Residents want development ban extended

  • By Amy Daybert Enterprise editor
  • Thursday, March 27, 2008 3:01pm

A six-month moratorium restricting residential development throughout Shoreline is not long enough residents near Aurora Avenue North told the Planning Commission March 20.

“When I moved here this is not something that I’d ever contemplated,” Brent Spilsbury, a Shoreline resident since 1979, said. “I’m not in favor of growth. I’m opposed to growth.”

Spilsbury and five other residents spoke in favor of extending the moratorium set to expire on April 29. The moratorium was originally adopted on October 29, 2007, by the Shoreline City Council. The decision was made after residents expressed strong opposition over a proposal to build a six-story residential development on North 152nd Street, one block east of Aurora Avenue North. At the time, city officials agreed transition requirements between single family zones and adjacent high density zones needed to be defined before applications for high intensity developments such as the one proposed on 152nd Street could be filed.

At the March 20 planning commission meeting senior planner Paul Cohen introduced amendments to the city’s development code that would require certain transition area requirements in Commercial Business (CB), Residential Business (RB) or Industrial (I) zones abutting single-family residential zones.

Any changes to the development code Cohen said would be applied citywide but the proposal of the six-story, 240 unit development is still fresh on the minds of residents living near 152nd Street.

“I guess to me, there’s a whole community along Aurora that if they had one of these T-rexes threaten to come into their neighborhood, stomp around and put up a fence around it, I think they would quickly become aware that they should be coming to these meetings and saying something,” resident Les Nelson said.

Traffic impacts would presumably follow a new development in the area, resident Janet Kortlever said. Semi-trucks, aide vehicles and those coming to and from casinos along Aurora Avenue North use Ashworth Avenue as a cut-through street and efforts to calm traffic along the residential street aren’t working, according to Kortlever.

“These regulations aren’t working and a large part is due to the light on 152nd Street,” she said. “It’s been brought up that this (proposed) building would tip the amount of traffic over the limits of what the neighborhood can bare.”

Resident Joseph Irons said he’s also concerned about traffic impacts from developments throughout the city.

“In the (development) code language I would like something that has to do with traffic impact so that residential streets that aren’t to be used for commercial use won’t be,” he said.

A possibility of commercial or industrial development along North 152nd Street, however possible, is unlikely, planning director Joe Tovar said. The question, he said, is how land should be developed in high density zones throughout the city.

A motion to continue the public hearing on code amendments to the CB, RB, and I moratorium was passed by the planning commission. Deliberation by the commissioners will follow citizen comments at the April 3 planning meeting beginning at 7 p.m. at the Shoreline Center.

“This is just one of those situations where you’ve done everything you can to make this better but it’s still going to be awful … I don’t want anyone to be disillusioned about that,” commissioner Robin McClelland said. “I’ve been down that street several times and that’s no place for a semi-truck and if the light at 152nd has caused people to bypass and try to get to Meridian … we have to put a stop to it now. I feel strongly about that.”

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