Notices go out on master plan and housing

Public Notice Letter The next step along the path to a Master Development Plan that now includes student housing at Shoreline Community hits the mail today, March 22, 2013.

“As required by the City of Shoreline, we are sending notices of two public meetings that will be hosted here on campus,” said Daryl Campbell, Vice President for Administrative Services at the college. “We’re excited to show the community what we’ve got in mind and to get feedback to see how it might be even better.”

The city requires meeting notices be mailed to all residences within 500 feet of the college, but Campbell said the college is trying to let everyone know about the open meetings. “We want to share with our neighbors and the larger community and hear what everyone has to say,” he said.

The meetings are actually part of the city’s required process for a Master Development Plan. The college did such meetings in December, 2010, but at that time, student housing wasn’t anticipated. Since then, a private investor group came forward and put housing in the mix. Because of the time delay and the added project, city officials asked for new public meetings.

At the April 9 meeting, attendees will get an overview of the city’s planning and review steps, including the Master Development Plan and State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) processes. Officials will describe projects anticipated to be developed in the next 10 years. They will also ask for comments and discuss how feedback will be used to inform decisions.

At the April 23 meeting, officials will review and respond to comments received at the first meeting, then describe the process moving forward in review of the Master Development Plan.

Both meetings will be from 6-8 p.m., in the 9000 Building (PUB), Room 9208. City staff, college officials and college consultant staff will be on hand. The meetings will be recorded.

The student housing project that is now part of the proposed Master Development Plan is proposed to include 400-beds. It would be sited in the general area of the current soccer field at the north end of the campus.

“Student housing is becoming an increasingly important part education delivery for community colleges,” Campbell said. “Shoreline has a number of programs – automotive, machining, nursing, dental hygiene, film, our terrific science offerings and others – that draw students from outside the area. In addition, our international-student numbers are growing. This past fall, we swamped the existing supply of homestay options for international students.”

Campbell said that if approved, the housing project would be first-come, first-served. “This project will be available to help all our students,” he said.

The idea for student housing came in 2011 when local resident David Lee approached the college with an idea for a privately funded and operated project. Shoreline President Lee Lambert met with David Lee and investors in China in September, 2011 to sign a memorandum of understanding that opened the way for further talks. In February, 2012, Campbell updated the college Board of Trustees on the project, and in December, 2012, Lambert signed a more definitive memorandum of agreement with the investors.

On Feb. 13, 2013, officials from the college, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), the state Attorney General’s Office and the investors met to discuss details of the proposal. Because the project is proposed on state-owned land, the SBCTC must give approval and the state Attorney General’s Office works out the details of the lease. Both of those items are proceeding.

On Feb. 14, immediate neighbors to the college and other interested parties were mailed a notification as required under Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). That notice said the college intends to amend previous planning documents adopted in 2003, 2006 and 2011 to include the proposed housing project. The notice also said that the proposedhousing project won’t have significant environmental impacts beyond those already anticipated in previously approved and adopted planning documents.

“These public meetings on our Master Development Plan are the next steps toward a project that we believe will help our students and our community,” Campbell said.

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