Notes from Shoreline Council meeting June 27, 2022

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council 
Regular Meeting
June 27, 2022

Notes by Pam Cross

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

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

Flag Salute and Roll Call

All Councilmembers were present. Councilmembers McConnell, Mork, and Roberts attended remotely.

I, Keith Scully, Mayor of the City of Shoreline, on behalf of the Shoreline City Council, do hereby proclaim do hereby proclaim the month of July 2022 as
This provides an opportunity to celebrate the value of Shoreline’s parks, recreation programs, and cultural services, and to honor the community partners and programs that enrich the lives of Shoreline residents in many ways.

The Mayor honored Shoreline resident Heidi Shepherd.
Shoreline Area News reported in the June 15, 2022 edition:
“King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski on Tuesday awarded Heidi Shepherd with the Martin Luther King Medal of Distinguished Service, an award that recognizes individuals whose work has answered the question asked by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Approval of the Agenda
Agenda approved by unanimous consent.

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry
Presented by John Norris, Assistant City Manager

A Reminder 

  • To report offenders call the police non-emergency number 206-296-3311
  • Only in the event of a fire or other emergency call 911.
Something for everyone with lunchtime and evening entertainment

Evening concerts start July 13

Shoreline Walks

Public Reminders

July 4th Holiday Schedule


Council Reports

Deputy Mayor Robertson attended the Regional Transit Committee where they voted unanimously in favor of zero youth fares. The goal is to make this effective September 1.

Councilmember Ramsdell reported that City staff met with residents from Westminster Triangle to provide an update about the park in that area.

Mayor Scully announced that Representative Jayapal sponsored an appropriations request for financing of the non-motorized bridge across. She suggested $2.5M. $4M was approved.

Public Comment
Each speaker was allowed 3 minutes. Both in-person and remote attendees have an opportunity to speak. There were 78 written comments at the time this report was prepared, the majority referenced Action Item 8(a).

Neighborhood Meeting
  • Courtney Ewing, Shoreline
  • Tom McCormick, Shoreline
Tree Retention in MUR-70’ Action Item 8(a)
  • Rebecca Jones, Seattle
  • Nancy Morris, Shoreline
  • Kathleen Russell, Shoreline, Tree Preservation Code Team
  • Sarah Gangane, Shoreline
  • Derek Blackwell, Shoreline
Retain 2% fee for Parks 8(a)
  • Tom McCormick, Shoreline
Approval of the Consent Calendar.
The Consent Calendar was approved unanimously.

Action Item 8 (a) Action on 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, Planning and Community Development

The City’s light rail station subarea plans for the 185th and 145th Station subareas were adopted in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The plans call for the subareas surrounding the future light rail stations to transform into compact transit-oriented communities with a range of housing types, open space, and services. The plans are generally performing as anticipated through the first 6+ years since adoption.

This was last discussed by the Council at the June 6, 2022 meeting. The Council has proposed the following Amendments in order to obtain maximum building height:

Proposed Council Amendment #1– SMC 20.30.297(C)(3) - Additional requirements for neighborhood meetings:
This amendment calls for signs announcing the meeting, online open house/website in addition to the in-person meeting, and a meeting summary posted on the City’s website. 
  • Staff is neutral regarding this amendment.

Proposed Council Amendment #2 - SMC 20.50.020(A)(11)(b)(2) & SMC 20.50.250(C)
Additional requirement for exceeding the base height when not qualifying for other height bonus:
These proposed Council amendments would provide more clarity for the ground floor commercial requirement and would be similar to existing standards that already apply to the North City and Ridgecrest neighborhoods. 
  • Staff recommends approval of this amendment.

Proposed Council Amendment #3 - SMC 20.50.020(A)(11)(c)
This proposed Council amendment would provide more clarity to the requirement for open spaces and would allow a portion of the already required Public Places and Multifamily Open Space be open and accessible to the public.
  • Staff recommends approval of this amendment.

Proposed Council Amendments #4a & #4b - SMC 20.50.020(A)(11)(d)
These proposed Council amendments address the funding of parks, open space, art, or other recreational opportunities.
  • Staff does not recommend approval of 4(a) as it will add additional development costs for applicants as the 2% contribution was originally in place prior to the City’s Park Impact Fee program.
  • Staff recommends approval of 4(b) as it provides more clarity to the intent of the regulations related to ongoing maintenance and an in-cash equivalent contribution. “The contribution shall take the form of either on-site installation of exterior artwork or placemaking amenities, reviewed by the City, or an equivalent cash donation to the City’s one percent for Arts program. All on-site works must include a plan for future maintenance and cleaning schedule where appropriate.”
Proposed Council Amendment #5 – SMC 20.50.020(A)(11)(e)
This proposed Council amendment would provide more certainty with regard to the extent, or value, of which an improvement would need to be. The amendment also takes into consideration a high contribution in an instance where all off-street parking is eliminated. 
  • Staff recommends the Council-proposed amendment be approved, with the exception that the reference to elimination of parking be removed. 
  • Staff does not recommend off street parking requirements be removed (see amendment #8 below).
Proposed Council Amendment #6 – SMC 20.50.020(A)(11)(f)
This proposed Council amendment would require buildings above the base allowable height in the MUR-70’ zone to achieve green certification, matching Tier 3 of the City’s Deep Green Incentive Program (DGIP). 
  • Staff recommends approval.
Proposed Council Amendment #7 – SMC 20.50.020(A)(11)(g)
This proposed Council amendment would retain the existing requirement to purchase transfer of development rights (TDR) credits as a condition of obtaining maximum height.
  • Staff does not recommend approval.
Proposed Council Amendments #8a & #8b - SMC 20.50.400.C
These proposed Council amendments would change incentives for reductions in parking.
  • Staff is neutral on #8a – “Parking reductions of up to 50 percent may be approved for new residential, mixed-use, and commercial development” in the MUR-70’ zone. 
  • Staff does not recommend approval of #8b – “Parking reductions of up to 100 percent may be approved for new residential, mixed-use, and commercial development in the MUR-70’ zone containing 100 dwelling units or more, or 10,000 gross square feet of commercial floor area or more.”


Motion and second to approve Ordinance 968 Main Motion

Note: the existing Code as shown in attachment A to the staff report:

(12) Base height in the MUR-70 zone may be increased up to 80 feet when at least 10 percent of the significant trees on site are retained and up to 90 feet when at least 20 percent of the significant trees on site are retained.

Have we seen any significant effects of 10-20% tree retention in terms of environmental impact?
  • Reply: Don’t think I can answer that. It’s a complex question. A lot has changed in the last couple of years - much more development activity. We’re continuing to monitor and assess environmental impacts.
We’ve seen many comments about the requirement of 10% for trees. Can you describe City’s position on this?
  • Reply: This incentive is not proposed to be changed in any substantive manner. We included this in the staff report in order to be transparent by listing existing incentives.

Motion and second to modify Amendment #1 - Neighborhood meeting to add noticing and public comment requirements for proposed developments in the MUR-70’ zone seeking the maximum 140’ height.

I think transparency is really important and for the neighbors to have reasonable access to know what is going on in their area. I don’t think the current rules provide that. I also think the report from that meeting should be easily and readily available for the public to see.

Motion and second to amend the Modify Notification to residents within 1,000’ instead of 500’.

These large developments affect more than just immediate neighbors.

There is no distance mentioned in the Amendment to the Neighborhood Meeting.
  • Reply Miss Ainsworth-Taylor, Acting City Attorney: The distance is mentioned within Title 20 in the section about public noticing. It would be in 20.30.120(C)1.
Staff has modified the motion to include a reference to this.

Passes unanimously

VOTE on motion to amend neighborhood meeting (as amended)
Passes unanimously

Motion and second to approve Council Amendment #2. Ground floor commercial

At one point we removed the requirement for ground floor commercial thinking it would happen anyway. But it didn’t work out. The down side is we end up with vacant storefront spaces. But as the neighborhood develops, the owners will lower the rent for the spaces until they attract businesses. And then the neighborhood will develop as we envisioned.

Passes unanimously

Motion and second to approve Council Amendment #3. Open space

Current proposal does not have a percentage of open space. This amendment adds it.

Passes unanimously

Motion and second to approve Council Amendment #4B Funding Parks

This provides clarity on how contributions for the arts are made and also allows for and requires a maintenance plan.

I’m not in support. We are far short of the standard for open space. We need more parks.

I’m confused. Are these ideas (4A and 4B) mutually exclusive?
  • Reply: Yes, they are. 4A maintains 2% contribution; 4B reduces it to 1%.
  • We are discussing 4B now. So if you support 4A, you would have to oppose 4B. Or make a substitute motion.

Motion and second to modify the Planning Commission’s recommendation for SMC 20.50.020(A)(11)(d) by deleting it in its entirety and replacing it with a new SMC 20.50.020(A)(11)(d) as shown on Page 10 of tonight’s Staff Report. (This replaces 4B with 4A)

Community well-being and the availability of parks has been studied and there is a correlation between the community sense of well-being and the quantity, quality and proximity of neighborhood public parks. The most significant variable was quantity.

What is our expectation of developers? What and why should they make additional contributions for additional height? What is the goal? We need more housing but if we add too many additional costs, we’re not going to get development here. So I am opposed. But I do support parks and open space and agree with their significance.

Motion to amend the substitute motion to include 4B.
Is there a second?

Could you clarify what this is doing? (Several Councilmembers state that they are confused.)

  • Reply by Mayor Scully: the original motion was 4B. The next motion was to replace 4B with 4A. This motion is to add 4B to replace portions of the language on 4A.
Motion is withdrawn.

This motion requests that we maintain current regulations. Not add an additional fee. And not a reduction from 2% to 1%.

Over the past 3 years, have we been collecting both park impact fees and an additional 2% from developers?
  • Reply: Yes. There is an important distinction The park impact fees apply to all residential development in MUR-70’. The 2% has not yet been collected because it applies only to those projects subject to the development agreement and we haven’t had any in the MUR-70’ zone.

Then I will be voting for 4A and opposed to 4B because I agree we’ve been asking too much from the developers. I agree because parks help prevent heat islands.

These fees are for new parks and new park structures for the additional residents added to our City. Not for maintenance or improvements to existing parks. When going from 100’ to 140’, that is 14 more floors of residential which will put people right next to light rail, so we’re not building out in the suburbs or the forests. But it only works if the City is livable and without more parks, we won’t be able to keep it livable.

Passes 4-3.

DM Robertson, CM Roberts and CM McConnell opposed.

That last vote was essentially replacing 4A with 4B. This motion is the exact same thing, voting for or against 4B.

No additional discussion.

Passes 4-3.

DM Robertson, CM Roberts and CM McConnell opposed.

OK. We are now back to our main motion. Any additional discussion?

Motion and second to strike Council Amendment #5 – SMC 20.50.020(A)(11)(e) Subarea improvements

I think we have expanded on what we had in our development agreements. I want to strike “the development shall provide subarea improvements such as utility infrastructure system improvements, off-site frontage improvements…or installation of amenities such as transit stop shelters, lighting, or way-finding signage”

In the development agreement, they got to choose 2 out of 6 options. Under the new code we are already requiring 2 items with only slight modifications, and adding more.

I’m concerned about the level of confusion that’s happening in today’s discussion. I propose we postpone further action on Ordinance 968 until the implications of the votes that have already been taken can be analyzed by staff with responding recommendations to Council on how to proceed.

  • Reply: We are probably talking about a meeting in August or potentially September
  • Reply John Norris: There is some space in the agenda planner in early August. This will take some time. August 8 or 15.
Motion and second to postpone to a August 8. pending a recommendation from staff

Please clarify what this does to what we’ve already discussed.
  • Reply Mayor Scully, with concurrence by the City Clerk Jessica Simulcik Smith: All previous votes remain effective, and we come back with no vote on the Main Motion, and the ability to move future amendments including Amendment 5 Subarea Improvements that was just proposed. So we will not take a vote on Amendment 5, but it will be the first item of business on August 8.
This has been a very dense meeting but I’m reluctant to put this off because this is our job. I think we can do this.

Passes 4-3

Mayor Scully, CM Mork and CM Ramsdell dissenting.

Study Item 9(a) Discussion of Resolution No. 492 – Providing for the Submission to the Qualified Electors of the City of Shoreline at an Election to be Held on November 8, 2022, a Proposition Authorizing the City to Increase its Regular Property Tax Levy Above the Limit Established in RCW 84.55.010 to Fund Public Safety and Community Services

Presentation by Christina Arcidy, Management Analyst, City Manager’s Office

Council last reviewed this topic on June 13, 2022. At that time, the Council directed staff to bring forward a proposal in July for consideration of replacement of the levy lid lift on the November 8, 2022, general election. The current one expires December 31, 2022.

If Council votes to not put this on the ballot, or if the voters do not support it in November (50% + 1 for approval) projection:

The City is required to operate a balanced budget so the shortfall would have to be made up by service reductions and/or use of the General Fund reserves.

Council had expressed interest in options 1 and 2:


I support Option 2. Although I like Option 1, there are other considerations such as the Parks Bond that passed, increased water rates and other impacts to residents that are yet to come. Option 1 would be wonderful and I hope we can find ways in the future to fund the things it could have provided.

I agree. We have the School District and the Fire Department and other organizations that are supported by residents’ property taxes.

What about increased values from the property assessors office?
  • Reply: I can’t really answer that. Historically the levy has been about 10% of the individual’s tax bill. The School District is around 20%.
  • Reply Sarah Lane: It is a complex issue. If property evaluations end up coming in higher than we anticipated in coming up with these figures, we could set our rate lower than the maximum rate. We target the amount we seek to collect, and that total amount is distributed to the taxpayers based on property valuation.
I think voters will be surprised when they receive their tax bills. Because our charts show $293 but that is only a fraction of the total property tax they will be seeing.

I understand that the applications for exemption or deferral of taxes available to some seniors and the disabled are backed up months and months.
  • Reply: Yes, but they will be backdating the effective date of the exemptions/deferrals.

The Levy Lid Lift funds basic operations. If we do zero, we start laying people off and start cutting programs. That’s because we increase at the cost of inflation. Since inflation makes the cost go up, revenue has to keep up.



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