Outcry from Shoreline residents doesn’t stop council from rezoning area around light rail

Mar 17, 2015, 8:25 AM | Updated: 8:25 am
Despite a vocal community meeting Monday, the Shoreline City Council approved the zoning and develo...
Despite a vocal community meeting Monday, the Shoreline City Council approved the zoning and development plans, which rezones an area around the future Sound Transit light rail station on 185th Street, near I-5. (MyNorthwest.com/Stephanie Klein)
(MyNorthwest.com/Stephanie Klein)

More than an hour of public testimony against rezoning an area of Shoreline wasn’t enough to stop the city council from passing the ordinance to do just that Monday night.

The Shoreline City Council approved the zoning and development plans, which rezones an area around the future Sound Transit light rail station on 185th Street, near I-5.

Related: Shoreline residents stuck in limbo awaiting Sound Transit to take all or parts of their property

The council’s decision to even consider the rezone drew shouts from the crowd, where residents demanded a recall of councilmembers. At one point, Mayor Shari Winstead told the community members she would have police remove anyone who interrupted.

Shanna Sierra, 33, supports the idea of growth in the area, but not this much.

“We know that light rail has good potential, we are excited about it,” she said. “But regardless, this is too much. It’s too dense.”

The new mixed-use-residential zoning affects an approximate half-mile radius around the future light rail service station on 185th Street; many of the properties in the area have single-family homes.

The proposed rail station is not scheduled to begin service until 2023. The light rail will be built parallel to I-5 from Northgate to Lynnwood.

The new zoning primarily focuses on height limits. Areas immediately surrounding the rail station will allow for building heights of six to seven stories. The new ordinance will cater to development that promotes a more walkable city, supporters say.

Councilman Jesse Salomon told the packed chambers that Seattle is a growing city, and Shoreline needs to prepare for the future. He said the positive – from what he’s read – is that property values actually increase around areas experiencing transportation development.

“It’s not all bad for you folks,” he said.

The new zoning also allows a mix of housing types, such as single-family homes, town homes, row homes, and live/work dwellings. Some previously non-commercial areas will allow for certain businesses, but streets identified as “local” will not allow them.

Shoreline residents living in the rezoned areas have no obligation to change their homes or develop their property, according to information from the city. Residents are not being asked to move. However, neighborhoods may “transition” and new housing may be built.

The council is considering three phases for zoning changes, which would be done this year, in 2021 and 2033.

The city’s rezoning plans exceed Sound Transit’s request, said Shoreline resident John Behrens. The scale of the city’s rezone is unnecessary, he said.

Behrens isn’t opposed to the light rail. People will benefit from it, he said.

“There is so much wrong with the plan that they’re using,” he said. “That’s why there are several hundred people here.”

Behrens questioned the council’s reasoning. “It’s the process that’s gone wrong.”

This isn’t the first time Sierra and her family have been affected by rezoning. She said her husband’s company on Stone Way in Fremont will shut down in May and be replaced with apartments.

“Our lives are actively changing,” she said. Their family’s income is being cut by about 60 percent.

Now, the family is dealing with the idea of having 65-foot buildings at the end of their block.

“I think it would be awesome that we recalled our city council and made sure it was on their record that said, you did not do what your constituency requested,” said Sierra.

Local News

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Pierce County deputies investigating death of 11-year-old

Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies said they were investigating the death of an 11-year-old girl in Midland, WA.
16 hours ago
Gee Ursula One Seattle...
KIRO Newsradio staff

Thousands of volunteers give back to the community for One Seattle Day

Thousands of volunteers gave back to the community on Saturday for One Seattle Day, including KIRO Newsradio's own Gee and Ursula Show.
16 hours ago
(Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)...
Frank Sumrall

Mayor’s search for permanent Police Chief looms over Seattle amid depleting law enforcement numbers

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell recently consulted with a hiring firm as the decision to choose the next Chief of Police heats up.
3 days ago
Seattle Sun...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Sunny skies, warm temperatures forecast for western Washington this weekend

Sunny skies and warm temperatures are forecast for much of western Washington, with some areas expected to reach temps in the 70s.
3 days ago
Student STEM...
Nicole Jennings

From athletes to mathletes: STEM Signing Day shines light on WA scholars

STEM Signing Day gives stellar science, technology, engineering, and math scholars a chance to shine in the same way as high school athletes.
3 days ago
Prison 900x506...
MyNorthwest Staff

Governor Inslee cancels parole determination for triple murderer

Governor Inslee has cancelled an order that granted parole to Timothy Pauley, who had been incarcerated for three counts of first degree murder in 1981.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Outcry from Shoreline residents doesn’t stop council from rezoning area around light rail