Growing populations require infrastructure to keep pace.
With a strong economy and stunning landscapes, Seattle is experiencing tremendous growth - which is leading to some, edgy, controversy.
Recently, Seattle developed a Housing Affordability and Living "Agenda" for the city.
65% of all of Seattle is zoned single family and HALA is proposing changing, or eliminating, the single family zoning in favor of a highest and best use model.
So, HALA feels that single family zoning has reached a functional obsolescence, within the city limits.
Sounds sensible, but is it ?
Like so many cities, Seattle has many neighborhoods whose single family homes have varying degrees of historical significance AND relevance.
Also, traditional values and "the american dream" of home ownership would be eliminated or, severely, modified.
Many of these single family homes have been owned, by the same family, for generations too.
But wait, this zoning proposal has been happening for more than a decade -
Through taxes -
Yup, elected officials have been using property taxes (amongst other taxes) to squeeze people out of their homes.
It's happening in every city, across the country, and it's wrong.
Wrong to tax people out of their homes - period, but that's somewhat of a separate topic.
I could go off on more of a rant, but I'll get back on point.
Bottom line, to HALA's proposal, would result in developers sweeping in, buying out single family houses, tearing them down and replacing them with low to high density housing.
That would change the face of the city, create higher strain on parking AND traffic.
However, growth is inevitable - barring any, significant, disasters.
So, what's the solution ?
Did HALA propose this zoning change outside of any "special interests" ?
NOT likely - in my opinion.
There's 28 people, in HALA, and a majority of them are - in one form or another, involved in real estate investing and/or developing.
THAT suggests many of them stand to profit, significantly, should the zoning be "modified".
It's unlikely the proposal will become legislation, as written - but I'm sure this won't be the last of related proposals.
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