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Information for Shoreline


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Ground-Floor Commercial 1Ground-Floor Commercial 2


Currently, the City of Shoreline allows the construction of new apartments or condominium buildings in commercial and mixed-use zones without including any commercial uses such as shops or cafes. We do require that the ground-floor be built to commercial building standards so that it is possible to convert the space to a commercial use at a later time.

The purpose of this update to the City's Development Code is to determine how to increase the number of businesses in targeted commercial and mixed-use areas, specifically the North City and Ridgecrest Neighborhoods. New standards could either require ground-floor commercial uses or create incentives to make building these commercial spaces more feasible for developers.


The Shoreline City Council discussed this topic at their annual Strategic Planning Meeting in February. At that meeting, the Council was presented example codes, regulations, and practices from jurisdictions around the region. This led to the Council approving the 2020 Comprehensive Plan Docket on March 16, 2020 without a proposed amendment that would have required ground-floor commercial uses in all mixed-use and commercial zones. Instead, the Council directed staff to develop regulations around creating viable commercial spaces in new mixed-use and multifamily buildings. The Council outlined a two-phase approach where Phase 1 includes evaluating requirements for commercial uses in the North City and Ridgecrest neighborhoods. Phase 2 amendments will include other commercial and mixed-use zones in Town Center, Shoreline Place, and the 145th and 185th Light Rail Station Subareas.

Background Documents

The City has prepared plans and zoning regulations in the past for the North City Business District. The City has also prepared Subarea Plans for the 154th and 185th Street Light Rail Station Subareas. 

Background materials can be found at the following links:

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