Incentive Zoning in Shoreline!

TODOn March 16th, the Shoreline City Council adopted a strong incentive zoning policy as part of its 185th Street Light Rail Station Development Regulations. With the passage of this policy, Shoreline has joined with other King County cities like Redmond, Kirkland, and Issaquah, in implementing effective, mandatory incentive zoning policies that will create meaningful and lasting affordability.

HDC advocates for effective incentive zoning policies across King County to ensure a portion of homes in new residential developments are affordable and available to low and moderate-income households. We know it’s better for society, the environment, and families if people can afford to live close to jobs and transit, and incentive zoning allows cities to meet this goal efficiently in partnership with developers.

Shoreline’s station area will be rich with opportunity—transit, services, jobs, and other amenities that are important for creating thriving communities. Shoreline’s new incentive zoning program will help ensure that residents of limited incomes can access this community of opportunity.

HDC worked closely with staff at the City of Shoreline to craft an effective policy and advocates worked hard to push the City to take this bold action. Longtime partners from member organizations, the faith community, and the North Urban Human Services Alliance stepped up to make sure the Planning Commission and City Council knew how important affordable housing was to the community. After years of building political will around affordable housing and homelessness issues in Shoreline, through the North King County Affordable Housing and Homelessness Workgroup, in particular, HDC and community partners were able to ask City leadership to make affordable housing a priority.

Shoreline has been an important partner on affordable housing issues. The City has supported the Ronald Commons project, a nonprofit affordable housing development between faith community partners at the Ronald United Methodist Church and HDC members Compass Housing Alliance and Hopelink. This summer, the City also passed an impact fee exemption for affordable housing, ensuring that public affordable housing subsidy will go toward its intended purpose.

The City of Shoreline has repeatedly demonstrated leadership in support of affordable housing and with the passage of this incentive zoning policy, furthers its commitment. If you’re interested in learning more about Shoreline’s incentive zoning policy, or other ways to get involved in affordable housing issues in North King County, please email Kayla Schott-Bresler, Policy Manager, at [email protected].