Shoreline City Council rezones 294 acres in the 185th subarea

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

By Diane Hettrick

In a five hour meeting on Monday night, the Shoreline City Council rezoned 294 acres of Shoreline neighborhoods for high-density, high-rise buildings.

They made no changes to the zoning map mailed out to the 1969 households affected by the zoning and few changes to the development code.

Phase I is to take place immediately, with Phase II in 2021 and Phase III in 2033.

Councilmembers Roberts and Eggen offered around nine amendments, most of which were defeated 4-3.

There was some concern expressed about an amendment by Will Hall to allow research and development and testing labs in MUR 70 zones because it could potentially allow labs with "nasty viruses" in a transit oriented development. McGlashan and Salomon voted no on this, but the others went with the reasoning that wording could be refined at a later date.

Another discussion that was tabled was how to include performing arts events in station areas, without creating excessive noise in the neighborhood.

An amendment by Will Hall passed 6-1. In the MUR 45 and MUR 70 zones, single family homes would NOT require a conditional use permit. Single family houses can continue, be remodeled, rebuilt, but new construction could not be single family.

Councilmember Chris Eggen tried to reduce the size of the rezone to the 3/8s of a mile 'walk shed' but Councilmember McGlashan argued that half a mile was only the distance from the cemetery to the station and that was an easy walk.

Councilmember Roberts introduced a new map with a smaller rezone, but Mayor Winstead felt that it wasn't all that different from the original map. His proposal was defeated 4-3.

Another Hall amendment passed unanimously for 18 units per acre in MUR 45 zones, to encourage new projects to use land efficiently. Houses could be row houses, townhouses - smaller buildings but more units.

At 11:20pm, Councilmember Eggen moved to postpone the vote on Ordinance 706 until 30 days after the Sound Transit EIS was released. The motion failed 4-3.

At 11:40pm, Councilmember Eggen moved that the proposed zoning be scrapped in favor of an overlay process. Overlay is a process whereby a proposed zoning isn't in place until requested. Developers would assemble parcels and then request a rezone. Eggen explained that there would be three overlay zoning areas. First equivalent to phase 1, 2nd six years for Phase 2, 18 years from date of adoption for Phase 3. Applications shall be processed in a streamlined rezone process.

In response, Will Hall said that the proposal had not been reviewed by staff and had not be given to the council to review and study before the meeting. Hall called for a vote. Eggen's overlay motion failed 4-3.

The main motion, Ordinance 706, to adopt the zoning map, passed 5 to 2 with Eggen and McConnell dissenting.

Ordinance 702, Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Land Use Map. After a brief discussion and a couple of successful amendments by Chris Roberts about affordable housing units, alternative energy requirements, and a wording change, 702 passed 5-2 with Eggen and McConnell dissenting, apparently more out of distaste with the whole project rather than specific objections to 702.

The Council spent about five minutes on Ordinance 707, which passed 4-3.

Some comments by Councilmembers during the meeting:

Will Hall said that the status quo cannot be preserved and talked about the environmental benefits of light rail and that new construction would be built to better standards. He said that a bigger area gives more chance for homes to remain undeveloped whereas a more concentrated map ensures that the entire area will be developed.

Jesse Salomon said that if we don't control growth it will spill into rural areas, that growth should be concentrated in areas that make sense, like light rail stations. He said, "I know that people are concerned, but it's not all bad."

Doris McConnell expressed concerns about the size of the rezone. She said she understood that people were just now finding out about it. She said, "We could have shown the community some level of compromise. We are all servants of this community."

Keith McGlashan said that it's about creating living spaces for all. He said it's about creating development in the right place and he believes that the adopted map does just that.

Chris Eggen said he was very disappointed in the council's actions. He said that Councilmembers and staff seem to think there is a large pool of people who support this rezone, but they were not in evidence. Council was led to believe that the 185th Citizens Committee was wildly enthusiastic about the major rezone but that "it’s clear in looking at their records, and comments, that they are not wildly enthusiastic. Most of the people from the neighborhoods have not spoken in favor. I think we're going down the wrong path."

Next the council will deal with the rezone of the 145th Street Station subarea.

Correction: single family homes would NOT require a conditional use permit. 03-17-2015 9:28am
Correction: dissenting votes on the zoning map were Eggen and McConnell. 03-17-2015 9:38am


Anonymous,  March 17, 2015 at 2:27 AM  

You all in the 'gang of four' have committed political suicide. You have a growing contingent of liberals, progressives, democrats, republicans, conservatives, and many more political flavors/combinations who have banded together and found common ground in less than a few months. Be afraid and start tap dancing for that campaign money, because you're going to need it to stop this tidal wave of dissent.

Anonymous,  March 17, 2015 at 2:40 AM  

Councilman McGlashan, you're a foe to the LGBT community. High-density luxury condos by way of six story big boxes ruined Capitol Hill and its culture, arts, & diversity. It brought intolerance, harrassment, and increasing hate crimes to the Hill. Now you've paved the way for this to occur in Shoreline, where many of us were forced out from. Hope you can sleep at night, knowing that you've sold us out.

Anonymous,  March 17, 2015 at 10:21 AM  

Totally agree that the gang of four can start looking for new jobs when next up for election. Way to represent the people....Oh I didn't mean the developer people

Anonymous,  March 17, 2015 at 10:23 AM  

Well, Shoreline was a great city while it lasted.

beowuff,  March 17, 2015 at 10:25 AM  

Thank you, Chris Eggen and Doris McConnell. You are the only people on this counsel who seem to actually care about the community. The rest of you will NEVER receive a vote from me for any form of office ever. Guess it's time to start looking for a new place to live.

Janet Way March 17, 2015 at 10:36 AM  

Good morning Shoreline! It is a new day, and though we have a bump in the road with this hideous decision by the Council we are not done, not by a long shot. I agree Anon 2:27! Great points. We are now United in opposition to the politics of stupidity practiced by the "four."

Also, we must thank the 3 who had the courage to vote no, and against the stupid decisions made last night.

Stay tuned for the next chapter Shoreline! Stay strong! Stay tuned! Stay connected!

Please visit and sign up for updates on the Shoreline Preservation Society website!

Or vist our FB page.

All of you who turned out last night and in the last two months and spoke out are our heroes!

Anonymous,  March 17, 2015 at 11:28 AM  

I have lived in Shoreline for almost 50 years. I think it's better for growth to happen around a light rail station than in a beautiful river valley or present agricultural area. The region voted down a subway system in the mid 60s. It was seen as a no growth referendum. Look at the sprawl and congested roads that brought us. Seattle area has geographic challenges to building more roads and finding places for people to live. I feel for the people who will be unhappy with the character of their neighborhood changing but this has been coming for a long time. I for one will be happy to take light rail to a Huskies game, or downtown shopping, or to the airport.

Anonymous,  March 17, 2015 at 11:28 AM  

Thank you to the council members who SPOKE UP for the community they were sworn to represent. The indignant behavior of the Mayor towards the residents sheds light on the person inside. (Pity her home wasn't in the rezone...)

Greedy, thoughtless, out of touch human beings who should feel deep shame for what they have done. 1969 households affected by the zoning.

ONE THOUSAND, NINE HUNDRED AND SIXTY NINE PROPERTIES x 3 for an average of family size and you have approximately 5907 people or MORE, who will be harassed by developers and will lose all surrounding trees, wildlife and sunlight.

Thank you Mayor Winstead for failing EVERYONE.

Shari's Pledge to Shoreline Residents
As she has proven over these past years as a Shoreline City Councilmember, Shari will continue to:

protect our quality of life
keep our neighborhoods strong and safe
keep our city financially secure
make smart decisions about growth
fight for our fair share of county resources

(All lies)

Anonymous,  March 17, 2015 at 11:37 AM  

Congratulations to the four amigos! You've just won years of STINK EYE from your adoring public.... glares and dirty looks when you're out and about town, at community events, at the farmer's market, or whereever you may wander.

jno62 March 17, 2015 at 12:16 PM  

"an easy walk" I know the majority of the council get in their cars to drive two blocks to the store.


Willie Putterman,  March 17, 2015 at 12:37 PM  

What unbelievable hateful comments from anonymous! Millennials (representing 95 million americans as opposed to the 68 million baby boomers and 89 million Gen X) want to live in walkable, transit-rich neighborhoods that offer access to entertainment, shopping and employment opportunities. Personal vehicles and spacious backyards are less important to Millennials than to Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers. And compared to previous generations, Millennials are far more comfortable with technological innovations that make urban living easier. Congratulations to the future visioning of our progressive Shoreline City Council.

Anonymous,  March 17, 2015 at 1:35 PM  

It couldn't be more obvious that Eggen and McConnell couldn't care less about anything more than their own political career. McConnell doesn't appear to have a basic understanding of anything beyond "yeah, what he said". Agree or disagree, we should applaud the ones who put thought into the issues and vote their views.

David Higgins,  March 17, 2015 at 2:27 PM  

Congratulations to the City Council on the recent victory over more than 1969 households currently squatting on land the city needs to acquire grants to fund the city budget. In this way they have a solution to the current $ 4 million budgetary shortfall which has plagued the city for many years. They have shown that through persistence, the great and powerful city of Shoreline, can take what it wants-even other people’s property-in order to fund city government. With that being noted, my hope is that they will share the newfound wealth. In the zoning ordinance, mechanisms exist to grant 12 years of property tax exemptions to developers who capitalize on the newly available property. I would like to respectfully ask for the same courtesy to those who assist the city in its goals. In return for moving out of Shoreline as requested, I would like to ask that any homeowner who sells to a developer receive a PTE for the year in which they sell. This will help the city in its important goal of connecting a commercial zone between Aurora and North City as was passed on March 16, 2015.

Anonymous,  March 17, 2015 at 2:41 PM  

Here we go again, painting what millennials want with a broad brush based on cherry picked statistics. Shoreline is walkable, livable, bike-able and transit rich.... those in the subarea can walk to 15th or Aurora for shopping. Cramming in a bunch of chicken coops, cutting down the tree cover that helps to maintain our clean air and drainage, displacing wildlife, is not going to make it any more walkable, livable, bike-able than it already is and it will destroy the environment in these parts of the City.

Anonymous,  March 17, 2015 at 3:19 PM  

Future wise also brought you the Point Wells rezone.

Anonymous,  March 17, 2015 at 3:42 PM  

Willie Putterman - there are some mistakes in your assumptions: there will be no major employers included in the rezones, and presently there are no major employers located in Shoreline, therefore, light rail and the rezones will not make Shoreline more walkable to work. Furthermore, these rezones are known around the US as being an engine of economic injustice as they serve only the upper and upper middle class, the economically disadvantaged are forced to live in the outer suburbs, where is your outrage about them? Or are you promoting some kind of social darwinist agenda?

Tom Wallace March 17, 2015 at 4:13 PM  

Willie Putterman: Capitol Hill, Ballard, Fremont, U-District, Beacon Hill. Those are places that may suit your lifestyle better without ruining existing neighborhoods. We've all already bought our houses in Shoreline because we like single family homes and the existing neighborhood. Why ruin an existing neighborhood to conform to your desires when existing neighborhoods already exist like the one you want? I haven't been lobbying Ballard to get rid of all their condos, apartments and townhomes because I want a single family home there. I bought a house in Shoreline instead.

You don't speak for an entire generation of people. Not all millenial/genx/baby boomers want the same thing and it's ridiculous to assume they do. Meanwhile, many people from all generations have been coming out to the council meetings for weeks to voice their opposition to the rezone. The council voted against the wishes of the majority of its constituents. I sincerely hope they and the mayor are not successful in their next campaigns. Vote the bums out.

Write as Rain March 17, 2015 at 4:41 PM  

I'd just like to say I appreciate those of you who are willing to include your names. Thank you.

Anonymous,  March 17, 2015 at 9:52 PM  

I just want to know how anyone's going to drive on 185th from the water to the light rail. From Point Wells, past Aurora, to the big box canyon, it's not going to be much fun.

Anonymous,  March 18, 2015 at 3:26 AM  

Well Tina, would you prefer to appreciate a real name or a fake name? "Willie Putterman" is on the planning commission.

Anonymous,  March 18, 2015 at 10:09 AM  

The city has not produced any research that supports rezoning this extensively. What scanty research has been done supports the opposite (i.e. market assessment, Sound Transit recommendation and “design dialogue” workshops with feedback from the community, developers and real estate professionals). Shoreline would have been better off having a high school class take on researching and planning these rezoning endeavors versus the city staff. We would hopefully have gotten high school level quality at least. I don’t think submitting a paper with just assertions and no evidence supporting my assertions would have ever gotten me a passing grade in middle school even and submitting a paper with assertions that were contradicted by my evidence would definitely have gotten me a failing grade but 4 members of the council feel this faulty workmanship is sufficient to impact thousands of people's lives negatively. Thank you to the other three councilmembers who realized there are flaws in the current plans. - Sarah Jaynes

Anonymous,  March 18, 2015 at 8:16 PM  

I would also like to respond to Willie Putterman with something I wrote to the council for their 2/23/15 meeting.

"In my February 12 comments I said, “I resent the generalizing done of large
demographics of the population. I am a Millennial. I am an older Millennial in her thirties. When I was younger I did live in Seattle and did enjoy an urban lifestyle.
When my husband and I started a family though we had different lifestyle needs and chose to move to the suburbs for the amenities Shoreline could provide.

In fact, all the millennials I know have bought single family detached homes when they started their families. We aren’t descendants of the Rockefellers either but middle class America.

I hope that when you generalize what Millennials like that you control for Millennials without families and those with. Suburbs
were created and became popular for a reason. The reason why people chose them HISTORICALLY are still the same reasons people are choosing them today.
Don’t Millennials deserve the same good schools, yards and safe and peaceful neighborhoods as previous generations have/had?”

Well it appears my personal experience may also be the reality for the majority of
Millennials. A study was brought to my attention done by the National Association of Home Builders with the following excerpt, “A whopping 75 percent of this generation wants to live in single-family homes, and 66 percent of them prefer to live in the suburbs. Only 10 percent say they want to stay in the central city. Compared to older generations, millennials are more likely to want to live downtown, but it’s still a small minority share.” You can read the study
yourself at"

Another study that addresses this issue is

What sources do you rely on when you make your blanket statements about what Millenials want?

Sarah Jaynes

Willie Putterman,  March 18, 2015 at 9:13 PM  

A few sources for Sarah ...
Hannah Ubl, a generational expert at Minneapolis-based Bridgeworks
John Horvick, Director of Research at DHM Research in Portland, Oregon
Richard Trail, director of business development for Siemens
Danny Pleasant, Director of Transportation in Charlotte, North Carolina
Shannon Guzman, policy research analyst, AARP Public Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.

Anonymous,  March 18, 2015 at 10:27 PM  

So I walk with my dog on a leash from Ridgecrest to North City Park, and Costco area - will there be any police out there keeping cars from running me off the road, sliding through red lights when I have the green, failing to yield at crosswalks, and the usual nonsense pedestrians around here have to deal with? Or will all these new occupants be walking to the transit station?

Anonymous,  March 19, 2015 at 1:41 AM  

Hey Putterman, why don't you just drink your Ensure, take your Geritol, and focus on speaking for your own generation. The millennials in the rezone area have spoken out against these overgrown plans.

DKH March 19, 2015 at 10:06 PM  

Please note that I made a correction to the original story. The final vote on the zoning was 5-2 with Hall, McGlashan, Winstead, Roberts, and Salomon voting yes and Eggen and McConnell voting no. The disadvantage of watching on the computer is that it's hard to see who is raising their hands for the vote. - Editor

Anonymous,  March 20, 2015 at 12:16 PM  

Wow, spectacular! More density will bring more demand for area businesses, allowing for more diverse and sepcialized businesses to thrive, benefiting everyone. More eyes on the street and walkable areas will make everyone safer. And more lucky people will get the benefit of living in this wonderful city. Win-win-win!

Anonymous,  March 20, 2015 at 2:28 PM  

What a surprise! STB mentions the Shoreline upzone and lo and behold, here come the comments in favor of this disaster with the same old spiel. These areas of Shoreline are safe, they are walkable, they are livable. They're within walking distance to diverse and specialized businesses (like up the hill in North City,, Artisan meats, the Bistro, Indian Grocery, Italian specialty foods, Filipino restaurant, etc etc etc), and most people aren't opposed to a few businesses near or at the station.

Tom Wallace March 20, 2015 at 2:34 PM  

Win-win-win? Spoken like someone who doesn't live in the affected area. Seems like the area is pretty safe now. I don't think shoehorning thousands more people into the area could possibly make it anything but less safe. This benefits real estate developers and business owners, but absolutely does not benefit anyone who currently lives in the neighborhood. Next week the council will ignore the constituents and destroy the neighborhoods around the 145th light rail station, too.

Anonymous,  March 21, 2015 at 8:50 AM  

Dear NIMBYs: if you don't think land around future LRT stations is suitable for high density development, where do you think high density development should be built?

Anonymous,  March 21, 2015 at 11:36 AM  

I've grown up in Shoreline my entire life, even if that has only been 18 years, but I can say with confidence that this is the best thing the city can do for itself. For everyone complaining about how everyone will be forced out of your homes- you're completely wrong. Developers can't just take your land from you, you have to be willing to sell it. This isn't some eminent domain issue. This will bring tons of new shops, restaurants and other community businesses-something that Shoreline sorely lacks. It will also change up the architecture of the city and finally create somewhat of a skyline. The only human-made aesthetic Shoreline has to offer right now is a ton of mid-century, cookie-cutter, split-level homes, a wide, 7-lane avenue that harbors some sleazy businesses that attract some sleazy people (looking at you, Drift On Inn), and the brand-new, beautiful high school that I attend. In response to the comment saying that Shoreline is walkable, bikeable, and transit-rich, I have to call you out and say absolutely not. While almost entirely lacking bike lanes that protect cyclists, half this city's streets don't even have sidewalks! Are you telling me that your definition of walkable is having to circumnavigate the windy twist and turns and dead-ends of suburbia, on gravel and dirt, is walkable? I look forward to having an actual concentration of cultural institutions near a soon-to-be amazing transit system. If you're against this, I'm sure Spiro's will continue to serve you as the cultural institution of Shoreline for the next 40 years.

Anonymous,  March 21, 2015 at 5:01 PM  

Oh Anon 11:36am, how precious you are. If only you were a real person.

Anonymous,  March 22, 2015 at 8:36 PM  

Anonymous, March 21, 2015 at 8:50 AM:

What is your definition of "land around future LRT stations"? Ashworth is .8 miles away. Is that really land around a future station?

Shoreliners want growth. But we want growth that makes sense and we want plans for growth that will have a high likelihood of succeeding. The fact that you're calling those of us who object to the City's plans NIMBYs indicates that you are missing the points we are trying to make. Bad planning is just that--bad.

Anonymous,  March 30, 2015 at 12:29 PM  

From Stan:
Putterman didn't add the link to his sources:

These people are speakers at a Transit Oriented Development
Conference, and committed adherents to TOD.

Putterman needs to find some unbiased and objective studies that are
not corrupted by propagandist for high-density urbanization who view
the single-family suburbs as a parasitic plague on the environment.

Having your own single-family home is a very natural human desire and
common sense tells me that Sarah Jaynes' view reflects the majority of
her generation, as it has for every American generation. You will not
see the Councilmembers who voted for this moving out of their
single-family homes.

Anonymous,  April 7, 2015 at 7:25 PM

Anandakos April 8, 2015 at 12:56 AM  

Sarah Jaynes,

You are absolutely correct in your analysis that suburbs are popular because the provide a large segment of the population with options for living as they see fit. I think most people would agree to that.

Therefore, it seems obvious that Shoreline as it is now built does not then need, and from the posts on this blog CLEARLY does not want, a Link Station.

Since the budget for completion of Link is about $220 million greater than the expected North King and Snohomish revenues for the construction time period, perhaps omitting the $40 to $50 million dollar station is the right thing to do.

With that everyone wins. Shoreline will not have to go through the painful process of re-zoning a fairly large area with many homes already in it. Sound Transit will reduce its shorfall by 20-25%. There will be roughly 8500 fewer riders per day crossing the 145th screen line into Seattle, allowing for a more radical and effective bus restructuring within the city, perhaps enough of a reduction that Sound Transit will consider the Ballard-UW option in ST3 a viable replacement for Ballard-Downtown.

It would be about a billion dollars less expensive to just build Ballard-UW rather than just Ballard-Downtown. The route is shorter and requires no new crossing of the Ship Canal. It actually intercepts MORE bus lines for riders to and from UW, thus stimulating more all-day bus ridership, the cheapest sort to provide and the most effective at shaping an urban core.

If you insist that the NE 185th area not be up-zoned to maximize the investment in Link, you should not then object to deleting or at the very least deferring the station there, which will be relatively little-used without the up-zone.

It's only good-government to defer spending on something which is only speculatively likely to produce public goods.

Anonymous,  April 9, 2015 at 10:41 AM  

"Think Millennials Prefer The City? Think Again."

Disgruntled Taxpayer,  April 9, 2015 at 11:42 PM  

If developers get a Property Tax Exemption for 12 years, I want a PTE for all the years I have to live (until I die) in this despicable Urban Canyon you plan to build! You ridiculous, uninformed, uncaring and unprofessional people.

Anonymous,  December 20, 2016 at 3:17 PM  

This upzoning is a terrible idea. These towering, stack-and-pack rabbit hutches will be simultaneously empty and full. First off, they will be empty because millenials actually want to live in single-family homes. Secondly, they will be so full that all of our roads and schools will be overwhelmed by these crowds of millenials!

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