LOCAL NEWS

Councilmember: Seattle bid to end single-family zoning label designed to ‘reflect reality’

Sep 23, 2021, 5:14 AM
Seattle single family zoning...
An apartment complex in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. (MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

Seattle City Council’s Land Use Committee met Wednesday to continue discussion on a proposal to do away with the city’s “single-family zoning” label.

Seattle proposal to end ‘single-family zoning’ label garners wide support

The bill — sponsored by Councilmembers Teresa Mosqueda and Dan Strauss — would replace the city’s single-family zoning moniker with “neighborhood residential zoning” instead. While it won’t change the actual makeup of Seattle’s density, it’s seen as a necessary first step toward more equitable housing practices, doing away with a term regarded by many as rooted in discriminatory policies.

Members of the council’s Land Use Committee spoke in support of the proposal Wednesday, with Councilmember Strauss emphasizing that the “changes would only be to the name, not to zoning policy.”

“This is changing the name to reflect reality that we have legacy duplexes, rowhouses, apartment buildings that were built in what are now single family zones,” he said. “We are endeavoring to change the name only to reflect the neighborhoods that we live in.”

Councilmembers Andrew Lewis and Alex Pedersen expressed their support as well, with the latter noting that he was “mindful” of concerns from some that the name change could potentially be a precursor to future upzoning efforts.

Conversely, Lewis expressed that he was “looking forward to discussions where there can be an increased amount of planning around 15-minute communities,” where residents in dense neighborhoods would be within walking distance of resources like schools, parks, and grocery stores. That said, he also clarified how that would be “a separate conversation from this name change.”

Wednesday’s committee meeting featured feedback from the public, with most expressing support for the bill.

“What brings us together is the belief that everyone in our city should have access to a safe, stable, and affordable home,” said Brady Nordstrom, with the Seattle for Everyone Coalition. “We believe it is important to decouple this designation from the past so that we can better assess our future needs and challenges.”

Seattle and Tacoma weigh changes to single-family zoning

“We currently have a land use code that is stuck in the past,” architect Matt Hutchens agreed.

Not everyone was on board, though, including a Magnolia homeowner who questioned why the council doesn’t consider the “multi-family zoning” label to be equally as problematic, arguing that the labels the city uses “should be consistent.”

Another person cited concerns over the lack of protections for tree canopies in existing single-family areas, and that shifting to the “neighborhood residential” moniker could be a slippery slope.

“The next change will be a change in zoning, with less restrictions and oversight,” she opined.

The bill will go up for a vote in the council’s Land Use Committee on Friday, where it is expected to pass. After that, it will go in front of the full council for further discussion.

Local News

Truck crash on SB I-5. (KTTH listener submitted photo)...
MyNorthwest Staff

Semi-truck collision on SB I-5 in Lynnwood clear after blocking three lanes

On the I-5 southbound on-ramp at 44th Avenue, there was a truck collision Tuesday that had been blocking the two right lanes.
1 day ago
troyer...
MyNorthwest Staff

Investigation finds Pierce County Sheriff Troyer violated department standards

In an independent investigation, Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer has been found to have violated the department’s policies and standards.
1 day ago
Kim Wyman...
Nicole Jennings

Washington state GOP worried about state’s future as Kim Wyman leaves for Biden administration

As Secretary of State Kim Wyman announces she has taken a job with the Biden administration, the chair of the Republican Party is concerned.
1 day ago
stolen school bus...
MyNorthwest Staff

Man arrested in Seattle after stealing empty school bus, ramming vehicles

Seattle police arrested a man in the Central District on Tuesday after he stole an empty school bus and rammed it into other vehicles.
1 day ago
covid pill, vaccines, vaccination...
Kathryn Altena

Seattle to open new COVID vaccination clinic in West Seattle

The City of Seattle will be opening a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Neighborhood House in the High Point neighborhood, in West Seattle.
1 day ago
Lorena Gonzalez...
MyNorthwest Staff

Lorena Gonzalez removes campaign ad labeled ‘racial stereotype’ by opponent

Seattle mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez apologizes for a campaign advertisement criticized by Black civic leaders for perpetuating racial stereotypes
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Councilmember: Seattle bid to end single-family zoning label designed to ‘reflect reality’