Sally Clark’s 2010 Lowrise Update Memo

Excerpts from Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark’s 2010 memo “Updates to Seattle Municipal Code Section 23.45, Lowrise zones”:

“Lowrise zones are intended to accommodate lower-scaled multifamily development, including single family homes, townhouses, and apartments.”

“In particular, families with children may want to locate in Lowrise multifamily zones…”

“…the Committee has set the following goals for the proposed amendments to the Lowrise multifamily zones:

  • Encourage well-designed buildings that fit in with established neighborhoods;
  • Foster creative design solutions without adding unnecessarily to the cost of building new housing
  • Generally maintain the current overall scale and density of Lowrise zones;
  • Support Comprehensive and Neighborhood Plan objectives;
  • Promote sustainable development;
  • Encourage a variety of housing types that provide choices for a growing and changing population
  • Respond to special locational characteristics, including “growth areas” (urban center and villages, light rail station areas), and areas adjacent to single family zones; and
  • Update and organize regulations so they are easier to use and understand.

“The draft proposal includes general design standards for all multifamily structures even when the project is not subject to the City’s design review program.  The intent of adopting basic design standards for multifamily development is to:

  • Improve the appearance of multifamily buildings when seen from the street;
  • Foster a sense of community by better integrating new development into existing neighborhoods; and
  • Promote livability in multifamily areas through a greater sense of openness and access to light and air.”

Link to the original, full text of Councilmember Clark’s 2010 memo “Updates to Seattle Municipal Code Section 23.45, Lowrise zones”