Shoreline Planning Commission to discuss Sound Transit Light Rail Facilities Permitting Processes

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Shoreline Planning Commission will meet on Thursday, January 7, at 7pm in Shoreline City Hall Council Chambers, 17500 Midvale Ave N. Meetings are open to the public, streamed live on computer, and archived online.

The purpose of the meeting is to continue the discussion from December 17th, debating the various options for processing permits related to Sound Transit’s light rail facilities in Shoreline. We will
explain the differences between Special Use Permits and Legislative Decisions and how these two processes apply to Sound Transit. We will also explain how the Commission can be involved in the regulation and design of the stations and the garages.

Light rail service is scheduled to begin in 2023. Based on Sound Transit’s latest schedule, review of architectural and engineering designs for the stations, garages and other associated light rail facilities will start as early as 2016. When the City adopted the 185th Street Light Rail Station Subarea Plan, a permitting process was put in place in the Development Code to review the stations, garages and associated facilities for compliance with Shoreline’s goals, policies and regulations.

Further legal review, revealed that process, Development Agreement, is not the appropriate mechanism to approve the use of a light rail system and facilities.

Additionally, the City augmented the existing Commercial design regulations to implement the 185th Street Light Rail Station Subarea Plan. These regulations include building materials, colors, textures, openings, and modulations.

Twelve pages of details here


  • January 21, 2016  - Planning Commission Public Hearing 
  • February 8, 2016 - City Council discussion 
  • February 29, 2016  - City Council adoption


Anonymous,  December 31, 2015 at 11:12 PM  

The takeaway here? 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!

One planning commissioner actually suggested a zoning overly of MUR-70 (seven stories) ALL ALONG the light rail line. Basically, a big chunk on the East side of I-5 from South border to North border to "fix" this little "oversight".

And instead of address impacts to trees along the lines and the sound barrier with these next sets of decisions, they're being put off to some later date.

Some of the comments on this PlanCom Meeting Agenda regarding 'those pesky citizens" are a complete joke. What a lack of decorum and professionalism. Pitiful.

• Difficult for Council members to assert control over Citizen comments that may be off topic, overlong, abusive or otherwise contrary to a well-run process

• Planning Commission (made up of Citizens) might be more easily swayed by public opinion than the Hearing Examiner, who is independent and familiar with such reviews and public testimony regarding specific projects

• Citizens will likely be confused about difference between “open record” evidentiary hearing and “closed record” argument before Council

• Likely to be a frustrating process for Sound Transit, given the likely
politicization of the process (Awwww... poor Sound Transit!)

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.

Janet Way January 1, 2016 at 11:37 AM  

Great points Anonymous!

We should be very, very vigilant here! Why is the rushing forward with this "Design" issue for Light Rail Stations?

What is to become of the many critical areas in the Station Area and Light Rail Route? There are wetlands and creeks, steep slopes and other concerns to be dealt with properly and protected.

Hey Planning Commission! I hope you will go a different direction than the Council and continue to allow as much public comment and participation as possible, including extra time for Non-profits to speak!

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