Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mayor Backtracks On Changes To Single-family Zoning And Interesting Article On Low Laurelhurst Housing Inventory From Chicago Tribune

One Home Per Lot.  a city-wide grassroots group monitoring large homes built on side and backyards of existing homes, sent this information yesterday:

Just minutes ago, Seattle city council member Jean Godden sent us an email announcing the fact that the mayor is backtracking on his idea to change single-family zoning:
"I am heartened to announce that Mayor Murray has just retracted the proposal to change the zoning in single-family neighborhoods. I opposed a change in zoning for single family neighborhoods and said so at committee meetings. In particular, the idea of allowing duplexes and triplexes into single family neighborhoods would do damage to the distinct neighborhoods that are the reason so many people come to Seattle in the first place.  I am glad this proposal is no longer on the table and will not distract Council from discussions around the worthy goals of increased affordability in our City laid out in the other 64 proposals."And about about the same time, this message was posted on the mayor's website:

Murray to focus on housing affordability in denser neighborhoods

July 29, 2015 by

Today Mayor  Ed Murray issued the following statement announcing he will not recommend pursuing a Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) committee recommendation that could have changed 94 percent of single-family zones in Seattle. Instead, he is calling for renewed public dialogue on how best to increase affordable housing in denser neighborhoods:
“The Council and I created the HALA process because our city is facing a housing affordability crisis. In the weeks since the HALA recommendations were released, sensationalized reporting by a few media outlets has created a significant distraction and derailed the conversation that we need to have on affordability and equity. 
“Fundamentally, this is a conversation about building a Seattle that welcomes people from all walks of life — where working people, low-income families, seniors, young people and the kids of current residents all can live in our city. 
We also must not be afraid to talk about the painful fact that parts of our city are still impacted by the intersection of income, race and housing. Look at a map and take a walk through our neighborhoods. We can move beyond the legacy of the old boundaries of exclusion that have remained largely unchanged since nearly a century ago when neighborhood covenants were used to keep people of color south of Madison Street. 
“I have always believed that Seattle can step up and have a difficult conversation about our history of racial discrimination and economic inequality. Our shared vision for Seattle includes affordable housing and diversity in all our neighborhoods. 
“To advance the broader conversation about affordable housing and equity, I will no longer pursue changes that could allow more types of housing in 94 percent of single-family zones. Instead, we will refocus the discussion on designing denser Urban Centers, Urban Villages and along transit corridors that include more affordable housing.”

The Laurelhurst Community Club told the Laurelhurst Blog that the upzoning is a huge concern and one of the Board members attended the first public hearing and is continuing to monitor the serious issue.
A Laurelhurst Blog reader passed this article along from the Chicago Tribune:

Seattle as the next Silicon Valley sparks home-sale frenzy

July 10, 2015

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