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Neighbors upset Shoreline considering rezoning decade before light rail arrives

A woman from Shoreline says she and her neighbors aren’t happy that the face of their city may be changing for Sound Transit’s light rail even though the line isn’t expected to open for nearly a decade.

“We just recently found an email from the Sound Transit manager who says that within 10 years of when the project is implemented, which is 2024, there should be a slight buildup right around the light rail, but Shoreline wants to start this year,” Ginny Scantlebury of Shoreline tells 770 KTTH host David Boze. “That’s nine years before light rail ever makes it here.”

Ginny says it’s not Sound Transit that is behind the rezoning, but city of Shoreline officials.

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

“It’s the City Council and the Shoreline staff that is trying to put in a lot of the zoning,” she says, adding that residents are concerned about more condo and apartment developments coming in.

Sound Transit’s preliminary design includes two light rail stations on the east side of I-5 at 145th Street and 185th Street. Changes will take place over the course of decades, with stakeholders’ input, but it’s facilitating subarea planning processes for each station over the next year to determine the potential look and feel of the areas, according to the city.

“Market forces and homeowner decision making about how and when to redevelop or sell properties will determine the pace and degree of transformation,” the city said on its website.

“A lot of people are saying ‘I moved here. I moved out of Seattle or wherever because I wanted an area with single-family dwellings. I don’t want condos all around me.'”

The neighborhood already has to deal with traffic issues, and bringing in a lot more residents will just make things worse, she says.

“We see transportation gridlock everywhere. Our streets are not large enough, wide enough to accommodate the traffic now.”

Ginny and other residents have been canvasing the neighborhood trying to let their community know what could be coming, and she says many people are listening.

“We did get about between 125 and 150 people at last week’s City Council meeting, so they really woke up.”

Some neighbors have started a petition for “No to Aggressive Rezoning for the 185th St Light Rail Station.” It welcomes the light rail station and understands the need for some change to make it happen, but says rezoning could affect up to 1,500 residential properties.

Following the last council meeting, Ginny says they did postpone a decision until March, but she’s not sure if that says anything about the actual plans.

“I don’t really know whether they’re just going to keep kicking the can down the road month by month or what they’re going to do.”

There are two upcoming planing meetings: 145th Street Station Subarea Planning public hearing is Feb. 19 and the 185th Street Station Subarea Planning at the council meeting on Feb. 23.

Existing single family homes would not be affected under any of the proposed new zones, according to the city’s website. If the Planning Commission does not allow new single family homes in some or all of the new zones, existing homes would be grandfathered.

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