Should developers get to change the neighborhood?
More people moving into Seattle means the city has to figure out where to put everyone and how expansion will look.
The City Council will vote Monday to extend the small-lot moratorium, which aims to limit development so that it’s more proportionate to lot size, another six months. The Department of Planning and Development plans to release proposed regulations in the next two weeks, according to The Seattle Times. The rules were supposed to be in place by now.
At issue is whether developers can build large homes or multiple homes on a small lot, or if new construction should fit the aesthetics of a neighborhood.
“Do you take a photograph of this neighborhood and say ‘Well, this neighborhood can never change and that any building that needs to go into this must be equal or similar?'” asks KIRO Radio’s John Curley. “Or do you allow gentrification of the neighborhood? How much equity needs to be in a neighborhood because that’s the way the neighborhood is right now?”
City Councilmember Richard Conlin, Chair of the Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee, wants the city to set clear guidelines so that both builders and neighbors know what to expect. Listen to his interview with KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz.
“You feel for the person who’s got the little house next to the person who puts the big house in,” says Curley. “And the guy that puts the big house in, he’s got the money. If he wants to build that, he can. It doesn’t always fit with the environment, but it doesn’t matter from his point of view. It’s their house and they can do what they want.”