WA Shoreline light rail line could displace thousands of residents


The crowd of anxious people packed Shoreline’s City Council chamber Monday, with dozens more spilling into the hallway outside.

At stake— their homes, neighborhoods and the quiet identity of their collection of modest, single-family houses as a “bedroom community.”

Shoreline’s City Council is considering rezoning neighborhoods around the coming light rail stations. This would radically affect about 10,000 residents along the Interstate 5 corridors near 185th Street and 145th Street

The move would increase residential density, and rider accessibility to the stations. The plan calls for apartments buildings of up to eight stories where single-family homes now stand.

Shoreline officials confirmed with KIRO 7 that the plan coincides with the light-rail line, which will run from Seattle to Lynnwood and is expected to be completed in 2023.

The line will follow Interstate 5 and there will be two stations planned for Shoreline – one at 145th Street and another at 185th Street.

Eric Bratton with the City of Shoreline said the rezoning could affect more than 1,500 homes, but a transportation study says it said rezoning could affect as many as 3,300 homes. Most will be near the 185th Street station.

One homeowner, who identified herself as Rosalyn, admonished the council to consider her property rights.

“For me, this is my American dream and if you rezone my home, I  feel you are stealing my American dream, so please don’t,” she said.

Elaine Phelps, who has owned her Shoreline home since 1965, shared her conspiracy theory with the council: “There are dirty secret deals behind this with the developers,” she said. “That’s how it looks to me!”

Some neighbors told KIRO 7 that the plan makes the future of every home in the rezoning map uncertain, with homeowners unaware of whether they’ll be forced to move, or when.

“How many people are going to be displaced?” asked Janet Way of the Shoreline Preservation Society. “How many people who’ve lived here for many years are going to be displaced? How many people who just moved in are going to be displaced?!”


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