Why San Francisco Sucks and Why Density Alone Cannot Save Seattle From Becoming a San Francisco

Comments

1
Yep, liberal cities are the most expensive to live in thanks to the idiotic policies of the trust-fund socialists. And I love how Charles blames the rich (always in style in Seattle) without mentioning that the SStranger has a mostly rich reader base made up of trust-fund hipsters.
It's telling that Manchester, NH is one of the most affordable cities in America with people and businesses leaving Massachusetts in droves and moving there has a Republican mayor in a pretty libertarian state, while San Fransisco, the "liberal worker's paradise" is a place that workers can no longer afford.
See a pattern with the cheapest cities in America?
http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/13/cheap-c…
2

San Francisco is not a city.

It is a bank.

This year, Seattle is a bank.

3
NYC is an investment bank.
4
Charles, you fucking moron.

Have you not yet learned that the problem isn't rich people. The problem is government. (aka excessive zoning, bureaucracy and rent control).

The expense of living in NYC and San Francisco is a function of the challenge of getting anything built in NIMBY towns;

1) Social engineering through policy and services, attracting more hourly wage earners, and so increasing competition (and therefore costs) for apartments;

2) The cost of building in these places with excessive height restrictions and citizen design plan review committees, and;

3) Rent controls that incentivize landlords to not invest in properties, therefore creating higher demand for limited numbers of remaining rental properties.

The only thing Seattle doesn't yet have yet is rent control. And if it does, instantly the units will get shitty and the prices will go through the roof. Its called economics.

If you want to lower the cost of rent in Seattle, do this:

- Work with builders to trade public space, aesthetics for height. Right now much of Seattle is bound by 4 and 6-story buildings, so developers push their boxes all the way out to the street to capture as much value as they can. If someone is willing to reduce the footprint of a building by 20% - for public space/gardens/sculpture around an interesting building, let them go up 40% - creating more & better spaces (which will increase supply relative to demand, lowering cost.

- Limit the role and scope of citizen design review processes. Put the onus on a government department to do its job, and allow good sense and electoral process to represent the interests of the citizenry. Strip the Jeannie Hale 's of Seattle from any power.

- Stop with the $15 an hour nonsense. It will attract more low-skilled hourly workers to Seattle, and so demand for housing (for which costs will quickly rise).
5
You know nothing, Charles Mudede.

Also, I’m pretty sure that Big Tree is on the north side of Jefferson Square Park.
6
I'm starting to think that the way to keep cities affordable is to bar the entry of tech workers.
7
I'm pretty sure $30/hour is not sufficient income to rent a 1 bedroom in S.F. Studios are renting for $1900 in the Tenderloin now, and you can expect to pay $2500, minimum, for a 1 bedroom (which may be about the size of a studio).
8
And any professionals, really.

Just an entire economy made-up of citizen journos, city employees, hipster bike mechanics, consignment retailers and barristas.... We would seriously kick ass in a global economy then.
9
@4: Bullshit.

You can remove all the regulations and that still doesn't change the bottom line for urban developers, which is that you make more money building high-end housing than you do low-end housing.

Take a survey of new construction in Seattle and you won't find any non-subsidized residential development project targeting sub-median incomes. Those projects just don't pencil out.
10
@fnarf: There's always Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cleveland, Sacramento, Omaha, St Louis, Albuquerque, Rochester, ....
11
@4,

You think developers building out to the sidewalk is a *problem*? You officially know less than nothing about useful urban development. Now, excuse us. The adults are talking.
12
Wait, how in the fuck would removing a whole bunch of housing help the poor? That makes no fucking sense.
13
Not quite. San Francisco is the only city in the region that is both willing and capable to accommodate the kind of high-density housing necessary to satisfy the demands of the ever-growing tech industry, though I can assure you every square inch of available land will be covered with housing in the next decade if not sooner. It's true that many people fear this change but it has nothing to do with wealth or liberalism, but people being people who fear change. If anything the wealthy would be the most likely to welcome these changes as they stand to gain the most since the vast majority of this housing will only be available to those who can afford it. Liberals would welcome more housing as long as the city holds to its promise to make a sizable portion of it affordable, though sadly this has not been the case so far.

The source of the housing crisis in SF can be found in the Silicon Valley suburbs that are home to corporations that employ thousands of people but refuse to allow the kind of housing development necessary to accommodate them. So these people now live in SF and get shuttled 50+ miles down the peninsula to and from work each day. What should be Redwood City's and Cupertino's problem is now ours.
14
"Never work as imagined," you say, yet you do not even begin to develop a plausible explanation as to why you think so. You last paragraph is just plain lazy, sloppy, and stupid. Do you think there is a way around the basic musical-chairs problem of constrained supply? Do you think the law of supply and demand doesn't apply to housing?

There are only two ways for SF to contain the explosion of housing costs. One way is to expand supply by building more housing. The other is to reduce demand by destroying their tech industry.
15
SF has removed a large chunk of housing from the market, through rent controls and stifling regulation on landlords, new construction, and condo conversions, and it clearly doesn't work.

@13, SF has in no way built enough new housing to accommodate its growth. Seattle, a smaller city, has built something like three times the units SF has in the past decade.
16
Let's talk about what's really important here. That's several eucalyptus trees that have all grown together to form one big tree.
17
@13 - "Liberals would welcome more housing as long as the city holds to its promise to make a sizable portion of it affordable,"

As an SF resident, I'll believe it when I see it. The progressives here pretend to be in favor of building more housing, but only with restrictions so tight that it would be essentially impossible to build housing without taking a loss. Developers aren't nonprofits (and nonprofits will have neither the resources nor the inclination to satisfy most of SF's housing demand either).

The negotiation of housing would go more sensibly if it wasn't accompanied by a cultural resentment of the younger tech workers and newcomers. San Franciscans like lower rents, but evidently they'd rather pay more in rent than build new housing to accommodate a new population of software engineers.
18
@15, I understand that SF hasn't built enough housing. We wouldn't have a housing crisis if there were enough housing to go around. Even with all the development currently under way it would be impossible for SF to satisfy the demands of the tech industry because Silicon Valley isn't doing its part.
19
http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/14/sf-hous…

If you care enough to write about this issue at least read the above. SF has unaffordable for poor-people housing partly for the same reasons as other rich cities (London, NYC) and partly for reasons its own (Neighborhood groups have significant political power).
20
@17, The city has a fund to offset the cost of affordable units.
21
@11 So quick to judge (and exhibit your loan burden in 'urban cultural theory," or some such.)

Clearly, building out to the sidewalk is not a problem for the developer. He/she is simply going to do what makes the most economic sense within the limits on his/her resource (zoning height) and costs (including time & opportunity costs with the typical Seattle process nonsense).

If you want a better, more affordable city, work with builders to to go up, lessening intensive use of the building's footprint, and permitting higher buildings, for more character and less bulk at the base.

- Streets will have more character (provided there is spacing to avoid shadow canyons, and maintain views at elevation (Vancouver solved for this, largely)
- More public/open space.
- Buildings will improve (structural steel, masonary, not wood).
- Density will drive transit infrastructure
- Rents (on lower floors) will be more affordable, as they become relatively less attractive in views, etc. -- but more attractive than 6-story wood blocks (and so making these more affordable (Its called economics, you should try it some time.)

Let's put it this way. The most intensively urban planned cities (Seattle, NYC, San Fran, etc.) are the most expensive, have decreasing quality of housing, and are troubled with a blight of related social costs. But for the loathed technology and financial sectors, these places would be toast.

The current state of affairs would not suggest that anyone professing to be an professional in planning can drive a better outcome than someone who "merely" has a grasp on essential finance and basic economics.

22
@20, yes, they do, and it's a reasonable approach. But the SF progressives right now want to set the BMR fund and/or construction requirements for new development to be so high (some demand 50% of new units be subsidized) that it would become unprofitable.

Unless, perhaps they raise height limits - which SF progressives won't stand for either, of course.
23
"But a city must not depend on market-related growth to keep the cost of housing low. This will never work as imagined. Seattle's current rapid growth, for example, will not do the whole trick alone. The best results possible for the poor can only be achieved if our city removes a large part of its housing stock from the market."

Since when is a non-sequitur of this magnitude considered journalism?
24
@13 & @18, you're right about other cities needing to step up. We're building new towers in downtown San Jose on transit (Caltrain and VTA bus/light rail) that goes straight to Palo Alto and Mountain View. And those tech buses can come on down, too.
25
As a former SF resident, allow me to add a few inconvenient facts to your ideological diatribe.
1.) San Francisco, in comparison to other major metropolitan cities, has been an expensive place to live for decades. People want to live thre because it's an awesome area, not unlike Seattle.
2.) it doesn't "suck" and Seattle needs to get over its chip on the shoulder about SF. BTW: rich people don't suck either. Many are trying to do the right thing and The Stranger needs to get over itself about this too.
3.) one of the greatest contributors to San Francisco's long standing housing problem is that it's located on a fucking PENINSULA! Surrounded on three sides by water, and on the fourth by neighboring cities, it has no where to go but UP! Geography people, not ideologies, policies and politics!
4.) The Stranger is an ideologically driven rag whose ultra far left writers draw black and white conclusions about nearly everything to accommodate their narrow viewpoints. I'm a reasonably well informed progressive but idiocy is just as rampant on the far left as it is on the right. Grow the fuck up, Stanger.
26

For those that don't think zoning height is a culprit.

San Francisco zoning map. Yellow areas are 4-stories maximum.

http://imgur.com/Tn7CSTX
27
@5 - I'd like to know where this so-called "Jefferson Square Park" is, please. I've lived in and around San Francisco for fifty years and I've never heard of it.

@25 - to reinforce your first point, I'll add that when I first came to San Francisco fresh out of college in 1964 I had to work three jobs to be able to afford a former stable that had been converted into a one-room "apartment". The shower pan ended three inches from the base of the toilet, and the only sink was in the kitchen, which had a hot plate but no refrigerator. I kept my clothes in suitcases under the daybed. There was also a single chair and a lamp. I used the chair as a table when I ate. Unaffordable rents are not a new thing in San Francisco and not solely because of NIMBY attitudes or incursions of too-well-paid techies.
28
So hows your single family house treating you these days Charles? Density for some but not others eh?
29
No mention of overpopulation and rampant breeding.
30
@26 Funny how the yellow areas for the most part are better known as "the parts of San Francisco that are really beautiful." Because 4-story height limits make neighborhoods way less visually oppressive.
31
Also, what @25 said.

And "this big tree" is a giant weed. Fucking exotic species, although they do make GG Park smell good.
32
But for the loathed technology and financial sectors, these places would be toast.


Keep living in fantasyland. Also, laughing forever at your complaints about how "planned" these cities are while you propose requiring developers to fuck over the streetscape by not building out to the sidewalk.
33
I looked at the list of the cheapest cities, you know what I didn't see? Cities with major geographical issues. They all have plenty of room to grow, we don't we can only grow out so far. King County is huge but it has quite a bit of farming, and wilderness areas that need to be protected. Another issue here is that people honestly want to live in the city as opposed to St. Louis where everyone wants to flee as far from the city as possible.
We do need to build more high density housing, that is mixed income. We can do a few things and we have a good city council that is capable of doing it.
34
@29:

Rampant breeding? In San Francisco? HELLO!!!

Seattle is pretty close to being a childless community itself.

If the south and midwest weren't such hellholes for the educated, creative, and secular this wouldn't be a problem on the West Coast. Until then people will continue moving here.
35
@21 - you seem to be toeing the 'Vancouverism' line, which, for Vancouver residents makes it pretty clear that you're not offering a real solution. There are things to like about the way housing is handled in this place - I like the skinny towers too, and the city-wide rent control on all residential units is good for those people that can find a spot and sit on it for a million years, but if you live up here, it's pretty obvious that rent is way too high (cost of living up here is higher than Seattle's, and just shy of SF & NY's, despite the fact that wages are depressed).

A big part of that, as some have pointed out earlier, is that people treat housing like an investment bank: buying a condo unit then never occupying it so that it can be resold at a higher value if capital ever needs to be mobilized. Some of the skinny housing towers up here are sold out, yet less than 30% occupied.

But a much bigger problem is that the city has given up on building large low-income or cooperative projects, instead asking developers to incorporate social housing into their designs, and creating a bunch of loopholes to allow developers from getting out of their own obligations.

The left-wing municipal party up here, COPE, is proposing a housing authority that will build welfare-rate units (~300 CAD/month) at expected population growth plus 10,000 per year. They claim they can pay for this by converting a lot of unoccupied units, which I'm a little skeptical of, but I think that's the only way to lower costs.

Electing a right-wing mayor would probably make everything worse: Giuliani didn't exactly make NY more affordable, and neither did Sam Sullivan up here. This is because politics never dictate the market - if cheap places tend to elect right-wingers it's because no one can find a job there, and they're pissed off at the usual red-herrings of immigrants and regulation. However, liberal mayors don't solve the affordability problem either - what you need is militant leftism which can bend the market to its policy goals, and the US hasn't seen that since the 1930s.
36
So I'm looking out the window of my rent-controlled San Francisco apartment and I can see Kite Hill, an open park on a steep slope across the valley, where people run their dogs during the day and take dates at night to see the amazing view of the city. And they could so easily fill all that in with some wonderful 40-story condo towers except for these damn bourgeois techno-trust-fund liberals who selfishly cling to their "open spaces" and their "bee habitats" and their "safe places for kids to play". Horrible, selfish, rich, nimby liberals.
37
@32 Keshmesi

You're comedy gold. You mean there aren't any attractive, vibrant developments where the build has a set-back from the public thoroughfare?

Rockefeller Plaza fucks over the street scape?
38
@27 Here ya go: http://sfrecpark.org/destination/jeffers…

It's on the corner of Turk and Gough. Perhaps it had a different name 50 years ago?
39
Its amusing to watch liberal political centers like SF and SEA eat their young with this issue.

Seattle approved all the new commercial building in SLU to bring in jobs they thought it was 50k but its probably more. and how much new housing? 12k. I guess they assumed that every job would bring a nuclear family, and that 2/3s of them would decide to live out of the city.

Instead we have brought in the brogrammers demographic who want to live in city, and spend money in city. The housing they want, isn't there ( see above ) so existing stocks get bid up. Rinse and repeat.

http://council.seattle.gov/2013/05/06/se…

Neighborhood groups want to *roll back* density, because it will bring "those people" into their neighborhoods ( you could say racist, but they just hate change )

And the city council just eats it up
40
@27: Drop into Street View on Eddy Street at just about the location of the link below (mid-block) and look south to southeast—you should see that specific tree.

https://maps.google.com/maps?f=t&q=Jeffe…
41

@35

No. Giuliani made NYC 'better' (in most respects) and therefore living there became more attractive, and so housing more expensive. (Dinkins made rents lower, to be sure.)

I am well-aware of Vancouver's problem. Rent control is one of the reasons, as it creates scarcity.

Chinese investment property is a contributing factor (significant to BC), that can be solved simply by passing a real estate exchange tax. If a unit has not served as a primary residence for at least 50% of the time of its ownership – a 10% assessment is placed on its total sales price, with the proceeds to build (lower) market-rate housing through low-interest loans to non-profit housing cooperatives.

This would suppress the appreciation in value for owners of today's current housing stock, so the argument becomes "Is expensive housing really that bad?" Depends on if you're already an owner.

The only thing that will work is to eliminate serious regulatory burdens to the cost of building, owning, leasing and maintaining property. Vancouver's wounds are largely self-inflicted by Liberals politics. Let the market (truly) work.
42
I think this has been an issue in every large city since the dawn of man. Living in cities is convenient but expensive. It does not suck, it just is. The only true way to bring the cost of housing down is to stop making so many babies. San Francisco definitely does not suck and neither does Seattle.
43
San Francisco has been short of housing, to one degree or another, since the Comstock Lode—rest assured it will one day slide back into, and back out of, the grit it was famous for before the water reclaims it. Silicon Valley will one day go the way of the shipyard. Like @42 said, this is true of all cities.

It's ironic Piketty teaches in Paris, you'd think one of the old-timers might have explained to him what it was like there in the 1970s.

True about utilities though; my PG&E is about $35 a month avg, and I run a goddamn dehumidifier 4 days a week.
44
@38 and @40 - Thank you both for finding those references/map photos. I didn't know that was the name of this park -- everyone I knew called it the Eddy Street park, as though that was the correct name.
45
Best way to lower rents is make Seattle ugly & elect extreme bigoted right-wing City Council. Then people will leave & you'll get lower rents!

Happy?
46
@TheMisanthrope: No mention of overpopulation and rampant breeding.

As is well documented by Thomas Piketty and others, population growth results from the breeding habits of the poor, not the rich.
47
@44 - I never knew the name of that park either.

48
And if you think liberal regulations don't make rentals harder to come by...well, here are some more of those annoying facts liberals hate so much:
http://ij.org/san-francisco-banned-short…
49
@48 What I'm interpreting from your tone in recent posts seems at odds with what's happening in the link you shared. What conclusion are you drawing from the Air b' b issues and liberal politics?
50
But basic problem is that people LIKE TO LIVE in cities with a lot of nice things.

So LOTS of PEOPLE = COMPETITION for HOUSING

It is easy to lower rental prices. Get rid of jobs, legal system, pretty environment, gay-friendly, university etc etc.

QED = a place where no one wants to live so prices are low!
51
@15, Seattle has built three times the housing that SF has recently because IT CAN. SF should build more, no doubt, but SF is already almost three times as dense as Seattle.

Biff is right: the low-density suburbs that surround SF, where most of the high-dollar tech jobs are but almost none of the density or affordable housing, is the problem. And SF is also a victim of its own hipness; people with money desperately want to live there, even though they can't really afford it, even if it means they have to get on the shortbus every morning to get to work out in the middle of the amber waves of Mountain View and Cupertino. Making cities bedroom communities for suburbs is an even worse idea than the reverse -- and making cities playgrounds for the rich at the expense of working families is also terrible.

@21, the vast majority of the area of the most attractive and desirable cities in the world is covered with densely packed four-to-six-story buildings with retail on the bottom floor. That's the recipe for Istanbul, Paris, London, New York, Rio, Mexico City, Melbourne, you name it. Vancouver, too -- the density in Vancouver doesn't come from the towers-in-plazas, which are all owned by absentees who live in them less than a month a year; most Vancouverites live in midrise parts of the city.

Yeah, Rockefeller Center contributes a great deal to the skyline, but fucks over the city where it meets the ground. It's mostly a set for a television show, anyways. It is easily surpassed in street interest by almost all of the relatively anonymous buildings around it, the kind New York is still, for a while at least, full of, the kind that no professional architect or urban planner has had the faintest clue how to build for about 75 years.

Look at the examples we build here in Seattle: soulless dead zones, with one chain store to a block -- the buildings we're building in SLU are considerably less vibrant than the average strip mall along Aurora or in Burien or Bellevue. That's partly because of the low caliber of human those buildings are attractive to, but as functional members of the streetscape they are BUILT to be that terrible. Terribleness is built into the ground floor plan. Building more of those -- the only kind of building anyone is building here -- will never solve any of our problems.
52
Here's one of the main thing that is fucking up cities: the uber-rich buying up entire neighborhoods that they have no intention of living, which not only kills the neighborhood but entices property developers to put up ultra-luxe new towers that need to sell for $5,000 per square foot just to break even. Yes, really:

http://www.citylab.com/housing/2014/06/w…

(See the map labeled "A house is not a home", showing how 30% of a huge swathe of upper east side apartments are vacant at least 10 months a year).

These people need to be taxed to death and driven out of our cities. Let them fuck over Moscow and Dubai if they must, but not here. This kind of thing doesn't happen in Seattle so much -- yet. But it will.
53
Shorter FNARF:
Unleash zoning, build more and subsidize very poor.
OK with me.

54
The best results possible for the poor can only be achieved if our city removes a large part of its housing stock from the market.

Charles, I assume you mean here "remove from market forces" (IE: lock down price via rent controls) rather than "take off the market" (which would further reduce supply and up costs).

Otherwise I don't understand what that last sentence means.
55
Why doesn't everybody just move to Yakima?
56
"The best results possible for the poor can only be achieved if our city removes a large part of its housing stock from the market."

Charles, if you really believe this, then you are a fool.
57
This article is a perfect example of just how screwed up Seattle is, and, sadly, most likely always will be.

Seattle has no sense of history, and we are too quick to bulldoze down anything that gets in the way of new condos that are about as needed as another raving drunk at the hydro races. Hey, don't worry, there'll be businesses on the ground level. Really cool places like Starbucks and Quiznos and Starbucks and Subway!

Seattle is full of chain stores, chain restaurants and ugly cookie-cutter condos that already look like last years ski jackets.

Seattle had the chance to get government support for area-wide light rail rapid transit and we turned it down because we wanted, and ended up building the Kingdome instead.

You know who got that transit system? The Bay Area. It's called BART and if Seattle had the foresight, we could go from Everett to South Tacoma in little more than an hour and for less then $10.

Seattle can't even get a functional transit system to get you from West Seattle to Greenwood in less than two hours.

Seattle is nice little backwater town. It is not, and at the current rate and with the current level of appalling mismanagement, EVER be a world class city.

People mention San Francisco in the same breath when they mention Rome and Paris and Hong Kong and Lisbon and London; they mention Seattle when they make jokes about bad weather and suicidal musicians.

Seattle's nice, but don't ever, ever compare it to a city like San Francisco. You just look even more like a backwoods hick.
58
@Zok.....the three cities you mention........SF, NYC and Seattle.........are some of the most successful cities in the country. They are some of the very few major cities in this country seeing population growth. They're housing is expensive because they are prosperous, build up and land short. You could build a 100K units in Seattle tomorrow and rents would come down......but only temporarily. As soon as those units got absorbed whether its two years, 5 years or ten years, rents would start going back up. So long as these cities remain successful, they will never be cheap.
59
Rent is highly positively correlated with density. Building more housing in central Seattle will simply accelerate the displacement of lower-to-moderate income citizens by those with higher incomes.

60
the supply-side deregulation agenda looks like the hot prospect to lower housing prices and it's a cheat-code for full employment, growth

building boom
more high-productivity people in city
more consumers in city

when u consider the mportance of Seattle, CA, NY to USA and USA to globe, NIMBYs insiders proscribing a lot of growth
61
Thanks #16! I was curious about the size of the tree.
62
@Zok/41 -

I'd agree with you that Vancouver's problems result from liberal (or in the labels that our municipality uses 'non-partisan' or 'vision') policies, but liberal means 'pursuing market-based political policies'.

Since Gordon Campell was elected in the 80s, every single mayor that Vancouver has had, and several of the province's premiers as well, have come from the real estate industry, and they have all run on a pro-market platform that foregrounds deregulation of real estate and construction.

The builders and the real-estate industry have been awarded virtually everything they want, every year, for 30 years, and we now live in the 3rd most expensive city in North America. These two things are correlated because the former has caused the latter.

Back when the city was staunchly socialist (roughly the 1930s - 1984), this city, along with the rest of Canada, was far more affordable than Seattle, which back then had a comparable population and economic base. The city alderman even managed to pass full employment mandates in a few select years, which was nice.
63
at this rate, half of seattle will be fighting to rent a room in the morrison or the frye within the next 2 years.
64
blip @13--
Sorry to burst your bubble but SF is NOT willing to create denser housing. A major problem here that none of the housing groups want to face is that any time a new project comes up it gets blocked by a variety of "neighborhood" groups that oppose any new building except what they think should be there. And over stupid issues. At a time when they should be building more apartments; neighborhood groups are trying to keep heights down. other areas have six or seven story buildings mixed in with 2 or 3 story but now it seems that the idea is an abomination.
When a developer floated the idea of mini-apartments as a partial solution you would have thought he was suggesting cannibalism.
And then the "no rent control" groups always likes to chime in even though rent control doesn't apply to anything built AFTER 1979, you moron.
As a result of delays and add-ons the only housing built is going to be high-end. Sure, the developers are going to go for the higher end but instead of incentives to build more affordable projects it seems like housing activists only want to carry on about the money from Twitter et al "destroying the city" and refuse to compromise on their "standards".

65
@55 " Why doesn't everybody just move to Yakima?"

They do. They are called Mexicans.
66
@51 & @52Fnarf,
Indeed, you have a point. I read about very wealthy absentee owners in London in the NYT. They are usually foreigners, not British. I think the trend problematic. In addtion, I have noticed in Seattle "development companies" buying old homes, razing them, building condos and selling them at exorbidant prices. I don't mind creating more "density" but not at these prices.

White-collar, lower middle-class such as myself can't afford to buy in the city. I work in non-profit cancer research and make less than $60,000/year. I wouldn't mind a one bedroom apartment-to-buy, not a house as I'm on my own. It's simply impossible in the City of Seattle. Granted, I choose my lifestyle. But, I wouldn't want to own unless I have a partner. But, even that would be an expensive undertaking in Seattle. This is one expensive town to own in.
67
I live in a small patch of woods in West Seattle and I hope it doesn't get denser in my preferred camping spot but I'm not holding my breath

if it seems better to preserve marquee features that would b marred by density, then it would seem useful for suburbs to bcome hyper-dense, a la Eurp
68
@6:

A good idea at any rate, Fnarf.
69
I would not mind if the tech industry completely left San Francisco. The city can and has survived on tourism for years. Now that tech is here every corner is filled with the same boring software developers pretending that they are changing the world for the better with their bullshit apps and their new maseratis.

All the interesting people are leaving the city and all the dorks are piling in and joining elite private clubs designed for super rich OCD assburgers.

The tech industry is packed with bullshit jerk offs that want you to believe that they hold the keys to the future. It's just greed in a different suite and when all your personal financial information and pictures of your kids are stolen and sold to predators the douchebag who wrote he code will be long gone enjoying a margarita at burning man.