Planning Commission on February 3, 2022, and contained two privately-initiated amendments and three city-initiated amendments.

Amendment #1 – Amend the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) and Transportation Element which includes updated goals and policies.
This amendment will replace the current TMP with a new TMP.

Amendment #2 – 2024 Comprehensive Plan Major Update
The State Growth Management Act (GMA) requires counties and cities to periodically conduct a thorough review of their Comprehensive Plan and regulations. Shoreline last completed a major update of the Comprehensive Plan in 2012. The deadline for adoption of this periodic update is June 2024.

Amendment #3 – Amend the Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map Designation from Public Facility to Mixed-Use 1 and change the Zoning from Residential, 18 units/acre (R-18) and Mixed-Business (MB) to Mixed-Business (MB) at the King County Metro Park & Ride Facility at 19000 Aurora Avenue N.

Amendment #4 – Amend the Land Use Element to add a new policy “Housing development and preservation of significant trees can co-exist with the goal of maintaining and increasing Shoreline’s urban tree canopy”.

Amendment #5 – Add Short Term Rental definition, licensing requirements, and location. The Planning Commission recommends this request not be added to the docket, as the the proposed addition of a short-term rental use is already supported by Comprehensive Plan Housing Goals II, Housing Goal III, and Economic Development Goal I.

Potential Amendments proposed by Council:

Change this area on the land use map from public facility to public open space.

This will come back on Mar 21st to establish the Docket, which identifies the items that staff will work on.


Regarding Amendment 5 that was not recommended. We just don’t know the impact of short-term rentals (VRBO or Airbnb) on housing availability. Is more studying planned to address this at a later time?
  • Reply: Yes, there is guidance for this in the Comprehensive Plan. If we’re talking about regulating them, that is a separate issue that would happen outside of the Comprehensive Plan process.
Any definition in the Comprehensive Plan really has an impact on the development code, and it is much harder to change any kind of specific code or policy in the Comprehensive Plan because of the process we are currently going through. That is the reason we have presented Proposed Amendments 1&2 above.

Meeting Adjourned


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