Letter to the Editor: Will we care when the trees are gone?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

To the Editor:

On Thursday, June 21, 2018, at the Shoreline Planning Commission Meeting, several citizens shared their thoughts about the MUR 70 tree code. After hearing the public and receiving more information from city staff, the Planning Commission supported option 1(see below), which also is supported by city staff.

Option 1: Exempt MUR-70’ from the Tree Code but allow MUR-70’ development to get bonuses in height, setbacks, and parking standards for retaining and replacing required trees.

Staff recommends Option 1 for the following reasons:

· It maintains the development potential of the MUR-70’ zone as adopted to implement the 185th and 145th Street Station Subarea Plans while using incentives to create the potential for greater tree retention and replacement;

· The Comprehensive Plan policies strongly support the full development of the Station Areas as urban, transportation-oriented development with people, jobs, and activities;

· Developers have provided staff with feedback that not permitting Tree Code exemption within the MUR-70’ zone will thwart the planned redevelopment; and

· Required landscaping standards will fill the remaining open space with trees that can adapt to the new environment and help succeed and replenish the existing, aging tree canopy.

Some facts:

· MUR 70 is roughly 200 acres of land

· 32% of this area has tree canopy = 63 acres

· This option exempts developers from retaining or replanting trees.

· Hamlin Park is 80.4 acres. This may give you a visual of what 63 acres of tree loss will be.

· The canopy loss in the MUR 70 rezone will not include the canopy loss that will also happen in the MUR 35’-45’ rezone.

On Monday, June 30th, the supported recommendation was presented to Shoreline City Council, and on Monday, August 13th, the Shoreline City Council will decide on the MUR 70 tree code. Prior to the August 13th date, the community has time to voice their thoughts about the MUR 70 tree code.

If you feel led to share your thoughts, please contact the City Council at council@shorelinewa.gov, or attend the Council Meeting on Monday, August 13th, at 7pm to voice your thoughts.

Meghan Peterka


Anonymous,  July 8, 2018 at 11:51 PM  

This letter was well balanced with facts and trade offs, and an invitation to civic input. I appreciate the tone and look forward to a reasonable debate. It would be nice if there is a middle ground. Obviously we will lose some trees in multi family areas, but why not require replacement?

Anonymous,  July 8, 2018 at 11:54 PM  

Well said!

Anonymous,  July 9, 2018 at 6:48 PM  

Sadly,the trees are already gone.

Anonymous,  July 10, 2018 at 12:14 PM  

I guess my concern is that the City Council doesn't want to recognize that development is going to happen, even if they refuse to sweeten the pot for developers. Growth in our region shows no sign of slowing down. There was a lot of complaining when the proposed development at NE 165th and 5th NE was slowed and Trader Joe's opted out - but look how successful they are in the location on 175th! It took a few years longer, but it happened. Get a clue, Council.

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