As I reported in November, the City has released the “Preferred Alternative” maps for proposed zoning changes under HALA (if you don’t know what HALA is, you can find out more here). What I did not have in my hands when writing about the Preferred Alternative maps the first time, was the figures for just how much new development Wallingford could expect under these proposed zoning changes.
As you can see in the document linked below, Wallingford is targeted for a whopping 95% increase in housing growth under the latest proposed changes! This is a big jump from the 39% growth we would have seen under the first version of the zoning maps released in 2016, which the City now calls “Alternative 2” (“Alternative 1” is no change in zoning which is my particular favorite). That first 2016 map had its own problems with large zoning jumps west of Stone Way, but once we got used to the first version it was easy to not realize what a big jump in growth there with the new Preferred Alternative map and its predecessor.
Of 27 urban villages slated for upzoning, Wallingford is planned for the third highest amount of housing growth behind Morgan Junction and Crown Hill under the City’s Preferred Alternative. The growth targeted for Wallingford is more than double the average compared to the other urban villages.
And Wallingford’s zoning changes would not be happening in isolation. If you consider Wallingford’s upzone in conjunction with the massive upzone that was approved last year for the U District with plans to turn the neighborhood just east of us into a South Lake Union style tech hub, our neck of the woods has the potential to get a lot more crowded.
You may or may not agree with the zoning changes that were born from former Mayor Ed Murray’s housing agenda, but either way you have to wonder why there is such a disparity in the growth planned for the different urban villages?
If you’d like a chance to ask such questions or give comments to city officials about the proposed zoning changes, the City of Seattle is holding an Open House this Tuesday, January 30th at 6-8 pm at Hamilton Middle School.
There is also a Public Hearing for our District 4 area scheduled on Monday, February 12th at 6-8 pm at Eckstein Middle School. Please come and sign up to give public comment.
We all know growth is coming to Seattle, but our current zoning capacity is more than sufficient to handle what is expected. Will citywide upzones really make Seattle more affordable? And why is Wallingford targeted for such high growth under HALA? City officials need to stop playing politics and reevaluate their plan.
- To submit comments to the City via email, you may write the entire City Council at [email protected], our District 4 Councilmember Rob Johnson may be reached at [email protected] and Mayor Jenny Durkan at [email protected].
- For information on all of the upcoming HALA Open Houses and Public Hearings click here.
- To read more about the Preferred Alternative zoning changes proposed for Wallingford, click here.
- More than two dozen community groups have joined together to take legal action against the City stating it has not adequately studied the negative impacts of the proposed upzones. To learn more about the appeal, click here.