Shoreline Council to discuss design guidelines for Shoreline Light Rail stations at Monday dinner meeting

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015 – Special Meeting 5:45pm
Shoreline City Hall,  17500 Midvale Ave N, Room 303

- Design Guidelines for Sound Transit Stations in Shoreline - page 5-7 has specifics of (draft) guiding principles.

Staff and public review of designs for Sound Transit Lynnwood Link Light Rail stations, garages and the associated light rail facilities will begin in 2016. The City adopted a Light Rail design review process in late August; however, Council has not yet provided guidance on what types of design components are important.

In order to provide guidance regarding the City's preference on the design of the stations, parking garages, and associated facilities, staff is proposing that Council adopt Light Rail Design Guiding Principles (Guiding Principles) to guide City staff and as input to Sound Transit.

Design Review Public Process
At the August 31 Council meeting, Council approved a public involvement process regarding the design of Sound Transit facilities in Shoreline, including the light rail stations, public spaces, 185th and 195th Street bridges, parking garages, and other features. Under this process, the City will host a preliminary open house in late January or early February to introduce the design process to residents and explain how their input could impact design.

The City will then coordinate on joint open houses with Sound Transit at the various stages of design at 30%, 60%, 90% complete design phases to receive public input. The City’s intent is to receive ideas and concerns regarding the design of the light rail facilities to inform its formal response to Sound Transit’s design proposals. The goal of each open house will be to solicit comments from the public on the project for both Sound Transit and Council.

Following each phase of Sound Transit Open Houses and staff group meetings, City staff will review comments and provide a recap of the Open House and recommended response letter to the Council for their review and approval.

Guiding Principles
Staff is proposing the attached draft Guiding Principles (Attachment A, p 5-7) as guidance to City staff and input to Sound Transit during the design process. The principles are designed to capture both Council’s and the public's interest in how the facilities will look and function once completed.

While the City has design standards for commercial development, there isn’t anything related to transit facilities, specifically light rail. The stations at 145th and 185th and the associated facilities (parking garages, landscaping, 195th St. pedestrian bridge, etc.) will be the gateways to Shoreline for anyone riding light rail. These facilities will also be gathering places for the community, and as such, should integrate with our communities in a positive way.

The way the design review process is structured, Council and the public will be responding to the designs only at major milestone phases (30%, 60%, and 90%). However, staff will be working closely with Sound Transit staff on a weekly (if not more) basis providing input throughout the design process. Adopting Guiding Principles will provide staff a framework of what’s important to Council and Shoreline residents during the review process.

Additionally, the Guiding Principles will provide context for Council’s review at the design phases – the comments would likely utilize the Guiding Principles and how the designs reflect the City’s expectations. This will also provide a framework of the City’s interests for Sound Transit staff in their work.

Design Concepts
To put together the draft Guiding Principles, staff reviewed previous Council resolutions, comment letters, and design related discussions with the public that addressed Sound Transit. These design concepts are the starting point of the conversation, and staff is looking for Council’s reactions and suggestions during the discussion.

The draft includes the main principles with examples, both to help illustrate the principle and to provide context and definition. The main principles include:

  1. Sustainability – to employ sustainable, low impact and climate friendly practices;
  2. Multi-modal Stations – stations should function as full service transit hubs;
  3. Mobility – to accommodate all people with mobility challenges;
  4. Light Rail Stations/Facilities Design – connect to the surrounding community to encourage and enhance vibrant, livable and sustainable stations;
  5. Public Amenities – stations should be gathering places that create a sense of community and emphasizes the arts, culture and history of the community; and
  6. Public Safety – facilities should be safe, welcoming areas for all ages at all times.
  7. Public Art – integrate elements of art wherever possible.

Next Steps
Council will hold an initial discussion on draft Guiding Principles and provide staff any feedback. The next step is to publish the Guiding Principles as part of the City open house to kick off the design process. Staff and Council will take input from the public on the principles during the open house and in writing before and after.

Staff will then organize comments received from the Council, public, and partners and present final draft Guiding Principles for Council review and potential approval after the kick off but prior to the Sound Transit design open houses.

Staff anticipates coming to Council within a month of the open house with a resolution proposing to adopt Guiding Principles based on all the feedback received.


Janet Way November 27, 2015 at 7:29 AM  

Again, OUTRAGEOUS that Council thinks it is acceptable to discuss such an important topic at a " dinner meeting" where few public members attend or can comment and where there is no TV broadcast. City Council, your "Public involvement policy" is a very sick joke. Not funny!

Anonymous,  November 27, 2015 at 8:20 PM  

Perhaps if the City hadn't been so singularly focused on the over-development of Shoreline and trying to combat, mischaracterize, and downright LIE to the public and news outlets about those in favor of reasonable upzoning for the light rail areas... efforts that were practically on par with proselytizing for mega-density... maybe the cart wouldn't have been put before the horse? Why in the world was a PAO passed and upzone approved when the design standards for the actual rail line, stations, parking garage, etc.haven't even been nailed down. We need light rail and it seems as if this is a huge ball that has been dropped on the City's part as they were too busy trying to convince the public (and spending public money on said efforts) to convince everyone that those in favor of a more reasonable upzone were really just "anti-railers" and "afraid of change". Puh-leaze!

What seems to be missing in this agenda document is what's to become of the zoning and land use designations for the numerous properties adjacent to the light rail line and leftover property from partial property acquisitions. That was a part of this topic when it was brought before the planning commission, and now... it's mysteriously missing.

Again, what's the plan for tree replacement and sound barrier replacement for the East side of I-5? If a single property owner wanted to wipe out all the trees in just one of the affected parcels, there would be a pretty penny to pay. We need to hold Sound Transit accountable for their footprint on our local environment. The City has proven that they're more than willing to lay back and let ST take whatever it wants.

Anonymous,  November 29, 2015 at 11:58 AM  

Driving down 145th is an eye sore and a pain just to get to I-5. So if the city wants to hold meetings to discuss making 145th easier to commute via automobile, biking, and walking, I'm all for it! The Aurora corridor through Shoreline turned out wonderful! I love the fact that we have council and staff that want to make the city a better place to live and commute! Hooray for Shoreline!

Anonymous,  November 29, 2015 at 12:46 PM  

If Ms. Way would take the time to read the materials published for this meeting, she would see this is a very preliminary meeting - the public process, including open houses, where the public will be educated and informed on the process, starts in 2016. There is nothing funny about all the work the Council and staff put into making the right decisions and being fully informed. What is a joke is people who criticize without understanding the process. The same way Ms. Way operated as a Council member - and the reason she was unelected. She seems to believe that her opinions are the only ones that matter. Not so.

Anonymous,  December 31, 2015 at 11:05 PM  

@ anon 12:46pm - the public being "educated and informed on the process" is completely opposite from a public process and the public having the opportunity to provide input.

And actually, "all the work" that Council and staff have put into the decision and direction this City has gone this past year are a total joke, completely hilarious, and for a majority of them... completely uninformed and just blindly following the special interests of... special interests. I suggest you look a little more closely and make sure you really "understand the process". At the very least, you'd be able to speak the issues instead of just slinging mud at those who disagree with you.

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