Notes from Shoreline council meeting June 6, 2022

Friday, June 10, 2022

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council Regular Meeting
June 6, 2022

Notes by Pam Cross

Prior to the 7pm regular meeting, Council held an in-person Special Meeting from 5:30pm to 6:45pm. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the City Manager recruitment process and candidate profile with Catherine Tuck Parish, Vice President at Raftelis. The City Council has engaged the services of Raftelis to assist the Council in the recruitment of a new City Manager.

Tonight’s Regular meeting was conducted in a hybrid manner with both in-person and virtual options to attend.

The meeting was called to order at 7:00pm by Mayor Scully.

Flag Salute and Roll Call
All Councilmembers were present. CM McConnell and CM Mork attended via Zoom.

I, Keith Scully, Mayor of the City of Shoreline, on behalf of the Shoreline City Council, do hereby proclaim June 2022 as
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) PRIDE MONTH.
Through this proclamation, the City of Shoreline affirms its support and acceptance for children, adults, families, and allies of the LGBTQ community.

We have also proclaimed that June 2022 as RideTransit Month and that National Gun Violence Awareness Day took place on the first Friday of June, which was the 3rd.

Approval of the Agenda
Agenda approved by unanimous consent.

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry
Presented by Ms. Tarry

As a show of solidarity, the Progress Pride Flag will fly at Shoreline City Hall for the month of June. And back by popular demand, volunteer fiber artists created colorful tree wraps.

78 years have passed since June 6, 1944 when more that 167,000 allied troops landed at Normandy, France to fight Nazi Germany. We want to acknowledge the veterans who gave their lives and those that continued to fight throughout World War II.

Have your voice heard by taking the Climate Action Plan Survey

The 145th Corridor is a major east-west route the connects South Shoreline and North Seattle neighborhoods to businesses, parks and services. Learn more at the virtual open house.

Be sure to watch the weather forecast before you leave for Saturday’s Walk.

The Shoreline Farmers Market opened for its 11th season last Saturday to a great crowd! Lot of booths and parking at its new location.

Public Reminders

Council Reports
CM Ramsdell met with members of the Stay Housed, Stay Healthy Coalition to find out more about the renter protections they are advocating for in Kenmore.

CM Pobee and CM McConnell attended the SeaShore Transportation Forum where they discussed the Lynnwood Link that should be open in 2024 and the E-Line’s lack of redundancy as a way to travel from Shoreline to Seattle.

CM Mork attended the Regional Water Quality meeting where they have been working on a Guiding Set of Principles that will go to the PIC Board (Public Issues Committee) of the Sound Cities Association.

Public Comment

Each speaker allowed 2 minutes. Both in-person and remote attendees have an opportunity to speak. There were 32 written comments at the time this report was prepared.

Action Item 8(a) Ordinance No. 967 – Authorizing the Use of Eminent Domain for Acquisition of Public Park Land
Richard King, Shoreline, VP Richmond Beach Preservation
Jack Malek, Shoreline
Joyce Taibleson, Shoreline
Bryan Chow, Shoreline
Peter Vitaliano, Shoreline, owner of property being discussed
Tom McCormick, Shoreline

Action Item 8(b) Ordinance No. 966 – Amending Shoreline Municipal Code – Deferred Underground Facilities
Jack Malek, Shoreline

Study Item 9(a) Discussion of ShoreLake Arts Funding
Nancy Malek, Shoreline

Study 9(b) Ordinance No. 968 Development within the MUR-70’ Zoning District
Kathleen Russell, Shoreline, Save Shoreline Trees

Gun Violence
Juliet Scarpa, Shoreline, Volunteer for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Planned Sidewalk for 20th Ave NW
Susanne Tsoming, Shoreline
Nancy Morris, Shoreline
Jonelle Kemmerling, Shoreline

Fircrest Property
Janet Way, Shoreline, Shoreline Preservation Society

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

Action Item 8(a) Action on Ordinance No. 967 – Authorizing the Use of Eminent Domain for Acquisition of Certain Real Property identified as King County Tax Parcel No. 727810-0905 for Public Park Land

Presented by Julie Ainsworth-Taylor, Assistant City Attorney

CM McConnell, who has recused herself from discussions regarding this ordinance, has left the meeting.

Council last discussed this on May 23rd with the City Attorney following numerous public comments.

Staff recommends that Council adopt proposed Ordinance No. 967 authorizing the use of eminent domain for this property to expand the City’s park land providing access to the shoreline. Staff will continue to negotiate for a voluntary sale of the property and will return to Council if those negotiations fail prior to filing a petition of eminent domain in the King County Superior Court.

CBRE was retained to prepare a just compensation appraisal, which is difficult because this is tidelands. The appraised value of $110,000 is just a few thousand dollars more the King County Assessor’s appraised value of $107,000.

A title report has been ordered and a property survey will be performed if necessary.

The Railroad will not discuss providing a license for a pathway adjacent to the railroad right-of-way until the City has formalized plans for that pathway to access the property, or at least has a preliminary design.


Motion and second to approve Ordinance 967.

We have a responsibility to preserve beachfront access for the public.

This is difficult because I can see both sides of the issue. But I am concerned about public safety. Without legal access, people will go over the railroad tracks.

At this point, the property owner seems reluctant to negotiate. I don’t want to see a lot of resources being spent on this. This is not an urgent issue, when there are lots of other problems and lots of other issues that the City has and that we need to work on. Long term, it makes sense to look into it. I believe tidelands and beach access should belong to the public when it makes sense.

I think more transparency would have been appreciated because a lot of people complained about the lack of notice.

Ordinance 967 passes unanimously 6-0 (CM McConnell recused)

Action Item 8(b) Adoption of Ordinance No. 966 – Amending Shoreline Municipal Code Chapter 13.20 to Add a New Section SMC 13.20.060 – Deferred Underground Facilities

Presented by John Norris, Assistant City Manager

Required undergrounding of the electrical utility in the 148th St light rail area has been delayed by Seattle City Light’s (SCL) 5th Avenue Duct Bank Project. In early 2021, SCL informed Sound Transit and the City that it was pushing back the timing of this replacement project as it does not have the capital funding to complete the Duct Bank Project in coordination with the light rail project timeline. SCL estimates a 2027-2030 timeline instead of 2024. As a result, temporary above-ground 3-phase power is required in order to continue with the light rail project as well as private development in the station area.

On May 23, 2022 Council discussed proposed Ordinance No. 966, which provides for a new Section 13.20.060 of the SMC which would allow interim overhead power within a limited area if certain conditions are met. Proposed Section 13.20.060 SMC, titled Deferred Underground Facilities, allows for overhead electrical facilities (utility poles, wires, etc.) on an interim basis if a property owner needing new overhead electricity enters into a Deferred Underground Facilities Agreement (DUFA) with the City. This proposed Code section also codifies requirements for SCL related to the interim overhead electrical facilities.


Was there positive feedback related to the timeline?
  • Reply: We continue to meet with SCL so the undergrounding project is now scheduled to be completed by 2027. We are also negotiating what we are calling an “umbrella agreement” with SCL which outlines all of the undergrounding projects and sets the stage for how we are going to partner and work together on these projects. We hope to have a written agreement later this year.
Motion and second to pass Ordinance 966.

One clarifying question regarding covering the operation of the buildings, as well as the construction. Can you comment on that?
  • Reply: This absolutely allows for operational power. The building can be operated/operational, tenants can move in etc and operational power will continue to be served overhead until the Duct Bank Project is complete.
Ordinance 966 passes unanimously 7-0

Study Item 9(a) Discussion of ShoreLake Arts Funding Request in Support of an Artspace Market Study for Affordable Artist Housing/Space Project in Shoreline

Mayor Scully disclosed that his wife, Sarah Cohen, is on the Board of ShoreLake Arts.
Deputy Mayor Robertson disclosed that her husband, Darryl Miller, is also on the Board.

Debbie Tarry, City Manager, introduces presenters from ShoreLake Arts:
  • Quinn Elliott, Executive Director
  • Tracey Thorleifson, President of the Board of Directors

ShoreLake Arts engaged Artspace, the national leader in developing space for artists and arts organizations, to do a Preliminary Feasibility study on the potential for an Artspace-type project in Shoreline. The envisioned project would create both a permanent home for ShoreLake Arts and 40 to 75 units of affordable housing for artists. The current waitlist for affordable housing is 1,000 people long (the list is capped at 1,000). Artspace released the final Preliminary Feasibility Report in January 2022.

Artspace retains ownership of its buildings to ensure they remain dedicated to affordable artist housing in perpetuity. Most live/work units serve households earning at or below 60% of the area median income (AMI). 56% of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. 18% of residents consider themselves to have a disability and 42% identify as BIPOC. These numbers are higher than the national figures.

The final report found a demand for both an Arts Center to house community arts events and art education programming, affordable artist housing, and that the project should be in Shoreline.

The major findings of the 60+ page report* include:
  1. There’s consensus on the basic project concept.
  2. There are overlapping community goals that align with Artspace’s goals.
  3. There is a definite appetite for space to gather, to collaborate, to perform, and to create in Shoreline.
  4. The political interest and know-how exists in the community.
  5. Funding is going to be the biggest challenge, but there’s a clear path forward through Low Income Housing Tax Credits, other public sources, and philanthropy.
  6. There are site parcels that are large enough for the proposed concept, desirable to artists, and centrally located. These include Ridgecrest Bingo Hall, City Storage Courts, Fircrest, and the Shoreline Park 'n Ride. Further study is required to identify other sites since the first sites identified are usually not the location that is ultimately selected.
*View the Artspace report here

The next required step in the Artspace project includes a market study ($35,000) and project refinement workshop ($12,500). Artspace advised ShoreLake Arts to find funding to begin the Market Study by September 2022. ShoreLake Arts is requesting City funding of $20,000 to $25,000 to help fund the next steps.


Thank you for the presentation. It tells us how support for the arts is absolutely needed in the community. During the pandemic, the Arts Industry suffered the most because there were no performances, and artists did not have places to live and work. Your funding request is quite small - where is the rest of the funding coming from?
  • Reply: We will ask the City of Lake Forest Park, we have an individual donor who will deliver some, and we have a request into Amazon. It is unlikely County funds are available until the next round of funding (which will be a great deal more). There are grants that will be available later in the year. Once we’re further along in the process, funding from the State is available for the arts.
I am excited about this project, but I think we should wait until the normal budget cycle when we can look at it holistically with the funding of all the organizations.
  • Reply: We can wait until then if we have all of the other funding.
Why should we wait? I’m not sure I understand how this works (question from a new Councilmember).
  • Reply Julie Ainsworth-Taylor, Assistant City Attorney: City and Counties commonly provide grants for affordable housing and for other public purposes. So it’s defining whether the building of the Arts Society serves a public purpose, and how that benefits the public. But I don’t think this would necessarily be astray of that obligation.
We can’t just build a safe, utilitarian community that is battleship gray and expect it to thrive. It’s so important to have color and to enrich our community with art. I would love to see this project in Shoreline.

Should we return this on Consent?
I don’t think we have a full proposal before us. It is more of a general thought. It’s not a formal request.
  • Reply Debbie Tarry, City Manager: I was going to take the information that I heard tonight and, if I heard support, we would include this in a budget ordinance. We are currently scheduled for a budget ordinance in July. It would come to Council as a Discussion item.
Study Item 9(b) Discussion of Ordinance No. 968 – Amending Chapters 20.30, 20.40, and 20.50 of the Shoreline Municipal Code to Modify Regulations for Development Within the MUR-70’ Zoning District

Presentation by Andrew Bauer, Planning Manager

With several years having passed since City Council adoption of the two light rail station subarea plans and initial development code regulations, opportunities have been identified to refine the MUR-70 zone to better facilitate implementation of the plans. Stemming from the discussion at the October 25, 2021 joint meeting between the City Council and Planning Commission, the Planning Commission has continued work on Development Code amendments that would:
  • Establish provisions to reduce off-street parking requirements up to 50% for developments with 100+ dwelling units or 10,000+sf commercial space, and with approval of a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan. The TDM would be a project specific plan where we look at ways to offset or minimize the overall parking demand on a development as a tool to minimize demand.
  • Revise the process and requirements by which development may achieve the maximum allowable building height of 140 feet by removing the requirement for a Development Agreement. This does not change the maximum height, but how you get to the maximum height.
There are some deleted requirements to achieve Maximum 140’ height:The Development Agreement is now optional.
  • LEED Gold is deleted since the Built Green 4-Star certification, which is roughly equivalent, is required.
  • The requirement that at least 90% of parking be within a structure is proposed to be removed.
  • Purchase of Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Credits is proposed to be removed because we don’t have a program currently in place.
  • The requirement for the use of district energy or combined heat and power infrastructure is proposed to be removed because it is not feasible on an individual development basis.
This is not a comprehensive analysis of the changes. The purpose of these amendments is refining the MUR-70 Zone and maintaining the core elements of the subarea plan. It can be reviewed in the staff report.


There is a change in contribution to parks. The 2% has been reduced to 1%. That concerns me. Can you elaborate?
  • Reply: The existing requirement was adopted in 2015, prior to the adoption of Park Impact Fees in 2017. Park impact fees are now collected per development and are used to fund park acquisitions and improvements throughout the City. These fees are rather redundant.
Will this reduce the total amount for parks, or will it remain about the same?
  • Reply: We can follow up with some numbers but this provision is currently in the code for only those developments using the Development Agreement (DA) Process which is now optional. Since we haven’t had anyone use the DA process, we don’t have an real numbers right now.
You talked about a Neighborhood Meeting as part of this process. We have received a variety of complaints about these meetings from citizens who do not see that their voices are heard. Can you explain how that works? If someone complains at a neighborhood meeting, is the developer required to make any changes?
  • Reply: Generally the neighborhood meeting occurs prior to any formal building permit or development application being filed with the City. And the intent is to provide the opportunity for real input and real change. However, that’s not always going to be the case for everything. So the developer essentially notifies the neighborhood within 500’ of the development site. They then hold a neighborhood meeting at which point they present the proposed development and some of the specifics in terms of what they’re wanting to do. They gather any feedback or input from the people attending that meeting. And from there they provide a kind of written up summary of the neighborhood meeting and the feedback that they heard, and how they’re incorporating or not incorporating into the development proposal the feedback that they heard. Sometimes they are incorporated and sometimes they are not.
Let me restate my question. Under a development agreement, if there is a lot of neighborhood input, are there changes that are required? Or is the neighborhood meeting just a recording of issues?
  • Reply: The primary difference here is the development agreement as currently written is a legislative action so it’s ultimately the City Council’s decision to approve or not approve the development agreement. It’s also important there is a public hearing required prior to action on the development agreement. It’s a little more formal than a neighborhood meeting where you’re gathering public testimony on the proposal.
I appreciate that this question was raised by another Councilmember, but I don’t believe that I received a satisfactory answer. Let me ask it a different way: I am not sure that the neighborhood meeting meets the goal of the neighborhood. What is the goal here from the neighborhood meeting vs some other way that the neighborhood is actually going to be heard, and where their voices will be effectively making some changes, whether the developer wants to do it or has to do it?
  • Reply: I’m hearing concerns that there is a lack of accountability from hearing what the concerns or feedback or input is, and how or is it even incorporated into a development application. Is that the root of the concern here?
Yes. I’m trying to point out what the public’s concerns are.
  • Reply: That’s a big question and I don’t think I can answer that. What I can say though, is that this is following the neighborhood meeting process that we have in place. What it boils down to is are the decisional criteria in which a decision would be rendered on the overarching application. So that’s where we’d be looking at consistency with the Comprehensive Plan, policies, and development code standards.
So there’s enough in the codes to effectively protect the neighborhood from something that is out of line with their expectations? I’m satisfied that you absolutely cannot say for sure. But with what we have in place, it will suffice, more or less. And a good developer will probably take some of those suggestions if they can.

Note: From the City of Shoreline Planning and Community Development posted on :

“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.”

If you want to go to 80’ of height, you have to leave 10% of the significant trees, correct?
  • Reply: Correct.
If you want to go to 90’, do you still need to leave the 10%? Or do you have a choice of either 20% or the Deep Green incentive?
  • Reply: You could do one of the options. You wouldn’t necessarily need to do both.
At 140’, you would not be required to have either leave significant trees or do the Deep Green incentive?
  • Reply: Correct.
So I am concerned that you pulled out of the 140’ anything above the Built Green 4-Star when we have the existential threat of climate change. We need to do something if we’re going to allow that extra height - there should be some environmentally more significant thing that’s part of it. This is my objection and I will oppose as written.

When I think of an MUR-70 project, it’s going to be 4 or 6+ lots. There aren’t going to be a lot of trees that they will be obligated to save, right?
  • Reply: Yes, it’s going to depend on the lot and so forth.
So the percentage might scare us but there might be only 3 trees on any one lot but located in the middle of a project so they’ll probably have to go. We need to try to save the perimeter trees if we can. So the percentage isn’t as meaningful to me.
  • Reply: Correct. It would be a percentage of the existing significant trees and also that provision is existing currently, and we’re not proposing that it change or be removed. We highlighted that in the report just to show the different ways in which someone could go above the 70’ base height.
One of our concerns in the past was how do we provide some kind of certainty to developers. They are coming in, looking at the code and trying to figure what they can build here in MUR-70 without having to get their lawyers involved to try to figure out what does this really mean. So this was a way to increase certainty for everybody.

Can you explain the process of the Administrative Design Review? How does that work and what is the expected timetable?
  • Reply: This is an administrative design decision, a director’s decision made at the staff level. It’s more streamlined than having a Public Hearing. The application comes first before any permit or development application. The main tool that we currently use is from the adopted design standards so this is an existing process that we use that developers are familiar with. There are minor things like the depth of the awning to facade modulation to materials or things of that nature. The timeline depends on the volume of applications and work in review at any given point in time. Generally I think it’s between 8-12 weeks from the application submission to the first review letter.
So we’re talking about 8-12 weeks to the first letter but this is before the actual development is submitted, correct? Then there’s another timeline. Correct?
  • Reply: correct.
So that might be another 8-12 weeks. Right?
  • Reply: That’s fair to say.
I think this makes sense, but my concern is that there’s no expectation in the code that the Administrative Review will be done within a certain timeframe. If the goal is to get projects in, and time equals money, then we’re building a process with an indeterminate time frame even before permits can be submitted. I’m concerned that there’s no expectation built in that this process will not take an indefinite amount of time.

Looking at the code 11c and 11e. 11e is regarding subarea improvements but there’s no reference to costs or anything. It just says the developer “shall provide these.” There’s no percentage or cap of costs, and it’s hard to see in the code that you’re going to provide these improvements. I mean these are good things but without a limit? Similarly with 11c, providing spaces to the public, but there’s no description or delineation of how much space. I don’t understand what we’re asking from a developer.

Why are we offering 50% parking reduction only for 100+ residential units or 10,000 square feet commercial space? Why isn’t this standardized for all in MUR-70? Why isn’t it good for all development there?
  • Reply: 50% reduction makes a bigger impact to the developer of a larger building. But we can look at other potential options.
What happens if this doesn’t work? If there’s a lot of spillover into surrounding streets? How do we enforce this?
  • Reply: It’s at the City’s request that the development would need to provide utilization data, and a check-in of how the plan is performing. At that point in time we could have more of a conversation with the development of how to possibly adapt and change some of what they’re doing.
Realistically, waiting for the City to request that plan - when are we actually going to do that? Overflow parking is a real concern of the neighborhoods when we talk about parking reductions.
  • Reply: The City’s Public Works Dept. has been collecting the on-street parking utilization in the station areas so that could be one mechanism to trigger that conversation.
I’d like to see something about vehicle loading zones so we don’t have delivery trucks double-parked, or worse yet, parked in bike lanes.

Could you provide a couple of examples of “ground floor amenities?”
  • Reply: Either a cafe or a restaurant, some types of non-profit office space, or community space that could be rented for a meeting.
Not just something for the building residents?
  • Reply: Correct.
What’s the advantage of taking TDR out? (Transfer of Development Rights)
  • Reply: Right now we’re in this kind of limbo area where we don’t have a formal program and so should someone want to do it before we adopt it, we wouldn’t be set up to utilize it.
Are we going to continue to develop that program and reinsert it at some point? I would like to see it remaining.
  • Reply: That’s an option or it could be sort of a standalone program.
Another thing: we’re not building around courtyards or places where people want to be. We’re building “hallways.” We’re not building things that look into each other - there’s something about current codes (not just in Shoreline) where it is efficient to build blocks but I think we should be building courtyards - I think that’s what people want; that’s what people need. I don’t think our code gets there. Of course, that’s not before us right now. But it’s not just about number of units - it’s about the quality and the quality of life in those units. I think we can do better.
  • Reply: We are trying to strike a balance with what’s currently in the code. We can look into all of these things.
Should this come back as an Action Item?
  • Reply Debbie Tarry: If so, Councilmembers need to submit any potential amendments by Friday, June 10.
This will come back as an Action Item on June 27.

Meeting adjourned.


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