I would find this view study a whole lot more convincing if it wasn't apparently shot from about 5000' in the air. Actual views - before and after - from actual locations are how one is supposed to go about representing the ACTUAL impacts of ACTUAL buildings on ACTUAL views.
GIGO - you get the studies you pay for, and this one sure looks like a sham to me.
You're point is totally valid, Mr. X. This perspective makes even huge buildings look like Legos.
However, I think it's worth noting that the buildings closest to Capitol Hill are a fraction of the height that some opponents depicted when they said this rezone would blot out all western light. A number of the buildings currently in SLU, such as the enormous Cancer Care Alliance buildings, don't even reach the freeway overpasses. Capitol Hill will still have gorgeous views of the city and the water, even in this heigh-density scheme.
I don't understand how people here think a "view" is a tangible, God given thing.
Everywhere you see a view, I see the absence of things.
Why don't we develop Seattle's downtown before spreading it to SLU. There are dozens of parking lots downtown which could use 400' to 900' buildings. SLU may be ugly but let's not make it worse by adding a few sparsely placed skyscrapers. That would be the worse visual effect possible. The 165' to 240' heights seem just about right for the area.
You might want to check in with a realtor (not to mention the County property tax Assessor) and get back to us on that.
Last I checked Vulcan and Seattle Times were located in SLU. (PEMCO's by the big REI - not sure that is north enough to count as SLU?)
Yes, I agree there should be reps from residents. But to pretend businesses aren't also located in SLU is a bit, um, silly.
Seattle is a city of views, but I hope we can be a city of vision as well. In an era of rising gasoline prices and global warming, we need to find a way to share our city with a few more folks, in good walkable neighborhoods.
There are not DOZENS of surface parking lots downtown. There used to be some, but they're pretty much all gone; and even if you extend to Belltown, the surface lots that were everywhere 20 years ago are mostly gone. There's some, but not dozens. The last big zone of surface lots is the Regrade, north of 8th and Olive, and the big dead triangle between 5th, Westlake, and Denny. If you're calling that "downtown", then OK, but I wouldn't. But there is an immense amount of wasteland in SLU, too. along 9th, Westlake, and Terry. Filling it in is good news.
As someone said in another thread, "buildings, in my Seattle?" That's what cities are for.
A view is only real to the people that care about them. Which does happen to be a lot of people. Regardless though, i'd like to see a few legal cases where a "view" is clearly protected as a right, an economic asset, an asset that creates greater economic value than the building that obscures it...you're simply better at digging up legal precedent than i am.
If I put a couple of those red ones on Park Place, I'll own all your asses.
McGinn, run for office! (Someday...? It's OK if I have to wait for Great City to get off the ground.)
The last ones, at 400 feet, might work, but need some green space around them.
Well, if you want full legal protection of private views, I suppose you'll just have to go to a couple of nothing little cities like Boston and San Francisco to see that it can be enforced without the sky falling.
But even in Seattle, the value of a view is quite clearly quantified for many people - specifically in the form of their annual property tax bill, which reflects the FACT that every level of our local government acknowledges that views have a tangible and taxable value, even if that value is not protected (oh, and in the real-world those small property owners have to go through the tortures of hell to get their view-based assessment/property tax bill lowered when someone comes along and builds a larger structure that blocks it).
So you shouldn't be surprised or even offended that longer-established property owners show up at public forums to complain about losing equity in their investment because a bunch of newbies show up with cash in their hands and want to change the zoning rules. Last I checked, this was called democracy.
It will be interesting to see how the Mariners PFD does in their view dispute with Greg Smith (who bought the massive WOSCA property with open eyes and the current zoning, and who probably ought to retire if he couldn't make a shit-load of cash without increasing height limits as he initially proposed the very height of the now-waning downtown building boom)
And to go back to refuting the oft-made point from wishful thinkers like Bellevue and Will's, since Washington State does have unusually strong private property protections, we can't even do as much as freaking Los Angeles does - let alone Vancouver BC - to ensure adequate open space is provided (indeed, the new Multifamily Code Revisions the Mayor proposed and the Council is unfortunately taking up will likely reduce the already inadequate open space requirements imposed on new projects) or that these new developments set aside a significant number of units that working people can actually afford .
In my case, I'm not so much a "not my view" NIMBY as I am a "don't use my effing tax dollars to subsidize developments that I and everyone I know can't afford" one.
For the most glaring current SLU example, the $200+ million proposed to prettify Mercer could and should actually go a long way toward funding the much more pressing work of fixing the Magnolia and South Park Bridges, and is just the first (albeit - obscenely large) of even larger direct and opportunity costs we as citizens of Seattle will incur should this go forward.
So just wait till they raise your utility bills to pay to put SLU utility poles underground (because they want to protect THEIR new views, ironically enough) or until they shift more hours off of other Metro routes to subsidize a premature streetcar, or defer longstanding $500+ million deferred maintenance backlogs (EACH!) in road, drainage, parks, and library maintenance.
And if you think SLU can be upzoned to 400' for DPD's new buzzword "pin towers" without these new height limits being expanded down the road to permit commercial buildings of at least equal height and significantly more mass, you're either incredibly naive or incredibly dishonest. Seattle is already far exceeding its regional growth targets under the existing zoning in most all of our neighborhoods without any of this, and it's tragic that so many resources are being expended just pushing (on the part of Hallivulcan and their apologists/tenants) or rationalizing (on the part of both branches of what ought to be our City Government) it.
Just call me a NIABY on this - Not In Anyone's Back Yard, and most definitely not on my dime.
Some reporting on who SLUFAN is would be helpful here.
Note that this is NOT a traditional "neighborhood group", and many get their paychecks from Paul Allen in one way or another. The Cascade Community Council proved too difficult for Vulcan to take over back in the day, so they retreated to SLUFAN to rubber stamp their proposals. It's mainly a front group.
Mr. X, I understand that there are tangible equity losses by blocking views but you haven't cited a case where that took priority over building heights.
and to be fair, Seattle is no S.F. or Boston any way you slice it.
OK - here's one - Irene Wall forced the Port of Seattle's Marriott Hotel project to knock a couple of floors off because it did block one of the few public views that are legally protected in Seattle (and she kicked DPD's ass doing so - as they weren't inclined to actually uphold the law until she sued).
Mr. X, are privately owned views legally protected though? Home values are not a public good nor are they explicitly protected. In the case you mentioned it was a public view that already had legal protection.
I want to see legal precedent where privately owned property, and by extension owners, have won cases where another private owners making modifications to the parcels of land they have.
externalities are a bitch.
Comments are closed on this post.