HALA REZONING: With city-organized workshop in The Junction coming up Thursday, here’s how the new JuNO Land Use Committee briefed neighbors

(Direct link to draft West Seattle Junction rezoning map)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

This Thursday (January 26th), people living and working in the West Seattle Junction Urban Village have their first official city-organized meeting entirely focused on the proposed rezoning for the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda component called Mandatory Housing Affordability.

(The city-organized Morgan Junction workshop previously announced for tomorrow, we should note, has been postponed TFN, but the February 11th Admiral workshop is on.)

In the same room where next Thursday’s Junction workshop will happen – upstairs at the Senior Center/Sisson Building – the area’s community council, the Junction Neighborhood Organization, had a briefing and Q/A session to help interested Junction community members get ready.

thrushala2

That briefing/prep session this past Thursday was led by JuNO’s new Land Use Committee, which debuted a rallying cry for the HALA rezoning process:

“Too much … Too fast … Please put us last.”

The Junction already has taken on a lot of density, noted Carl Guess, the committee co-chair who opened the meeting – currently at more than 300 percent above what planners originally expected to be added by now.

From that declaration ensued a detailed, albeit unofficial, primer on Junction growth and HALA:

Committee leaders began by cautioning that they are “not going to make you land-use planners.” Guess did promise “at least five ways to make your voices heard,” looking ahead to the city’s meeting, officially a Community Design Workshop. And those in attendance came up with their own ways to be heard and to spread the word, such as organizing “block-watch captain” style to spread the word about the rezoning proposals, block by block.

Guess, committee chair Rich Koehler, volunteer organizer Christy Presser, and Morgan Junction-based volunteer land-use researcher/advocate Cindi Barker were the main speakers.

thushala3

“We’ve been in a scramble for the past two months to understand the scope of this proposed upzone,” Guess explained. “… But we’re not experts. … We’re learning as we go.”

But, he warned: “We are not going away … Land use is going to become an important part of your lives,” whether you’ve been here weeks or years. The neighborhood needs “a long-term view of what’s going on.”

Land-use committees are a common component of neighborhood advocacy elsewhere in the city, but have not been common here – at least not in recent years; a West Seattle Land Use Committee briefly sprang from the Southwest District Council in 2014, but it didn’t last long.

Right now, the HALA draft rezoning maps include one big Junction concern: That the city is proposing to expand the urban village’s boundaries.

Another concern: The city’s “process” of outreach, which Guess described as “lackluster” and “frustrating.” (He noted our chronicling of the process, going back to the quiet launch of the draft rezoning maps in October without a citywide “here they are and here’s what they are” announcement.) That included the December 7th two-site city open house, which was heralded by a city postcard (shown in this story) touting a variety of initiatives that had nothing to do with rezoning, which got only a glancing mention.

Emphasized Guess, “We’re not saying no – we’re trying to help the city say yes – but it’s been frustrating, and moving too fast (for us) to ask questions” such as “how much affordable housing are we going to get in our neighborhood as a result?” and why “are single-family homes being targeted for development” despite the Junction neighborhood plan saying those neighborhoods should be protected.

JuNO wants The Junction to be last because, the group says, other parts of the city are excited about the plan and should get the chance for the rezoning to be done first, and “to be a success.”

Another reason to slow it down: So the rezoning can be concurrent with planning in a few years about where the Sound Transit 3-funded light-rail stations will be. “It makes more sense to us to figure out where the stations will go and build the density around that.”

Taking the microphone from there, Koehler used this slide deck:

He talked about coming here in the ’90s, what he loves about the neighborhood, and how things have changed – crowded buses, difficulty finding street parking, traffic on the bridge, housing prices. (He showed a slide of the 35th/Avalon microhousing that’s going for more than $900.) “Density is inevitable, but a livable neighborhood must be the outcome. We need to organize to be heard.”

(With the room full, organizing seemed to be something at which the group is succeeding.)

With Sound Transit 3, “we have an obligation to shape our neighborhood for 100+ years,” Koehler’s deck continued. And then he, with a caveat, went into more background on HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda). “I haven’t talked to a single person who thinks we should not have affordable housing in the West Seattle Junction,” he observed.

What does affordable housing look like? Koehler showed an older $1,000/month 1-bedroom apartment along Fauntleroy Way. And then he showed examples of two newer buildings – Spruce, up to $2,095 for some 1 bedrooms, for example.

His primer continued with an explanation of zoning, and that included the various potential upzoning classifications, SFR to Lowrise 1, or to Lowrise 2, or to Lowrise 3. “I want you to remember this picture when someone says, ‘you won’t be forced to sell your house'”:

As for the boundary expansions, Fairmount Park residents are among those who would be included.

Koehler also showed an example of the added density that would be part of the upzoning. He used the under-construction building on the southwest corner of 42nd/Oregon as a potential example – it was built with 7 stories and 42 units, 15 parking spaces though none were required (that sparked rueful laughter around the room). If built under the current upzoning proposal, it could have been nine stories, 60-ish units – six would have to be set aside as affordable (or a fee paid instead – $140,000). The “affordable” units would have to stay affordable for at least 75 years, and tenants would have to qualify with a certain income level. If a fee is paid instead, there’s no guarantee that the affordable housing would be built in the same neighborhood.

Koehler said that once MHA is finalized – not likely for about a year, City Councilmembers have said – some builders might sue over it, according to at least one regional-media report.

And MHA doesn’t just involve residential neighborhoods – it affects commercial buildings too. Currently affordable buildings could become “collateral damage,” as Koehler put it, showing a three-story apartment building in The Junction where new zoning could go more than twice that high.

His “notes to owners” suggested that “property taxes generally go up with higher zoning … Per (City Councilmember) Lisa Herbold, the county has not decided whether to “grandfather” existing property at current rates. “Do we need to trade houses for apartments?” he went on to ask, showing a recent Seattle Times chart about the number of apartment units going in.

Then, on to Sound Transit – “most other neighborhoods involved in HALA (rezoning) do not have this added consideration.”

He recapped that voters around the region passed increased property, sales, and car-tab taxes, with some of the projects including light rail to West Seattle by 2030. Two of the stations are likely to be in the West Seattle Junction Urban Village, Koehler noted (Junction and Avalon – again, the exact locations are NOT decided yet, not even proposed). The city will likely push for upzoning near stations, Koehler contended. Neighborhood-guided discussion of stations would be optimal, as well as potential advocacy for tunneling rather than elevated (which is what’s currently budgeted).

One attendee wondered if there’s any chance the West Seattle line might be canceled. Koehler noted that federal money is expected, and the change in administrations might (or might not) lead to a change in plans.

Christy Presser spoke next. She is a citizen advocate who, since finding out about the proposed rezoning, has been canvassing neighborhoods and researching up a storm. She brought up the West Seattle Junction Hub Neighborhood Plan from 1999, calling up a quote in which the plan called for protecting the character of the single-family areas within the urban village.

The 1999 adoption included a “community character goal” saying “a small-town community with its own distinct identity comprised of a strong single-family residential community and a vibrant mixed-use business district serving the surrounding residential core.”

Then came the Seattle 2035 comprehensive-plan update. Presser pointed out that it dubs the West Seattle Junction “a community with both single-family and multifamily residential areas and the amenities to support the diverse community.”

Rezoning could happen, said the plan, if certain conditions were met. Presser also mentioned the mayor’s move last year to sever ties with neighborhood district councils, and how that seemed to be at odds with components of Seattle 2035 urging community collaboration.

Yet the outreach process so far has been lacking, at best. Presser asked for a show of hands from who had learned about the rezoning proposal from the city. Few went up.

She cited a list of what the city – in an exchange between top city planner Sam Assefa (director of the Office of Planning and Community Development) and JuNO director René Commons – considered outreach meetings. Among the “meetings” Assefa listed was a table at the Farmers’ Market, before the rezoning maps had come out. “I go to the Farmers’ Market for carrots, not to learn about land use,” Presser noted.

In reality, “there’s been exactly one meeting … that’s been held by the city,” the “Shelby’s debacle on December 7th.” She also held up the city mailer that preceded that meeting (as mentioned above, we showed it here).

‘When the city says the outreach has been sufficient … don’t feel we don’t have any power … (ours) is the community involvement, and we’re just now doing that on our own.”

She also brought up the city website on which you can “attempt to comment on what’s proposed for your neighborhood,” and showed a chart with neighborhoods that had positive and negative views of the proposals, with the West Seattle neighborhoods all in the latter. The focus groups that led to the rezoning proposals included few local residents, it was noted.

Koehler returned to the microphone, urging people to join the online feedback.

“I can’t figure out how to use the damn thing, and I work in IT,” one attendee was heard to say at that point.

Then an attendee spoke up from the middle of the room: “There is one more tool – we vote. Mention that to every city employee you speak to – ‘I don’t like this, and I vote’.”

Another one said that she believed that this presentation explaining what’s happening could be given in turn by neighbors in each of their neighborhoods to get the information out even further. Many people, she said, “have no idea this is happening” and those whose doors on which she knocked “were super-appreciative,” she said.

Cindi Barker stressed that “the fight is now” regarding the details of the plan – before legislation is developed to go to the City Council. “It’s not very often that something gets killed at City Council or transformed at City Council .. You lose, the further you get into the process. So fight your battles now … You’re way more prepared” going into next week’s workshop, than other neighborhoods have been.

“Is our city councilmember on our side?” one attendee asked. That would be City Councilmember Herbold, and Koehler noted they’ve had some discussions – while she voted for the MHA plan, “she has a reputation as the most pro-neighborhood city councilmember,” it was observed. “I don’t think we should treat her as an enemy,” Koehler said. (Herbold has been providing online updates on the process timeline, most recently here.)

Will the EIS look at how much affordable housing is needed? another attendee asked, and how much displacement is envisioned? “We have no idea,” replied Barker.

What about expansion of schools? asked an attendee. Not part of the plan, was the reply.

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE JUNCTION URBAN VILLAGE WORKSHOP ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 26

Cindi Barker explained how she got involved in volunteer advocacy.

“The most important thing about getting ready for (next Thursday’s meeting) …” is to remember that a different part of city government has organized it, not the Office of Planning and Community Development, which put together the December 7th open house. This is organized by the staff of City Councilmember Rob Johnson, who runs the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee. “Go into this and expect to be heard and engaged with,” she said, saying that Johnson’s staff has been “accommodating.” Wallingford had a 300-person turnout with 30 expected – and that’s one good reason to RSVP if you haven’t already – it’s not mandatory but it would be good to give them the chance to get ready.

(E-mail spencer.williams@seattle.gov to RSVP.)

She said the meeting will start with background on MHA, and the “principles that the focus groups [with which she was involved] were developing,” so you can understand how the city got to what is being proposed right now. “Wallingford produced their own set of principles,” she noted.

“Once they get through the background (and) the principles … then you’ll break up into small groups (for) a facilitated discussion,” Barker continued, with questions about what are the neighborhood resources and amenities such as schools and parks, with discussions about zoning near those amenities and transit corridors.

Other aspects that might come up include topography, Barker said, citing what happened at the one design workshop already held in West Seattle (Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village, back in November), and you have the opportunity to point out some things that might be problematic. The city will want to hear about the boundary-expansion proposal and “did (they) get this right?” as well as “where do we have the zoning right, where do we have (it) wrong.”

JuNO director Commons said she had spoken to Councilmember Johnson’s point person Spencer Williams, who reiterated the importance of RSVPing and also said that they would be taking notes and making them available after the meeting. It was mentioned that child care would be provided, so when you e-mail Williams, mention if you’re going to be using that. (Spencer.Williams@seattle.gov)

Barker also advised using the primers you’ll find – what’s FAR (floor-area ratio), what’s NC3 (neighborhood commercial zoning), among many other terms – and “engage and stay with it” – don’t drop out of the battle right after the public-comment phase.

Later, Jen from South Park talked about the Community Design Workshop they had had on January 11th – same thing that will happen here next week. “Make a list of the most important points” that you want to get into feedback – make that list before you go, to be sure you don’t forget or miss the chance. She said their meeting was somewhat tumultuous because “a lot of people had just found out about it the night before.”

Guess added that if you’re asked about a principle, you can say it sounds good in the abstract, but you would need to see what it would specifically translate to. Presser added that you can say, “I would need to see how it works in the West Seattle Junction.”

WHAT ARE THEY PROPOSING? Though there’s a position paper on the process – there’s no specific “here’s everything we want” position right now, said Guess.”We keep digging up more stuff and learning more stuff.” Koehler added, “That’s part of why we asked for six more months – more time to work with you.”

Guess pointed out three issues on the position paper:

-Work with Sound Transit so transit planning and density planning are being done at the same time
-Give us a timeline that allows development of a good working plan
-The boundaries need to stay at or below the original 1999 Urban Village boundaries at least as a starting point for what this area looks like – we have not taking advantage of all the density that is in the current UV. Since the language about protecting single-family neighborhoods has been de-emphasized over the years,

“What did you get for being an urban village?” asked one attendee who identified herself as being from South Park.

“We were supposed to get the monorail,” said a longtimer.

Amenities were to be concentrated in urban villages, noted Barker.

Commons stood up at that point and pointed out that The Junction doesn’t have the greenspace it should – the city counts, for example, the Golf Course.

“They’re redefining open space,” observed Barker.

Other questions included whether the zoning changes could intersect with steep-slope restrictions. Other points made: West Seattle still has no hospital; rezoning won’t change that, but there’s no harm in bringing it up. Even bringing up concerns such as how emergency personnel will navigate a street can be valid.

It was also suggested that the West Seattle neighborhoods should work together, to have a louder voice. (Currently, they’re all working at different levels.)

ABOUT THIS THURSDAY’S MEETING IN THE JUNCTION: Here’s the official city information. 6-9 pm Thursday, January 26th, at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon).

WHAT’S NEXT FOR HALA: The commenting on the draft maps continues through February – you can do that by going to hala.consider.it (and/or e-mail your thoughts to halainfo@seattle.gov). The city’s draft Environmental Impact Statement is due sometime February-March; comments on that will follow; it would be finalized in the summer, and then legislation for what kind of rezoning and where would be developed and go to the City Council.

WHERE TO FIND JUNO ONLINE: Both the organization and the land-use committee have Facebook pages – no websites yet. (JuNO page here; committee page here.)

WHAT IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA? The committee hopes to facilitate face-to-face conversations. But e-mailing your thoughts is good too. info.wsjuno@gmail.com is one way to do that.

77 Replies to "HALA REZONING: With city-organized workshop in The Junction coming up Thursday, here's how the new JuNO Land Use Committee briefed neighbors"

  • CMT January 22, 2017 (9:19 pm)

    Thank you for your great coverage WSB.  Everyone that has concerns about this proposed rezone needs to go to the City workshop on Thursday and be heard.

  • Morgan January 22, 2017 (10:44 pm)

    I may not make it to som of these meetings; is thre a place to submit comments online?

    • WSB January 22, 2017 (11:08 pm)

      Morgan – that’s in the story.

    • WSGuy January 22, 2017 (11:16 pm)

      The city’s official site for online comment is http://hala.consider.it 

      It is hard to use.  You have to sign up and create an account or else your comments are not saved.  A guest on the LUC Facebook page posted an instruction guide for how to use their site:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw5AGJJSRYRWbUdmbHJ5Z1FKdXM/view

      • WSB January 22, 2017 (11:25 pm)

        As also noted in our story – and we originally reported this 2+ months ago after hearing it directly from an OPCD point person – if you are having trouble with the aforementioned site, you can e-mail halainfo@seattle.gov … TR

      • Kadoo January 23, 2017 (8:48 am)

        FYI re: HALA comments, the process is much easier than I expected.  Took me just a few minutes. 

  • ellipses January 23, 2017 (8:17 am)

    Rueful? Way to be subjective.

  • Kadoo January 23, 2017 (8:56 am)

    Thanks, TR.  Excellent coverage as usual.  Any chance you could post a copy of JuNO Land Use committee’s terrific position paper?  I’ve asked them to post on FB but I don’t yet see it.  

  • House of Pug January 23, 2017 (10:34 am)

    Great coverage – thank you! One small-but-important correction to a statistics near the top of the article. The West Seattle Junction Urban Village is more than 300% over where the City expected it to be in 2024 – seven years from now. This excess growth, arriving well ahead of schedule, is one reason the area is struggling to absorb the impact of the current density.

    • Captin January 23, 2017 (8:36 pm)

      Correct me if I’m wrong but the 300% number comes from original Urban Village estimates from 1994 when I was still in High School and there was no internet. There was no way to predict the magnitude of change over 20+ years in 1994. 

  • Ed Slope January 23, 2017 (10:38 am)

    Councilmember Herbold and community leaders have worked hard to get this meeting on the calendar for 1/26, 6pm-9pm, at the West Seattle Senior Center. It could be the only opportunity for the Alaska Junction Community to give direct and specific feedback to the HALA/MHA proposal affecting our neighborhood.

  • Not a NIMBY January 23, 2017 (11:07 am)

    I can’t think of a more important issue affecting West Seattle in the near term than this. I commend WSB for devoting space to these meetings.

    At the same time, I am dismayed that you have not done more to translate what the city’s HALA proposal actually could mean for a typical West Seattleite.

    Let’s say I live within the current urban village boundary of the Alaska Junction, on one of the streets parallel to California populated by single family homes. What does the HALA proposal mean for me and my neighbors? Will developers be able to build four story apartment buildings or will the height restrictions be comparable to what they are now? I have no idea based on your coverage.

    I’m receiving letters in my mailbox from neighbors who are on the edge of panic about HALA and what it will mean for our community.  I have no idea whether their concerns are misguided or not. I suppose I could wade through these city documents and figure it out if I devoted enough time. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I see that as WSB’s responsibility as a local news source.

     

    • CMT January 23, 2017 (11:21 am)

       So on 42nd between Edmunds and Dawson and Dawson and Brandon (and this is just one of the 20+ blocks in the WS Junction alone that is proposed to be rezoned), the City is proposing to upzone to LR2.  That is 40 foot apartment buildings.  Above is what LR2 looks like.

       

       

       

      • CMT January 23, 2017 (11:24 am)

         

        LR 1 looks like this.

         

    • WSB January 23, 2017 (11:24 am)

      NAN – we have covered this stem to stern for three months now, far more than anyone anywhere, including the big-staffed, corporate-owned citywide/regional news publications. And not just meetings. (Here’s our original October story, “hey, the maps are out.”)

      What it means/could mean to you is different from what it means to the people two blocks over and from the people two blocks over from there. I can’t write an individual story for every individual parcel. The whole point of all this coverage is to say – something big is going on and you need to jump in to see exactly what’s being proposed (or not) for your specific parcel.

      If you can’t find your block on any of the Urban Village maps, check the citywide interactive map (also featured here multiple times):

      http://seattlecitygis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=6aafeae86b1f4392965531c376489676

      And if you still can’t find it there – the city has an infoline:

      “HALA Hotline: Call us at (206) 743-6612 if you have questions or comments. We do our best to answer the phone M-F from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you get our voicemail, we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.”

      And when you talk to them – that’s an important point too, if you can’t figure out from THEIR communication (they are ultimately accountable) what’s happening, or not, where you are. That’s the point many neighbors who’ve been busy marshaling forces, organizing their own meetings, etc., have been making.

      TR

    • Krista C. January 23, 2017 (2:02 pm)

      How about some personal responsibility and research it yourself. It’s not the responsibility of the WSB to hold your hand.

    • bolo January 23, 2017 (5:08 pm)

      WSB is a news reporting organization. Their role is to report the news, not to prepare personalized land use reports for each individual lot. That part is your duty, which you can do by researching the city records and plans. If you have difficulty with that, you need to contact the city directly, not WSB. Unless you uncover some newsworthy information along the way.

    • WS Guy January 23, 2017 (6:19 pm)

      The JuNO Land Use Committee would be happy to answer your questions about your specific property.  Please email wsjuno@yahoo.com with your questions, comments, and suggestions. 

    • DH January 24, 2017 (2:49 pm)

      I agree with others. The WSB is a great source of news. I very much appreciate what they offer on a very local level. Hire a housing policy analyst if you want one. I don’t see that as the WSB responsibilty. 

  • sunnyday January 23, 2017 (12:20 pm)

    Part of the slide deck used in one of the meetings suggested neighborhoods would change over the course of a decade or 2. After talking with several people in the ‘soon to be upzoned’ area, I think it’s more like a few years we’ll be seeing changes in those neighborhoods after it becomes official, as people are already deciding to sell due to West Seattle being too crowded and noisy and look at this as almost welcoming.

  • Jort Sandwich January 23, 2017 (12:25 pm)

    I see that, once again, the opponents of HALA/MHA believe that the city’s only solution to growth is to STOP GROWING because we can’t grow anywhere, at all. 

    That’s still an unrealistic and untenable solution. This city is growing, it needs to grow equitably throughout the city, and it needs to be done in concentrated areas to prevent an undue burden on infrastructure.

    All of the arguments I see in these “community” meetings, led by anti-growth, pro-increasing private home value advocates, boil down to: “put a glass dome over the city of Seattle and don’t let a single more person move in, because we can not grow this city by not one single piece of increased density.”

    This city is growing, it needs to increase density to handle that growth, and all of this whiny, whiny complaining about the way buildings look and people’s sad, hurt feelings about “neighborhood character” do not change this fact.

    I think the city, and the staff of people who are college-educated and extremely well-trained on how to handle the challenges of urban planning, would take these sorts of “community” meetings a lot more seriously if they had any kind of alternate plan beyond this complete child fantasy of “growth must not happen anywhere.”

    When your baseline position is fully and completely unrealistic and exists only in a child fantasy world, you’re not going to be taken seriously, no matter how many “community” meetings and powerpoints you make.

    So, what is JuNO’s solution for a growing city, places for people to live, and affordable housing for those who need it? I’m not seeing that. Anywhere. 

    This “powerpoint” from this “committee” certainly makes an excellent, strong case for limiting the supply of available housing and zoning to that which is already existing. Gosh, I wonder who stands to benefit the most from a restricted housing supply? Hint: look up the definition of supply and demand.

    • CMT January 23, 2017 (12:49 pm)

      Jort Sandwich – Your remarks are not accurate. 

      There is a school of thought that believes that all single family housing should be removed and that it must be replaced with multi-family housing immediately.  And that there should be no parking provided because everyone should be using mass transit for everything.  If that is your view, then nothing will satisfy you other than whole cloth acceptance of the City’s proposal.  That is fine but even someone whose prime agenda is density must recognize that HALA has some serious issues in achieving its stated goals.

      There are, however, those of us who have a more moderate view. 

      JuNO Land Use group recognizes the inevitability of increased density and is working to put together a proposal that recognizes that in the context of land use planning that, among other things:   (1) respects the West Seattle Neighborhood Plan that was adopted by the City in its Comprehensive Plan; (2) actually makes sense given that light rail also needs to be planned for; and (3) minimizes the unnecessary destruction of existing affordable housing to build unaffordable new units.

      The proposed rezoning maps were not provided by the City until late October.  Obviously, it takes some time to come up with an alternative proposal but fortunately, there are alternatives.

      While the City and the staff of college educated, well trained people may understand the challenges of urban planning, we live in a City of neighborhoods and the City’s own Comprehensive Plan (Seattle 2035) expressly provides that these types of changes will be done in collaboration with transparency and with collaboration with the neighborhoods.  That has not occurred here, as evidenced by the fact that there are many people in the rezone areas that still have no idea what is proposed. 

       

       

      • Jort Sandwich January 23, 2017 (2:21 pm)

        CMT – My comments are accurate, and your characterizations of my argument are false. 

        Nobody in this discussion is advocating for the elimination of all single family housing, as you hyperbolically seem to suggest is the alternative to JuNO’s position. Again: you might have better luck forming relationships with city officials and the city’s planners if you didn’t use extreme, unfair exaggerations to make the case for your opponents.

        JuNO’s position is clear: “too much, too fast, please put us last.” There isn’t a lot of nuance to that position. It means, “too much density, too quickly, and we don’t want it until the rest of Seattle gets dense, first.” This is not a “moderate” view. This is a “not here, not no way, not no how” view, and almost everything from the “committee’s” slide deck is an attempt NOT to work with the city to accomplish solutions to achieving growth, but instead to limit, block, resist and reject any attempt to change zoning in the area whatsoever. The committee’s viewpoint is not “moderate,” it’s as extreme as any other, in that it does not want any further growth whatsoever in the Junction. The “committee” can pretend this is “moderate” as much as they want, but “moderate” has to include at least a sliver of reality in order to be taken seriously.

        I know how strongly the opponents to this program feel about this, but, again, they are basing their responses in an unrealistic world, in which growth can not happen anywhere in their neighborhoods. I will admit that this cutesy, “well, OTHER neighborhoods should be rezoned FIRST!” argument is really charming, because I have just seen neighborhood organization after neighborhood organization just lining up in eagerness and open arms to the HALA changes, all over the city. I assure you that there are people in Magnolia and Hilltop and other places around the city who are saying, “Hey, how about you do it to West Seattle, first?!”

        Hopefully the city’s staff will laugh away this cutsey “powerpoint” as baseless, unsubstantiated whining, as they should, until JuNO’s “committee” can come up with an alternative, realistic plan that addresses the realities of growth in our entire city, instead of, “Hey, how about that other neighborhood, first!”

        • CMT January 23, 2017 (2:45 pm)

          And, Jort Sandwich, hopefully most readers will recognize that, despite your dismissive vitriol (waving away a proposal to develop any alternative as “whiny whiny”, “child fantasy” and “cutesy,” for example), there is a better way to do this than what the City is proposing and it includes our neighborhood’s involvement.  

        • Ed Slope January 23, 2017 (2:55 pm)

          Actually Jort, there are neighborhoods who see the proposed plan as a good fit for their specific locales.  For example, according to city solicited feedback, 23rd and Jackson, N. Beacon Hill, N. Ranier, Columbia City, Fremont, Greenlake-Roosevelt, First Hill/Capitol Hill, Bitter Lake, and Lake City among others all have a relatively positive view on the plan. Is it really realistic to think that an ivory tower planning department and a financially lucrative agreement with developers can blanket solve for growth across such vastly different neighborhoods in Seattle?

          • Captin January 23, 2017 (8:51 pm)

            Is that because they see an opportunity for their neighborhood to become a West Seattle Junction? With a walkable shopping and dining area, transit, and some jobs? Remember, some of these areas that want to be upzoned want to have what we have here.

        • Captin January 23, 2017 (8:48 pm)

          $Agreed. As a neutral observer that’s the narrative I observe. “I don’t like this because I think it might negatively effect me.” It won’t (consider everything). Your neighbor can already build a huge house that can see right into your bedroom or back yard.  Your neighbor can already build a DADU right next to you. Knocking down one 80 yr old avocado color appliance having house produces 4  $600,000 town houses that’s still better than one $1.1 million 5br 6 bath house! If your neighbor builds a triplex next to you or 4 town houses guess what…..your house is worth more. This idea is actually a natural progression of growth that is not new to Seattle.  Seattle is a “young” city in terms of growth. We are becoming a “big time” city and have to face it head on. Like I’ve said before…I own two houses in West Seattle, let’s do nothing. I’ll be rich!!!!!!

    • sunnyday January 23, 2017 (12:59 pm)

      I tend to agree with you on a lot of points actually (although not so aggressively). We do have to grow, it’s what happens in a thriving city. But I believe one of the arguments is that the junction area has grown by 300% whereas other areas, nearby I might add, are needing the growth and even asking for it. I gathered from all the comments, most realize the city has to grow, it’s a matter of too heavily in one area so I believe that has been requested of the city to just take a look at.   

      • Captin January 23, 2017 (8:52 pm)

        I may be in error here but the city estimated that 300% number in 1994. Holy moly is it a different world from then.

    • Krista C. January 23, 2017 (2:05 pm)

      Yes, I agree. These detractors are the same people that voted against the rail system that the federal government would have paid for it the 1970’s.

      • WSB January 23, 2017 (2:59 pm)

        Just a data point, having sat in the front row at this meeting: The people involved here (who by the way, aside from guest Cindi Barker, are NEW community activists) aren’t old enough to have voted on that or anything else in the 1970s. The city’s endless insinuational that neighborhood activists are all “old” is inaccurate (not to mention ageist).

    • bolo January 23, 2017 (5:02 pm)

      Jort Sandwich, read again and you will find that most of the complaints were not against the rezoning plans per se, but against the poor outreach by the city and lack of timely notifications for important meetings. Did you too easily jump to a preconceived conclusion?

      • Captin January 23, 2017 (8:56 pm)

        Outreach was “bad” but there had to be some sort of defined proposal before outreach began right? I think “Hey, we might do stuff, maybe sometime, maybe some things,  that may or may not change zoning or impact density but we don’t know yet.” Isn’t the appropriate time to begin outreach. We are in the outreach period where there is a real proposal and an opportunity for real feedback.

  • sunnyday January 23, 2017 (2:17 pm)

    Just wanted to say that it was Jort Sandwich who had ‘some’ points I agree with.  A lot of the people fighting this that we hear from the most  do have homes in the upzone area, and I get it but there does have to be a level of acceptance that cities are going to grow…even in your neighborhood. I’m in the upzone area, I moved here because it was close to everything, as I’m sure everyone else did in the upzone area. I’m actually for growth, although just saying that and posting it makes me feel like some people will throw verbal bricks. Just note, some people like this idea and growth is good. We live in a big city, not a small city in Iowa. Everyone I’ve talked to are fully aware of the rezoning, and shockingly some don’t really mind.

    • Captin January 23, 2017 (9:00 pm)

      Right! It’s like moving to Honolulu and complaining about the tourists. If you have a single family home in any “major” city anywhere in the world that is within walking distance to a “major” commercial area you are in a potential up zone area. Why is that so hard to understand? 

  • Ed Slope January 23, 2017 (2:44 pm)

    Jort, A very reasonable question has been asked: How can a serious WS growth plan not even consider the impact of adding light rail to our neighborhood?!

    The City Planner answer [paraphrased]…the planning for single family neighborhood up-zones and village expansions started in coordination with developers before we were aware of the $54B ST3 plan or certain any transportation upgrade would pass. It’s unlikely that we will revisit the draft plan even though we now know that there will be a major upgrade to infrastructure.  

    This is negligent and uninspired growth planning and I stand with the local residents who are calling on city leadership for a neighborhood driven vision! 

    • Captin January 23, 2017 (9:10 pm)

      The answer to this is quite complicated as well as quite simple. What you are talking about is a multi-jurisdictional, multi-municipal , blah blah blah issue. I TOTALLY AGREE that in a perfect world everything is synchronized like a beethoven symphony. However, in the real world, we have municipal, county , state and federal forces acting on all of these things. Not to mention the people lobbying for or against things like ST3 or HALA.  The city can’t making zoning changes dependent on a county initiative and a county initiative can’t be held hostage by state or federal grants or by city zoning changes. If we all waited for everyone to be on the same page we would still be commuting by horse and carriage. I wish it were different but that’s reality and IMHO part of the reason it’s that way it is.  Generally speaking its that people are resistant to change if it’s not in total accordance with what they want for what they perceive to be in their best interest.

      • Ed Slope January 24, 2017 (12:09 am)

        I get it – but now that we have next level clarity on ST3 the city’s plan looks to be outdated and insufficient. So instead of working to implement something we know to be inadequate why cant a redraft be worked that takes into account material info? Or is it that without my neighbors’ homes the city’s agreement with developers is at risk?!

      • DH January 24, 2017 (3:07 pm)

        You nailed it. All I have to say is “ditto.”

  • CMT January 23, 2017 (2:48 pm)

    Sunnyday – No verbal bricks here.  Yes, growth is inevitable.  That doesn’t make the HALA proposal for addressing growth a good one.

    • Erithan January 23, 2017 (3:16 pm)

      First big thank you to CMT and others bringing all sides to the table. 

      Sadly doesn’t address the fact that the housing will not be “affordable”.

      I doubt(or it would logically seem)there would be as much pushback if actual decently managed/affordable housing was added, and some had to be added in the new construction.

      please pardon wording have not been well. (Because of where I’m forced to dwell currently in part…)

      Thank you WSB for the great reporting and information as always as well.

  • sunnyday January 23, 2017 (3:11 pm)

    CMT – Depends on who you ask.

    • CMT January 23, 2017 (4:33 pm)

      Not sure what your response means Sunnyday.  Opinions may differ but under no circumstances is HALA a good proposal simply because growth is inevitable. 

      • Jort Sandwich January 23, 2017 (5:07 pm)

        And under no circumstances is opposing HALA and rezoning entirely a good alternative. 

        Growth is inevitable, and unless you come up with an alternative that is realistic and feasible, then HALA is the best idea I’ve seen yet.

        Feel free to come up with something better — the city might even listen! 

        I assure they will not listen to, “Not here, not now,” if that’s your baseline starting point for discussion. Because that position is a laughable, childish joke when it comes to facing the issues of growth.

        • CMT January 23, 2017 (5:56 pm)

           Jort Sandwich – I don’t see anyone advocating for no rezoning whatsoever nor failing to acknowledge that our City has an increasing population. 

          And yes, an alternative proposal will be forthcoming.

          However, you are quick to resort to name calling while failing to acknowledge the reason why there is not an alternative proposal ready to go at this moment.  I will not rehash the City’s abject failure to notify residents of the proposed rezone, the evidence is out there for anyone who cares about facts.

          Perhaps you could withhold your derision until an actual alternative proposal is on the table. 

    • Ed Slope January 23, 2017 (6:09 pm)

      ☀️ day – I can be pro-growth and anti-HALA and so can you. They aren’t mutually exclusive positions!

      • Ed Slope January 23, 2017 (7:18 pm)

        I think the a major difference between Smort TandWichs pro-growth view and mine is that it isn’t his neighborhood that’s being targeted and thus he isn’t affording for local knowledge or nuance. To him my neighbors’ homes just fall on boundary and topographical lines and it’s easier for planners not to consider real people when making their college educated decisions from a cubicle in city hall. He thinks we’re all members of the owner class concerned with increasing the price of our homes. (Which by the way the city contends proprty prices will go up with the proposed upzone…so which one is it Smort? You can’t have it both ways.)

        As for a proposal: why aren’t SF homeowners incentivized to build and maintain occupancy of dadus and adus? Why isn’t the department of incentives offering Development funds and tax breaks to current residents like those negotiated for developers.  Why is the only solution to density razing existing affordable single family homes including rentals. Do you think the city even considered that of the 93 parcels in my upzoned neighborhood, 35% of the units on public record are non-owner occupied? How many family’s who can’t afford to buy and who rent these homes need to be displaced to solve for our growth? I argue none or very few compared to the current draft proposal.

        • CMT January 23, 2017 (8:02 pm)

          Definitely easier to support a plan if one has no personal stake.  That’s why the City is supposed to actually collaborate with the neighborhood not just check the boxes.

        • matt hutchins January 24, 2017 (10:02 am)

          Building more DADUs and ADUs is proposed in the HALA agenda, but it has been pretty much shut down by homeowners in Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Wallingford.  Hence, the concentration of all development into Urban Villages, where there is a lot less Single Family Zoned land, but more capacity. 

          Since HALA has 65 different recommendations, you can be mostly pro-HALA, and against the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) component at the same time. 

          • Ed Slope January 24, 2017 (11:05 am)

            Shutdown because it removed a critical owner occupied clause in favor of developer class ordinances. The city has missed the market. If they want SF parcels to densify theyll have to proactively and genuinely engage the owners of those parcels. 

            Their approach to-date is just straight up adversarial and steamrolling.

  • sunnyday January 23, 2017 (5:12 pm)

    What it means is..it depends on who you ask, again, some people are not opposed to this, I respect your views and opinions, I really do, but not everyone will agree.

    • CMT January 23, 2017 (5:50 pm)

      Of course I understand and respect that views differ, but regardless of one’s views of where and how much density, any proposal should be reviewed on its own merits.

  • House of Pug January 23, 2017 (5:47 pm)

    I can understand how the phraseToo Much, Too Fast, Please Put Us Last appears as anti-everything. But there was important detail shared for each sub-phrase at the meeting–detail that is nuanced and worth noting.

    Too Much. Three points: (1) as Sunnyday noted, the density of the WSJ Urban Village is 300% over the City’s own estimates for 2024; (2) the urban village boundaries have not absorbed all the density possible under current zoning; and (3) the City is proposing not only higher buildings under HALA, but broader boundaries under a separate action. In other words, the area will take on greater density when it’s still trying to cope with faster-than-projected growth and hasn’t used up all the density available.

    Too Fast. The point here was too fast to ask important questions. Erithan’s is a great example: under HALA, how many affordable housing units will actually be built in the WSJ Urban Village? At the moment there is no clear answer. Taking the time to get that answer was the point expressed.

    Please Put Us Last. The meeting took the points noted by Ed Slope – there are neighborhoods that want HALA and the WSJ urban village must plan for light rail – and paired them into a position. That position calls on the City to move full speed ahead with HALA in neighborhoods that want it while, at the same time, work with ST3 and JuNO to create a coordinated zoning-and-transit plan that puts density in the best place to take advantage of transit and then implement that plan. Measure twice, cut once, if you will.

    Sorry if any underlining appears to be shouting. It’s not. Sometimes words fail so emphasis can help. :)

    • Captin January 23, 2017 (9:24 pm)

      If I’m not mistaken it’s 300% based on a 1994 estimate. Upzone being the case in point: Maximum development potential and actually razing a structure to build something else is different. There are many structures in the Junction urban village that could already be bulldozed and turned into something larger. Why have they not? Because whoever owns them is making ton’s of money and don’t need to sell. Yes, a zoning change may accelerate development to some degree but  not overnight. Why sell when you’re already good to go?

  • Not a Nimby January 23, 2017 (6:16 pm)

    CMT – I appreciate the photos you posted. Your presentation was actually much more compelling and easily comprehensible about HALA than anything I’ve seen on WSB prior to today.

    To those who say the homes being built are unaffordable, we must face the reality that housing prices in this city will continue to go up. Our only hope to temper the growth is density, with provisions for below-market-rate housing.  We will become San Francisco without if we don’t take this seriously. 

     

    • CMT January 23, 2017 (7:58 pm)

      Not a Nimby – Yes, density.  That leaves open significant questions of where and how.  Those questions should be decided in collaboration with the affected neighborhood as specified in the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

    • Captin January 23, 2017 (9:28 pm)

      Correct. Google it. San Francisco’s resistance to density is a major reason it is so expensive. Let’s do it. I own two houses in West Seattle and want to rent them out for $4280 a month like my friend paid in San Fran. Sail Boat for me, Ramen for my tenants!

  • Scarlett RJ January 23, 2017 (8:17 pm)

    I am not in the up-zone area.  I’ve worked for government for almost 3 decades and know intimately how government can devise poorly conceive fixes for about anything. Good people with bad ideas.   HALA  and the “Grand Bargain’ are those ill-conceived ideas.  

    Having developers pay for affordable housing by giving them license to cram even bigger and uglier Eastern block style apartments/house cubes all over town is ridiculous.  I would vote to tax myself liberally to pay for affordable housing, to be built in the Junction without the “Grand Suck up” and HALA.  

    But no, no, no.  Developers don’t want to build on the ubiquitous  “affordable” sites on Delridge, in  Southpark,  Lake City,  Rainier Valley or lower West Seattle — where there are areas just crying for more, and better, housing and horror of horrors-a nearby grocery store.  

    That is because the big profits that lubricate their wet developer dreams are at the three junctions, in Ballard and Wallingford.   Not my job to facilitate their profits.   When one SFR lot  here can have 6 townhouses built that sell for  more than a half a million a piece, the building costs are one million total and purchase and demo of on old 1940s house is a half million, you get a cool 1.5 million in profit for one SFR lot.  No wonder they salivate.   

    • DH January 24, 2017 (4:10 pm)

      Don’t worry. I live in Delridge. Plenty going on with developers here. 

  • WS Guy January 23, 2017 (9:49 pm)

    I don’t live in the upzone area either.  And I’m pro-density when it’s done well.  Better than sprawl.

    I just think the city has done a terrible job with this.  They are steamrolling neighborhoods that are unaware of what’s coming.  HALA in the Junction stands to destroy an area that is already straining due to a growth in density without corresponding investment in infrastructure and livability.  

    It’s a handout to developers.  It needlessly destroys 20 blocks of family housing to make way for 94% market-rate apartments.  It’s shameless.

  • Matt Hutchins January 23, 2017 (11:45 pm)

    It is refreshing to read that the 1999 plan called for increased density, mixed use, balanced with pedestrian friendly design characteristics  etc in the Junction, among other things. 

    Our Junction today is a much more vibrant place for restaurants, businesses and living just as envisioned in that Plan. And yet, this instant committee is  talking about kneecapping its evolution–making the Junction a victim of its own success. 

    It is this growth that is going to justify the future investments in transit infrastructure that I want, are key to making a more sustainable city, and support the kinds of community amenities that I love.  

    See you all tomorrow! 

    • Ed Slope January 24, 2017 (12:27 am)

      Who is kneecapping who?!

      One would argue it’s not a planner or a grand bargain who made it a success but the community members who were on 1999 committee and Who have engaged their community while the city has fumbled. 

    • Captin January 24, 2017 (7:40 am)

      I agree and like the density. That’s why it’s called “The Junction”. And it makes sense to concentrate growth around transit, etc. (whenever we actually get transit). I feel for people that are upset about being upzoned but that is the most logical way to increase volume. If one house can turn into 5 or whatever that’s a bigger return than a 15 unit place turning into 18. It just pencils out better. Plus this hypothetical 15 unit place is probably cranking out tons of rental income so it won’t be replaced anytime soon.

      Also, what about when we hit 2035 and the population increase is again way higher than anticipated? Do we rezone then when the situation is that much worse?

  • Matt Hutchins January 24, 2017 (1:01 am)

    Ed, I am applauding the old plan , and see recent planning efforts as the natural next step in determining where we as a neighborhood are going. This old plan mentions the Monorail, so maybe updating of zoning might be in order, too. 

    Besides, this committee formed last week, so forgive me if I’m skeptical of their bona fides. Based on the slide deck, I don’t know that they speak for me, because they are only embracing the ‘small town’ aspects of the old plan. 

    • Ed Slope January 24, 2017 (11:26 am)

      Thankfully we didn’t get the monorail and we can look forward to the possibility of light rail.

      I understand your skepticism but let the engaged residents prove themselves before casting their intentions and abilities with a dark cloud. On that note I can factually say that the city’s focus groups failed at building community – of the 160 participants city wide who applied and who were selected group attendance dropped to about 70 by the end…some of these participants cited frustration that the city’s request for input wasn’t genuine and that neighborhoods weren’t represented by neighbors but by hand selected appointees who lived on other parts of the city e.g. Residents of first hill were asked to comment on the appropriteness of upzoning on west Seattle.

      Yes, you are right that the opposition to  MHA is going to create odd bedfellows.

    • WS Guy January 24, 2017 (12:50 pm)

      The monorail is a good callout.  The urban village plan was intended to have a number of transit and livability investments in the Junction in tandem with the increased density.  The density has arrived but the investments did not.  Now we need to let those livability enhancements develop before adding still more density.

      For example, the monorail was not built.  The city redefined the greenspace ratio and then chose to include the WS Golf Course as the means to meet the parks goal, rather than adding parks.  You can see that no (usable) parks have been added, no community center, no transit capacity — nothing has been added to the Junction.  

      What you can point to is limited to some new restaurants and some grocery – but the Junction was already full of restaurants, bowling, gyms, shops, and the wonderful ArtsWest theatre before the 1999 up zoning.  The urban village was a 1-sided deal and the neighborhood plan did not anticipate that.  Please consider that even the pro-density among us are now skeptical of the promises of the benefits that density is supposed to create.  I’d love to hear you argue for more of those amenities now rather than later.

  • sunnyday January 24, 2017 (7:38 am)

    Interesting read on the WSB dating back to 2007 when the city was considering rezoning California St.  A lot of people were for it including business owners, it seems like the ‘community’ wants to tell the city when it’s ok to build and when to stop. I don’t agree with most of HALA  but I also don’t agree with a lot of the anti-HALA either (thank you Ed for telling me how I can be). I strongly suggest people take the time to read it, it’s very informative and feels very deja vu and we can see how the city took those comments by just looking at all the development. I tried to copy/paste but for some reason it wouldn’t, just google on the blog rezoning of California. 

    • WS Guy January 24, 2017 (1:08 pm)

      I think you’re referring to the upzoning around Cali and Hanford.  That was pretty ridiculous.  Developers bought those parcels and then lobbied to get them up zoned so they could cash in.  That was pretty much a handout from the city to the developers.  

      That area was not in the scope of any urban village plan.  As I recall, the community wanted to maintain varying height limits on California so that it would not become several miles of a long, dark canyon.  One person referred to that upzone as another step toward California becoming a “death star trench”.

      The north end of West Seattle has taken a series of up zones in the past decades so it’s not like it’s not already “In Our Backyard”.  What I’ve seen however is the sentiment towards up zones is getting more and more negative as there has been no attention paid to the livability concerns of the area, and as the neighborhoods are cut out of the planning process.

      1999 urban village upzones – positive

      2007 California and Hanford up zones – negative

      2011 Triangle up zones – negative

      2017 HALA up zones – very negative

  • Scarlett January 24, 2017 (5:22 pm)

     If some of the commenters on this blog we’re at the same Juno meeting I attended, then they clearly weren’t listening. One of Junos main points was that the city is completely ignoring the well developed neighborhood plan and the comprehensive plan  where there was neighborhood involvement to create the urban villages.  

    Growth  needs to be managed and distributed throughout all of the urban villages and not just dumped on West Seattle, Ballard, or Wallingford  because the contractors want to build here.  We only have 8 inch sewer lines in the neighborhood so we can’t take all the sh-t in Seattle.

    • Captin January 24, 2017 (7:22 pm)

      Actually Urban Villages (Expansion = NEW, Hub, Low and Medium Density) are all over the city (Expansion are just proposed). Correct, new techies probably want to live in Ballard, WS, or Wallingford.  However, there are ideas for all kinds of Urban Villages all over that have an intent to match the area and match the anticipated growth. 

      Here’s the link: http://www.seattle.gov/hala/focus-groups

      There is a link here for ALL of the DRAFT proposed zoning changes. Every Urban Village citywide.

      We live in a desirable location. Lucky us! We live here: can we blame “them” for wanting to live here too? Or is it “I was here first, you should have been born earlier?”

      I’m sorry I just can’t get past the idea that owning a home a block or two  from a vibrant restaurant and business district  in a major metropolitan port city and facing an up zone is a total surprise.  Caveat, if someone bought their house in a proposed up zone area 25 yrs ago I bet that wasn’t on the radar then. But, look at what has taken place over the last 10 years. Like it or not the writing has been on the wall. Obviously it’s hard to predict exactly where it will happen (street by street) but it happening in general is not.

      The spirit of this idea is in the right place. Dialogue is good….always.  The city is growing and becoming more of a “city”. We can’t will the universe into stopping people from moving here, the city into not allowing “ugly” houses or developers not building more apartments. The fact is they wouldn’t be building squat if there wasn’t demand. If I had a crystal ball I would predict that in 40 years we’ll be having the same debate about changing what is currently SF and proposed to be LR3, from LR3 to NC or something else and everyone will be fired up again.

      Has anyone read the article in the Seattle Times about the housing and rental supply and the comparison to San Francisco per Zillow?  Here’s the link: http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/why-are-home-prices-so-high-seattle-has-2nd-lowest-rate-of-homes-for-sale-in-us/

      • WSGuy January 24, 2017 (8:47 pm)

        I think we can have a discussion without a drumbeat of accusations that every contrary comment is rooted in selfish NIMBYism.  That doesn’t help.

        Raising a family is hard enough as it is.  Kids need stability during their school years, and parents need cars in this city.  Ever take a kid to baseball practice on a bus?  The impact of rezoning, uncertainty, higher property taxes, school crowding, and neighborhood infill on a family or an elderly person cannot be dismissed offhand as a selfish NIMBY attitude.  We have already asked a lot of the people that live near the Junction and they deserve to be heard and respected.

        I do not think they care to hear about how much their underlying land value will increase, especially from someone fortunate enough to own multiple houses.  I think they just want their neighborhood to remain livable.  I think they want input on the evolution of the neighborhood that they invested in and helped create, and yes, that they made a great place to live.  I would argue that the restaurants are not what made the Junction appealing, it has been the people and the neighborhood vibe.  In other words, it was them.

        The facts are that rents are now stable or falling (http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/turning-point-for-seattle-rent-hikes-some-hot-areas-see-rents-drop/) and the market is now moving to an oversupply of apartments, with more built in the span 2015-2018 than the past 50 years combined (http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/seattles-record-apartment-boom-is-ready-to-explode/).

        That is at the same time as the supply of family homes in Seattle is shrinking and their prices therefore rising, as your linked article indicates.  Regardless of your philosophy or vision there is no good reason to erase 15-20 blocks of family neighborhoods from the Junction, and the city’s been tone-deaf about it.

        I suppose making it a worse place to live would indeed reduce prices and improve affordability.  But that can’t be the right answer.

        • CMT January 25, 2017 (11:35 am)

          Thank you WSGuy for saying it way better than I ever could.

        • Captin January 25, 2017 (6:56 pm)

          I agree on some points and I have apologized to CMT in the past and have thus dropped using NIMBY. I understand the emotional aspect of this but am also trying to be objective and do totally respect dialogue and all opinions. I get the concern but the very article you reference the guy says rent increases will “slow down”. I think no parking is insane.

          Yes I am fortunate to have two houses by virtue of timing. But I also worked my tail off and planned and stressed and assumed risk, etc. however, if I were starting today I couldn’t buy either now! Sorry I just don’t think that’s fair and I don’t see how a city like this with the topographical challenges can grow without increasing density. I mentioned owning two houses not to show off but to illustrate that I’m “in” so I’m good x 2. I’m concerned for those after me. My friends and family that are paying 1/2 their income for rent and can’t even comprehend owning a condo nowadays.

          As far as value increases I have seen many people on here say their value will tank. I disagree with that. That’s why I said something.

          I also don’t understand the deep expansion South and think that a little bit in every direction makes more sense. Again, that’s why we’re talking about this.

          I really think that if we wait another 10-20 years to do something it’ll just keep getting worse. Also, if the supply of single family homes doesn’t increase and values continue to skyrocket what happens to property our property taxes? 

  • BJG January 25, 2017 (8:42 am)

    Thanks for your comments WS GUY. We Junction neighbors have spent years and all we had to make our neighborhood what newcomers and developers find attractive. Now we’ve been told we don’t count, We are still here and still resisting the big money and the nasty name-calling that has become the conversation recently.  See you at the HALA meeting tomorrow.

    • Captin January 25, 2017 (7:13 pm)

      Yep

Sorry, comment time is over.

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann