Public hearing on Aurora Square Community Renewal Area Thursday

Monday, January 26, 2015

Aurora Square is the business center anchored by Sears. 

Thanks to Richmond Highlands Neighborhood Association for this article.

Planning Commission Public Hearing on the Aurora Square Community Renewal Area Thursday, January 29 at 7pm, Shoreline City Hall Council Chambers, 17500 Midvale Ave North 

In order to create Planned Action Ordinance No. 705, Staff is addressing comments and recommendations made during the DEIS comment period (which ended January 12, 2015), as well as reflecting the mitigation measures identified in the DEIS. This staff report is being circulated to the Planning Commission prior to when the draft of Ordinance No. 705 will be complete; however, the draft of Ordinance No. 705 will be ready for review by the Planning Commissioners by close of business on the 27th of January. In the meantime, Staff encourages the Planning Commission to review the two documents that will form the basis for Ordinance No. 705, namely the DEIS draft of the Planned Action Ordinance (Attachment C) and the Summary Matrix of Mitigation Measures (Attachment D); both were published in the DEIS on December 12, 2014. 

Here's the plan.
Here's the agenda

Shoreline’s City Council adopted Resolution 333 on September 4, 2012, thereby creating the Aurora Square Community Renewal Area (CRA). The CRA establishes that economic renewal of the 70+ acre Aurora Square commercial area is clearly in the public interest. On July 7, 2013, the Council adopted the Aurora Square CRA Renewal Plan to outline how the City proposed to bring renewal. With the CRA and Renewal Plan in place, the Shoreline Office of Economic Development is freed to work in cooperation with the Aurora Square property owners to bring renewal to the CRA. 

Why a CRA at Aurora Square?

RCW 35.81 describes what an area that needs economic renewal looks like, and Council affirmed that four of the five reasons aptly describe Aurora Square:
  1. “Old, obsolete buildings” such as the vacant Sears Catalogue Sales building and the three vacant buildings on the Joshua Green triangle. The Sears retail building, while occupied, reflects a Sears of decades ago rather than a structure it would build today.
  2. “Defective or inadequate street layout” and “faulty lot layout” is readily apparent at Aurora Square. Shoppers cannot walk or drive easily between buildings, and traffic on Aurora and N 160th Street has difficulty accessing the site. In addition, the lot layout and topography of the site work against the retail function of the businesses.
  3. “Excessive land coverage” at Aurora Square is evident in acres of parking in inaccessible or unnecessary locations, a lack of landscaping, and inadequate storm water management that poses costly hurdles for additional development.
  4. “Diversity of ownership” at Aurora Square—which has ten different ownership groups— results in the inability to make changes at the speed necessary to respond to opportunities.
Aurora Square faces daunting challenges which developed over decades, leaving a center that is difficult to navigate with disconnected islands of buildings. What’s more, current building and storm water laws add more challenges to those demanded by today’s lifestyles and customers. Together, these challenges stymied redevelopment, limited reinvestment and produced poor sales, values and rents. 


Anonymous,  February 1, 2015 at 9:47 PM  

I hope that this can be the effort that's finally successful in overhauling Aurora Square...fingers crossed!

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