Neighbor’s Comments
Carl Winter of Capitol Hill writes: City Councilmembers, I respectfully ask that you allow the immediate neighborhood surrounding this site to decide for themselves if they want to be upzoned for 12 story buildings. Engage them and allow them to decide the final outcome of this proposal. And please, none of this phoney “outreach” that has been going on of late and that went on before the 2010 Low Rise Code changes. No one, and I mean no one, in the Low Rise neighborhoods were aware those changes were being implemented. Please consider the residents who currently live in that area and listen to their concerns and act on their interests and not just the interests of developers and those who MAY or MAY NOT live there in the future. Also, please insist that the Mayor change the composition of the Seattle Planning Commission. Developers and architects that stand to gain financially from the decisions they have significant influence on have no business holding positions on it. Thank you!
Ray of Columbia City / Mt. Baker writes: Current zoning is more than adequate to meet growth targets. Higher density will overwhelm Central Link Light Rail capacity, leaving riders stranded as full-capacity trains roll by, unable to accept more passengers. Finally, no comparable 125-foot up-zones are contemplated for non-minority neighborhoods. The same train that stops at Mt. Baker Station also stops at Roosevelt Station. Extreme density in SE Seattle is unfair.
Jeannie O’Brien of Lakewood Seward Park writes: Don’t wait until the 125 foot high rise at Rainier and McClellan is being built to speak out against this legislation. Please sign the petition, circulate it, and attend the city council hearing on May 20th at 2:00 in Council Chambers, 2nd floor of City Hall.  We WANT growth. We WANT density. We NEED economic development. We NEED an infrastructure to support the growth. We DEMAND growth that is organic, equitable, and smart, and not so drastically out of scale with our neighborhood.
NINA CHOW of MOUNT BAKER writes: Traffic in our neighborhood will be greatly impacted.
Azar Johnson of Graham Hill writes: The zoning ordinance not just for the elite, keep the valley at 65 feet!!!
Jason Ramos of Beacon Hill writes: This is not accpetable. This would never be proposed or allowed in other “exclusive” neighborhoods in Seattle. How can this happen in South Seattle? Does one think that the demographic will stand up or understand what is truly happening here? Please consider the drastic effects these changes would make for those living here. Loss of jobs in an area where peopl need to work. Life is tough for many in the area–these changes would exacerbate the difficulty people are already exeperiencing. Have compaasion and put a stop to this.
Keith Akada of Seward Park /Beacon Hill writes: Density within the city limits is a big issue. BUT a 12 story building! NO, what’s next Chubby & Tubby old building for another 12 stories. NO. If the city will not allow that to be built on Broadway, Capital Hill, West Seattle, Greenwood or anywhere else don’t try to build it in the valley because you think that there will not be push back. 12 Stories?!!!!! NO!
Jeannie and Shelton Chow of Mt. Baker writes: A 12 story building at Rainier and McClellan is totally out of scale for our residential NEIGHBORHOOD. There are no other residential neighborhoods in the City that have 12 story building. 12 stories would be more in scale with Downtown Seattle. In fact, City Hall is not even 12 stories, nor is the King County Administration Building or the County Jail. It seems that the south end community of working class stiffs, many of which are minority, are constantly getting dumped on. Our working class families are so busy working jobs, 2 jobs and overtime to support our families & keep it together on the home front, that often times we don’t have the time/energy to attend your politically motivated meetings that result in further blight of our neighborhoods. Please keep your hands off of the Lowe’s sight and keep the 12 story buildings at the University of Washington, Swedish Hospital/pill hill or in downtown Seattle. Help us to preserve the neighborhood, our neighborhood & allow us to raise and keep our families in neighborhoods with a low profile that is friendly to people, families and to building relationships with each other.
Allison May of Mt Baker Neighborhood writes: (1) Job Loss to the Rainier Valley; (2) Paucity of planning for economic development, all resulting in …(3) a compromised tax base for the City of Seattle for the next 20+ years which will impact resources available to support the entire City; (4) cramming all the low income housing/resources into South Seattle will create a slum in South Seattle and will not disperse the needed resources across the City where people actively work. Finally, (5) The initiative is proposing huge density (beyond six stories) in South Seattle BEFORE they have the infrastructure or resources to support it. The SPD in the Robert (South Precinct) coverage area is already completely overwhelmed and under staffed. Up-zone proposal is a sell-out to developers and undermines the longer-term viability of the City of Seattle.Boo!
Valorie Yamasaki of Lakewood writes: I do not want to see 12 story buildings congesting the already busy area, not to mention blocking the sunlight. I do not agree with the rules about developers not having to provide parking for tenants if the building is close to mass transit, where do they park their cars which most folks own anyway that causes more congestion on the streets.
Colleen Maloney of Seward Park writes: We already have major traffic congestion in that area due to the bus hub.
Sharon Maier of Seward Park writes: I object to the 12 story building upzone at Lowes.
Alex Tatman of Seward Park writes: 125 is too tall. This would negatively alter our neighborhood. Parking and congestion on Rainier are all ready bad. Please no re-zone.
James S. Grant of Seward Park writes: We’re beginning to see the result of the current developers parkingless scheme for Columbia City.
Lauren Tucker of Lakewood/Seward Park writes: Please take into account the neighborhood character and plan and existing traffice congestion on the N-S routes. 65 feet is tall enough!
Dysa Kafoury of Columbia City writes: The Bowtie concept will cause Much More Congestion. Cars traveling one-way on Rainier Ave or MLK will not go all the way to the opposite street (Rainier or MLK) if they want to travel the other way. Cars will, instead, clog up the residential streets near Rainier and MLK.
Carol Angel of Othello writes: Taller buildings are not the answer to the problems in the Rainier Ave. area! We need jobs!
Craig Abramson of Mt Baker writes: I do object to the 125 foot upzone and would support 65 or even 85 feet for a well designed retail/ residential district with quality constructon. Parking should be absolutely considered rather than assuming that residents will not have cars. I don’t understand exactly how the bow tie traffic design will work in practice and trust that common sense will prevail on the best solution there.
Mark Beavon of Lakewood / Seward Park writes: I work in South Seattle very close to a building that has been built with very limited parking since it is close to the # 7 and # 9 bus stop. These people are not using transit and now take up every single parking spot around the neighborhood which I now hear the business owners around complaining that there is nowhere for customers to park.
John Levytsky of Mt. Baker writes: It is truly disappointing that the Seattle Department of Planning has not sent out a single mailer to the impacted neighborhoods.
Adam Stricker of Columbia city writes: I support this petition.
Andrea Ptak of Brighton Beach writes: I frequent businesses in that area on a regular basis, and drive Rainier at least a few times a week. I think of the darkness that buildings of that height would bring. I also don’t see the neighborhood as a draw for the people who could afford what is being built. I agree, 65 feet is tall enough. Let’s keep light in the Valley!
Jeanine Burke of Seward Park writes: Not a smart decision. Does not make any sense to allow a high-rise in a low-rise area. Not supported by us!
Michal Jacoby of seward park writes: We need Lowe’s in the neighborhood. We do not need increased traffic.
Raphael Katsman of Columbia city writes: No 12 story buildings in the Rainier Valley – 65 feet is tall enough!
Brent Palmason of Columbia City writes: I am absolutely in opposition to the Rainier Ave/MLK “bow tie” concept. I am also against what I suspect are plans to reduce overall vehicle travel lanes (road diets, etc.).
Anton C. Kusak III of Mt Baker Seattle writes: There is no place for a 12 story buildings in the Rainier Valley. Once one is built there will be others and that will distroy the feeling of the valley and the natural beauty is provides to everyone regardless of money and the life style. The Rainier Valley is treasure to the entire city of Seattle. We need to perserve one of the great urban valleys in America. This deserves to be treated with care and deepest respect.
Steven Shulman of Lakewood-Seward Park writes: 125 feet is to tall for the area.
sibyl james of rainier valley writes: Stop treating Rainier Valley residents like second-class citizens.
Bill bradburd of Jackson Place writes: DPD’s approach to upzone without consideration of impacts, what are real area needs (jobs, hospital, less retail leakage), and consideration of community input (other than ginned up ‘public’ meetings), is unfortunate. Murray’s promise to give neighborhoods more voice is something we’d all like to see – except of course the big property owners and developers that would benefit from these changes…
John V. Fox Seattle Displacement Coalition of UDistrict writes: Our organization which includes residents of SE Seattle strongly opposes this rezone. It serves no public purpose and will only serve to accelerate gentrification and displacement of existing low income and minority residents as well as existing local businesses. According to planning documents the area is well on pace under current zoning to reach its 2024 20 year residential growth target of 900 units reaching 64% of that in only 9 years. Even though new targets thru 2035 likely will require addition of another 1350 units, the current zoning has capacity to add about 7700 units (600 percent above needed capacity when the Comp Plan and Growth Management Act say you only need excess capacity at 125% of your target). City planners facilely dismiss what they describe as minor displacement impacts resulting from their proposed land use changes. The area right now is ground zero for displacement and these changes would greatly accelerate these trends. See Prof Morrill’s mapping showing dramatic movement of minorities from Seattle especially SE Seattle: http://www.newgeography.com/content/002220-stories-2010-census-race-and-ethnic-change-washington-state Also, see PSRC’s displacement risk analysis page 55: http://www.psrc.org/assets/9539/GTCStrategyReport2013-10-03.pdf. Mt Baker TOD is outlined in bright red meaning highest risk. City Planners have cited incentive zoning as a solution….but units set aside under IZ are priced hundreds of dollars above the existing rental housing stock that will be destroyed as a result of accelerated redevelopment due to these zoning changes. It’s time to toss out of office elected officials who allow, condone, and approve upzones like these that serve only to put more money in developer’s hands while destroying the physical and social character and affordability of our neighborhoods!
Phill W Briscoe of Mt. Baker writes: Without a plan to bring livable wage jobs into the neighborhood only promotes gentrification at the cost of low income families under the guise of building more low income housing. This repeats a cycle of ghettoization. The valley needs job development, new green market jobs, light industry skilled and non-skilled employment. etc. not large buildings with no plan, no true green plazas, no play grounds, or concessions for those who live in the neighborhood. currently, who benefits from this development.