Heidi Groover Is Cited in the New York Times Today


Restrictive covenants and zoning are 2 different things. I think you can argue there is some social nexus between the 2 legal tools, but they are entirely separate ideas, used quite differently. In Seattle, restrictive covenants excluded both blacks and Jews from property ownership. Covenants were ruled unconstitutional by Supreme Court and began to break down in Seattle in the years following WWII, with regards to blacks. They remained enforced against Jews longer, well into the 1960s. I’ll never forget the day when my parents took us to play with some children in a new, very nice property development across the street from Sand Point. My parents informed me that we were visiting, because this was the first new property development open to Jews, and all the Jews were excited now because it meant they could purchase homes outside the areas they had been relegated to, primarily the Central Area and Capitol Hill. Seattle remained a segregated city, as applied to Jews. Private clubs (Seattle Tennis, Rainier, WAC, etc) were not opened to Jews until the early 1990s. The city did not hire Jews. Weyerhaeuser was well known to not hire Jews. Yes, zoning has had disparate racial impacts, an area I have studied in depth. But Seattle’s zoning laws are not the cause of the affordable housing issues, and they are not the solution. I suggest reading some articles by my friend Charles Mudede for a succinct discussion of the real causes of Seattle’s affordable housing issues. They could solved in an instant if anyone really wanted to. Many other cities. Have already done so, which is why capital is fleeing to Seattle, the last unregulated major city in the US, outside the South.
I'm glad you, sydney, and heidi are coming around on this after briefly being wooed by the NIMBY left in the form of jon grant. jon grant (and left NIMBYs in general) didn't believe that zoning was bad; he believed that hyperlocal communities should get 100% say in land use outcomes in their hyperlocal communities. As the NYTimes article and the Magnolia NIMBY case both show, that's a terrible idea.
Shifting the blame to Magnolia won’t solve the problem of housing and it won’t help long term. If our elected officials can’t come up with outside-the-box thinking then they shouldn’t be in their jobs. As an example, trying to take valuable space for housing to put in yet another sports stadium. Housing which could have been built 5 years ago. Housing in a centralized location so those on a fixed income could actually get to work with ease. Housing that could have revitalized the area 24/7 and not just during game season. Had the proposed stadium property in SoDo not gone through the financial, temporal and related tie-ups of yet another over-priced sports league stadium and had been prioritized out for more affordable housing in the core, then people wouldn’t be rushing to take over everyone else’s property in Magnolia. Say there is no money to fix the housing issues of Seattle and that is all “zoning issues”? Keep those concepts in mind when over a 1/2 billion goes into professional sports renovations at Key Arena and Seattle’s “progressive liberal values” records keep being broken among homeless deaths. Nationally speaking, Seattle is getting quite the reputation for its lack of prioritization and it can’t blame conservatives when they are the ones running the show. Frankly, it’s becoming embarrassing.
Congrats Heidi!