The Wallingford Community Council wants you to know of major changes proposed in our neighborhood. Mayor Ed Murray will soon finalize recommendations to the Seattle City Council to revise the basic planning laws that govern what can be built on your and your neighbors’ property.

Mayor Murray has teamed up with developers and with advocacy organizations that promote housing density and want to change the way we live, all without a single public visit to neighborhoods like Wallingford that will be impacted. Their first step is changing the City’s Comprehensive Plan through the Seattle 2035 process, followed by zoning changes recommended in the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) plan.

Proposed “Seattle 2035” changes to the Comprehensive Plan would:

  • Eliminate requirements to include residents’ input in changes to neighborhood zoning and other aspects of the Comprehensive Plan
  • Make it much easier to rezone any property in or near the Urban Village from single-family to multi-family
  • Eliminate specific zoning types within the Urban Village from the future land use map
  • Again permit “skinny houses” and houses built on sub-standard lots
  • Remove protections for trees and goals for more trees
  • Permit more development on steep slopes and in environmentally sensitive areas
  • Eliminate parking requirements for apartment complexes while still allowing all residents to own cars and get RPZ permits

Mayor Murray’s “Grand Bargain” within the HALA panel of developers and advocacy organizations would:

  • Change all single-family zoning within Urban Villages to multi-family zoning
  • Change multi-family zoning to favor apartments and condos over town homes
  • Greatly increase the allowed heights and size in multi-family zones (from 3 to 4 or 5 stories) and in commercial zones (from 4 to 5 or 6 stories)
  • Push out locally-owned small businesses that cannot afford the higher rents in new mid-rise mixed-use buildings
  • Accelerate demolition of existing affordable housing by creating new incentives for developers and raising taxes on properties that are not redeveloped
  • Replace affordable housing with top-dollar houses and apartments, with only 5 to 7% of new units reserved as affordable
  • Create new legal loopholes for developers
  • Make these changes despite City studies confirming that existing zoning is adequate for predicted future population growth