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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mayor Pushes for More Density Around Roosevelt Light Rail Station

Posted by on Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Today Mayor Mike McGinn sent officials with the Department of Planning Development back to the drawing board to reconsider zoning upgrades around the future site of the Roosevelt light rail station, after the DPD recommended the bare minimum of density development in April.

"The allowed height, bulk, and scale of development on the affected parcels is not expected to substantially increase over what is allowed by current zoning," DPD director Diane Sugimura wrote in her April director's report on the upgrades.

Specifically, the DPD's proposed rezone would only result in 348 new housing units and 215,209 square feet of commercial space from what is currently allowed in the predominantly single-family-zoned area. In other words, it's a far cry from the dense urban villages that the city has committed to developing around light rail stations. (More specifics here).

And McGinn says this bare minimum is not enough (while, conversely, also putting the kibosh on building high-density towers in Roosevelt). From the mayor's letter to Sugimura (.pdf):

...I believe that given the significant investment in light rail, and the potential for good neighborhood-scale development, the city needs to take a closer look at heights above 40 feet, such as 65 and 85 feet.

I look forward to DPD coming forward with new proposals to reflect this direction, and give the council a broader range of choices. The decisions we make now will be in place for a while. It is important to set the stage for good transit-oriented development.

The mayor's letter comes days after a group of transit-oriented progressives and Roosevelt neighbors sent a joint letter to the mayor and city council lobbying for increased density to the area.

Any zoning changes would have to be approved by the city council. I have requests in to the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association and DPD for comment.


Comments (13) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
Glad to see our beloved Mayor wants to protect the single family housing in the rest of the neighborhood instead of letting it be infilled to 4 stories as currently zoned and pushing out local residents.

Besides, I was listening to five 20-something Roosevelt grads and they'd love to see the crack dens gets replaced with apartment buildings near the station.
Posted by Will in Seattle on June 7, 2011 at 12:10 PM · Report this
Fnarf 2
@1, do the police know?
Posted by Fnarf on June 7, 2011 at 12:11 PM · Report this
That neighborhood needs a Walgreens, immediately.
Posted by Solar System on June 7, 2011 at 12:35 PM · Report this
David, I see you're all over the internet right now. 200,000 square feet of commercial is probably including replacement for the QFC, which is being removed for construction.
Posted by Ben Schiendelman on June 7, 2011 at 12:56 PM · Report this
I've been wondering why PCC settled that deal to open up a new store a few dozen blocks away from the Aurora location on the other side of Greenlake.

Lots more people living over there soon. Smart move.
Posted by Solar System on June 7, 2011 at 1:01 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 7
@4: "Why such an imbalance?
Between housing and commercial?"

Because it's more efficient to refit the existing commercial space for commercial use rather than convert it?
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 7, 2011 at 1:22 PM · Report this
Kinison 8
If 200,000sf is for the QFC and QFC cannot get get the zoning for that retail space, then they wont be moving in. Either they'll stay where they are and upgrade their existing building (which would be a major disruption to customers).
Posted by Kinison on June 7, 2011 at 2:06 PM · Report this
Don't Manhattanize Seattle. Why did I move here anyhow?
Posted by Bucko on June 7, 2011 at 3:48 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 10
@9: If density and central planning bothers you, you're correct in that you made a very big mistake in moving to a city.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 7, 2011 at 4:29 PM · Report this
@9 If you don't like density (and the high rents that come with it) you can always move to the suburbs.
Posted by Orv on June 7, 2011 at 5:37 PM · Report this
@11, density does not cause high rents, it causes lower rents by increasing housing supply. Sure, the new buildings will have high rent because they are new, but they will lead to lower overall rents in the wider area. This is basic economics.
Posted by zef81 on June 8, 2011 at 12:13 AM · Report this
They should do it like Thorton Place.…
Posted by Edwin on June 8, 2011 at 5:23 AM · Report this
Posted by Edwin on June 8, 2011 at 5:26 AM · Report this

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