Virtual Meeting Highlights:
(Note: League Observer missed a portion of the meeting, which lasted over 3 hours.)
The meeting was a public hearing during the regular meeting to consider citizens’ comments on Ordinance 906 , Interim Regulations regulations for Adding Enhanced Shelter as an Allowing Use in the R-48 Zone.
The city of Shoreline and Lake City Partners announced plans to work in partnership with King County to turn the former Oaks Nursing Home at 16357 Aurora Avenue N in Shoreline into a 24/7 enhanced shelter for homeless adults. Enhanced shelters are low barrier (limited entry requirements), 24 hour a day facilities intended to provide persons experiencing homelessness with access to resources including but not limited to housing, basic needs, hygiene, case management and social programs as they transition to permanent housing. The shelter will help address the need in North King County for a 24/7 shelter. Current zoning of the land where the former the former nursing facility sits is zoned (R48) and does not allow the shelter as a use. King County will be able to take advantage of funds recently released by the Commerce Dept. to purchase the property. Part of the requirements for getting the funds is that the shelter has to be up and running by December of this year.
The Shoreline City Council discussed adopting the “Interim Development Regulations” that would allow the facility to be used as a shelter for six months with a potential to extend for another six months. During that time, King County will need to seek a permanent zoning change that would allow the shelter to continue operating and to allow for the future development of permanent supportive housing, which is their longer-term interest. The City will have a 6 to 12-month period to assess the operations before making a final zoning.
Facility is close to transportation, medical and shopping. The proposal is a “win-win” for everyone if we help the homeless- our most vulnerable population. Approval of the re-zoning required for the enhanced shelter.
Not a workable site. Too close to schools and daycare. Concern about a possible negative impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Did not like low barrier approach.
After the public comment the council members’ discussion was generally favorable except for one who said that she did like that site. The amended Ordinance 906 passed, with Councilmembers McConnell and Chang voting no. CM McConnell said she did not think this is a workable site.
Officials and Guests in Attendance
The Mayor and City Council Members. All were prepared, courteous, and attentive.
Accessing the Meeting and Materials
The meeting started on time and I was present for the entire meeting. The meeting was easy to access and the agenda was available ahead of time.
Summary of Discussion
Changes in the agenda - these items were not discussed or acted upon: Approving expenses and payroll, approving the extension of interim regulations for outdoor seating, and authorizing City Manager to execute agreement with King County for District Court Services.
Environment - Discussion of Ordinance 910 - Expressly Prohibiting Feeding of Waterfowl Feeding
Water pollution from waterfowl waste is an issue in Shoreline’s ponds and lakes. Eliminating park user feeding of waterfowl will be a step in reducing the volume of waterfowl feces to improve water quality and help ensure healthy, safe beaches for recreation.
The City of Shoreline routinely monitors fecal bacteria levels and looks for the presence of toxic algae blooms in Hidden Lake and Echo Lake to ensure swimming beaches are safe for public access. This summer both lakes were closed by the King County Department of Health due to high fecal bacteria levels. Goose feces was notably present at the beach and in the surrounding park.
The Surface Water Utility wants to use signage with education and outreach to encourage residents to stop feeding the waterfowl to protect water quality.
General agreement by Council Members about the need to improve water quality by reducing waterfowl feces. Some discussion about whether signage or fines would be more effective. Council member Robertson said she appreciates the education first approach. She recognized the negative effect waterfowl feces has on the environment and the recreation areas and Council member McConnell shared her experiences of how waterfowl can become a nuisance when fed regularly.
Mayor Hall said the intent is to set norms for the behavior that is expected in the City, not to creates uncomfortable interactions with those charged with enforcement.
The Council decided - without objection - to add the proposal to the January 25 meeting as an action item.
Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry re: COVID-19 Virus
Today (January 11) Gov. Inslee announced a 2 phase approach in dealing with the COVID virus. Effective January 11, 2021, the State of Washington is launching Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery which will use a regional approach for its upcoming phased recovery plan. The metrics for each region to from Phase 1 to Phase 2 include 10% reductions in the number of cases and hospital admissions. For example: Phase 1 - no indoor dining to Phase 2 indoor dining at 25% capacity.