Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin gave a generally glowing review of the proposed South Lake Union rezone in an interview with KUOW radio host Steve Scher this morning.
Conlin said, “I’m excited about it,” and added that the proposal to permit buildings up to 400 feet tall is “exactly the kind of density we should be encouraging.”
Before all the lesser Seattle yelpers jump in, supporting density like this—and 40-story towers—doesn't preclude extracting stronger neighborhood benefits from developers like Vulcan, mandating that larger projects include affordable housing, or requiring designs that keep interesting activity on the sidewalk. It's good for the mayor and council to tweak the proposal to build a really cool neighborhood, while still giving developers incentive to build there. But if any of the council members or mayoral candidates balk in the end—voting no or just rejecting an upzone altogether—they have no business being in office in any major city. They should run for office in Port Townsend instead.