Seattleites comment on what’s happening to their city

Please do the right thing for this city and roll back the zoning heights. The livability is fast diminishing and the problem of affordable/livable/healthy housing is not being solved by this out of control give-away to the developers. The developers don’t live in the neighborhoods they are so drastically changing and I wonder if the members of the city council do or the decision makers at the DPD. Good intentions have gone wrong, please have the courage to fix it before it is too late.
Central

From now on I will vote against any incumbent who does not make an effort to fix this problem.
Eastlake

Please take note here! I’ve been a realtor 30 years and this is an abomination. The term “highest and best use” has always bothered me because it usually has had NO regard for neighborhood, aesthetics, community. It’s slanted toward profits. That is often very shortsighted! I live in Madison park currently and have lived in Ravenna, cap hill and Wedgwood over the 32 years I’ve lived in Seattle.
Capitol Hill

I fully support this petition. It is extremely saddening to witness every day the demise of Capitol Hill’s identity caused by buildings stylistically out of context and way too tall and/or visually eye soring.
Furthermore, in the long run what is going on in Capitol Hill is just so short sighted and economically damaging for the future of Seattle.
You just need to go places like Florence, Paris or San Francisco to see how cities that experienced a period of architectural enlightenment and preserved that identify across the centuries, are now making of that identity their best resource, value and the very engine of their economy. City planners around the most beautiful places in the world, all understand that. Why Seattle planners can’t see that?
Capitol Hill

Regulatory Reform imposed an overlay condition on Urban Villages that, in many cases, is contrary to the analysis and expectations of the many citizens that engaged in the Neighborhood Plan process. The height allowance should be taken back down to 30 feet, especially in areas that have exceeded or are on track to their growth targets.
Southwest/Southeast

Ruined my neighborhood. These are the ugliest things I’ve ever seen. You’d think the design would want to fit the character of the neighborhood. Instead they come in like uninvited guests and take a permanent dump on our neighborhood.
Eastlake

I’m sure all of the Seattle Counsil members would not like a giant apodment next to them. The quality of life in Seattle is really suffering. I moved here in 1981 and things are looking bad. Less parking, horrible traffic and an increase in population the infrastructure can not handle. Our property taxes have increased by $2000.00 in 9 years. The roads are horrible. The developers and special interest groups seem to be in bed with the Seattle City Council.
Eastlake

This is a serious issue that if not addressed ASAP will have serious consequences for our city on so many levels. We need greenery to balance carbon, sunlight , human scale, Seattle was a city of true urban villages for decades . . .a lot of this tinkering with density has turned our concerns about Urban Sprawl into vertical sprawl -vertical bedroom communities with the only neighbor businesses able to survive are those that serve alcohol – as older buildings with lower rent (and often with lots of character/history) are torn down to make way for these structures.
Ballard

These rules need to be less ambiguous and more focused on the long term benefit of the neighborhoods already built rather then the short term gains of developers at a cost to the neighborhood.
Fremont/Wallingford

I am pro-density, but do not wish to have 3-5 story building looming over my house. A block of row-houses, or high-density housing looks natural when they are built as a continuous, sweeping line. These types of buildings are being hastily built, with little to no design, or charm. They age poorly, retain the ‘look’ of the era built and lower the overall aesthetics of the neighborhood.
Ballard

I feel the 2010 rezoning was a bit underhanded. Rather than explicitly change the zoning they changed what the LR3 zoning term means thinking this would be more acceptable to residents, in other words, sneak by them to give developers what they wanted. LR3 zoning should mean 3-floors 30ft. plus a bit for a pitched roof, period.
Fremont/Wallingford

These building in no way fit with the character of the neighborhoods they are being built in. The developers are being given any benefits that they want and the neighbors’ concerns about these buildings are falling on deaf ears. Bus routes are being cut but developers can built ugly, tall, out of touch buildings with no parking. There is no review process to where they are going.
Eastlake

The extremely tall buildings popping up all over, usually built out to the lot line and destroying every tree or bit of green that was there before, are a threat to the character of our neighborhoods and our city. Changing height restrictions without citizen input is a dereliction of the City Council’s duty. Please return the prior height rules immediately and reinstute design review to allow neighborhood residents input into their own environment.
Fremont/Wallingford

It’s disturbing seeing such amazing houses getting torn down to make room for such ugly newer buildings. If you want to turn a house into apartments, use the building that is there and build accordingly.
Capitol Hill

On top of the many problems with the rampant construction in some neighborhoods, is the fact that so much of it does not fit the character of the existing neighborhood as it is supposed to.
A lot of the new buildings seem to be cheaply constructed, so I predict many of them won’t last more than a couple of decades before needing to be torn down. The developers make money and the owners will have to take a loss.
Phinney Ridge

Please, please let us retain the lovely character of our neighborhoods by supporting this change.
Central

Stop the insanity! And get rid of Diane Sugimura! We need someone who’s paying attention to what people say – NOT THE DEVELOPERS! Pay attention to this issue Mayor Murray! The people of Seattle want change.
Southwest/Southeast

Come to 1700-1800 area of 18th ave S. 3 families gentrified in 6 months. Save the 20″ dia douglas fir tree that’s about to be demolished for some uberite.
North Beacon Hill

I am a homeowner in Eastlake, and see first hand the detrimental effects of the change in LR3 zoning code and high rise buildings. It is ruining the neighborhood for favor of few. The green space is getting destroyed, irreversibly, and developers are the ones benefiting from this the most. Such monstrous, ugly building is destroying Seatte’s appeal. Please save this beautiful city!
Capitol Hill

The gendtrification of Capitol Hill must stop. A smart approach to development must occur. We are losing the charm that the Hill has.
Capitol Hill

I’ve lived in Ballard for 17 years and grieve to see the changes. They aren’t improvements. Stop giving Ballard away. Zoning regulations are a joke if you just wave them and give tax benefits to build 400 sq. ft. units with high rents and no parking AND then don’t provide decent mass transit. You can’t have it both ways and keep a thriving, healthy neighborhood.
Ballard

There’s a place for density, but it’s important to keep human scale development in our residential neighborhoods and preserve the already scarce amount of natural sunlight we receive, not to mention existing canopy and green spaces.
Capitol Hill

West Seattle, where I live, is being Ballardized and destroying the reason I moved here. New construction tends to offer inadequate parking pushing people onto my block at 44th Av SW and Oregon; it tends to be corregated cardboard style with little or no concern for sunlight, for pedestrian impact, for green space. And it is almost always too high. PLEASE change the code to make new housing more neighborhood friendly.
West Seattle

There is really bad smog on 15th E. after a few clear days. The sidewalks are so narrow people bump into each other. More and more restaurants and bars. Will this be another Belltown? or a real neiborhood where people say hello on the streets? The newcomers who want to move into the lovely place will end up in a place neither they nor we who have been here a long while will even recognize a few yeas from now –  thanks to city zoning. Stop ALL the “fast track.”
Capitol Hill

As a 25 year resident and property owner of single and multi-family properties in the Eastlake neighborhood on Fairview and Minor Ave, I see the new construction currently underway as very detrimental to the livability and character of the neighborhood. Lack of required parking for new tenants, minimal setbacks and taller heights block light and minimize the street quality and usability. As a licensed Landscape Architect in Washington State, I see the current changes to the building codes for LR-3, as well as the removal of parking requirements for new construction for areas designated as Urban Villages as being detrimental in the long term to the quality and usability of what were vibrant and viable neighborhoods. Cutbacks in public transportation and current neighborhood infrastructure do not support this type of development.
Eastlake

While I think the increased density is a good thing. I OBJECT STRENUOUSLY TO ALLOWING BUILDERS AND DEVELOPERS TO BUILD UNITS WITH INSUFFICIENT PARKING. While I am aware that part of the reason is to get people to use public transport, the jobs that support these new developments often require a car commute so any residence is going to come with one car, and maybe two. Allowing builders to build without regard to this is unconscionable.
Fix it or most of you will end up out of office.
Beacon Hill

Parking is already minimum and putting more people into this small neighborhood only benefits the builders. The buses that come through Eastlake are standing room only now. Our residents can’t use the existing transit system and yet another 150+ people will be living in our neighborhood who have cars or ride the bus. This is ludicrous!!!!
Eastlake

Too high for our street….we provide parking for our tenants…there has to be some parking provided. It is way too short sighted to assume everyone living there would not have a car…some may not, but many will.
The biggest problem is the height….it is too high!!! It does not belong on this street. The city needs to take into consideration the housing on the rest of the street.
And what about the water and sewer lines?
Capitol Hill

Please save my neighborhood!
Eastlake

Keep my neighborhood affordable! Keep the character! Keep the sun! Keep the views!
Capitol Hill

Our community is getting too high density, I want light in on my garden and IN my house. Why are you building to ruin my Community?
Ballard

Density is great, but not when the city/state are underfunding public transportation and won’t allow combined units to share garbage/recycling/compost bins (we have 4 units and would have 16 bins if we didn’t share ourselves). And we need density that fits into existing neighborhoods and respects the people who live there rather than giving them the finger with massive townhouses crammed onto small lots.
Capitol Hill

Seattle is fouling its own nest by allowing unbridled growth without thought to the infrastructure to support it. We are building a house of cards and it WILL collapse upon itself.
Capitol Hill

Georgetown is next.

The lack of parking already decreases the quality of life considerably in our neighborhood. Seniors especially have great difficulty carrying groceries many blocks to their cars, or even walking the much longer distances from their cars to their homes. They may be forced out of their neighborhood! Roll back the land use code!
Eastlake

Please preserve the character of neighborhoods….. I love my Eastlake Neighborhood and I want to love it tomorrow!
Eastlake

I realize the need to accommodate a rising population and expand housing supply to keep prices reasonable, but it would be a tragedy to wreck the culture, habitability, and history that makes this city my home.
Capitol Hill

The onslaught of townhomes, apodments and large apartment complexes have taken over Eastlake. Everyday it seems like a beautiful and older home filled with history is demolished to build four townhomes on one lot. Even worse is that little to no warning is given. You can come home from work to see your neighbor’s house with a fence around it. The next day the house is gone!
Eastlake

If urban living is going to be aspirational it needs to be beautiful. Nobody should be able to make money in real estate by degrading the surrounding neighborhood and destroying the sense of community.
Capitol Hill

Loss of light is cited here. Loss of privacy is not. As a one-story home dweller in Ballard living next to a four- townhouse development now in its fourth month of construction, with roof decks almost directly overhead (portending cigarette butts into my garden), it is the complete loss of privacy that I feel most.
Ballard

Heights on L3 area buildings should be contextual that is dependent on the surrounding buildings. Where surrounding buildings are limited to 3 stories or less new building should be no more than 3.5 to 4 total, no game playing with roof allowances. Further where L3 borders single family in the same block the border properties should be limited to the 3 possibly 3.5 with no roof allowance games.
Capitol Hill

I fully support this petition and want to know why the Council & Mayor persist in ignoring their bosses – the voters!
Ballard

Disregard for parking and neighborhood amenities by the city is incredibly backward. Apodments and high rises will irrevocably change and degrade the character of the eastlake neighborhood.
Eastlake

Our neighborhoods are being taken over by developers!
Capitol Hill

Of concern to me, in addition to the above, is the lack of design review required for some of these higher height/increased density proposed buildings. I have worked with neighbors and builders on a design review process for a new apartment building just completed nearby with great success. We welcome this new building into our neighborhood. Please consider the animosity that is created when exceptions to established guidelines are changed against the desires of reasonable requests. Thank you for your time and interest in this issue.
Capitol Hill

I have lived on Capitol Hill over 50 years, the first 22 in an old house one-half block from Volunteer Park and 35 years in a 5-unit bldg.( which I own) one and one-half blocks from the Park. I walk all over my neighborhood and have been so disappointed to see neat little private homes replaced by so-called pod structures which dilute the feeling of community and contribute nothing to the character of our neighborhood.
Capitol Hill

These awful buildings are taking away beautiful structures that create a neighborhood. THese new structures have no character and the no one wants them in the existing locations. Small lot size with large building footprint. THere is absolutely no parking for these units and their friends who will come to visit them, leaving even less than the sparse amount of parking there currently is for the long term inhabitants of the street. Please ban these awful new structures and keep our neighborhoods beautiful!
Eastlake

I do believe in neighborhoods that maintain a sense of human scale and proportion and affordability.
Central

I have lived in Ballard for over 12 years, and over the past several years have watched the growth of high rise apartment buildings in ‘downtown’ Ballard. I value urban density, but I’m saddened by the lack of attention to design, valuing views and vistas, maintaining the integrity of our community, and ensuring sufficient public transport to meet the needs of hundreds of new commuters to downtown Seattle. To meet everyones needs, a first step is the right city legislation to reduce heights of apartments to 30 feet in Lowrise growth zones– and this means making these changes in the upcoming legislation. In addition, remove the heigh bonuses for below grad floors and roof structures. I understand that the current legislation wasn’t intended to be used this way, but developers have taken advantage of some loopholes. In addition, please reduce floor area ratios which lead to contractors and home builders expanding house sizes to the outer limits of set backs and using all possible heigh limits, even when not really needed for a typical family of four! Lastly, what about providing our community councils with more say about what goes on it their neighborhoods and implementing a design review board with open comment period by the community.
Capitol Hill

Glad the construction industry is doing better, BUT, these mushrooms are an abomination. Podments/condos, whatever! I too ride a bike when I can, but a mobile life in any city, requires the use of an auto. It will be a matter of days of full occupancy that a parking space with 2 blocks of your residence will be a thing of the past. This is a quality of life issue.
Capitol Hill

PLEASE City of Seattle, planning and developmentdepartment stop destroying and degrading our beautiful city! The ugly high rises are enough!! Cascade area is a perfect example of you DPD, destroying a central area of the city that could have been beautiful – there’s little to NO green and NO sun! NO rezoning on 15th Ave. E.!!! Keep rebuild to one story! Don’t continue to take away what makes Seattle special – that community feeling – getting to know whowe live by – too many people in a small area of the city destroys community!!!!!! Stop destroying it!!! Leave 15th ave. E. alone – NO REZONE!!!!!!  Life is not about money; it’s about relationships!! joan and bill duroe
Capitol Hill

Density has gone too far, so that parking has become very difficult. We’ve lived here since 1974 and love the lake, the views, the sunshine coming into our house. Pls stop building such high constructions that destroy many of the positive qualities that make this area attractive for so many people.
Eastlake

Please roll back the McGinn giveaways to the developers. Terrible mistakes were made in 2010. It is time to correct them.
Capitol Hill

Two microhousing/apodments planned in my neighborhood are on steep slopes, slide prone soil (important to pay attention to in view of the tragic mudslide in the Snohomish area) and are much taller than any of the surrounding buildings on the same level. Access is by very narrow alleys and narrow streets. Limiting height to 30 feet would help. Safety concerns are very important. Also, I suggest that developers have to pay a sum to be set aside and used over time for transportation and other infrastructure needed for additional residents. Taxes should reflect that microhousing rents as a higher amount per square foot than regular apartments, according to the figures I have seen.
Eastlake

This is outrageous and we need to return to the 30ft. LR3 zoning.
Capitol Hill

I am saddened by the overwhelming construction that has taken place in the last few years, I have lived in eastlake for over five years… and I am watching how quickly it is loosing its character, views, and all the things I love about Eastlake. The lack of effort to preserve what makes Eastlake so special is heartbreaking.
Eastlake

It brakes my heart to see big houses built in neighborhoods that are so out of architectural balance with the other houses in the neighborhoods.
Ballard

• Prevent the proliferation of out-of-scale and out-of-character buildings in established neighborhoods
• Please clean up the holes in the zoning rules to maintain Seattle’s neighborhood livability.
• Maintain winter light and sunshine, and reduce shadows that have profoundly negative impacts on health and livability, given the high northern latitude of our city
• Preserve Seattle’s tree canopy and green space, both symbolic of the livability and commitment to environmental stewardship of “the Emerald City”.
Ballard

It is really important to maintain the character of the city, and as the above petition states, to preserve winter sunlight as much as possible without overcasting shadows from tall buildings.
Capitol Hill

The micro-housing project planned for our neighborhood is a firetrap. These buildings are a big fire hazard in themselves, but this one on Yale Terrace in an alley  is particularly dangerous. If a fire should break out in that apodment house no firetruck will go in the alley to put it out. The fire will jump to our house and there is no access to the back of our building. I’d like to point out to the City Council that when an apartment building on Capitol Hill was seriously damaged during the Nisqualy earthquake, the City had to pay for the demolition and reconstruction of the apartment building, because the City had permitted the building.These places are fire traps with their narrow halls and common kitchens.
Eastlake

Very important issue
Eastlake

In my neighborhood they are presently building a 5 and a six story building across the street. Next to us is 2 townhouses 3 stories plus a 4 story apt. building. No parking, no sun, no garden. I’m sure you planners wouldn’t zone your neighborhood for that but with enough developer money in your pockets you are perfectly willing to do it where I live.
Capitol Hill

I recently learned that an apartment complex (now 2 story buildings) near my home, is slated to be replaced with 8-story buildings that will accommodate 2000 residents. This is too extreme. The project was approved in spite of community opposition. The upzoning issue will inform my vote for mayor and city council members in future. Stop ruining my beloved neighborhood! Enough is enough; the life force has been sucked out of it without our permission!
Northgate (Haller Lake)

Enough is enough. Time to spread the pain of urban density into other neighborhoods. Magnolia. Madison Park. Etc.
Ballard

In my neighborhood the small businesses are being run out along with the family homes. I live in lower queen anne uptown in an area that is both residential and commercial. Since I moved to this neighborhood from Capitol Hill 16 years ago at least one condominium per block has gone up. When I moved here you seldom saw traffic on the side streets now there is traffic congestion everywhere. I just found out that a whole block of businesses that are used by the neighborhood, some daily are to be torn down and another condo is taking their places. You never get any relief from these construction companies. They start before it gets light in the morning and are working after dark and on the weekend. They take away all the neighborhood parking spaces. All the pollution and noise they make and they rip up all the trees. The city tells them they have to replace the trees when they’re done. They put a sapling in where there was a 100 year old tree across the street from where I live.
Lower queen anne

Please don’t let Seattle’s historic neighborhoods turn into generic condos with empty storefronts and not enough parking
Phinney Ridge

We have lived in this wonderful vibrant, family-friendly, and historic multi-family neighborhood for over 26 years. Please…consider a moratorium on further development and a halt to proposed inappropriately sized buildings that continue to take  away our sunlight, views, green spaces, tree canopies…until you can fully review and consider the proposed LR3 modifications in our petition. We DO NOT want to continue to lose this unique neighborhood.
Eastlake

The livability of Ballard is suffering from all this, unsightly development, parking is getting to be nearly impossible and congestion is terrible. These new developments create more noise at all hours from tenants partying, and the heights of the new buildings block sun. There is so much more wrong about it.
Ballard

Thank you for the initiative! I am tired to see beautiful houses transformed in those ugly buildings with no character.
Capitol Hill

Haller Lake neighborhood is being steamrolled by adjacent Northgate nibbling on our edges.
Haller Lake

As a resident living next to the construction of one of these buildings, I can also attest to the fact that their construction is a huge obstruction to life in the neighborhood. The plans for the building maximize land use and thus go right up to the edge of their property. This, in turn, leads to construction workers thinking they are free to walk on our property to suit their needs in constructing the building. If Seattle is going to allow for such buildings to exist, they need to ensure that there will be adequate space alotted for construction and whatever maneuvers need to be done to complete that construction.
Eastlake

Apodments are a developers’ dream. Please preserve neighborhood character and scale- STOP APODMENTS. My husband and I own a modest scale 4-plex in Eastlake on Louisa and Franklin. The newly built apodment next door blocks daylight for our tenants. It’s HUGE- four stories tall and built lot line to lot line. Gone are the trees and green space. The single family home that was demolished will be replaced with 39 UNITS! The development in question will replace a house at 2371 Franklin Ave. E. The official city permit for the project says it contains five units, but neighbors note that it will actually have 39 individual units grouped around common kitchens on each floor (a basement and four other floors, with one kitchen on each floor).
Eastlake

more trees, more green space, energy efficeint buildings, more bus lines
Ballard

Stop the insanity save our beautiful neighborhoods.
Eastlake

Parking and vehicle access is a problem with many of these developments.
West Seattle

Our beautiful neighborhood is being destroyed.
Eastlake

Ballard has been disfigured and violated with careless, distasteful development driven by greed. As a 35 year resident of Ballard we are dismayed and angry that Seattle planners and Council have turned a blind eye to this greed based attack on our community! Tax base be damned! This is a crime. It needs to stop.
Ballard

I live in Greenwood. And I want to see daylight in my neighborhood.

I get how gentrification can be good – we see it a lot in the Central district – but it also displaces a lot of people, and the new construction tends to undo the charm of the neighborhoods. Seattle is special, and it seems worth taking a little time and planning to maintain that, rather than letting it go to the sharks for short term capital gain and long term civic loss.
Central

New buildings should require provisions for off street parking, for ALL intended residents, not just a percentage of the occupants. On street parking is disappearing for existing housing units that were constructed decades ago with no provisions for off street parking. These residents have no choice but to park on the street and the once abundant on street parking is disappearing.
Ballard

I am a 20 year resident of Eastlake and am outraged by what is happening in our neighborhood. There is property across the street from 2235 Fairview Ave. E. that has sold and could be developed into what I call a micro-slum. Why doesn’t the Seattle Council listen to its residents?????
Eastlake

The new developments are changing Seattle…and not for the better! Instead of friendly houses and green lots, giant houses LOOM over us. I thought we would live here forever, we’d been putting out roots in out community. Our communities are at risk of being fractured.
Fremont/Wallingford

Stop the City of Seattle DPD from their blindsiding rule changes to Low-rise codes and destroying our urban village neighbors with revised density housing. This will destroy our property values and turn our neighborhoods into slums.
Eastlake

This immediately changes the atmosphere, the look and the value of our neighborhood. High density housing should be controlled not out of control as it is in Ballard. And certain areas should be out of bounds to this kind of growth. We still see apartment/condo buildings that remain empty while additional building is allowed to progress unfettered.
Ballard

We live in Greenwood. We really dislike what is happening in Ballard and Capital Hill. We would hate for buildings as tall and big as those areas to effect Greenwood.
Greenwood

There are five of these out-of-scale, out-of-character buildings going up within 8 blocks of me right now in every direction. I’m in the Fauntleroy/Gatewood area. I know Seattle must handle density, but these structures gobble the easements, and reflect no attempt whatsoever to create at least a transitional design. Everyone I know resents them; it would feel un-neighborly to live in one. C’mon!
West Seattle

We are members of the Roosevelt Neighbors Alliance. Another example to add to the developer exploitations you describe: tearing down a single family home and cramming three new houses onto the original lot. This is happening now to three adjacent lots on 9th Ave NE just north of NE 47th. Nine tall new ugly house-boxes where stately old homes with lovely yards and century-old trees once stood. Since when could this be legal? What is the city thinking in allowing this?!?
Roosevelt

I am especially supportive of getting rid of the loopholes that allow developers to circumvent the design review board… that is how we are ending up with so many hideous developments lately!
Central

This type of housing will be tomorrow’s slums. Look at Chicago and New York, slums and rent control. We want to be Seattle, not some other city. These buildings are unsightly, don’t fit in architecturally and devalue the homes around them.
People are not going to give up cars. Developers must provide parking. The streets of Queen Anne and Capitol Hill are lined with cars. If you want my vote again, do not pass this!
Magnolia, own rentals in Queen Anne.

To much building not enough sky, I totally agree
Capitol Hill

I am particularly concerned (offended) by the imposition of micro-housing to existing LR3 neighborhoods–as pictured at this website as well as under construction in my Ballard neighborhood (NW 58th St). It appears no consideration has been given to the impact on local infrastructure and services.
Ballard

The U-District is where I lived for 20 years, and my office still is located for some 26 years. This is also where I went to college, and “hung out” since I was a teenager (I won’t tell you how long ago that was but everyone had very long hair}. My neighborhood is being irrevocably altered and destroyed by out-of-scale runaway displacement inducing development. It’s time for a moratorium on runaway growth until our city rewrites the code, imposes developer impact fees and approves one for one low income housing replacement requirements.
U district

This is an outrage. We have been blindsided. Parking is limited already and these “units” without parking will cause more congestion and frustration in the neighborhoods they reside creating a less than neighborly environment.
Eastlake

It’s disheartening to think that my neighborhood will be transformed into another sterile, concrete canyon like Market Street in Ballard.
Phinney/Greenwood

Dear Seattle-area real estate developers,
I know you’re enjoying making lots of money sprouting up big-box apartment buildings all over town. And I know you’re doing it in the name of “density” and somehow also “affordable housing” (though we all know that none of it is truly affordable for average working people at this point ). But I would like you to stop and think for a minute: Is it really necessary to uproot happy family homes in Ballard and level venerable, character-filled apartment buildings on Capitol Hill in order to achieve your real goal of making lots of money?
There are plenty of opportunities to develop Seattle in ways that help the city grow, while preserving its great character. For example, I live near Aurora Avenue North. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s kind of a dump, and it stretches all the way from the ship canal to North 145th Street. It could be a wonderful, bustling, lively part of town if it were developed in the right way with a mix of residential, commercial, and open spaces, and there would be a ton of upside for you in the process. And you could collaborate with the city to build more pedestrian-and-bike bridges to make the area more pedestrian-and-bike friendly. The city could also partner with you to help existing small businesses on Aurora find new or temporary locations during construction, and help beef up police protection for the area (I’ve heard that Capitol Hill has had a marked increase in crime during the most recent wave of development), and help preserve the peace in adjacent neighborhoods by putting in speed bumps, etc.
Please develop the parts of Seattle that NEED DEVELOPING, and please leave the parts of town that are already really cool alone. If you do this, you there will be even more upside for you when Seattle continues to be a great place to live, attracting even more people, then the economy finally turns around, and you get to turn quality, affordable apartment buildings into quality, affordable condo buildings. If you continue big-boxing the cool parts of town, you will actually turn Seattle into a less attractive place to live, and you might be stuck sitting on apartment buildings. (I’m pretty sure you’d rather condo-ize the buildings and sell them off in the long run.)
So think: Seattle’s future is, to some degree, in your hands. Do the city proud, and develop the parts of town that NEED DEVELOPING! And leave the already-very-cool parts of town alone. I’m sure you will agree there is plenty of upside in developing an awesome, livable, and affordable Seattle.
Please share this anywhere you want. We have the power to keep Seattle awesome.
Licton Springs, near Aurora avenue North.
(Aurora is an area which could actually use some development, instead of tearing down the very character of the city on Capitol Hill and in Ballard.)

Please save my neighborhood.
Ballard

I ask the city council members to drive around Capital Hill during rush hour and try to find a parking space at at least 3 locations.repeat this process on a sunny day and really look at the eyesores that have been recently built and imagine living next door
I have passed through the mortgage crisis by refinancing since purchasing my condo in 2005 only to face the terror of the possibility of a monster building to the west blocking the territorial view and further devaluing my property. There is no excuse for this and you need to be accountable to all of the homeowners on Capital Hill
Capitol Hill

I have written 4 letters so far to the Dept of Planning in regards to the proposed 115 unit apodment at 2820 Eastlake and so far have had NONE of my concerns addressed. Our public hearing was allowed to us only after we submitted a petition requesting one. The proposed apodment is 115 units, has no parking, and 2 kitchens for the entire building. I live 2 blocks from this proposed project and I can attest that there is no street parking available and the few occasional spots that come up now and then again for people who visit us will no longer be available if the apodment goes in. To me these are throw backs to the tenanment days. What is next? Cold water flats? Bathrooms down the hall? Where are the codes? Where are the checks for human livability? Why is a modern city like Seattle building cheap poor quality of life buildings when we have a huge bench of talented architects waiting to be put to work? I am outraged at the lack of community review. Eastlakers demand to be heard and the developer is being given a free pass, why I have no idea. We love urban density and urban mix which is why we live in Eastlake. This has nothing to do with that argument. This is a money making scheme for a developer that has never shown his or her face in our community.
Eastlake

I’m a resident in the Green Lake neighborhood. We are already in the shadow of large developments:)
The impact of even one out-of-scale development in an otherwise low-rise neighborhood has an outsize negative impact on both the community members and the aesthetic appeal of a neighborhood. I have observed several towering structures placed in the Green Lake and Eastlake neighborhoods that were truly sad–surrounding homes cast into gloom and no apparent liveliness brought to the community by the new residents, who are generally encouraged by the architecture to stay inside, not garden or meet neighbors, etc.
We have a wonderful opportunity with our population influx to build on our legacy as a city of many small communities all woven together. Smart development will enhance the relationships which grow organically from a pedestrian-friendly community. Towering structures destroy this sense of community while bringing only a nominal number of new units on-line; units which turn over rapidly as those residents vacate to friendlier, more appealing environs.
Green Lake

Alongside being pro-density, I also enjoy the quieter feel of a less dense city neighborhood—the LR3 zones. I do not think these LR3 zones with their non-commercial, non-arterial streets are the place to squeeze in “just a bit more” density by inadvertently allowing 50′ to 60′ tall buildings due to height incentives in the new code. Again, the questionable aesthetics of most of these buildings aside, they are terribly out of character with the current buildings on these streets, strictly from a height perspective. They may have other aesthetics that are also out of character, but the extra height is what you see first and it then moves you to notice the other incongruences. I would argue that a 40′ absolute maximum (four stories) is enough in these areas. I’m not at all opposed to increasing the density in LR3 zones by adding townhouses, rowhouses, cottages or apartment buildings, but the height of the buildings must remain fairly consistent with what is there now. This maintains the character of the neighborhoods and provides Seattle residents with a better choice of “characters” for the areas in which they’d like to live—either the higher, denser urban corridor or the lower, more open residential neighborhood. That choice brings an orderly balance to a developing city.
Capitol Hill

This is not about affordable housing. It is about locking up cheap property under manipulative code interpretations for height to extort the neighborhood, city and renters.
Like New York tenements of the 1890’s, the trick is to time the bubble. Obviously, no comps can reflect everyones broken down SFD at $4M, as the market can’t absorb the units. It is about timing, cheating, extorting and manipulation. Any politician supporting this guise under the title of affordable housing should be impeached.
Caspitol Hill

There is growth and there is exponential growth and what Ballard is seeing right now is exponential growth. As you have also heard, Ballard is not set up for this type of expansion. The public transportation cannot handle the people that live in Ballard currently, much less the amount that will soon live here. If this was only about urban sprawl then areas closer to downtown would be the focus of all this development, not Ballard which will require driving or public transportation to handle people commuting to work. You need to reduce the height of apartment buildings to 30 feet in Lowrise growth zones in the upcoming cleanup legislation in order to return exponential growth back to normal, sustainable growth. Part of this sustainable growth also needs reduced floor area ratios to go along with the 30 feet height limit. Developers are always going to ask for the most that they can get. It is up to you to give them what is appropriate and at the same time also keep Seattle and its beautiful subsections family and community friendly.
Ballard

I attended the hearing on January 14th regarding the allowed heights in Seattle’s LR3 neighborhoods, and I came away completely appalled at how this issue is currently being handled. Let me review the facts as I see them so far:
1: The DPD changed the allowed LR3 heights in 2010 with very little public notice or comment.
2: In addition to the extra 10 foot of allowed height, which disrupts current fabric of community standards, the DPD allowed additional incentives and bonuses of at least 8 foot in height.
3: Neighbors found out after excessive construction and loss of quality of life made it evident and pushed the DPD, through petitions and phone calls, for a meeting to hear citizen comment.
4: Hundreds of neighbors showed up for the meeting and were allocated about one hour to voice concerns, with people being told not to repeat each others comments.
5: The DPD holds “standing meetings” with developers to hear comments on matters like this.
6: No changes are immeadiately forth coming and a moratorium will not be placed on overly tall buildings where developers are granted excessive heights in construction.
I have to conclude, after this series of events, that the Department of Planning is still not fully aware of the impacts their decisions are having on people living the in various communities around Seattle. I further must conclude that the main goal is to prioritize all new construction, no matter what the toll on neighborhoods and current residents. I lastly conclude that city planners do not live in neighborhoods that are heavily affected by these current zoning standards.
DPD zoning codes are pitting citizens against each other in turf wars, and causing squabbles between developers and community citizens. Residents of Seattle neighborhoods have asked for a moratorium while revisions are made to correct the land use code. Will you step up and instigate this or ignore our request for a moratorium the way you have with the Microhousing moratorium?
We deserve a moratorium and additional hearings on this matter.
Capitol Hill

Please return the building height to 30 feet in 3 story neighborhoods in order to preserve the trees and the character of the neighborhoods and to allow sunshine. The new 6 story boxy buildings are hideous. Future generations will be appalled by the total lack of aesthetic consideration.
Capitol Hill

Growth is not an “unstoppable” market force. It is the result of people making decisions. Its mystification is designed to make us accept the unacceptable. These decisions are made by: land owners, developers, the DPD, and Seattle City Council. The people that are left out are homeowners, civil society organizations, and anyone who questions the notion of “growth”.

I was disappointed to learn that although the DPD is considering further code changes to help ensure the new buildings fit into the neighborhood, it is no longer considering reducing building heights from 40 feet (+ roof and exceptions) to 30-35 feet in Low-rise 3 growth zones. Of the changes instituted in 2010, this was the one with the biggest negative impact since it allows apartments (as well as microhousing) to tower over adjacent buildings in neighborhoods where heights had been capped at 30 feet in the past.
My wife and I moved to our Capitol Hill townhouse in 2006 when our children grew up and we no longer needed a large single-family home in Bellevue. Before buying we gained some assurance about future development by learning our neighborhood was zoned LR3 – 30 foot height restriction. Later in 2011 we (and all the neighbors we knew) were surprised to find out that there had been amendments to the zoning which raised the height restriction to 40 feet and at the same time created loopholes in the code that among other things allowed microhousing developments in our neighborhood without public notice or design review. We now see a large number of out of character with the neighborhood microhousing units and other buildings springing up with as much as 57 feet of perceived height, and little or no consideration being given to the existing neighborhood re building character, parking, sunlight, infrastructure utilization, lot-line setbacks etc.
Capitol Hill

I live in the MADRONA area . It seems like these monstrosities , (they are EYESORES in most of the neighborhoods) they are building have NO parking for its tenants, WHY ? What ever happened to preserving the FAMILY neighborhoods ???????? PARKING is a HUGE problem !
Madrona

We love Capitol Hill and the diversity it represents, and we are very much in favor of keeping some housing affordable for lower income levels. But we have also lived in Europe and have seen the disastrous results of making affordability the main priority in building development.
We strongly encourage the DPD to incorporate the comments received from the public in its current consideration of the cleanup legislation and to:·

  • ensure the new buildings fit into their neighborhoods
  • restore the neighbor notice and design review requirement
  • include a reduction in the height of apartment buildings back to 30 feet in Low-rise growth zones
  • remove height bonuses for below grade floors and roof structures
  • reduce floor area ratios (FAR) and FAR exemptions
  • eliminate the loopholes in the way units are counted, so as to more properly regulate microhousing projects
  • incorporate automobile parking, bicycles and mass transit in planning and permitting
  • incorporate affordable housing in planning and permitting and provide incentives to developers and possible neighbors for same
  • consider impacts on existing infrastructure (sewer, garbage disposal, recycling) in planning and permitting
  • consider sunlight/shade in planning and permitting
  • provide consistency and predictability in the code for neighbors, builders and designers

We believe that the unintended consequences of the 2010 low-rise multi-family code amendments are so flagrant and have such a long-term impact on our neighborhoods that a moratorium should be imposed on the issuance of any permits for projects that utilize loopholes, exemptions, bonuses code departures or incentives, until the new legislation is passed.
Capitol Hill

I sit on the Ballard District Council and have seen increasing frustration among people attending our meetings with the changing face of Ballard. Ballard’s streets are in danger of becoming a series of shaded wind tunnels as rapacious developers take advantage of loopholes in the building codes. In addition, I have heard (and seen) that height restrictions have been increased in Ballard. Why? And when? Once the buildings are there, we have to live with them for a long, long time. I encourage you to put a moratorium on permits until the loopholes are fixed and to reintroduce lower height limits.
Ballard

1) I hope you will reconsider the height maximum, and roll it back to the pre-2010 figure of 30′. This will ensure that new buildings do not tower over the existing ones, as they do now. The 50-60′ buildings are way out of scale for my neighborhood.
2) Please remove the height bonuses for below-grade floors and roof structures. These are contributing to the heights going way beyond what was intended in the 2010 regulations.
3) Please decrease FAR and FAR exemptions. In addition to being too high, the new buildings are also too bulky. There should be some setback requirements from the property lines, to give some “breathing space” for the neighbors, and to make room for at least some landscaping.
I also think that all new buildings (including microhousing) should be required to undergo design/environmental review, and also to provide at least some parking, but I realize that these things are not part of the changes you are considering (they should be, however!).
We who are on this side of the issue are not anti-development or anti-density, but we think that more consideration for the character of the neighborhood needs to be part of the equation. We care about our neighborhood and would really appreciate your help in making the changes needed to keep Capitol Hill (and other Seattle neighborhoods) a great place to live.
Capitol Hill

Please stop. This is out of control.
Ballard

My Madison Valley neighborhood is being flooded with new oversized single family homes and duplex townhouses with the extra enclosed staircase added on the rooftops (that don’t count, but still add more height). These new heights are out of scale with the existing fabric of the older homes and are blocking light.
Central

Please reconsider this zoning change. We do not want to give our neighborhoods over to landlords gunning for greater profits at the neighborhood’s expense.
We support the smaller size developments.
Ballard

 please roll back the code so that 5-6 story buildings cannot be permitted in Urban Villages. While we need new affordable housing, these excessively tall buildings create infrastructure needs that go beyond the ability of the neighborhood resources.
Capitol Hill

The building nextdoor is a a monstrosity; it tblocks all sunlight to our tenants windows. One tenant said its like living next to a big box retail store. Please stand with us to say no to mega-buildings in our very human-scale neighborhood.

Eastlake

Massive abuses of scale – neighbors now live in the shadows – horrible. Even if only half of the residents have cars, where will they all park? It is naive to assume that microhousing residents won’t own automobiles. I understand not wanting to promote the ownership of vehicles in the city, however building very dense housing without any provision for parking seems like a disasterous way of trying to accomplish this. When it fails to deter automobile ownership, what do we do with our clogged streets? Skys clogged with zero-lot-line 4 or more story buildings, shadowing streets of illegally parked or double parked cars. Nice vision for our city. Let’s not let this happen.
Eastlake

The daylight lost to a 5 story building will impact our lives on a very fundamental level. Daylight hours are already scarce in the PAC NW. These developments would take away from The afternoon light and deprive my full sun garden. In high dense communities day light is crucial. In Japan if you take away a neighbors light you are required to pay your neighbors yearly for their loss.
Eastlake

I would like to call on the powers that be in Seattle to admit their devotion to development-at-all-costs and start fresh with a real and honest look at how Seattle is being re-developed. It seems this town had a fantastic opportunity (not to mention, a responsibility) to create density in a thoughtful and careful, community-driven, sustainable-focused way, and blew it. Seattle talks “progressive” and “green”, but fails in political will to make and execute a city-wide plan with that vision. Neighborhood quality is suffering.
What is the vision? What is the vision? What is the vision? And, how are the current building permits that are being issued supporting that vision?
Is this what the people of Seattle want? Out of scale (frequently ugly) buildings that block light and air and seal permeable ground? How is that progressive or “Green”? Thousands of units of transitional housing whose floor-plans, light and access to the outdoors discourage and prohibit families or older folks from settling there. Neighborhoods that used to engender roots and commitment now encourage temporary stops along the way for young-somethings in their drinking years, on their way to settling down in the suburbs. Tell me again how density is helping?
Who is in charge here?
Fremont/Wallingford

As owner/resident of a 4-unit former convent and 1910 mansion, we are fighting together with our neighbors in the Squire Park area to fend off encroachments from a new major institution master plan for the Swedish-Sabey extensive development of the former Providence Hospital on Cherry Hill. We thoroughly agree with the need to maintain throughout the city of the present LR limits per building of 30 foot (+ 5 if pitched roof). These struggles by community residents against developer encroachments are for preserving while making more widely shared the quality of life we presently enjoy but must collectively defend. We can and will win this needed building code reform as we work together in a concerted effort.
Central

I support a review of the 2010 legislation, and the goals and proposals set forth in this petition, with the hope that the city can balance growth with the protection and liveability of our neighborhoods.
Capitol Hill

Too much development too quickly. Shrinking green space and taller development is turning Capitol Hill into the new Belltown.
Capitol Hill

I very much want to limit our height on new buildings to 30′. Why should developers prosper at the expense of the neighbors who have lived here for many years. Do the higher building on commercial streets. We do NOT want to become another hi-rise city with no neighborhood feeling left. These old houses were built to last many life times and the newer ones maybe 30 yrs. Help save our planet not destroy it.
I also am angry about these newer buildings not providing enough parking. I am against using cars but know that many folks do own/use them and have noticed that street parking is becoming impossible in our neighborhoods.
Capitol Hill

Buildings built in this neighborhood need to follow the same height and characteristics as those already in the neighborhood. Buildings need to be built with sufficient parking to accommodate these cars.
Capitol Hill

Our neighborhood is opposing a rowhouse development being proposed in our formerly LDT zone, which changed to LR1 without anyone being notified. This project will change the whole character of our little street. The new zoning allowing 5 foot setbacks and new heights cast a shadow on all of us. Development has gone too far in Seattle.
West Seattle

West seattle is changing daily with these huge buildings right next to tiny houses. It looks terrible and feels terrible.
West Seattle

As a resident and home owner since 1971 I believe that a moratorium is essential. Moderation much be shown or the pressure from speculators and business interests will reduce our neighborhood to the undesirable standards that we see so frequently in other parts of our country. Please support this moratorium.
Capitol Hill

I have a house in the North Central area and since moving in in 2005 a total of 3 historic homes on my short block have been demolished and 3 story condo units put in their place. The feel of the neighborhood has changed for the worse and it’s sad that the city planning department doesn’t take more care in preserving the historic Seattle.
Go to Washington DC’s Capitol Hill Historic area and see how beautiful it is because they have made an effort to preserve the neighborhood. If something new is built it is under strict guidelines to fit in with the neighborhood. Please help preserve Seattle’s Neighborhoods by not building huge condo buildings and out of character town homes.
Central

The neighborhood is not gaining any profit, the developers are. Greed, money, and selfishness drives “unintended consequences” from new laws. Zoning codes are established to protect the people LIVING their lives in these neighborhoods. If L1-L4, DLTs, LR3, and FAR, changes are being abused, let’s please close the loopholes now that we are confronting the ramifications.
Capitol Hill

You make single family constructed and remodels adhere to strict off street parking yet you allow these monstrosities propagate at will. Your term might last until the next election so keep that in mind Council staff.
Southwest/Southeast

Seattle is beautiful because of the Puget Sound and the mountains around us, NOT buildings. Please protect our views and the quality of Seattle’s skyline!
Eastlake

West Seattle is being destroyed by the bulky high buildings that are being built
I will vote accordingly to those who don’t mitigate what is occuring..
Southwest/Southeast

I’ve been car-free by choice for 24 years, so whenever I go anywhere, it’s on foot or by transit. Listen to me; I KNOW transit’s plusses and minuses, and they for sure don’t offset “densification” minuses!
Even if transit WAS an adequate offset, it can and does change, three times every year. But Apodments, once built? As the bumper sticker says: SAVE SKAGIT FARMLAND … PAVEMENT IS FOREVER.
So this isn’t Skagit county? Ah, but it is – just with a few more decades of progress (see Nash, below). Each layer worsens things.
“Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long.” Ogden Nash
Capitol Hill

Please do this: revent the proliferation of out-of-scale and out-of-character buildings in established neighborhoods
Capitol Hill

I’m a property owner with two adjacent lots in Columbia City. I would stand to benefit greatly from an upscale of Lowrise 3. But I don’t want it. 3 stories amidst single family is plenty tall.
Columbia City

This is a beggar-thy-neighbor phenomenon. Too much of a good thing is not good. The stealth up zoning of our established LR neighborhoods is overloading narrow streets rated for moderate density. Lower floor dwellers ade cast into newr permanent shadow.
The city should encourage a return to planning principles that encouraged the classic 3-4 story brick courtyard apartment buildings that have stood the test if time and lent so much character to Capitol Hill.
Let’s not kill the goose for the golden eggs.
Capitol Hill