Letter to the Editor: Shoreline is not a rural town

Thursday, October 6, 2016

To the Editor:

Steven Barry (10/6) asks if we’re “really willing to give control over the whole city to just seven individuals,” and why the rezone and the broader question of increased density “wasn’t put to a vote by the residents of Shoreline.” He seems to be unclear on the concept of representative democratic government. This is the kind of thing governments do. If you don’t like it, you can vote out the City Council. Have at it. You could even take the direct-democratic route of putting an initiative on the ballot to rescind the rezone. But to convince the rest of us you’ll have to come up with a better plan.

As for “the false assumption that more density is unavoidable,” how is it not unavoidable if the population of the Metro area keeps increasing? Barry seems to think Shoreline can dig a moat and raise battlements against the world. Even if we could, all that would happen would be skyrocketing property prices and people of modest means being forced out of the city. That’s what’s happening all over the region, and refusal to increase density only exacerbates the problem. There certainly “will be homeless people walking the streets” (wait — there already are), and little mid-century starter houses being torn down and replaced by McMansions on more and more expensive land (like now and worse, like in Vancouver BC, which is the most expensive city on the West Coast).

“Where will they park,” etcetera? Well, that’s just the kind of thing we elect a city government to work out! That’s what it’s for! Yes, there will have to be more schools and other public services. They’ll be paid for with taxes on the new residents — that’s called expanding the tax base, and it’s a normal part of urban growth.

Like it or not, Shoreline isn’t a small rural town, it’s part of a growing metropolitan area. I can easily understand people who have lived here for decades being unhappy about that, but no, it is inevitable— unless we want a declining economy, which wouldn’t make things any easier. People are being forced out of small rural towns for that very reason — and coming here.

Chris Nielsen



Denise Estes,  October 6, 2016 at 3:59 PM  

You're right. Shoreline is no longer a rural town. Because of all the transplants from other cities and states, those of us who were born here, grew up here and had hopes of retiring here some of us will no longer afford to continue live here. Just remember when a city grows too big too fast, it will also fail. Fast. I'm afraid this is just the beginning of the end of Shoreline, which I think is very sad to say the least.

Anonymous,  October 6, 2016 at 4:11 PM  

Chris, You have incorrectly stated the following about school funding:
"Yes, there will have to be more schools and other public services. They’ll be paid for with taxes on the new residents"
WRONG! Developers and their new residents are being given 10-12 year tax breaks. So current residents will be funding the growth.
Maria Bole

Anonymous,  October 6, 2016 at 7:48 PM  

Judging from the restaurants in Shoreline...we're still a rural town.

Anonymous,  October 8, 2016 at 11:56 PM  

Shoreline hasn't been a rural "town" since the 1940s. It is a suburb. If you haven't noticed, it borders the largest city in the state. To blame the growth of the region simply on "transplants" is very naive. Either your city grows and your economy thrives or you become the next Detroit.

Anonymous,  October 9, 2016 at 10:21 AM  

Shoreline has alwaus been a suburb of Seattle, and the Seattle economy is doing just fine.

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