More Shoreline residents will lose homes for new light rail station | KUOW News and Information

More Shoreline residents will lose homes for new light rail station

Aug 22, 2016

Shoreline’s planning commission has approved the rezoning of a large area around the future 145th Street light rail station near the city’s border with Seattle.

It happened as its citizens learned that more residents would be displaced than previously thought.

The planning commission adopted the substance of the plan Thursday evening after resident after resident made their objections known. During the commission meeting it was revealed that the light rail station would move about 400 feet north to improve bus access to the station. 

The move pushes the station deeper into an established neighborhood near Interstate 5. Sound Transit said it estimated it would now need to take 14 houses instead of four.

The transit agency said neighbors would be affected as well. Like neighborhoods for blocks around, it is being rezoned for multifamily buildings, setting it on a multi-decade trajectory toward densification from being a community of modest mid-century homes.

Shoreline is a city of neighborhoods. Ridgecrest is among the most affected by the redevelopment.

However, attendance from that community at the planning commission's meeting was not what it could have been because it coincided with Ridgecrest's annual ice cream social, where hundreds of people were in attendance.

“I choose the ice cream social,” said Lizzie Peters, who was handing out napkins at the event. “We like having social events rather than a planning commission.”

She said there was little point in attending the planning meeting. “It's just political rhetoric, and as we all know, it goes away in the air. The people here are the thing we should be doing.”

The social was a family affair, with a band and a bouncy house. Planners like to arrange for something splashy each time. This year the King County Sheriff landed a helicopter on the grass nearby as families cheered.

A spokesman for the city of Shoreline said of the scheduling conflict that there was no good day in the summer for a public hearing. He added that people have had three years to react to the rezoning and eventual redevelopment.

Shoreline has long existed to provide a good lifestyle for people who cannot afford or do not want Seattle city life. With a population of 55,000, it has few large employers and Aurora Avenue for a commercial center.

Many residents come for the school district and stay for the tall trees or the charms of their neighborhood.

But Seattle’s growth is becoming Shoreline’s growth. The city of Shoreline estimates that the redevevelopment of the area around the future 145th Street light rail station will create homes for more than 32,000 people over many decades.

Additionally, the redevelopment of the area around the future 185th Street station is expected to create homes for more than 56,000 people, also over many decades.

The city of Shoreline says that at the same time, it is expected that other parts of the city will also grow in population.

A city that was unincorporated King County up until 20 years ago is now expected to more than double in population.

It’s expected that the Shoreline City Council will vote on the rezoning plan in late September. People can comment at meetings on September 12, 19 and 26.