The Problem Isn't Developers, It's Neighborhood Groups

Comments

1
Fuck small businesses! If we wanted to go to a business that wasn't already in the neighborhood we'd hop in our cars and drive to Bellevue. Small business is a parasite that eats up government subsidy and destroys neighborhoods.

If you're so eager about these mom 'n pop grocery stores, local bakeries, florists, cafes or other anti-capitalist mini-shops why don't you petition to have them in YOUR neighborhood, huh?

The Nanny State starts with the "mom 'n pop" store. Think about it.

NIMBY.
3

Are you scumbags at it again?

Did you run out of things to post at Seattle Transit Blog.

Vertical Density is pollution.

No one benefits from it except the one guy who owns the block next to the "transit station".

Even the slowest reader is getting the message now.
4
Roger Valdez's writing is unique: even when he's right it feels wrong. I can't figure it out, and I've been reading his stuff for years, when he had a job, then not. Now that he found work again there's a new aggressiveness that makes reading it more queasy-making somehow. I'm fascinated.
5
Well, here's another possibility - the two Council staffers who have worked on land use (and watched the code evolve) over many years simply know a hell of a lot more about it than self-appointed "expert" Roger Valdez does.

6
"The Problem Isn't Neighborhood Groups; It's Pompous Developer Pimps"

How the fuck does this schmuck get so much press? Is he blowin' everyone in town?
7
We give neighborhood groups way to much power. Namely the ability to claim they represent a whole neighborhood instead of just the people who show up at their meetings and deal with the nonsense and drama created by too many busy bodies in one room.

Some are OK though, the one in my neighborhood mostly sticks to things like cleanups, crime awareness, and getting money to make parks and traffic circles look nice. Good mostly noncontroversial stuff.
8
Valdez never waivers from his "I'm right and you're wrong (no matter what) message. Sad to see the Slog printing his tedious work.
9
@8,

Well, if it's any consolation, with each putrid anti-democratic screed Mr. Valdez pens it gets less and less likely that anyone will ever hire him for a public sector job again.

10
Roger Valdez hasn't been run over yet by a hipster Urbanist in a hybrid?

Real shame.
11
I supported these zoning changes to my neighborhood, but I cold tell from the start that these people were too organized in their opposition from the start to let this happen. When I lived at Summit and Republican, I loved having all those small businesses in a residential neighborhood. It meant that I never had to walk up to Broadway or down to Olive to make small purchases or get a cup of coffee or things like that. I'm disappointed that this did not pass.
12
Urbanists won't be happy until Seattle has the density of Kolkata along with its urban planning.
13
Capitol Hill is already incredibly walkable. Trying to argue for walkability in this case is simply bullshit. This is purely developers looking for some quick cash and they know Cap Hill is a hot spot for development. If it's really about creating walkability and density, try implementing these changes in some lower-income neighborhoods like mine. In the Mt. Baker/Judkins Park area, I have to walk a mile to buy even basic necessities like milk. Where are the developers clamoring to open corner stores down here??
14
The rezone didn't fail because its opponents "were too organized", it failed because the opponents had the better arguments and facts in their favor, because they bothered to read the proposal rather than believe the "corner store" nonsense promulgated by Karl Rove-style propagandists like Valdez.
15
@4

I don't really know anything about the guy, but I know what you're talking about. After reading his posts on Transit Blog, I can't help but think he wants to alienate the people he should be trying to win over. It's unfortunate.

Also, shut the fuck up, Bailo.
16
@4: Yes, the trainwreck quality of Roger's combination of arrogance, conceit, and hatred for his critics/enemies does make for an interesting read.
17
Oh Lord, I hope this won't sound racist but bear with me a bit....

There's wonderful large ethnic communities in our city that have provide fantastic art and delicious food in great abundance on a daily basis.

But they don't do corner mom & pop grocery stores well at all, if fact they're deplorable. Their demeanor is mildly pleasant at best (oh yes there are exceptions to everything I'm saying), crowded dingy aisles, poor selection and nothing appetizing at all in the "deli" department.

I'll patronize the exceptions to my above pontificating for sure; but by-and-large, corner grocery/delis just don't seem to cut it in this part of the country.
18
I see Bailo's attempting to channel Ronald Reagan again...
19
Urbanists won't be happy until Seattle has the density of Kolkata along with its urban planning.
20
Interesting that the actual residents were the ones to speak up against this nonsensical proposal - where were all the supporters of this proposal? There were two main drivers to the defeat of this proposal: number one was the shallow "Bodega Bonanza" article in the Stranger. A total mischaracterization of the Capitoil Hill Community Council and Chamber of Commerce positions and a sounding board for the people behind the propsal - an advisory committee totally weighted to developers. The second driver was the organization of renters, homeowners, co-op and condo owners who got the word out via flyers - the more residents of the affected areas knew, the more opposition grew. The meme that it was a group of "pearl clutching, carping NIMBY single-family homeowners needs to be put to rest.
21
I live in Meadowbrook, near Lake City Way. It would have been wonderful if we could have had a small coffee place or grocery store. The neighborhood really needs a place where neighbors can visit and exchange information.

Too bad the idea was quashed before it could even have been examined. True, the Mayor jumped out with a proposal which needed tweaking. And I see why the Cap Hill folks were up in arms, but they shouldn't have been allowed to NIMBY the idea to a quick death.
22
I want to care about Capitol Hill but any more I just don't. I thought about moving back after I moved to Ravenna in 2006 but the more I see the "development" happening I just think 35th Ave NE is cooler and more hip. (And that dears is SAD!!) So this entire argument is just entertaining for me

Capitol Hill...it's Bellevue without having to go over the bridge!
23
Wow. So many NIMBY trolls coming out of the woodwork. I live in Cap Hill, and would love it even more if there were corner shops. But somehow, any and all change must be Evil and From Outside Forces Shadily Associated With Bellevue. I can understand motivating to oppose a specific development - like the Bauhaus building, where it seems (for now) public pressure is influencing the design process - but that's the appropriate point to engage civic involvement. This whole blowback to some minor rules changes seems blown WAY out of proportion. Noisy trucks? Roudy kids? Seriously? Serious first-world problems you got there folks. Sad to see so much energy spent on such conservative attitudes.

These are the reasons people want to move to Capitol Hill (and not some other neighborhood). Density is ongoing and neverending, and it's gonna rock your boat! So get with it, or move to the burbs so we can have a vibrant, dense neighborhood here. Capitol Hill is not the place to make your stand.
24
@23,

The residents of that already-dense neighborhood made their stand, and stomped Valdez's dick into the dirt.

25
Roger Valdez is wrong about what constitutes good planning (years in the making, but managing to avoid any neighborhood input until it's sprung on us?); wrong about the nature of the Capitol Hill group that raised a ruckus (not well-organized, but instead barely organized, in response to this clumsy and secretive plan); wrong about Capitol Hill (far from being NIMBYs, we are urbanites who have always taken more than our share of halfway houses and institutions that other neighborhoods rejected, and have absorbed an outsized share of growth and activity as well); wrong about the silly corner store argument (corner stores these days are 7-Elevens, not mom-and-pops, nor is there any guarantee that the businesses that do take advantage of residential locations will be benign and tolerable as neighbors); wrong about the need for businesses in Capitol Hill's residential areas, which are already close to businesses on our underdeveloped arterials; and dead wrong about Rebecca and Michael, who have at least as much right to defend their own neighborhood and neighbors as Valdez does to defend his misguided proposal.
26
Roger Valdez is wrong about what constitutes good planning (this was years in the making, but without local input until a short time before the City Council vote); wrong about the nature of the Capitol Hill group that raised a ruckus (not well-organized and orchestrated by city staffers, but only just put together by long-time residents, including my husband, in response to this clumsy and secretive plan); wrong about Capitol Hill folks (far from being NIMBYs, we are joyful urbanites who have always taken more than our share of halfway houses and institutions that other neighborhoods rejected, and have absorbed an outsized share of growth and activity as well); wrong to suggest we move to Laurelhurst (Laurelhurst! horrors!); wrong to use the corner store as a Trojan horse (corner stores these days are 7-Elevens, not mom-and-pops, nor is there any guarantee that the businesses that do take advantage of residential locations will be benign and tolerable neighbors); wrong about the need for businesses in Capitol Hill's residential areas, which are already close to business-friendly arterials that have plenty of space available; wrong about the need to seed in-home businesses here (B&Bs, graphic and web designers, massage therapists, and many others are already quietly operating and have been for years); and dead wrong about Rebecca and Michael, who have at least as much right to stand up for their own neighborhood and neighbors as Valdez does to defend his misguided proposal.
27
"Valdez never waivers from his "I'm right and you're wrong (no matter what) message. Sad to see the Slog printing his tedious work. "

Sad but unsurprising given they hired Goldy
28
"which strives to maintain the hegemony of single-family use over all others" - well, the proposed zoning changes don't affect single family neighborhoods - it's L2 and L3 only, or didn't you read that part??????
29
The funny thing is you're already zoned for way more density than you realize, and stopping density at planned locations just means it absorbs all the former single family housing areas and replaces it with condos.

But you'd know that if you actually read the zoning codes.
30
I heard the comments and think what failed this proposal was the lack of public input...a problem DPD knows exists and there is effort underway to address. That was really the only good argument against these proposals and what sunk them.
31
Srsly, I agree with pretty much all of Roger's basic values, but he is just about the worst spokesman our movement could ask for. Dude, everything you write makes me cringe. People publish you because your particular brand of hyper-aggressive density shock jockism drives comments and clicks, but if you think you're helping - you're not. Shut up, please.
32
Wait, Capitol Hill is not dense enough? Does Seattle even have a denser neighborhood?
33
Roger sounds about right.
Micro-commercial in neighborhoods is a good idea.
Whether the exact proposed ordinance was well-written I don't know.
But we should allow micro-retail in some way.
34
"corner stores these days are 7-Elevens, not mom-and-pops"

Oh no! It's not just a convenient store, it's a successful convenience store! Hide your teenagers, those bastards might want to give them a job!