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RSS icon Comments on Awkward Moments in South Lake Union Planning


greater density creates other views and increases the value of nearby property. it's more sustainable and makes for a more walkable city. a bigger downtown makes it easier for people to live and work .....downtown. the alternative is to channel more of the growth out in the burbs. our current downtown is pretty small as it is and & not befitting for a downtown of a region encompassing several million folks.

Posted by PC | May 7, 2008 1:53 PM

sugar, if you build tall buildings in a VALLEY it can't block views from the hills.

Posted by max solomon | May 7, 2008 1:54 PM

This sure doesn't sound anything like what I was proposing ...

(as he personally thanks Paul Allen for listening to him and looking around last time he went to Vancouver BC ...)

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 7, 2008 2:19 PM

This area got redesignated as an Urban Center and should therefore take a significant amount of projected residential and job growth. 400 foot limits seems like an appropriate height to consider in some areas of SLU. Those heights are allowed right across the street in the Downtown Office Core which begins on the other side of Denny right?

Posted by Urban Girl | May 7, 2008 2:39 PM

Thanks for reminding way neighborhood groups are waste of a good meeting space.

Posted by Giffy | May 7, 2008 2:52 PM

We can only pray that the least density is the plan going forward.

They should modify the plan to have a requirement for less height the closer you are to the lake, with nothing over 3 stories within a block of it.

Posted by Reality Check | May 7, 2008 3:47 PM

property values wouldnt decrease necessarily as the opportunity cost of retaining the low profile viewless building would increase. you could actually attain a higher price for your property.

also, why the fuck are people so concerned about property values when it doesnt seem like they are likely to sell

Posted by Bellevue Ave | May 7, 2008 3:49 PM


You don't need to upzone beyond the current limit to turn SLU into an urban center and/or meet the job/housing growth goals there.

However, allowing 400' buildings will ensure that little or none of the housing is affordable, and that a lot more commercial buildings are built that will attract commuters from distant locales.

Kind of the worst of both worlds - even before you start blocking views and casting shadows over P-Patches and playfields.

Paul Allen and other speculators bought these properties with the existing zoning, and in addition to making close to $1.5 billion in infrastructure demands they now want us to give (and this is a public gift of value to the detriment of existing properties) them a massive upzone and increase in value for essentially nothing.

Oh, and Will, in B.C. they can make real demands of property owners who want to build higher (not least of which is requiring that a significant number of units be set aside at truly affordable rates along with the luxury condos in a way that cannot be imposed here), so please spare me that analogy.

Posted by Mr. X | May 7, 2008 5:41 PM

Requiem for a view...

I live about halfway up Queen Anne with a view of Lake Union and, for a few more weeks (maybe), Mt. Rainier. The latter view is about to disappear behind a mass of new development in the Stewart/Virginia area between downtown and Capital Hill. The future is now. Fuck it. Might as well build it up. At the very least SLU should become an even more walkable neighborhood that it has already. The kicker won't be views but traffic, because it is pretty much guaranteed that Seattle won't come up with a truly intelligent solution to the problem.

Posted by Pomme Fritz | May 7, 2008 9:46 PM

@8 - bull.

You and I both know that Paul Allen and Bill Gates say "I want to build THIS high" and it happens.

Now, come back to reality and enjoy the view.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 7, 2008 10:22 PM

Hi all. Just wanted to add some clarity to the record here.

Three comments down is my official statement.

I still don't believe it was an accident that an article hit the PI quoting only Masson and her company the scheduled day of the re-vote on the SLUFAN election.

I won't worry about the factual inaccuracies of the SLOG (my jacket was actually hung on the back of my chair, and you might want to double-check the name of the SLUFAN board president.) as I am more interested in letting folks know where I stand.

Posted by Noel | May 8, 2008 12:04 AM

So, where are the drawings?

And can somebody, anybody get the word out that skyscrapers do not actually equal urban density?

Posted by k | May 8, 2008 4:31 AM

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