Video: Raucous meeting discusses ‘unintended consequences’ of lowrise-zoning changes

January 16, 2014 at 5:45 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

With so many important meetings in West Seattle on Tuesday night, including three neighborhood councils, at least one PTSA, and the WS Transportation Coalition forum, few West Seattleites made it off-peninsula for a citywide meeting that was also of great interest. What turned out to be a raucous meeting – presented by the city but sparked by a citizens’ petition – focused on whether so-called “lowrise” zoning should be changed. Yes, the changes a few years ago had some “unintended consequences,” as acknowledged by the city Department of Planning and Development reps leading the meeting – taller “lowrise” buildings, among them. Seattle Channel did record this meeting as well, and the video has just been made available, so we’re sharing it above. Some supporting materials and links – first, the slide deck used by the city at Tuesday night’s meeting:

City presentation from low-rise-zoning meeting


(If you can’t see it embedded there, go to the city website to see the PDF.) If you’d like to read a news story about the event, go here to see what our fellow neighborhood news service CapitolHillSeattle.com reported about Tuesday night’s meeting. And as for what happens next – the city is continuing to take comments as it develops potential revisions to bring to the City Council; see the right side of the project webpage for contact information.

P.S. We know of at least one West Seattleite who spoke – you’ll see Morgan Community Association‘s Cindi Barker at the 66:30 mark of the meeting video.

P.P.S. And if you’re wondering what parts of West Seattle are zoned low-rise, see our original preview of this meeting, published last month.

7 Comments

  1. on the P.S., Do you mean Deb Barker?

    Comment by anne — 6:26 pm January 16, 2014 #

  2. Nope. I know them both and have met both in person numerous times. Cindi Barker, no relation to Deb.

    Comment by WSB — 6:34 pm January 16, 2014 #

  3. Ah, the old “unintended consequences” leading to a “correction” explanation… it’s getting tiring that neither DPD or City Council are capable of understanding what they are mandating. Both are getting totally played by developers who are laughing all the way to the bank as they destroy our communities. Enough.

    Comment by Gatewooder — 7:41 pm January 16, 2014 #

  4. Well said Gatewooder.

    Comment by enough — 9:47 am January 17, 2014 #

  5. This is happening all over Seattle. Anyone who considers moving to any part of Seattle needs to do a “worst-case” analysis and ask themselves what the city might do to screw things up, density-wise.
    .
    Where might they plop an “apodment” under the guise of “affordable housing,” and ruin my tidy little single-family house investment? Beyond West Seattle, there are plenty of people in Ballard, Capitol Hill, Eastlake, and Wallingford who are shell-shocked by what’s happening.
    .
    The city government? Not only don’t they care about the neighborhoods, they’re often actively HOSTILE to them. It’s really strange, but the powers that be in Seattle really resent the neighborhood quilt. The stronger a neighborhood’s identity the more vulnerable it tends to be unless it’s filthy rich.
    .
    Anyone who objects will get squashed like a bug. The people get called every name in the book by the various “progressive” fronts trotted out by the developers and their lawyers. Neither they nor the city government nor the “progressive” media will show even a sliver of regard or respect.
    .
    I know how cynical that sounds, but it’s true. No one in Seattle ever stands between a well-connected developer and the s***pot full of money to be made be bulldozing “the home tree,” Avatar style.

    Comment by CWP — 12:45 pm January 17, 2014 #

  6. Raucous is a good word to describe this meeting. I watched this whole thing and I encourage everyone to watch it. It mainly concerns Capitol Hill but the same development is happening in West Seattle so all of the concerns raised in this meeting are applicable in our neighborhood.
    .
    If you don’t understand why citizens are upset with developers and/or the DPD, the citizen comment section of this video will answer your questions.
    .
    Developers and DPD, take note.. people are not happy!
    .
    Thanks to the people who attended! As many commenters’s stated, concerns were brought up but ignored year after year. Hard not to say I told you so. Why would the city ignore these valid points that come back to bite them?
    .
    The presenter, Geoff?, took a lot of guff, I respect to him and Mike for their composure.
    .
    Developers get departures, waivers, exceptions, and incentives. Not being held to codes by DPD.
    I wonder if developers know how much they are loathed?
    .
    Some things that stuck with me is the over all frustration of the citizens. Developers take away sunlight, exploit loopholes in code and sometimes can get away without a design review process. They don’t contribute to repairing/improving sewer lines, and supposedly mass transit.
    Citizens feel the deck is stacked against them.
    .
    The Urban Village/Neighborhood plan was written before the upzone and was supposed to be with the communities input. They didn’t sign up for the 4 – 5 story zoning (Apodments, etc). The community is not able to be involved, as was the original plan, because developers are able to get away without a design review.

    Comment by enough — 12:49 pm January 17, 2014 #

  7. Speak up seattle has some good pictures of what happens when when development goes bad. Including a gorgeous old yellow house I’m sure we’ve all noticed on Capitol Hill that has been bought by developers.

    Comment by enough — 3:25 pm January 17, 2014 #

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