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University Way the Ave upzoning
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City Council exempts University Way from citywide upzoning bill

The sweeping upzoning legislation in the Mandatory Housing Affordability bill is being enacted in numerous Seattle neighborhoods, but the City Council has agreed to exempt University Way, at least for the moment.

Many business owners along University Way have objected to the legislation, fearing that it would upend the neighborhood character, and lead to demolitions and higher rents, reports The Seattle Times.

RELATED: Heated debate at final hearing for Seattle’s upzoning measure

Included in the legislation are requirements for building affordable housing, and taller residence buildings in select neighborhoods throughout Seattle. The goal is to provide at least 6,000 new rent and income-restricted homes for low-income residents.

Additionally, it would levy substantial fines on developers who don’t dedicate between 5-11 percent of projects to low-income housing.

RELATED: Council delivers key decision on upzoning measure ahead of full vote

The MHA has already been enacted in the University District (excepting the Ave), South Lake Union, downtown, Lower Queen Anne, the International District, and the Central Area. Seattle City Council recently discussed and voted on over 100 amendments, and is expected to approve the plan on March 18.

Despite the temporary removal, Seattle City Councilmember Rob Johnson told The Seattle Times that he plans to upzone the strip later this year.

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