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Council adopts 145th Street Light Rail Station Subarea Plan

Post Date:09/29/2016 10:03 am

On September 26, the Shoreline City Council adopted several ordinances that change the zoning and development regulations for the 145th Street Light Rail Station Subarea. The Council action was the culmination of three years of public process. The Council adopted:

  • Ordinance No. 750 – Subarea Plan – the long range plan for the area, amends the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map;
  • Ordinance No. 751 – Zoning map – establishes phased zoning with Phase I effective immediately, and Phase II occurring in 2033 (10 years after the light rail stations are operational);
  • Ordinance No. 752 – Planned Action – identifies necessary improvements to accommodate new development; and
  • Ordinance No. 756 – Amending City’s Light Rail Station Subarea regulations set forth in the Unified Development Code relating to both the 145th and 185th Street Station Subareas.

Council also adopted Mixed-Use Residential (MUR) zones allowing a mix of housing types such as detached single family, attached single family, townhomes, row homes, apartments, and live/work dwellings. In some cases, the MUR zones will allow certain retail, service, office, and other types of commercial uses. The most intense MUR zone is MUR 70’, which will allow for building heights of up to six or seven stories in the areas closest to the light rail station. Existing single-family homes will continue to be a part of this mix, including conversion of some to neighborhood businesses like offices and restaurants.

“Monday night, the City Council took a big step in planning for Shoreline’s future,” stated Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts. “While allowing for greater density around the future 145th light rail station to encourage transit oriented developments, the City has also mandated some of the strongest affordable housing requirements in the region, preserved critical wetland and steep slope areas, promotes walkable communities, and requires green building to help address climate change. Light rail will bring significant change to our area and Shoreline is determined to be a regional leader when it comes to planning for that change.”

Our region is currently facing a housing affordability crisis that cannot be addressed without the addition of more housing. The subarea plan and adopted development regulations include affordable housing requirements and specific policies to promote walkability and transit oriented development. The City of Shoreline is responding to the housing affordability crisis by allowing higher density exactly where it belongs –within walking distance of high capacity transit and along existing and planned commercial corridors.

There are few options for people seeking affordable housing choices in Shoreline, and for younger singles, families, or seniors that desire different housing styles, including rentals. Shoreline is primarily a community of single-family detached housing. It also has the second highest percentage of people 65 and older in King County at 15.2%. Seniors living in detached single-family homes have few options if they wish to downsize and remain in Shoreline. Increased housing diversity will provide more options for seniors, young people, and for those wishing to find more affordable housing close to mass transit.

Shoreline also adopted an ordinance to streamline the permit process for projects that are consistent with the plan.

Throughout the planning process, a lot of concern has been expressed about whether the City will use eminent domain to take property as part of the rezone. The City will not take any property for redevelopment as a result of the rezone. Any development that occurs will be the result of private property owners developing their own property, or private developers purchasing property from willing sellers. If property owners want to develop or sell their property, they can. If they do not wish to develop or sell their property, they do not have to.

For more information about these ordinances and documents, visit shorelinewa.gov/lightrail. An interactive zoning map will soon be available on the City’s website to help identify exactly what each property parcel’s new zoning will be and when it will be effective.

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