Light Rail Station Area Planning

About Light Rail Station Subarea Planning 

NEW:  On February 19 and 20 the City hosted part II of a Design Dialogue Workshop series, follow this link to see a description of the event and the materials presented.  Part I took place in November 2013; here is a summary of the discussion and comments submitted.

Shoreline is part of the Seattle metropolitan area. In anticipation of its growth, Sound Transit received voter approval to plan and extend lightrail service from Seattle to Lynnwood with 2 stops in Shoreline. Light rail represents a significant change to transit service in the city and an opportunity for residents to connect to regional destinations. Station areas provide an opportunity for redevelopment that is transit supportive and provides residents with a greater variety of services and amenities than currently exist. These goals are supported by the citizen visioning work that culminated in Vision 2029, and are included in the Transportation Master Plan and the Comprehensive Plan

Light rail service is anticipated to begin in 2023, and neighborhood transition will take place gradually over decades, but the City will facilitate a planning process for the next couple years that will determine much about the look and feel of the areas surrounding proposed stations.  This will include adoption of subarea plans that focus on land use and mobility within roughly a half-mile radius from future stations.  To see specific boundaries and learn about how they were determined, click here.  Adoption of subarea plans will include changes to zoning and development regulations in certain areas. 

Before amending zoning or regulations, the City must study many factors, and there will be ample opportunity for community and stakeholder input.  All materials created to date and summaries of public meetings are available here.

What is Happening and When

Because it is an appropriate analogy for light rail, think of the City’s and Sound Transit’s processes as two parallel tracks.  The long-term timeline shows what each organization will be working on in years to come.

In addition to Sound Transit and the City, there are other local and regional groups that are stakeholders in the light rail subarea planning process.  To learn more about partner organizations and their roles, click here.


 Sound Transit Logo

Sound Transit is the regional transit agency responsible for building and operating light rail, including alignment of tracks, location of stations, and associated structures like parking.  On November 21, 2013, the Sound Transit Board identified the preferred alternative for the Lynnwood Link light rail extension. The preferred alternative will be described and evaluated in the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project, along with the other alternatives considered. For more information, click here or visit Sound Transit. Of note to Shoreline residents is that the preferred alternative includes station locations at NE 185th and 145th Streets and the east side of Interstate 5.

Over the next few months Sound Transit project staff will be completing field work and analysis in several communities. This includes geotechnical borings / drilling work to better understand soil types along the proposed light rail alignment and work by biologists to better define edges of wetlands. Any work conducted on private property will be coordinated with property owners. Sound Transit representatives will contact property owners for approval to access private property in order to conduct noise monitoring, vibration testing / monitoring, geotechnical drilling and survey work. This information is needed to study, evaluate and document the potential impacts of the planned Link light rail expansion, complete the environmental review process and publish the Final Environmental Impact Statement early next year. More information on this process provided in the links below:


 Sound Transit Links:

 Sound Transit Documents:


City Logo

City of Shoreline - kicked-off subarea planning with a Community Meeting on May 22, 2013, click here to watch the video.  Next came a series of visioning events over the summer where residents gave input on their vision for the future of their neighborhoods, specifically with regard to transportation and mobility, housing, jobs and businesses, and recreation and community services.  All comments from the 5 visioning events are available here.  The City also developed a Public and Stakeholder Involvement Plan to identify stakeholders, promote public awareness, and encourage community involvement.  Beyond these initial stages, each station subarea has its own timeline and discussion and analysis will be specific that area. 

  • NE 185th Street Station- This station subarea is located at a boundary between the Echo Lake, Meridian Park, and North City neighborhoods. Residents of these neighborhoods formed the 185th Station Citizen’s Committee (185SCC), which meets on the first Monday of each month, from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in Room 301 of City Hall. Visit the 185SCC website.
  • NE 145th Street Station- This station subarea is located at the southern boundary of the city, between the Ridgecrest and Parkwood neighborhoods. Residents of these neighborhoods formed the 145th Station Citizen’s Committee (145SCC), which meets on the fourth Thursday of each month, from 7:00-8:30 in Room 301 of City Hall. Email 145SCC at:
Click here for a draft timeline of events for the 145th Street Station Subarea Plan.

Now that Sound Transit has selected the 145th Street station as part of the preferred alternative, and with funding in the 2014 budget, the City is currently in the process of selecting a consultant to create the 145th Street Station Subarea Plan. 

Walking and Biking Tours  

  185th Walking & Biking Tour       145th Walking Tour

To promote public awareness and participation, maps have been developed for each station subarea that outline a route for people to walk, bike, or drive and imagine how the neighborhoods could transition over time. Each map includes pictures of existing conditions and questions to solicit opinions, aspirations, and concerns. Maps are available at sign boards near future station locations at NE 185th and 145th Streets, or may be accessed through the links below.

  145th Walking/Biking Tour (more information and
  185th Walking/Biking Tour  larger maps at these links.)


Frequently Asked Questions

The City has compiled Frequently Asked Questions in an effort to provide additional information to the community about the City’s land use planning efforts and the process for extending light rail. For some of the questions listed, there is no answer at this time. However, it is understood that they are concerns. The City will update and revise these answers as new information becomes available. (Click here to download a pdf of the full list of FAQs.)


 Transit-Oriented Development
   Photo Credit: Portland Sustainability Institute 

Transit-Oriented Communities

This image depicts several elements that are often part of Transit-Oriented Communities, including various modes of transportation, commercial and residential development, and pedestrian activity. Building heights are not representative of what might be proposed.