City answers citizens' questions about rezones

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The March issue of Currents, the newsletter from the City Shoreline which is mailed to all houses on a monthly basis, has more than a page of answers to frequently asked questions about the light rail stations.

The article is on page 6 and 7 of the March 2015 Currents.

Some excerpts:

Why does the zoning around light rail need to be so intensive?

The Puget Sound region is growing. The Growth Management Act (GMA), adopted in 1990, keeps growth to urban and developed areas, preventing it from sprawling into our valuable natural areas. As a result, already established urban areas will need to absorb the growth. This includes

Shoreline is a first tier suburb located within 25 miles of major job centers north, south, and east. With the addition of light rail, Shoreline will become an even more desirable place to live. The question is whether to allow the growth to occur haphazardly throughout the City, or to plan for it and focus it in those areas that make sense, such as around transit corridors. Concentrating growth around transit hubs will allow the City to better plan for and serve the growing population, it will help reduce Shoreline's greenhouse gas emissions, it will increase the likelihood of more amenities coming to Shoreline, and it will allow for more housing choices over time. 

Why such a rush to do this now when light rail will not be here for another eight years?

While it is true that light rail will not start running for another eight years, we want to be sure we are ready for it when it does. The City will need to make infrastructure improvements to accommodate new development, even with limited increases in density.

Making such improvements will take time to plan and construct. We also need to conduct traffic corridor studies to find the best ways to accommodate increased traffic from development. These will take money. Grant funding paid for approximately 88% of the entire Aurora Corridor Project. In order to be competitive for grants to make improvements around the station areas in the coming years, we need to have plans in place now. Most of all, the City desires to provide predictability for current property owner.


Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 2:15 AM  

20 Years as a City - HOT TUB TIME MACHINE!

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 4:45 AM  

The rezones exceed by thousands the GMA allocation Shoreline receives from the Puget Sound Regional Council. This is nothing but propaganda from City Hall. The existing Aurora Corridor rezones already could handle 20 years of GMA assigned growth from the Puget Sound Regional Council.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 5:13 AM  

I do not appreciate this misleading piece of propaganda. The city is using GMA to justify the rezones which is baloney. Shoreline already easily meets it's GMA goals and could continue to meet them without the rezones. Additionally a lender will look at your property's best use and what the surrounding neighborhood looks like. Once that use is high density development they will eventually stop lending for single family homes.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 6:29 AM  

Keep selling it Shoreline! Keep that Propaganda Department revved up. Because you are losing ground each and every day. The citizens are not buying it!

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 6:30 AM  

I learned some time ago that nothing coming from this city council is to be believed. From the takeover of the water system, to the takeover of Ronald Wastewater, to the Point Wells project, to this, they've proven they're all about putting money into the city coffers. Quality of life for Shoreline residents be damned.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 6:33 AM  

Here is a false and misleading statement from Currents - Will my property taxes go up? Of course they will. King County taxes your property based on its zoning at its highest and best use. If your home is currently zones single-family it is taxed at that rate. However, if it is rezoned at a higher density, you will be taxed at a different rate based on its highest and best use even if you are a single family home.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 7:32 AM  

The King County Assessor website provides the best explanation.

Single-family homes are taxed at a residential rate:

Every 6 years they reassess your property based on market value.

However, with the rezone, your property will become commercial and a different set of rules will apply:

Here is the money quote in the very first line: "Commercial property is assessed each year at full market value, which is defined as the amount a buyer, willing but not obligated to buy, would pay to a seller willing but not obligated to sell."

So, if you decide not to sell but other properties in the local area are selling, your property taxes will go up as developers grab up other homes for redevelopment and reset your taxes based on the new zoning for commercial properties as proposed in the light rail rezone plans.

In the area of the light rail stations developers are already buying properties so they can get them cheap.

The City of Shoreline are experts in lies.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 7:43 AM  

This article is a joke - the City needs to make infrastructure improvements!

There are NO infrastructure improvements included in the EIS. There are no provisions for new fire stations, more police, more schools, more parks, nothing.

All the city plans on doing is raising utility rates and utility taxes for the developers to use to "build out" the rezoned areas on the backs of the remaining single-family home owners. Not only does the city propose destroying neighborhoods for developers, but they expect the remaining home owners to subsidize the water and sewer improvements for the developers to move into the rezoned areas.

In essence, the City wants the 1% to evict the middle-class home owners to put in place renters while the 1% becomes the majority property owners in Shoreline. That is economic INjustice.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 8:25 AM  

Why have I not seen a map of this rezone? How do I find out if my property is within the boundaries?

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 9:15 AM  

Urban utopian experiment on Shoreline residents' backs. Hi-rise tenement districts in the making, surrounding the train stations. The 185th station is isolated from the freeway system and surrounded by residential streets, light rail dependent transit population or big dollar integration infrastructure re-make?
The 145th station will garner most of the commuter traffic, has connection to I-5 freeway. Where's the street system to direct overflow to the 185th station?

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 9:46 AM  

The city can't force you to sell your home, they can take it through eminent domain for city development projects though, just as Sound Transit is doing for the homes in the path of the light way.
What WILL happen though is single-family homes or groups of single family homes with be bought, demolished, and replaced with 45'-85' high mixed-use retail building. So they are being disengenuous by acting like the city is doing "nothing" to take your homes or neighborhoods. They are opening the floodgates to developers waiting to ruin our beautiful single-family residential neighborhoods, just so the city can make more $$$. Maybe the City Council should stop buying utilities and trying to own everything, then our budget would stay sound.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 10:05 AM  

You should eventually be able to see the lastest version of the rezoning map at:

A new map was voted for on 2/23/15 but it is still not available to the majority of the public. The council also voted to have the city staff send a mailing to all households in the rezone area to notify them and include the new map. I haven't received anything about that either. I guess the city staff has been too busy writing inaccurate propaganda for Currents to do their job.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 10:37 AM  

What the City Council doesn't get is, WE LOVE OUR NEIGHBORHOODS! We don't want to move! We don't care if our property values go up, this only matters if we plan on moving. Shoreline is awesome because people stay in their homes for long periods of time, really creating a sense of family and community.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 10:53 AM  

In 2015, there is no need to rezone beyond the 700 properties that Sound Transit has already identified near the stations for development over the next 20 years. All other rezoning should be considered AFTER these close-in areas are established and beginning to thrive. All other rezoning has NOTHING to do with light rail--it is happening because Shoreline is going broke. Homeowners in the rezones will pay higher taxes to make up for all the businesses/developers who receive property tax exemptions for 12 years. How many businesses in Shoreline are even paying taxes now? I'm guessing only those that have been here at least a decade.

David Higgins,  March 4, 2015 at 11:04 AM  

Foremost in the deception is the implication that this is prompted by light rail. Even the agitprop slogan "Light Rail is Coming" deceives by trying to link the rezoning to the light rail. While the coming light rail stations are a great cover, they are not the motivation for the land grab. The current rezone has nothing to do with light rail or the station areas. If it were, the rezone area would be 10% of its current size. Instead it is an attempt by the city to grow the revenue base. The city hopes to be able to receive grants for development of infrastructure through density bonuses.The plans to connect Aurora to I-5 and further to North City has been in the planning and goals of the city council long before the approval of light rail in 2008. In addition, the stated goal of expanding 'town center' has been a large part of city planning since the inception of the city. At least Councilmember Hall has the decency to admit as much in his comments on 2/23/2015. The letter from the city still tries to evade these facts in promotion of the carving of an urban center out of neighborhoods. I prefer the frank admission of Mr. Hall that these are not my neighborhoods; they are the city's neighborhoods.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 11:15 AM  

The creation of an urban center was the excuse given when the city created the Town center a few years ago and rezoned large blocks of single-family houses on Midvale and Linden plus surrounding streets a few years ago and Will Hall said that the rezone would save trees in other areas. Guess what, I don't care about trees in other areas, I care about where I live. And in those other areas (he must mean Alaska or Northern Idaho since other areas in Central Puget Sound are busy rezoning for light rail and cutting down their trees) they aren't rezoning 1/3-1/2 of the entire city.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 11:40 AM  

Relax the city won't use eminent domain or force you to move...BUT if you can't afford your property tax and need to sell, well that's your choice. And a developer will be waiting to give you bottom dollar.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 12:19 PM  

The city WILL use eminent domain to redevelop the actual 145th and 185th streets. Will Hall has told people this.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 12:22 PM  

The only people who support these plans are a very small, but vocal minority. The Shoreliners who oppose this are in the majority and that majority is growing by the day. We're not going away after March, we're not going away 6 months from now, we're not going away a year from now, we're not going away after 2023.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 12:24 PM  

The City will also use eminent domain to open up the street grid for new roads, alleys, paths, and walkways.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2015 at 1:07 PM  

The City has already invoked the power of eminent domain over the business owners at Aurora Square, wake up people, the City has already started on eminent domain.

In fact, the City thinks it can claim eminent domain over WSDOT! Is that a hoot! WSDOT at Aurora Square is the regional emergency center but Dan Eernissee fancies it as a movie production studio, he would rather see a studio and thinks he can give WSDOT the boot even though the regional emergency center serves several counties.

The Community Renewal Area statute allows the City to declare an area blighted and subject to eminent domain proceedings, allowing the city to use whatever means necessary to take private property and repurpose according to their plan.

Anonymous,  March 5, 2015 at 2:55 PM  

I say make the Shoreline Center an urban village with high rise residential buildings in the range of 20 to 30 stories. All the urban growth can be concentrated in this area and most of the existing housing on the east side of I-5 can remain. Developers would be incentivized to create space for the community center, gym, pool, and retail space for the benefit of the whole community. Sounds like a win for every interest involved and imagine the views from the top units!

Anonymous,  March 5, 2015 at 8:30 PM  

Who started and funded the 185thCC and 145thCC? Here is the proof, Futurewise funded by the PSRC:

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