Notes from Shoreline council meeting March 28, 2022

Friday, April 1, 2022

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council Meeting
March 28, 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, hereby proclaim March 31, 2022 as CESAR CHAVEZ DAY in the City of Shoreline, and encourage all residents to observe this day by remembering the contributions of farm workers whose labor feeds the nation and to engage in action that honors Cesar Chavez's enduring legacy.

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

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry

Shoreline Walks - Hillwood Art

Help Shape the Future of Transit

Mayor Scully recognized former Planning Commissioners, Commissioners Malek and Mork.
I had the pleasure of working with both of them when I was on the Planning Commission several years ago, and I know not only how difficult the work can be, but how hard the two of them worked. Thank you for your service.

Council Reports

Mayor Scully
I attended the bill signing of the Transportation Package because there is $7M in there for our non motorized bridge. We are not 100% there, but a lot closer than I ever thought we would be at this time.

Public Comment (name, city, topic)

Tim Malone, Hospital Director for Animal Hospital, Shoreline
new uses of existing non-conforming structures

Matt Robins, IntraCorp, a housing developer with a project in the 145th area
unbundling parking fee from dwelling rent

Kathleen Russell, Shoreline
Tree codes - definition of landmark tree

Jackie Kurle, Shoreline
The Oaks Enhanced Shelter

Nancy Morris, Shoreline
Tree codes - replacing mature trees

Approval of the Consent Calendar
The Consent Calendar was approved unanimously.

Action Item 8(a) Action on Ordinance No. 963 - Waiving Council Rule of Procedure 3.6 and Amending Shoreline Municipal Code Chapter 20.50.300 Regarding Tree Penalties and Financial Guarantees

Presented by Steven Szafran, AICP, Senior Planner

The City Council discussed the tree-related Development Code amendments and adopted Ordinance No. 955 on March 21, 2022. Council requested that a portion of Amendment C5, SMC 20.30.300 – General Tree Requirements, come back to the Council for additional discussion and action. During the Council discussion on March 21st, it became apparent that staff had erred in stating that the proposal by Tree Preservation Code Team (TPCT) would lower fines and penalties. Staff had not recognized that the civil penalties proposed by TPCT were in addition to those already provided in SMC Section 20.30.070 as opposed to replacing them.

These penalties will apply to the R-8, R-12, R-18, R-24, R- 48, TC-4, MUR-35’, and MUR-45’ zoning districts.

The Planning Commission has recommended denial of the penalties and financial guarantees section of Batch Development Code Amendment C5. They believe current penalties are enough and non-significant trees are not regulated in the code so no penalty for removal should be imposed.

Based on the definition of development, gardening and yard maintenance could be included in the term development site and as such, using this term may have unintended consequences. Staff assumes that the intent of this penalty is not “development” but the area of impacted tree removal.

Financial Guarantees
Performance assurance requirements for tree replacement, site restoration and monitoring already exist SMC.

If Council wants to approve the applicant’s (TPCT’s) proposed language, a Councilmember will need to move to modify the Planning Commission’s recommendation as follows:

“I move to reject the Planning Commission’s recommendation for denial of the portion of Batch Development Code Amendment No. C5 related to penalties and financial guarantees by adopting Ordinance No. 963 with Exhibit A-1 and waive Council Rule of Procedure 3.6 requiring three readings of an ordinance.”


Opening motion (as shown above) and second to reject the Planning Commission’s recommendation.

I think this makes a nice balance between proposals by staff and the TPCT.

I liked the things we’ve already approved. Penalties should not be added to. The current ones are severe and significant. We’ve made incredible progress but I stick with staff.

I support increased penalties that will affect larger developers with deeper pockets. I’m concerned about combined lots with more trees that can be lost “under the cloak of darkness”. Once trees are gone, they are gone. We need stronger penalties.

Who will enforce these penalties?
  • Reply: the enforcement process will not change. The City has to know about illegal clearing from the public or if code enforcement sees it.

Landmark trees definition

Is it 24 dbh, plus other requirements to be designated as landmark? Last week we voted to reduce to from 30 dbh to 24 dbh, but there was no mention of other requirements.
  • Reply: There is a process to designate a tree as landmark: arborist report, significant size or look, etc., then the director can designate as landmark.
Any there any here in Shoreline?
  • Reply: No.
Then 5b which reduced the dbh to 24 doesn’t mean anything since we don’t have any designated landmark trees.

Motion and second to amend part 5b.
The only thing we are changing is the penalty for landmark trees.

City Clerk reads the motion:
Motion to amend SMC 20.50.300(b) to include the $15,000 fine applying to trees of 24” dbh.

  • VOTE passes 5-2 with CM Roberts and CM Robertson dissenting

VOTE on Main Motion as Amended

Clarification provided prior to voting: The Planning Commission’s initial recommendation was to deny, this it to accept the applicant’s proposal.

  • Passes 5-2 with CM Mork and CM Robertson dissenting

Action Item 8(b) Action on Ordinance No. 959 - Amending Shoreline Municipal Code Chapters 20.20, 20.30, 20.40, and 20.50 Regarding the Miscellaneous and State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Related 2021 Batch Development Code Amendments

Presented by Steven Szafran, AICP, Senior Planner

The proposed miscellaneous and SEPA related Amendments are entirely proposed by staff. The Council discussed these proposed amendments on March 7, 2022. Council had questions and comments on some of the proposed amendments that I will address tonight. Staff has provided amendatory motions for Council’s use, if needed.

Amendment #A1 Definitions
Council questioned the reasoning for a definition of family, especially after the State removed the occupancy requirements of unrelated persons living together. Council also questioned why a family should be defined “related by blood or marriage,” because many people live together without those requirements.

Proposed revision
Family: An individual; two or more persons related by blood or marriage, a group of up to eight persons who may or may not be related, living together as a single housekeeping unit; or a group living arrangement where eight or fewer residents receive supportive services such as counseling, foster care, or medical supervision at the dwelling unit by resident or nonresident staff. For purposes of this definition, minors living with a parent shall not be counted as part of the maximum number of residents.

Amendments #A8 and #A9
These are the amendments related to parcels that have two front yards. The amendment would seek to reduce one of those front yards by 10’. Setting aside the lot area for parcels with two front yards can make it challenging to develop or expand an existing house.

Amendment #A8 would seek to reduce one of those front yards by 10’. Setting aside the lot area for parcels with two front yards can make it challenging to develop or expand an existing house. It would also provide more flexibility for a developer. #The main reason for a front setback is to provide the necessary room to park a vehicle in the driveway without the vehicle encroaching into the public right-of-way.

Amendment #A9 is a separate but related amendment that also allows a 50% reduction in one of the front setbacks.

Amendment #A11
This is the Commercial Adaptive Reuse amendment. Council had concerns about allowing new uses in existing non-conforming structures. Council may prefer that the buildings either come into conformance with the current development code, or have those structures removed and replaced with new structures that meet the code.

Existing signs could remain, changing the sign face to advertise the new tenant. However no new signs would be allowed if they face residential uses.

Amendment #A13
This amendment concerns unbundling of parking and rent charges.

20.50.410 Parking design standards
  • A. All vehicle parking and storage for single-family detached dwellings and duplexes must be in a garage, carport or on an approved impervious surface or pervious concrete or pavers. Any surface used for vehicle parking or storage must have direct and unobstructed driveway access.
  • B. All vehicle parking and storage for multifamily and commercial uses must be on a paved surface, pervious concrete, or pavers. All vehicle parking shall be located on the same parcel or same development area that parking is required to serve.
  • C. Parking for residential units must be included in the rental or sale price of the unit. Parking spaces cannot be rented, leased, sold, or otherwise be separate from the rental or sales price of a residential unit.
Concerns about this amendment are spillover parking in the surrounding neighborhoods, and inequity because housing vouchers do not cover parking fees. These renters often work non-traditional hours when public transportation is not available, and may not be able to afford the cost of parking.



Motion and second to approve Ordinance 959 (Main Motion)

Motion and second to amend #A1 and revise the definition of “family” as as presented by staff.

Passes 6-0, CM Roberts abstaining

I would like further clarification on A13.
  • Reply: The proposal is to strike C which unbundles, so parking fees and dwelling rents are separate charges. Our parking requirements do not call for one parking space per unit. So if everyone had a car, some people would still be unable to get parking yet pay the same total rent+parking. If you don’t have a car, you’re also being charged for rent+parking. This results in higher rents for everyone, whether they have a car or not. These are equity issues. There are other reasons as well. Some buildings are not complying with the current bundling requirement, which is an enforcement issue.
How do you think Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) zoning might help/hinder spillover parking? As well as light rail riders who use the streets instead of the parking garage for light rail? Briefly, how can RPZ permits help unintended consequences of spillover parking?
  • Reply: we have an rpz program by SCC. The traffic division of the public works department is who you should ask about this.
  • Reply Debbie Tarry: We have parking studies going on. It is being studied and monitored.
It seems to me that if the goal is get people out of cars, we need to help people not have cars. Things like bike racks, easy access to short term rentals and so forth.

Passes 5-2 with CM Roberts and Pobee dissenting.

Study Item 9(a) Discussion of the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) Update: Draft Prioritization, Performance Measures, and Outreach Approach

Presented by Nora Daley-Peng, Senior Transportation Planner

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. This is the fourth in a series of briefings to Council, with the last one on March 7, 2022. This meeting will provide a briefing on the TMP draft prioritization metrics, draft performance measures, and upcoming Outreach Series 3 events and activities for Council’s feedback.

The team developed draft quantifiable metrics that correspond with the the project’s goals of safety, equity, multi-modality, connectivity, climate resiliency, and community vibrancy. The prioritization metrics do not have an assigned point system yet. They are waiting for input from Council as well as the public which we will seek during the Outreach Series 3. The input will be used to assist weighing of the prioritization credits. Once that is done, staff will use the prioritization metrics to score potential transportation projects as high, medium or low priority.

The safety goal is to decrease injury collisions. We have created draft metrics that identify collision hot spots. We are using history as well as speed and volume on roads. To do that we are using the posted speed limit and using street classification as a surrogate for volume because they are both indicators of collision hot spots. We use both because not all arterials with a high volume of vehicles have a posted 35mph limit (e.g., 15th Ave NE.).

What we measure matters. Let’s see how equity metrics work in performance measures.
The equity goal’s desired outcome is to increase equitable access to transportation options. To achieve this requires investments in areas of concentrated need that we’re calling equity priority areas, based on age, income, race, disabilities and language spoken. The City could track the number of new projects in equity priority areas.


How will Council have an opportunity to provide feedback?
  • Reply: It’s still a work in progress, but we do have experience from the Sidewalk Prioritization where we use a similar approach. We got input from a Sidewalk Advisory Committee, we did community outreach, and then brought it back to Council for staff review (it’s been a few years so I think that’s the correct order) and show how it rated some examples.
Do you consider the cost of the project?
  • Reply: That has come up quite a bit. We haven’t included cost. Cost is something that continues to change, and there are unforeseen grant opportunities etc.
I agree that cost is a factor. Relative cost may be a way to think about it.
  • Reply: Part of this process will be developing that project list this spring, and associated high level costing. When we get to early summer, we will be in a good position to look at relative cost.
I guess my question is, should we do a huge project or several smaller projects? This doesn’t have to be answered tonight, just a thought I have.

The metrics determine how the scores come out. For example, for Safety you have both speed and street classification, and these are closely correlated. That means certain streets appear to get double points. 

What is the rationale for this?
  • Reply: These are the same metrics that we used for sidewalk prioritization. We felt speed and volume leads to collisions, and we’re trying to find out where those hotspots are. The annual traffic safety report provides the collision history, but this is a way to see where we might be able to prevent accidents from occurring.
Speed and volume are different. Arterials and local streets are different. You can have low-volume arterials and high volume local streets. I would prefer volume instead of street classification.

I think the Sidewalk Prioritization Project was kind of a mixed bag. We didn’t get anything wrong, but we did have some difficulty explaining why one project was rated differently from another. We can look at the numbers, but the numbers themselves didn’t quite get there. That may be because this kind of project inherently weights the middling project. Sometimes a project that has a true need just doesn’t rate that well. At the end of the day, this gets us a recommendation that the Council can use to approve a particular project.

No further discussion.

Study Item 9(b) Discussing the 2022-2024 City Council Goals and Work Plan

Presented by John Norris, Assistant City Manager

At the City Council’s annual Strategic Planning Workshop, which was held March 4 and 5, 2022, the Council discussed their proposed 2022-2024 Council Goals and Work Plan. The Council Goals continue to focus on achievement of Vision 2029 and being a sustainable city in all respects. These are not just annual goals, they are longer term goals, and although the action steps do change.

The Proposed Council goals are listed here. Note slight changes to Goal #5.
  1. Strengthen Shoreline’s economic climate and opportunities;
  2. Continue to deliver highly-valued public services through management of the City’s infrastructure and stewardship of the natural environment;
  3. Continue preparation for regional mass transit in Shoreline;
  4. Expand the City’s focus on equity and social justice and work to become an Anti-Racist community; and
  5. Promote and enhance the City’s safe community safety, healthy and neighborhoods, programs and initiatives and a coordinated response to homelessness and individuals in behavioral health crisis.
Council added two Action Steps, or sub-goals, that implement the five Council Goals:
  • Goal #1: Incorporate Age Friendly Community policies into the 2024 Comprehensive Plan update
  • Goal #5: Use data driven information to inform the City’s actions and plans to provide shelter and housing for all individuals in our community.
Staff is asking for feedback to make sure this report or sub-goals, that implement the five Council Goals reflects Council’s goals. This is scheduled for action on April 11.


Appreciation is expressed for staff’s accurate summary.

Meeting adjourned at 8:42pm


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