Poll Finds Nearly Half of Seattleites Support Changing Single Family Zoning


It's incredible how many open-air parking lots, vacant tracts, and decrepit single story buildings we have--even in downtown/Belltown--all of which could be redeveloped into housing.

I've also noticed a disturbing shortage of high-end hair salons and teriyaki joints. Next mayor 2 fix??
About half the city is renters now, so it would make sense.
Except the block where the historical Chez Vel-DuRay is.
The accompanying photo shows upper Queen Anne - a neighborhood populated not just by single family houses, but chock full of duplexes, triplexes, ADUs, condos, apartment buildings big and small, old folk's homes and mixed-used buildings bumping up against height limits. A densely populated neighborhood that is walkable and human-scaled but very, very expensive nonetheless.
I wonder if developers get together over a few drinks and laugh at how the leftist suckers at the Stranger are doing their advance work for them at no charge.
I wonder if incumbent landlords and homeowners with good timing get together over a few drinks and laugh at how faux-leftist-NIMBYs like Billy Chave are doing their work for them at no charge.
In the 1970's the cry was "Urban Renewal" and the city council and mayor decided the Pike Place Market just had to go... imagine what a tragedy that would have been if that had been torn down.

That same sort of mindset is happening now with the cries of "More Density!". What upzoning will do is encourage the destruction of beautiful old buildings and neighborhoods and make older homes developer-bait and the value of these crappy houses will continue to skyrocket as developers and builders smack their lips and rush to buy and tear down these homes, only to build shiny condos and town homes (at twice the price) in their place.

Instead of building new and expensive housing, how about tax breaks to landlords for keeping their rents low or low-interest loans for making needed improvements or adding ADU's?

Why not develop the vacant land we already have before destroying the beautiful architecture in our city.

Almost every public school has a huge parking lot. Why not give developers the rights to build on those parking lots, build underground parking and build affordable housing on top.

We have a loud dirty highway that separates the city right down the middle. Who not lid a portion of I-5 and build housing on top of that too.

The loudest and most adamant for increased density wrap themselves in the cloak of social justice, but the dirty truth is that these density warriors are the builders and developers themselves, poised to make millions of dollars from the destruction of our beautiful and historic city.
@7 Yup, developers must think this is hilarious, especially the parts about diversity and affordability. Developers aren't stupid. "You want me provide LESS onsite parking? No, don't throw me in that briar patch!" All this pro-density policy does is help them make money faster and easier, because the serious controls necessary to achieve the supposedly desired social offset benefits are never put in place before the next big regulatory give away. And the developers get to cloak themselves in the delusional fiction that real affordable housing is being created. Must really take the pressure off them at Seattle parties, allowing people Jenny Durkan's brothers to pretend they represent forces for good, rather than the amoral ephemera that permeates their reality from top to bottom. But, somebody is gay, so its all good.
Raindrop dear, of the nine parcels on our block, one is undeveloped, two are rentals, and one is an alcoholic trustfund baby who is being warehoused there until his parents die, at which point his siblings will certainly institutionalize him to get at the land. And the block to the north of us has one (1) house. (Twelve parcels and ONE (1) house. It is owned by the aforementioned parents of the alcoholic trustfund baby).

So there's lots of room for development. We need tax policies that "encourage" (i.e. coerce) the wealthy to not sit on land, and we might as well make it count.

And, as always, the front lawn of Chez Vel-DuRay is for sale. Tell your developer friends.
Cracked dear, FTW, as the kids say. We have a huge development going in on North Beacon Hill. They are demolishing the old hardware store and an Anhalt knock off for three or four six-story buildings with 300+ units and 25 parking spaces. When I commented on what a shame it was to lose the faux Anhalt and the stupidity of the lack of parking, I was chided by my FB neighbors for not being pro-density, and smugly told what a great project this will be for the neighborhood.

But here's the thing they miss in their fervor: We're giving the developer a HUGE gift in not requiring parking, but there is nothing in exchange. So we will have probably 250 more cars trying to park on the streets, and a bunch of new market rate apartments while we congratulate ourselves on how we are increasing density. If we had a sane policy, we would require an affordable unit for every parking stall they don't have to build. But we have people assuming that just because it's a hassle to have a car, they won't have a car. We can file that under the Utopian dream, because no matter how many bike lanes and car share programs we put in, we still have limited transit and social engineering by the auto industry that tells us that we aren't sexy or safe unless we have a car.
but the dirty truth is that these density warriors are the builders and developers themselves

"Builders and developers" make up 48% of Seattle now, evidently. Who knew?
We would still have affordable housing but upzoning automatically increases the price. Any piece of upzoned property is worth more the moment it gets upzoned. And guess what? This increase in price is passed on to you when you buy or rent.


@14: that's a classic fallacy of composition.
1. Upzoning doesn't increase the value of the unit, it increases the value of the land.
2. Upzoning has that effect precisely because land where you're allowed to build something other than a single house is extremely (and artificially) scarce. Upzones take place very locally, generally, the effect of a city-wide upzone of all SF zones would have a very different kind of effect
3. Increased housing costs are caused not by upzones or downzones but by a housing shortage--there's not enough to go around. In the short run, all else equal, a downzone would reduce the value of a piece of property. But the aggregate effect of downzoning in the midst of a shortage will be to increase the rate of increase for pretty much all housing.

"The city may rezone some parts of the city to allow multi-family homes in areas where only single-family homes are today permitted. Do you support this zoning change? Or oppose it?" Of those who took a stand, more supported the change than opposed it: 48 percent said they support the upzones and 29 percent said they oppose it."

"Some" parts of the city.

Heidi, you must be dizzy with all that spinning....

"In the city’s most walkable, transit-friendly areas — including Capitol Hill, First Hill, the Central District and most of the downtown neighborhoods — cars increased at a faster clip than people between 2010 and 2013.

This trend was most pronounced in the 98101 ZIP code, which includes the northern half of downtown and parts of First Hill, Capitol Hill and the Denny Triangle. The adult population increased 7 percent, but was eclipsed by a 12 percent gain in passenger vehicles."