Urban Villages = out. Neighborhood Centers = in. Here’s what we found while browsing West Seattle references in the draft ‘One Seattle Plan’

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

First thing you should know about the draft “One Seattle Plan” announced this week – aka an update to the city’s Comprehensive Plan, meant to guide growth and change for the next 20 years: The city hopes you’ll tell them what you think of it, and there’s a West Seattle meeting (April 3 at Chief Sealth International High School) set up for that, among other ways.

If you think this sounds a bit deja vu, yes, the current plan was supposed to last through 2035. (It was going through a feedback phase, including this West Seattle event, exactly 10 years ago.) And that wasn’t the first one – the city’s had a Comprehensive Plan since 1994.

The new one spells out the latest city philosophy on a wide range of areas affecting you and your citymates – housing, transportation, parks, climate among them, each one addressed in a section of the plan called an “element.” Most notably, it relabels some areas of the city, when suggesting how and where increased housing density and other types of growth should happen. For example, the once-reviled term “urban village” would be retired. (It dates back to that first Comprehensive Plan in 1994.) The plan update would rename current UVs as Urban Centers. In West Seattle, there are four: Admiral, Morgan Junction, West Seattle Junction, and Westwood-Highland Park. The growth philosophy there would be a lot like it has been in recent years; those areas have absorbed much of it.

Next on the map is an entirely new concept/label, Neighborhood Centers. The map below shows blue circles representing six for West Seattle – followed by the list (with a city caveat that these are NOT necessarily the official names for the “centers”):

35th Ave SW & Barton – 35th Ave SW & SW Barton St

Andover Junction – Delridge Way SW & SW Dakota St

Brandon Junction – Delridge Way SW & SW Brandon St

California & Findlay – California Ave SW and SW Findlay St

Endolyne – 45th Ave SW & SW Barton St

Gatewood – 35th Ave SW & SW Holden St

(Since Barton doesn’t go through to 45th, we believe they mean the Wildwood vicinity.) Here’s what the draft plan says about Neighborhood Centers:

*Zoning in Neighborhood Centers should generally allow buildings of 3 to 6 stories, especially 5- and 6-story residential buildings to encourage the development of apartments and condominiums.

Much of the rest of West Seattle would be designated Urban Neighborhoods. Here’s how the draft plan sets that up:

Many neighborhoods outside [current] Urban Centers and Villages have few housing options beyond detached homes. As documented in detail in the Housing element and Housing Appendix, zoning that exclusively allows low-density detached housing is rooted in a history of racial and class exclusion marked by policies and real estate practices such as redlining and racial covenants. With the prices of these homes rising dramatically, especially in the last 10 years, these neighborhoods are increasingly out of reach for most people, perpetuating patterns of racial and economic exclusion and contributing to market pressures that cause displacement and gentrification.

Meanwhile, many Seattle residents seek housing options and neighborhood choices that our current growth strategy does not provide. Housing types such as duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, small, stacked flats, cottage housing, courtyard apartments, and other low-scale residential types, all examples of what is frequently referred to as “middle housing,” are not allowed in most areas currently. Middle housing can provide comparatively affordable family-sized housing, options for homeownership, and opportunities to reside in neighborhoods with key amenities, such as large parks and schools. The updated growth strategy includes expanded middle housing options in all neighborhoods. These changes are consistent with new state requirements which will expand housing choices in cities across the region and state.

Urban Neighborhoods wouldn’t be housing-only, as many of these areas are now. Here’s the specific proposed description:

Urban Neighborhoods are places outside centers that are appropriate for primarily residential development. While lacking the larger business districts located in centers, Urban Neighborhoods still provide opportunities for mixed-use and commercial development along major streets along with at-home businesses, corner stores, and small institutions located throughout to support small business and institutions and let people walk, bike, and roll to everyday needs.

(The city would) allow a mix of lower-scale housing types such as detached homes, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, sixplexes, and cottage housing throughout Urban Neighborhoods. Allow moderate-scale housing of 4 to 6 stories in areas currently zoned for such housing and along arterials where zoned densities may be increased to provide more housing options near frequent transit.

The plan notes that increased housing density is important for reasons including that the number of jobs in Seattle rose 38 percent from 2010 to 2020, while the housing supply grew by 19 percent.

A further observation:

From 2016 to 2022, 68% of new units were in multifamily buildings with 50 units or more. Townhouses comprised only 15% of new housing units, in part because of limited land area where zoning allows them. Just 6% were new detached homes despite 72% of land zoned for housing reserved for that type. Accessory dwelling unit (ADU) production increased fourfold between 2019 and 2022, demonstrating the demand that exists for smaller, lower-cost homes in high-opportunity neighborhoods, if we allow them to be built.

The multifamily flats that account for most recent housing development are critical for housing our growing population. Most are studio and one-bedroom units that provide comparatively lower-cost options, in buildings of four to seven stories at densities that make frequent transit viable. But this narrow range of housing types doesn’t work well for all households. The One Seattle Plan sets a course where, by 2044, housing in Seattle meets a broader range of needs, including:
• creating affordable options suited to families with children and larger households;
• serving people with accessibility or mobility needs with universal design features and onestory layouts;
• planning for older adults to age in place with services nearby; and
• increasing condominiums, co-ops, and smaller homes that lower the bar to homeownership.

“Concepts” for implementation of the increased density are explored in this accompanying document.

Other notes of interest:

The draft plan calls for attention to Neighborhood Business Districts, saying they are “where many small businesses thrive, communities come together, and many local jobs are created” – 12 percent of the city’s jobs, to be specific.

It also tackles the topic of annexation, saying Seattle is eventually expected to annex three areas, including White Center/North Highline (see page 32).

And here’s one way the draft plan handles the frequent-flashpoint topic of motorized-vehicle parking (from page 26):

We are considering whether to remove parking requirements in remaining areas where they are present today. Even if not required, many if not most new homes in Neighborhood Residential zones are likely to include parking. Sites with alley access will likely include parking for most or all units due to the ease in parking directly off the alley. On sites without alley access, a broader range of outcomes are possible, including development with a parking space for every home and development with no parking at all.

Along with the draft plan, there’s an entirely different supplementary document on which you’re also invited to comment – the draft Environmental Impact Statement looking at potential effects of the draft plan update. (See the DEIS here.) To see how it addresses the topics and/or places in which you’re most interested, you can open it on a desktop or laptop and browser-search for terms of interest. Among the many notable sections in the DEIS – p. 692 has a summary of post-settler West Seattle history.

And then there are topics like this, just one example of what the DEIS examines:

Neighborhood center upzones that increase height limits above 30 feet … could result in increased shadows on public parks including:
▪ Alki on Alki Beach Park
▪ North Delridge on Dragonfly Garden and Pavilion
▪ Delridge Way SW and SW Brandon St on Cottage Grove Park, Delridge P-Patch Community Gardens, and Greg Davis Park
▪ Delridge Way SW and Sylvan Way SW on Delridge and Myrtle
▪ 9th Ave SW and SW Henderson St on Highland Park Playground and Westcrest Park

Again, that’s just an example of what the DEIS examines.

Now the big question: So how does anything proposed in the plan move from idea to reality? Here’s how that is answered:

The City will implement the One Seattle Plan through regulations, such as zoning and development standards, and through investments detailed in the functional plans developed by City departments. The principal purpose of this Comprehensive Plan is to provide policies that guide the development of the city in the context of coordinated regional planning and the City’s core values. Community members and officials from all levels of government can look to these policies when planning for growth.

But that’s down the road. First, the “Draft One Seattle Plan Update” itself has to progress from “draft” to “final,” and since it’s in the former phase, that’s why the city is asking for your comments. Meetings like the April 3 West Seattle open house are just part of the plan – here’s the full (so far) list. Plus – this page includes public hearings on the draft EIS, too.

114 Replies to "Urban Villages = out. Neighborhood Centers = in. Here's what we found while browsing West Seattle references in the draft 'One Seattle Plan'"

  • Kyle March 9, 2024 (9:39 pm)

    Surprised they don’t have zoomable block by block map of the changes. It’s too hard to squint and zoom on their PDFs to understand these big proposed changes.

    • Galen March 11, 2024 (3:18 pm)

      My understanding is that these changes are being proposed at the block by block level yet. This is a high level planning document.

      Block level zoning changes would happen in the future (if at all).

  • Rhonda March 9, 2024 (9:58 pm)


    • Jay March 9, 2024 (10:45 pm)

      It’s so sad to see this kind of reaction. You should try to have a more open mind and listen to the arguments in favor. It would be so nice to have communities instead of people insulated in single-family homes and driving to businesses in neighborhoods where few people live.

      • Rhonda March 9, 2024 (11:45 pm)

        Tens of thousands of us LOVE our single-family neighborhoods and wish to preserve them from rampant urbanization. We love our huge cedar trees, lawns, wooded backyards full of wildlife, peace and quiet, etc. Those who want urban, chaotic, downtown-style living can do so in the Alaska Junction, SODO, Belltown, Pioneer Square, etc.

        • Al Pal March 10, 2024 (8:02 am)

          Along with all the offspring of those who live SFRs? Where will future generations live? We have a housing crisis. Density is for the common good and is inevitable. 

          • KM March 10, 2024 (10:54 am)

            A million times this. The number of people in my life to have birthed 2-3 children complaining about density and new housing is WILD.

          • nonni March 12, 2024 (9:00 am)

            Quite a few of those offspring have moved back into their childhood SFRs. Mine will be staying when I’ve moved into the cloud. We built a cute little DADU, currently rented to my son’s best friend. There is still room for a private yard with garden beds, trees and a space to feel like a human being instead of a sardine when we get home from work.There is a broad ethnic mix in our HPk neighborhood, and an age range from young couples through nonagenarians. When people’s life expectancies were shorter, SFRs rotated back onto the market sooner. Thanks to Seattle’s Healthy Streets/ cycle- ’til- you- drop spirit, we old farts aren’t ready to shuffle off to SHAGland just yet, ta very much. Meanwhile, the six-townhomes started on a SF lot back in 2022  project is still struggling to bring the sewer up to coping with 12 flushing toilets where previously there was one. 

        • K March 10, 2024 (8:09 am)

          It’s a city.  Saying we need to protect a city from urbanization is like saying we need to protect birds from the sky.

        • Trees March 10, 2024 (9:34 am)

          This. There are plenty of places to go cram in next to your neighbors. Lots of us paid extra, including commute times and access to walkable commerce, specifically for the space of yards. “Single family housing zoning is racist” is a convenient flag to wave for real estate developers. 

        • CatLady March 10, 2024 (10:08 am)

          Living in one of the largest cities on the West coast and then making a statement like about how you don’t want “rampant urbanization” is wild, and also SUCH a classic NIMBY response. If you really want to live in a neighborhood that’s going to be only single family homes forever, move to a suburb. 

        • CAM March 10, 2024 (11:00 am)

          Hey Rhonda, this is the zoning you support, “zoning that exclusively allows low-density detached housing is rooted in a history of racial and class exclusion marked by policies and real estate practices such as redlining and racial covenants.”

          • Rhonda March 10, 2024 (6:20 pm)

            CAM, my parents, grandparents, and older relatives were all pulled out of their Seattle homes and businesses and put into FDR’s prison camps for 4 years simply for being U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry. They lost everything because of their skin color and national origin while white U.S. citizens of German descent did not. So, you’re saying their offspring are racists for simply wanting to enjoy our own 1/4-acre lot?

          • K March 10, 2024 (7:13 pm)

            No, CAM is not saying you’re racist, they’re pointing out that you’re saying you’re not bothered by racism if it benefits you.  Just in case we’re all understanding you wrong and the racism DOES bother you, seems like you’d want to know you’re sharing the opposite message with your neighbors.

          • Rhonda March 10, 2024 (9:11 pm)

            K, could you explain to the two African-American families on our street with lovely homes on leafy yards that they live in a racist neighborhood? I’m sure they’d love to have a chit chat with you.

          • Info March 11, 2024 (11:55 am)

            Rhonda, is that not assuming the thoughts of your neighbors based on the color of their skin? This is literally the “Don’t worry, I have a Black friend” argument but for a neighborhood, lol.

        • caught you March 10, 2024 (12:35 pm)

        • Casey March 11, 2024 (10:54 am)

          Upzoning and density doesn’t require you to change anything about your house or your yard. It just allows others to have more freedom to use theirs as they see fit. You can still have your large single family home on a large lot, but you shouldn’t be able to force all your neighbors to do the same. 

      • Andrew March 10, 2024 (5:09 am)

        This is the normal reaction to a proposal like this though, when we have seen what happened to Ballard and Fremont over the last 15 years. There, you now have three 2-story vertical rectangles on the same plot that use to be a nice house with a big yard. Both neighborhoods are now peppered with these cheaply constructed eyesores. We can throw insults around like NIMBY, but what does these do to combat the real problem of affordable housing for most. These rectangular monstrosities are just quick money for developers only. They don’t solve any real problems, and just destroy good neighborhoods. 

        • David March 10, 2024 (10:29 am)

          Those shoebox townhomes are the result of two sides not agreeing, poor zoning compromising to find a middle line, and developers cutting corners in the rules to get every square foot they can out it. What we need are exemplars of well designed moderately dense single/multi family buildings, and then determine what kind of ruleset would favor the construction of these buildings. There are plenty examples of good ones out there, even in Seattle.

      • John March 10, 2024 (8:23 am)

        I like my insulated single-family home and the same surrounding me.

        • April March 10, 2024 (5:20 pm)

          John. I love my SFH as well and the ones around me too. 

          • Genesee5Points March 11, 2024 (9:51 am)

            April and John… I love my SFH and the ones around me, too. YAY!  

      • Pelicans March 10, 2024 (1:06 pm)

        So, I am to be villified for aspiring to live in a single-family home on a “sub”- urban lot? I am labeled as furthering racist policies of the past for desiring to live a sane life not packed cheek-to-jowl with others around me? For not wanting to hear the toilet flush next door? FYI, there was a commenter years ago on the Blog who went by the name of “Too Many Rats In A Cage.” Hers/His comments were quite prescient.  Many of our problems come from living too close together. There are too many of us, packed in little future ghettos.  And before you all pile on me, I live in an apartment house, have never owned a single family home, but long to, and have never reproduced. I’m sick to death of living so close to other people and wish I could afford to live in a single family home. But that won’t happen in this lifetime.

        • maybe cities aren't your thing March 10, 2024 (4:59 pm)

          Maybe living in a city isn’t your thing? There are tons of towns north, south, and east of here. Plenty of space there, cheaper too. 

    • Derek March 10, 2024 (3:53 am)

      What’s gross about it Rhonda? Density housing and mass transit is the single thing needed in this city. We need to build up. Do you not see the constant struggle to find housing here? If anything is “gross” is preserving SFH. And trees are often replanted or kept so that’s a odd concern. The suburbs are where this kind of thinking should be, not cities.

      • Perplexed March 10, 2024 (10:29 am)

        With ADUs literally filling up backyards, where do those trees get replanted? Certainly not in the same footprint as the ADU. There’s not a single speck of anything green in my neighbor’s yard now that they put in an ADU. It’s entirely concrete. Gross.

      • Rhonda March 10, 2024 (12:22 pm)

        Derek, you just said “build up” and that’s not the problem. This plan is “building out” which wrecks green space. It crams up to six 1 and 2-story homes onto lots that used to have 1 home with 60% or more green space. No one cares if high-rise apartments go up in already-commercial and industrial areas. If you pay attention to that map you’ll notice that there’s no new “fuzzy blue dots” or urban centers planned for Laurelhurst, Windermere, Magnolia, the view areas west of Admiral, Leschi, Madrona, Madison Park, Seward Park, the expensive span from Lincoln Park to Alki, etc. Why are those posh neighboods spared when Westwood, Ballard, Delridge, and Georgetown residents get the sardine can? Are you ok with millionaires with 1/2 acre lots in Laurelhurst keeping their neighborhoods quiet, wooded, and green while blue-collar Rainier Valley folks get to look at concrete walls, dumpsters in alleys, and windows?

        • families sleep outside now March 10, 2024 (12:41 pm)

          Families sleep in cars because they can’t afford homes because housing is expensive because there aren’t enough places to live because protectionists fight housing because they claim to love trees but trees were here before their house but that’s fine because they’re Caucasian and that’s fine because their house has a black lives matter sign and that excuses their barely veiled racism that’s obvious whenever they prioritize trees over families.

          • wscommuter March 10, 2024 (11:14 pm)

            Let me get this straight … people who live in SFR’s have “barely veiled racism” because … because …?  You might try getting out more.  

          • CarDriver March 11, 2024 (6:53 am)

            Families. TOTALLY confused as to your point. Please educate us with verifiable facts.

        • WSB March 10, 2024 (12:55 pm)

          Yes, there ARE neighborhood centers proposed for Madrona, Madison Park, and Magnolia among others. Remember, we are the WEST SEATTLE Blog so we just list what’s in our area, but that does NOT mean it’s not happening elsewhere (same for many other things we report on). In the draft plan, maps start at page 20
          I had to ask the OPCD media-relations person for a text list of the neighborhood centers because even after searching the doc for every reference to “neighborhood centers” I couldn’t find a list. But since you bring it up, here’s the full citywide list she sent me:

          15th Ave NW & NW 75th St – 15th Ave NW & NW 75th St
          35th Ave SW & Barton – 35th Ave SW & SW Barton St
          Andover Junction – Delridge Way SW & SW Dakota St
          Brandon Junction – Delridge Way SW & SW Brandon St
          Bryant – NE 55th St & 40th Ave NE
          California & Findlay – California Ave SW and SW Findlay St
          Endolyne – 45th Ave SW & SW Barton St
          Gatewood – 35th Ave SW & SW Holden St
          Georgetown – 12th Ave S & S Harney St
          Holman Road – Holman Rd NW & 3rd Ave NW
          Interbay / Dravus – W Dravus St & 24th Ave W
          Madison Park – E Madison St & 42nd Ave E
          Madison Valley – Madison St & 29th Ave E
          Madrona – E Union St & 34th Ave
          Magnolia – 33rd Ave W & W McGraw St
          Maple Leaf – Roosevelt Way NE & NE 90th St
          Montlake – 24th Ave E & E Calhoun St
          North Lake City Way – Lake City Way and NE 145th St
          Northwest Greenlake – Linden Ave N and Winona Ave N
          Phinney Ridge – Phinney Ave N and N 65th St
          Ravenna – NE 65th St & 25th Ave NE
          Tangletown – Keystone Pl N and N 56th St
          Wedgwood (85th) – 35th Ave NE & NE 85th St

          Those are the intersections around which the city says the centers would be centered – but I haven’t found anywhere the proposed boundaries are shown. Also, remember that “urban neighborhoods” would cover just about everything not in a “center” – TR

          • Rhonda March 10, 2024 (3:09 pm)

            Out of the 24 “blue blob” neighborhood centers on that map, only 4 are within 2 miles of either Puget Sound, Elliott Bay, or Lake Washington. They are disproportionately planned for working-class neighborhoods without views or close access to large bodies of water.

          • Info March 11, 2024 (10:57 am)

            Rhonda, you’re just flat out wrong. Looking at the blue blobs just for WS, 5 of them are within 2 miles of Puget Sound. additionally, these are also within 2 miles of those water bodies: 15th Ave NW & NW 75th St, NE 55th St & 40th Ave NE, Holman Rd NW & 3rd Ave NW… you know what? it turns out the majority of Seattle is 2 miles from those bodies of water. i also don’t understand your point as it doesn’t seem consistent: the majority of the UCs and blue blobs in WS would be in what are considered the more affluent areas of WS, so by your complain in the comment I’m replying to, you should be for development there as it should be spread across working-class and owner-class places alike.

    • April March 10, 2024 (4:31 pm)

      Agree. This is disgusting. We are already overcrowded in West Seattle. 

  • Draft Map Please March 9, 2024 (9:59 pm)

    I have skimmed the Comprehensive Plan Draft and cannot find clear maps with boundaries where the Urban Centers are.  I see fuzzy blobs on maps much like the ones in this post that sort of show Neighborhood Centers.  As someone who lives near (and maybe in) a ‘blob’ area,  how can I form an opinion or make a coherent comment at a public meeting if the city doesn’t give me clear and specific information about exactly where these centers begin and end?  

    • heartless March 10, 2024 (7:38 am)

      You can’t form an opinion unless you know whether or not it will include your block? 

      I mean, deciding if it’s a good or bad thing should be removed from whether or not you, personally, are inside a zone, no?  Otherwise it’s just NIMBYism (sounds good, but let’s not do it if it involves MY house).

      • Draft Map Please March 11, 2024 (8:46 pm)

        My point is that ‘blobs’ are not plans.  A blob allows for decision-makers to apply whatever rule they are considering in a biased way whenever they want.  Clear boundary lines can also show bias, but at least everyone can see from the get-go what that bias is….instead of allowing behind-the-scenes influence on decisions.

    • Kristina March 10, 2024 (7:41 am)

      Agreed- I live near the California and Findlay blob, but am I in the blob? I really appreciate the multi- unit housing along California and love having businesses like C&P Coffee and Moon Room nearby (as well as others), but I truly don’t understand how this plan changes things because I can’t see the areas included.i don’t understand why there aren’t blobs in Admiral, either. Wouldn’t areas around the high school and north benefit from the same systems, or did the city anticipate NIMBY from the more expensive homes in that area?I certainly want our city to have affordable housing, and I also chose my street of established 1900-1940 homes because these little bungalow streets are so quiet, and I love the quiet. I am not sure what to think.

      • Info March 10, 2024 (12:11 pm)

        Admiral is labeled as an “Urban Center” so it has already been absorbing the growth that’s been happening along with the other 3 UCs mentioned. the blobs are like the next growth tier where they’re expecting and planning for development.

      • = March 10, 2024 (12:53 pm)

        Ditto on the lack of ‘blobs’ in the Admiral/north WS area. While increased housing and density may be needed, it should be located in an equitable manner. With arterials and businesses in north WS there is room along California,  Admiral and areas of Alki for neighborhood centers. Those areas deserve equal consideration. 

  • Jay March 9, 2024 (10:40 pm)

    This is a wonderful thing and I hope that NIMBYs won’t try to block future prosperity for the next generation. I really hope that single-family zoning gets entirely eliminated city-wide as well, and that businesses are allowed to open in residential neighborhoods. Imagine if neighborhood cafes were allowed to open. Keep the development a block away from parks and wetlands to reduce the concerns about environmental disruptions and shadows, but I want to see this plan come to life.

    • WSB March 9, 2024 (11:38 pm)

      SF zoning has already been de facto eliminated by the new-ish ADU and DADU rules, meaning practically every “SF” (changed semi-recently to Neighborhood Residential) lot can hold three units (a very popular type of redevelopment these days, often with nominal attachment between the main house and the ADU). But this would get beyond that to allow four units on even small-ish lots, and more on others. Lots to read for everyone interested in details – we barely scratch the surface, but this story is a start – TR

    • Anne March 10, 2024 (7:24 am)

      Because one loves their single family home doesn’t make them a NIMBY. You’ve got a very closed mind if you think both can’t exist. Your either /or intolerance for compromise is disheartening. 

      • yes it does anne March 10, 2024 (12:48 pm)

        Anne: yes it does. It specifically does. No one is forcing you, Anne, to literally put things in your back yard. At the same time, if your home is adjacent to a main road like California or Fauntleroy, you can’t fight dense housing expansion without falling into the NIMBY camp. Towing that line and denying the scourge of the term is the specific description of the hypocrisy that more and more Seattlites assume is the shared perspective of the Caucasian population of the city. Anne.

  • West Seattle Dad March 10, 2024 (6:38 am)

    Thanks for the synopsis.  Looking forward to this progressing with public comment.  

  • Lauren March 10, 2024 (8:24 am)

    This sounds great! It’d be wonderful to have more cafes, restaurants, and corner stores within walking distance. And more housing is always good.

  • Dog Whisperer March 10, 2024 (9:06 am)

    It’s unclear how our existing water and sewage systems can accommodate such an increase in demand. 

    • Derek March 10, 2024 (10:30 am)

      This is not a new thing for cities. And the sewer upsizing has already started in most areas decades ago. 

  • Tim March 10, 2024 (9:11 am)

    This is the logical solution. After the city council caused the mom/pop landlords to quit, 11,000 last year. You now will have to live in a corporate apt building with no parking.  At a higher price you used to rent your house for.  Way to go!

  • Oh Seattle March 10, 2024 (9:14 am)

    “Housing types such as duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, small, stacked
    flats, cottage housing, courtyard apartments, and other low-scale
    residential types, all examples of what is frequently referred to as
    “middle housing,”…”

    There used to be a lot of “middle housing” all over West Seattle, most of which was affordable. This type of housing has been, and continues to be, demolished to make way for $800k townhouses and row houses.

    • CAM March 10, 2024 (10:57 am)

      Your middle housing doesn’t exist because it isn’t affordable for the people who want to buy it. If you think anyone in this city is selling a SFH for under 900k that isn’t uninhabitable you’re taking some really good drugs. https://www.axios.com/local/seattle/2024/03/07/seattle-homes-downpayment-how-long-savings

    • revisionist history alert March 10, 2024 (12:52 pm)

      You conveniently skipped the chapter of your story where all house prices doubled since 2012 and normal people lost the ability to own anything besides a townhouse. Did your house double in value? Of course it did. Is it typical of self-entitled Seattlites to ignore inconvenient facts to uphold the NIMBY storyline? Of course it is. 

  • Jason March 10, 2024 (9:49 am)

    This is bad for the opposite reasons Rhonda said. I don’t get this.  Last year, we built 1000 ADUs, but in next 20 years, all the housing units in NR zones might be less than 7k under ALT 5? Anemic! FOR those hoping that Harrell will produce ownership opportunities, 91% of new homes are rental apartments. The mayor simply does not care about affordability for lower class people. Awful.

  • Bob March 10, 2024 (10:51 am)

    I’m happy to see the city growing, figuring out where that growth can more reasonably take place/where it’s needed, and that they’re thinking long-term with appropriate goals in mind. They really could do a lot more and go a lot further, but are cautiously dealing with too many NIMBY children throwing tantrums. Growth and change are inevitable. Learn to be flexible, see the value, just deal with it, or get out of my back yard, because I don’t want you holding this area back.

  • buck March 10, 2024 (12:22 pm)

    If zoning changes relieve developers of ANY obligation to provide off-street parking, and leave it up to them, they will charge more for units with parking, dragging up all other area home prices,  including those without parking (making developers happy, but not the rest of us.) That is the opposite result intended. That is how things have long worked in San Francisco and Manhattan. Do we want that?  Do we want only the wealthiest to be able to afford a house or apartment with off-street parking?  Changing zoning requirements to eliminate all off street residential parking, making it scarce, will have that result. Who will that hurt the most?   The dream of a fewer cars requires widely distributed and frequent public transit, which we don’t have, and may never get.  Metro bus routes have been discintinued, not added. The light rail proposal is at least a decade away, and will directly serve only a small slice of West Seattle when (and if) it comes.  Like it or not, even if we had a great transit system, most people will still  need/want single family transport to get to work, drop off kids at school, and get them to after- school events, get to medical appts, visit out of town relatives, etc., especially to locations that are not well-served by public transit.  Cars are thankfully quickly changing to lower cost, more climate-friendly EVs, but the single family transportation need is not going away.  To pretend otherwise is a mistake, and will have unintended consequences. 

    • Gatewood hood March 10, 2024 (1:38 pm)

      Well said Buck. 

    • Wes March 10, 2024 (3:47 pm)

      Great thesis, save for any mention of capacity.  

      We are fully built out city of streets.  
      There is already traffic gridlock  and congestion everywhere.  
      Encouraging more cars simply adds to the gridlock.
      Parking is taken by many homeowners using their garages for storage, families and individuals with multiple vehicles able to store them for free on our streets. 

    • K March 10, 2024 (7:21 pm)

      Manhattan has amazing public transit and New York City is now has a lower cost of living than Seattle, so yes please, let’s do that here.  Without any more density, only the wealthiest will be able to afford homes with OR without street parking, so it seems we don’t have much to lose there.

  • pagefive March 10, 2024 (12:40 pm)

    No ‘neighborhood centers’ in Admiral, Genesee or Alki? Well isn’t that curious.

    • WSB March 10, 2024 (1:08 pm)

      See page 26 for explanation of the criteria.

      • pagefive March 10, 2024 (4:21 pm)

         Admiral, Genesee – and maybe less compelling but one could make the argument that Alki – seem to meet the criteria for the ‘neighborhood center’ designation per page 26. Why California & Findlay and Gatewood but not Genessee/Charlsetown? 

        • Aaron G March 11, 2024 (1:52 pm)

          It’s a good question. I think it’s the fact that these are current Rapid Ride stops. This is a tweny year plan though…

  • Joe Z March 10, 2024 (1:10 pm)

    So the plan is to decrease the rate of growth moving forward? 

  • Deb March 10, 2024 (1:14 pm)

    A BIG THANK YOU West Seattle Blog for “browsing” the draft Comp Plan and summarizing what you’ve found.  Heads up Community…it’s your turn!!!

  • HS March 10, 2024 (3:18 pm)

    Really appreciate the story and links WSB. Density housing CAN be designed well and in a way that blends and adds to the neighborhood. As a reminder, rents are incredibly high. I just had a friend, part of a local couple, who have rented in WS for 5 years, move to Burien. They had been trying to buy a house here but their rent increased. They felt “lucky” to find a place to rent with their pet for $3200/mo and signed a two year lease, moving away from WS and delaying purchase of a home. We need more middle housing. Personally, development costs are very high and I wonder how many, who can meet the land criteria, will be able to afford to develop.

  • Seattle needs a vision March 10, 2024 (3:36 pm)

    Seattle lacks a vision. The why are we doing this. Communities need to be involved and also involved in the profit from the sale (owners are obvious, renters could get a % of the sale value if they were moved out and the community could also get a % too for infrastructure projects). Yes, we need affordability but for essential workers. We need housing for teachers, fire service and medical staff so they want to and can afford to live in this city. Then we need a vision; not just affordability, but a city that is green, walkable/bikeable, and healthy. There’s a whole lot of joined up thinking that needs to happen, something that Seattle is terrible at. I hope it does happen but historically I’m very doubtful. 

  • Highland Park Resident March 10, 2024 (6:02 pm)

    Thanks for breaking this down.

    As a Highland Park resident, I would love to see a Neighborhood Center (more density and commercial activity) here at 9th Ave SW and SW Henderson St.

    Try to get dinner from the Thursday food trucks at Highland Park Corner store and you can see the demand is there. Vibrant active neighborhoods for all!

  • Millie March 10, 2024 (7:04 pm)

    I’m old enough to remember “vibrant” neighborhoods where neighbors spoke to each other, their children walked to school together, played together, and you could walk to the neighborhood grocery store (operated by a family) for a loaf of bread or a quart of milk.  I grew up in the Admiral District in a small house with a small yard.  The neighborhood changed with the onset of the first home sold, torn-down and replaced by a larger one.  Soon the corner store closed because a larger national brand grocery moved into the neighborhood, then the local drugstore closed, etc.   Why – a result of the City’s building code and zoning changes, followed by transit route changes.  I agree with Rhonda and Buck on many of their comments.  People do have choices and how they spend their hard-earned dollars should not be dictated by others.  Of course, a home, such as the one I grew up in only cost $25,000.  But the wage at that time was also $1.25/hour (if lucky).  One has to prioritize and budget – is #1 a house or the lastest model vehicle, or a 21st destination birthday celebration.  That’s life!  Decisions and choices.!  This is not something that can be mandated!

    • Kyle March 11, 2024 (1:49 am)

      Wow you’re right, as a young professional of average income I’ve actually had the money all along to afford a house in WS, I was just too busy blowing it on new Teslas and Mediterranean cruises! 

    • Jeff March 11, 2024 (9:40 am)

      Millie, you were old enough to get a cheap house on a platter. Us millennials and zoomers don’t have that luxury. The only thing that brings down housing costs is density.  Wage doesn’t matter, the Wage to Housing ratio is so far skewed in that era’s favor, it’s sickening.

      • Fit Guy March 12, 2024 (6:57 pm)

        Jeff, density does not bring down the price of housing (owning or renting) when developers sell/rent the new dense units at inflated prices due to demand. Those who cannot afford homes here now still won’t be able to a decade or two from now. What brings down housing prices are buyers and renters doing so outside of Seattle, thereby reducing demand.

        • Info March 13, 2024 (4:28 pm)

          okay, but for a city to grow it needs people to live in it. what you’re advocating for are low income suburbs to border cities where the workers must commute to and from. that’s what you want? you’re missing the other side of the supply-demand equation, and just hoping demand will go down does nothing.

    • Info March 11, 2024 (11:23 am)

      Kinda telling on yourself, lol: minimum wage was $1.25 in 1962 which is around the same year Black residents of Seattle were protesting  housing discrimination. The rose-tinted glasses you look back thru seem to block out the racism being carried out by the state when it came to the zoning that curated the neighborhood you grew up in. Enough with the “ignore how cheap housing was in the past because look how little minimum wage was” argument; the numbers in your post don’t make any sense: minimum wage has gone from $1.25 -> ~$17 so a 14x increase, yet if you use that multiplier on your $25k home = $350k which is a price that probably doesn’t exist for any house currently in Seattle. Too much “I got mine while the state was legally preventing people of certain skin colors from getting theirs, why can’t you get yours?” ignorance.  

      • oh my gosh i was right March 11, 2024 (9:19 pm)

        I’m outing myself as the “old Caucasian Seattlites seem to be the NIMBYs” guy throughout my WSB commenting career. Occasionally over the course of my time here, sassy comebacks from  defensive thinly veiled elitists/racists ask “where’s the data”, as if there’s a university study proving that “all you people seem to be old and white when you complain about parking on Alki and housing density”. To that end, friend, I’d like to thank you because you came with it. Yes yes. Millie the NIMBY’s $25,000 house has increased in value between 30-60x while wages have increased a measly 14x, and their (Millie, Rhonda, Buck) go-to line is to call out the “developers” and “the rich” when common sense housing policies are promoted. The gall! Take a long look in the mirror NIMBYs, the abyss stares back.

  • Juanita March 10, 2024 (8:07 pm)

    I haven’t read the proposal, I will.  But as someone who grew up in NYC and have lived in MA and Cali, I can guarantee you, this is not going to work out the way you hope it will.  West Seattle doesn’t have the infrastructure to support this type of growth (have you a memory holed how many times the power went out in WS last summer?), or the school capacity to accommodate the increase of school-aged kids, or reliable transit (everyone who rides the 21 knows the lack of mid day transport and frequently canceled buses) we don’t even have a hospital in WS.  We don’t know if we’re going to be able to keep our drugstores and grocers.  With Staples gone, we’ve lost our only full service office supply store with shipping, copying, etc. Many businesses are struggling to staff their businesses and close early for a myriad of reasons.  Birdhouse closes at 3, the new Banh Mi place closes at 4:30 during the week, bring your patience if you have to go to most places of retail or places to dine in.  Businesses are doing the best they can with what they have.  Where are all the extra staff coming from to service this influx of people?  Where are the bus drivers and cops, etc. coming from to accommodate all these people?  Maybe that’s in this plan, hope it is.In NYC, we rented apartments.  Here,  we rent the sfh we live in as we were also able to do in MA and Cali. It wasn’t until living in Cali where we had fruit trees on the property until I tasted what fruit is supposed to taste like.  It wasn’t until COVID in Cali when everything stopped for a while where I could hear birdsong and actually listen to it.  It wasn’t until living here where we could get a proper night’s sleep.  If you’ve lived here most of your life you have no idea how hypersensitive and hypervigilant one can get from constant noise pollution.  Some people say, “we’ve got enough trees” well you won’t for much longer.  And with the trees go the song birds and the wildlife and the soaring eagles overhead.  And the fresh air we all enjoy.  One thing we have here that I didn’t experience as much of in my other housing experiences is TONS of rain.  With things getting paved over and no deep rooted trees and other vegetation to soak up all that water, does the water just end up in the sewer system?  Can our sewer system handle that?  Can tell you the sewars backed up a lot in MA and parts of Cali and NYC.   Are we going to end up with humidity like NYC and MA has or the heat that Cali has?  Many of you don’t even have air-conditioning so good luck with that.Here is a zillow listing for one of the new houses that went in on 29th and Henderson:https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/8855-29th-Ave-SW-Seattle-WA-98126/305508252_zpid/Its listed for 989,950.   Who is that for?  Teachers? Social Workers? Veterinary Technicians?  No.  Heck, if you could pay that much wouldn’t you rather have a sfh with some land that your kids and dogs can play in and you could plant some veggies and, you know, actually relax in? Or if sfh isn’t your style, you have a choice to go live somewhere more densely populated.  But for us in sfh, we are rapidly losing our choice.All of these Dadus and 3 story buildings are going up, trees are coming down, population is getting denser and denser.  Coming from larger cities than this one, I can’t begin to convey the difference in quality of life.  There has to be a middle ground.  People should live the way they want to, there should be options for that.  That doesn’t make you racist.  I realize how costly it is to refurbish office space to housing but its being done in other cities, many of which don’t have a lot of sfh to convert, so they HAD to be creative.  Why can’t we be creative?  Humans, wildlife, trees, we’re all intricate parts of PNW life that need to work in tandem in order to make life work.  

    • Suzanne March 11, 2024 (7:12 am)

      Juanita – Thank you for your outstanding comment. It’s far more thoughtful and comprehensive than anything coming out of responsible agencies or from elected representatives.  I hope you can contribute on an official level at some point. Seattle needs you. 

    • Info March 11, 2024 (11:36 am)

      this comment doesn’t make sense to me because it brings up that housing is too expensive for regular folks here, that there isn’t enough people to staff things, but they’re not for dense or more housing because of trees or WS being more like a city (which it is). You say you want the choice to keep you SFH and not be pushed out, but that’s exactly what’s happening to long-term residents being priced out due to housing costs that would be deflated by having more supply. Base on your story, you appear to come from the privileged to live in and move between several high cost of living areas. You came to Seattle w/in the last 4 years buying a SFH for probably a similar price your quoted the teachers being unable to afford. You’re literally one of the main reasons housing is so expensive in Seattle: you’re a wealthy home purchaser that has a net-worth higher than the locals which pushes up prices, and then on top of that are a NIMBY towards any solution. You provided no creative solutions to the “problems” you proposed and only convey the tired idea of “West Seattle is closed” which is myopic, ahistorical, and perpetuates the othering of groups that usually falls in line with racism.

    • RLV March 11, 2024 (12:19 pm)

      Thank you, Juanita. You’ve said what I’ve been thinking. 

    • Too many rats March 12, 2024 (10:24 pm)

      Thank you for this insightful comment. This won’t work out as intended in all the ways you listed and more. I also question some of the intent, but developers and construction companies will surely profit, as will over-compensated real estate agents. Additional future and smaller expensive housing will just ensure we are all miserable, living on top of each other in a strip mall. More density has not saved all of the awesome businesses that closed recently. After we subdivide and ADU every lot it will still be too expensive. I’ve seen it and lived it in neighborhoods around Seattle over the past 30 years. Edmonds, Ballard, Issaquah….

  • Arbor Heights Resident March 10, 2024 (9:29 pm)

    Hopefully this will mean more services within walking distance for my family!

  • Peter March 10, 2024 (9:56 pm)

    It’s really pathetic that the proposal not only falls short of amount of future housing that will be needed by tens of thousands of units, it also does nothing about the current shortage of housing, also tens on thousands of units. This is a plan that will at best make our severe shortage of housing much much worse. This plan isn’t even a baby step, it’s a step backwards when we need to be sprinting to build more housing. 

  • anonyme March 11, 2024 (7:07 am)

    I agree with Rhonda, Trees, and others.  The elimination of single-family neighborhoods destroys a dream for people of all races, backgrounds, and income levels.  The accusations of NIMBYism are narrow-minded and short-sighted; eliminating existing single-family zoning will only drive people farther out, which solves nothing.   Increasing density is harmful to the environment; the single-family model is far more sustainable in that it preserves green space – except, of course, as developers bypass tree laws and illegally clearcut lots.  While politicians and bureaucrats spend millions on rebranding, the real problem continues to be blithely ignored: overpopulation.  Anyone with a grain of sense could see that unchecked, perpetual growth is a deadly and impossible path that benefits no one except developers and politicians continually looking for new sources of revenue.

    • Info March 11, 2024 (11:46 am)

      “the single-family model is far more sustainable” is just plain wrong and is easily disprove by considering: the amount of energy per sq. for heating; the amount of internal infrastructure like wiring, plumbing, corridors of travel; the ability to plan services around greater populations of people, etc. your only argument for SFH being sustainable is that it preserves greenspace, but lawns aren’t greenspace, Anon, and this is the more tired “I got mine, screw you getting yours” thinking: the reason WS was clear cut in the first place was for SFHs… if housing was dense from the start, you’d see larger parks, more preserved old growth. but since we’re already sunk in the hole we should stay here, yea? if we densified, we could instead have more publicly accessible greenspace, but SFH owners only bring out the greenspace argument to virtue signal because it’s all about preserving their private property but for some reason y’all need a moral reason to sleep soundly.

      • anonyme March 11, 2024 (3:47 pm)

        Your assertions and accusations are pure BS.  In fact, I am a retired arborist and horticulturist who during my professional life recommended and oversaw the removal of many lawns, replacing them with trees and native shrubs.  I have seen many, many trees fall to developers in recent years to the greedy race for “density”, many or most of them illegally felled.  Your “I got mine” comment is nonsensical, given that my goal is that more people should “get theirs” (a single-family home) rather than being squeezed into perpetual apartmenthood.  I suppose you expect that your accusation of virtue signaling should be accepted in lieu of a rational argument, but I call BS on that one, too – and sleep just fine at night as a result.   Please stop pretending that you know or understand the thought processes of others when you clearly have so little understanding of your own.

        • Info March 11, 2024 (6:13 pm)

          I appreciate you conceding that you were wrong about the sustainability comment, as you did not provide any information to refute what I said. I’m more than willing to support my arguments with sources if you’d like. turns out, I’m an activity working architect that knows exactly the difference in heating costs and building material costs between dense housing and SFH. not sure where you expect to put all the SFH homes here that you want others to get, too, because the messaging that’s consistently coming from NIMBYs is that WS is full, and continuation of housing sprawl here is just materially impossible. you will not be able to find more than 5 vacant lots in WS that wouldn’t require any tree felling to put a SFH on, and 5 more homes wouldn’t be significant in your mission for “everyone to have a SFH”. I’ll kick off an actual fact based argument: based off Seattle’s 2021 tree canopy survey (which is going to be much more informative than an anecdotal “I helped with many landscaping projects”), https://www.seattle.gov/trees/management/canopy-cover, the amount of tree cover loss between single family and multi family properties was a difference of 0.8%, and that a vast majority of the tree canopy loss was from non-development reasons. Nearly half of this city is SFH, and yet it has matched pace with tree canopy loss as all other residential zoning, so yes, only thinking 1 type of development is detrimental to trees is provably hypocritical. glad to hear you sleep well, tho! I know sleeping in a car or outside makes that usually more difficult to do

          • anonyme March 12, 2024 (1:15 pm)

            The results (eyesores) of you “activity” working architects can be seen all over West Seattle.  BTW, I never said that I wanted “everyone to have a single family home” nor did I say that I “helped with landscaping projects”  Your misuse of quotation marks in order to be derisive does nothing to enhance your own credibility, so please learn how to use them correctly.  So.  Obviously, not everyone wants or needs a single family home; that doesn’t mean that such zoning should be eliminated in favor of developers and bad architects.  My point, not that you’re interested in what anyone actually thinks or says, is that we should not be destroying single-family neighborhoods consisting of modest homes in order to cram in apartment buildings; choice is good.  Density should be concentrated in business districts, not built on any and every available lot  within the city limits.  I’m also all in favor of green building practices, but those practices are rarely employed in actuality, and even so-called “green” builders still clear cut and bulldoze lots with no apparent understanding of the terrible environmental damage they do.  And btw, those tree canopy statistics are easily manipulated to mean anything you want them to; they are simply not an accurate gauge of what is happening to tree canopy in this city.

    • SLJ March 11, 2024 (12:10 pm)

      By definition, increasing housing (assuming it is filled, which I think is a safe bet), will increase the number of people here, not “drive people farther out.” Yes, some people will go farther out, but there are plenty more who will fill their spots in the city.Anyone who has a single family home is welcome to keep it! But if your neighbor wants to put in an ADU, that seems reasonable. We’ve had a few ADUs added to our street and it’s fine. I like the mix of housing.

  • Jeepney March 11, 2024 (7:23 am)

    Urban density works in areas that have the infrastructure to support it.   We don’t.

    • Jeff March 11, 2024 (9:43 am)

      This is just false.

      • Jeepney March 11, 2024 (12:55 pm)

        Please explain how it is false.  We do not have the transportation infrastructure in place to support this type of growth.  Our transit system is laughable compared to San Fran, New York, London, even Los Angeles has a better bus and light rail system.  The idealistic planners who come up with these short sighted plans need to realize we need more transportation options to sustain population growth.  Along with transportation, you need more schools, hospitals, police and fire stations, etc. and  in order to build that infrastructure you need to raise revenue by taxing larger corporations, and we all know that it will not happen.  Urban density for the Seattle area is simply not feasible.

  • WSB March 11, 2024 (10:18 am)

    For those interested, the City Council’s Briefing Meeting this afternoon (2 pm, you can watch on Seattle Channel or find video on its website later) will include an overview of the draft plan. Here’s the slide deck with a more concise overview of the place types including “neighborhood centers”:

  • C March 11, 2024 (10:50 am)

    People assume that if more housing is built, it will be affordable.  However, the cost of building new construction is high! The developers have to make money, so I am not entirely convinced that more townhomes and apartments will improve housing affordability. I know that some of them will be designated as affordable. However, if you look at the actual rent, it still seems pretty high to me.  As of now, there are condos and townhomes on the market, and some 1 bedroom apartments are going for 1500 bucks a month.  It doesn’t appear that these are moving that quickly.  I doubt they are going to make that many new apartments under 1500 under dollars unless they are micro-apartments.   I know we should plan for the future and include some more housing; however, it seems a little too aggressive.  Not as many people are moving to Seattle anymore and future generations may move to the next up-and-coming city.  They also may not even live in the city either. In addition, the traffic in West Seattle is going to be horrible!  Everyone assumes that people will just take public transportation, but I don’t think that’s the case.  People who live in Seattle want to access the outdoors and all that the state has to offer.  The best way to do that is with a car.  I am not entirely convinced more housing is going to solve our problems. It seems reactionary to me. 

    • Info March 11, 2024 (11:52 am)

      “People assume that if more housing is built, it will be affordable” simple economic of supply and demand do operate when it comes to housing it turns out. Unless you can show me that developers are nearing a $0 margin between construction and selling, that’s not the factor in why housing is as expensive as it is.”Not as many people are moving to Seattle anymore” huh?

      • Too many rats March 12, 2024 (10:32 pm)

        Nope. Not in a city as expensive as ours. Also, see Sydney, Tokyo, London, NYC, etc. You are wrong. 

  • Millie March 11, 2024 (1:01 pm)

    Just a correction to the comments re. my comments.  I was not old enough to buy a house at the time  referenced.  And yes, a home, in the 50’s, in the price range of $25,000 was not a cheap house.   The comment was an example of price of homes at the time vs. the salaries paid (actually by large employers).Juanita, an exceptional job on your comments.  Thank  you!

    • Jeff March 12, 2024 (10:40 am)

      My now 800k+ home was $4800 in 1960. I found an ad for it on Seattle Times archive by searching the address. If your home was $25,000 then it is a bonafied mansion.

  • ACG March 11, 2024 (1:34 pm)

    The 35th and Roxbury is interesting. Most of the streets on the west side of 35th have no sidewalks (especially the streets to the West of the intersection and South of the intersection have no sidewalks at all). I think the east side of 35th is fine. But, increasing more density on the west side, without safe walking access to the intersection of 35th and Roxbury (the transit stops) seems dumb and unsafe. That area of Arbor Heights is seriously lacking the infrastructure to support more density.  

  • Blou March 11, 2024 (1:39 pm)

    Among the 16 neighborhood anchors on the cutting room floor from the earlier proposal is one near Seward Park, where Mayor Harrell lives. Hillman City and South Beacon Hill are were dropped from neighborhood anchor plans, as the Harrell administration looks to minimizing growth as an anti-displacement strategy. North Seattle accounted for seven of the cuts as its 18 neighborhood anchors in the scoping report were hacked down to 11. Laurelhurst and Broadview each drop two anchors, Maple Leaf and Wedgwood consolidate from two each to one each, and South Wallingford, Upper Fremont, West Woodland disappear from plans. The addition of Kenwood and southern Phinney Ridge partially offset those nine cuts in North Seattle.Nice that the Mayor’s area was dropped from consideration. It is interesting that Seward park was taken out of the mix.  One Seattle is just that “ONE” Seattle, all areas should be considered.  Does this mean that the Mayor does not want this in his neighborhood?  Where do all the other Council members live?   West Seattle has an infrastructure that does not sustain additional traffic, really don’t see any new businesses opening up since quite a few are closing for various reasons like crime, rent increase or Sound Transit coming to WS and businesses have to go.   My take, my opinion, which everyone here has their interpretation.

  • Use Villages first March 11, 2024 (4:09 pm)

    Millions of dollars were spent designing the first and second versions of the Urban Villages in an effort to develop housing by filling in the villages with multi-family housing.  But it seems those plans have not been fully realized.  In the case of the Morgan Junction UV there are approximately 200 lots that have not yet been redeveloped with more units.  Let’s develop these areas first until the UV’s are fulfilled.  Then have an expansion plan at the ready.  That would honor the tax dollars that went into making these plans.

  • Keenan March 12, 2024 (9:32 am)

    As a homeowner in West Seattle, I don’t want things to change AT ALL, EVER.

    I want to live close enough to the city where there are lots of people to provide services to me quickly and affordably, but I don’t want those people who provide those services to live close to me or take up some of MY green space.

    In fact, it would be ideal if folks who cleaned my house, maintained my lawn, repaired stuff when it broke, did construction work, served my food, and pretty much anyone involved in the “trades” or “service industry” could live in a secluded part of town walled off from me but close enough so they could be brought in quickly when I needed them.  But not by using the same roads I drive on, that would cause traffic.

    We could call these places “slums.” Everyone who provides services to me should live in seperated, heavily policed, slums that I never have to see and would never inconvenience me in any way.

    Actually, why even have this model where everyone lives in the same city?  I HATE people – there are too many of them!  Since I love greenspace and my single family lot so much, the most ideal situation would be a plantation model where I live in a big house as the “master” and I have a bunch of people that don’t take up much space or resources, and have to work for me and do whatever I say without being on equal footing, economically and socially speaking.   That would really make Seattle great again!

    • Jeff March 12, 2024 (11:47 am)

      LOL I really enjoyed this satire.

  • Atheist March 12, 2024 (3:28 pm)

    Actually, the plumbers, electricians and HVAC contractors I’ve had in my house make considerably more than I do. The rest of the work I do myself. I live an extraordinarily frugal life. This is how I earned my SFH. 

    • Too many rats March 12, 2024 (10:34 pm)


    • nonni March 13, 2024 (12:05 pm)

      Exactly. I’ve never made 1/3 of what these folks earn per hour. If my plumber can’t afford a home he must be flushing my checks down the plughole.

  • WSKW March 12, 2024 (4:06 pm)

    I wish I owned a house in a future Neighborhood Center. Instant value added if your property gets up-zoned to allow 3-6 story buildings. 

  • Density doesn't = affordability March 12, 2024 (11:04 pm)

    Here’s 3 brand-new homes on a re-zoned lot where a single home once stood. It’s on Cloverdale across from the community sports complex/pool. The new main house is on the market for $990,000 and the other two smaller homes are $700,000. There’s no more lawn and only one small tree on the lot. So, where one semi-affordable, older single-family home stood there’s now 3 unaffordable homes and no yard.

    • CarDriver March 13, 2024 (6:26 am)

      The “density = affordability crowd” will call this fake. They are CERTAIN wall to wall high rises and lots stuffed with small houses will make living cheep cheep cheep. 

    • K March 13, 2024 (9:12 am)

      Housing prices are based on supply and demand.  As long as there is a housing shortage, sellers can ask ridiculous prices.  That’s literally why we need more housing.  These new construction houses are selling below asking price (if you look at the public records).  The house that was there before was not livable.  If you added in the cost of making it livable, it would not be even remotely affordable.  I have watched my own property value skyrocket for years.  The value increase has slowed as more homes are built.  I look forward to prices flatlining or even going down so my friends can afford to buy houses in my neighborhood too.

      • Density doesn't = affordability March 13, 2024 (1:30 pm)

        Sorry, K, but these are a different three new houses. My mistake. These are at 29th and Henderson. The three new houses at Cloverdale are already occupied, I believe. Both projects were around the same timeline and share similar configuration. This lot on Henderson had a single house that was liveable. My point is there won’t be enough of these lot-cramming retrofits to create affordability. The developers want to make it worth their while financially and will demand top dollar. If the market slows and prices go flat or subside they won’t bother building these subdivisions. It’s the high prices driving this squeezing of multiple small homes onto existing lots, not good intentions. 

    • CARGUY March 20, 2024 (1:15 pm)

      Are we talking about 8849 29th Ave SW? The “affordable” single family house you mention was valued at $800,000+ that was torn down and replaced with 3x single family homes. @ of which are considerably more affordable to what was there (more affordable in maintenance, and utilities i’m assuming too)

  • BJG March 13, 2024 (9:24 am)

    Three small cottages on 45th just west of the Junction are gone now. In their place is a 12 pack of ugly buildings that sell from the four $830k models squished in the middle to the front four “luxury” but very basic models clinging to the hillside for $1.6mil. They have small rooms, sloppy cheap construction, are  built by an DADU/ADU construction company and  they look like them. These are an embarrassing blight in the neighborhood and have encroached on their poor neighbor’s property line. Unfortunately these monsters won’t be the last in our neighborhood because our small older homes are easier to buy and the land is now zoned for anything. The city inspector apologized to our neighbors and said she’d disapprove this building plan just based on it’s ugliness.  Unfortunately she couldn’t. Did I mention they haven’t sold in months?  Who has that money and wants to live in junk?  Take a look at the future however.

  • Don't forget Transportation March 20, 2024 (11:55 am)

    As the discussion about the Housing  and Growth sections of the One Plan continue. Don’t forget to read the Transportation section starting on page 64. The future looking maps for transportation in West Seattle, especially around the Admiral / California Urban Center are no better than they are now. Reducing Metro 56 / 57 routes is part of now.

Sorry, comment time is over.