Shoreline City Council Adopts Vision for Town Center

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

From the Office of the Shoreline City Manager

On July 25, 2011, the Shoreline City Council adopted the Town Center Subarea Plan and Development Code identifying the lands along Aurora Avenue N between N 170th and N 188th Streets between Linden and Stone Avenues as the core of an emerging Town Center. 

With good transit services along Aurora, the Town Center capitalizes on its central location in Shoreline and its “close-in” regional location as a focal point for much of the City’s future commercial and residential growth.

“As a fairly new city, having incorporated only 16 years ago, Shoreline did not have a defined town center as do many older, more established communities. This plan and new development regulations are aimed at creating that sense of place for our entire community,” stated Mayor Keith McGlashan. 
Mayor McGlashan added, “On behalf of the Council, we’re looking forward to working with property owners and investors to create an attractive, compact, walkable and mixed-use center that furthers the City’s goals for economic vitality, environmental sustainability and housing choices.”

Deputy Mayor Hall said,
"This plan is also a big win for the environment.  Encouraging housing in Town Center saves 12,000 trees that would be cut down if those homes were built in new suburbs, and people won't have to drive as far."

The Town Center area will encourage redevelopment that connects, respects and protects the single family neighborhoods that adjoin the District immediately to the east and west. Design standards will greatly improve the area’s attractiveness and encourage people to gather, walk and shop. This includes ample sidewalks, plazas, storefronts and green spaces.

“Town Center is the geographic, historic and civic heart of Shoreline,” stated Planning Director Joe Tovar. “The City’s heritage is embodied in the Ronald School Building, Red Brick Road and nearby Historical Museum. Our focus on a sustainable future is showcased by innovative ‘green’ public infrastructure in Town Center like the new City Hall, new Aurora boulevard and new Shorewood High School now under construction. The innovative and streamlined Development Code sets the stage for redeveloping this area over the next 20 years into the vibrant heart of Shoreline.”

The Subarea Plan and District development regulations were reviewed pursuant to the requirements of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). The City adopted the regulations as a SEPA planned action, under RCW 43.21C.031.

As a result, future development proposals within the Town Center boundaries would be exempt from SEPA as long as they follow the Town Center regulations. Those regulations assume up to 1,200 residential units, 200,000 square feet of office and 200,000 square feet of commercial/retail uses within the District.

“Anyone contemplating a multi-million dollar investment in Town Center will find the Subarea Plan a perfect mix of predictability and flexibility,” stated Economic Development Manager Dan Eernissee. “Town Center projects will completely avoid the uncertainties of SEPA review. As for flexibility, city staff is empowered to provide clarification and approval of any proposal that falls within the broad-minded Town Center’s design guidelines.”

Town Center is envisioned to be a neighborhood for the whole City. For more information on the plan and code visit the City website.

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