Development on Linden: ModeraShoreline - report from community meeting

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Architect's drawing for planned ModeraShoreline
By Shaun Kerins

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 was a second community meeting for Mill Creek Residential (MCR) North building.

The first attempt had technical issues so MCR scheduled another meeting at the request of the neighborhood.

The presenter was Matt Quigley, Development Associate for MCR, with Cara Lee, Sr. Planner for Shoreline’s Planning and Community Development. 

Mr. Quigley reviewed the current plans for a 7-story, 399 apartment, and 450 parking stalls replacing the current Garden Park Apartments along Linden. 

After the development and timeline presentation, the majority of the meeting was public comment about the proposed development at 17802 Linden Ave N.

Mr. Quigley presented::
  • Proposed Timeline
    • Permit to Shoreline, January 2023
    • Construction Start, 1st Quarter 2023
    • Completed, 3rd Quarter 2025
  • Current design building specifications. Described building as three sections (South, Middle, North):
    • South has a 6-floor Linden side going up to 7-floors - section is a straight rise on Linden.
Architect's rendering of proposed South building

    • Middle– 7-floors on Linden - straight rise from street
Architect's drawing of Middle building

    • North within R4 /R6 housing codes on Linden - stepped design to 7-stories - requires greater setbacks from Linden
North building design

Matt Quigley stated MCR will submit proposed development plans in June, along with required SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act). The SEPA checklist will be submitted at the same time as the building permits. 

This requires a notice of application to all property owners within 500 feet of the site, a property notice sign, and a notice in the Seattle Times. The building permit AND SEPA will be posted on the City’s Land Use Notices webpage and SEPA Register webpage. There will be a 14-day public comment period.

MCR supplied recordings of both meetings: April 6th (a partial) and May 10th (entirety).

The portal for leaving comments opened March 21st and remains open.


Anonymous,  May 22, 2022 at 3:51 PM  

Will there be any senior designated units available on a limited income?

Derek Blackwell,  May 23, 2022 at 2:28 AM  

If this project goes forward, almost fifty, majestic, beautiful, healthy trees would be cut down, most of these Douglas Firs, the town of Shoreline Tree. Here are pictures of the trees at current development, Garden Park Apartments.

But there are greater problems with safety. The development proposed is excessively large for the surroundings. Access is only possible from the west side, on Linden Ave N, a two lane street, and Mill Creek propose only one vehicle entrance for 450 underground parking spaces. This would cause traffic bottlenecking interfering with emergency vehicle response, as well as undue noise and air pollution from vehicles waiting in line. This could be lessened by an additional vehicle entrance (which Mill Creek announced they will not provide) and by reducing the size of this gargantuan structure, almost 500 feet long. Vehicle access to Aurora Ave N would help alleviate congestion; the southern end of the property would be ideal, but that would necessitate gaining a right of way through Shoreline Fire Department property, so obviously not an option.

Linden Ave N is an arterial for two fire stations, on N 175th St (directly adjacent to the construction site on the southeast corner, although not mentioned in the publicly available plan), and N 185th St (about 300 feet from Linden Ave). For years to come Shoreline would risk fatalities and injuries due to delayed emergency vehicles, frustrated drivers at peak hours, and pedestrian hazards nearby Shorewood High School (about 300 feet south of the proposed construction) and Ronald Commons, home to a disadvantaged/disabled community (about 200 feet north of the proposed construction).

There are a number of other large residential buildings being planned within just a few blocks of this, and city center, which together would cause extreme traffic congestion. Is it coincidence the announcement for Brea Apartments, also on Linden Ave N, just one short block away from the proposed site, came out just four days after the Mill Creek meeting? 386 units are proposed, but at least there is vehicle access to both Linden Ave N and Aurora Ave N. The Mill Creek proposal is exceptional in that it is very ill suited for the surroundings.

The plan is to welcome lots of cars. The building site is a short walk to several buslines on Aurora Ave N and would be ideal for affordable housing, but this advantage is not being made use of. The proposal calls for the minimum number of affordable units, more parking spaces (450) than units (399), a pet spa, and a barbecue area. This is intended to be an upscale development and would invite many Amazon delivery vehicles to exacerbate the situation.

Mill Creek proposes to stretch city code to it's limit, take out a substantial hill to make a pit for two levels of underground parking, and not make use of the existing, park like, landscape, which could command a higher price for a nicer environment if upscale housing is what they seek to build. The proposal calls for every possible square inch of space to be used for one giant building, leaving no room for any existing trees; but it's beyond inappropriate, it poses too many hazards.

One important point is that the meeting was held at 8pm(!). At the start of the meeting we were joined by almost 50 people. By the end most had dropped out. The earlier meeting not only had technical issues, but very was poorly publicized. Mill Creek is a Boca Raton, FL company and has developed in Redmond, Sammamish and Lacey; they seem to know exactly what they're doing in terms of minimizing public discussion. I encourage those with concerns to contact City of Shoreline Council and Planning.

Anonymous,  May 23, 2022 at 2:10 PM  

Sorry, I have not asked Mill Creek OR heard them mention senior units. You (Anonymous) should post that good question at comment area. Mill Creek did mention that they will follow Shoreline City codes as they will make 20% of the units lower income available. So, just under 40 units will be meet Shoreline code.

Cynthia Marsh May 23, 2022 at 4:53 PM  

As a family who live fewer than 300 feet from the south corner of the proposed Moderna building, we are gearing up for 2.5 years of development disrupting our lives and those of our neighbors. Now I look out our windows and enjoy sky and trees that reach to the sky, it seems. The trees will be gone, replaced by a crane, then concrete and metal.
We welcome change, and more people into this little corner of Shoreline. We want additional housing. However, the main complaint is that this development is a monstrosity, jammed into a small area, on a small street, with little transition into the single family and smaller apartment dwellings around it. It does not fit.

Kathy Lockwood,  May 23, 2022 at 7:49 PM  

No one should be removing healthy mature trees anymore unless it is absolutely necessary. There is always a way to preserve the trees, even if it appears to cost more money initially. The trees are what makes a community more livable and attractive. Coincidentally, the May issue of National Geographic is devoted to saving forests. Tree destruction and death is an issue worldwide, but we have to start at home, in our city, which boasts a logo featuring three trees, and every time I see it, I want to shout, "B*ll$h#t!" Our city is not prioritizing trees (a free way to remove carbon from the atmosphere and to help filter runoff), rather the city is prioritizing giant, impersonal development blocks that don't even have any kind of retail on the ground level. Therefore, they are not only ruining the landscape, they aren't even bringing any kind of useful commerce or life to the neighborhood. Instead, they just bring more anonymity, loss of urban tree canopy and tons of cars. It's frustrating to feel like we citizens of Shoreline are not being paid attention to. It appears that big development companies from out of town are able to work the council effectively and minimize any kind of public comment.

Elizabeth Binnian,  May 27, 2022 at 1:12 PM  

I am not sure Shoreline has a climate mitigation plan, which should include tree canopy

Elizabeth Binnian,  May 27, 2022 at 1:29 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous,  May 27, 2022 at 1:35 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DKH May 28, 2022 at 1:30 AM  

Elizabeth Binnion - my apologies. I was attempting to delete your duplicate comment and I ended up deleting both of them. Feel free to repost your comment.

Anonymous,  June 7, 2022 at 9:13 PM  

In case this is helpful you can see here that the 20% “affordable” (perhaps lower but certainly not low-income) units required are at 70 and 80% area median income.

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