Shoreline residents tell City Council their concerns about rezoning for proposed Light Rail stations

SHORELINE -- Plans for new light rail stations are moving forward in the city of Shoreline. But homeowners say they had no idea those plans could also lead to the development of dense apartment complexes and shopping centers.

Some are asking the City Council to reconsider.

Erik Pygott is happy about plans to build a light rail station just a few blocks from his Shoreline home.

“I think it will be good, because right now it`s difficult to get into the city. You have to go to Northgate if you want to do public transportation.”

His family had already been thinking about moving, so he doesn't mind that his street might be re-zoned to make room for new development around the station.

“It`ll definitely be a change, but it could bring some extra commerce and more people to the area, could liven it up a little bit.”

But not everyone agrees. People packed a City Council meeting Monday night, sharing big concerns about the re-zone.

“Light rail is coming and we think it`s fine. But there`s no need for a gigantic rezone, to accommodate light rail,” said Janet Way, who is part of a group called the Shoreline Preservation Society.

She said the city`s plan would open the door for high-rise apartment buildings and dense shopping centers. She thinks that kind of growth would do more harm than good.

“You have to do it so you protect the existing neighborhoods, the character of the neighborhoods.”

Some people are worried they could be forced out of their homes.

Pygott said he hasn’t gotten any offers from the city yet, but he knows it’s a possibility. So he’s not sure what to do with his home right now.

“We`re kind of in a weird limbo. Do we list it, do we hold on, do we try to find a renter and move elsewhere? We`re sort of waiting to see what happens.”

Monday night's meeting was about the plans around the rail station on NE 185th Street. The council will be meeting next week, to discuss plans for the other station on NE 145th.