Our Changing City: TWO ways to get engaged today

The data trends tell the story in numbers and charts. But if you’re living in the Seattle metro area, you don’t need to read what you can see when you step outside your door: this city is booming, growing, changing.

Sidestepping the debate about whether Seattle should grow at this pace, (and noting that at KFM Strategies we’re about the future not the past) the absolute worst thing that citizens can do is disengage or watch passively as the changes roll through. It’s time to push up sleeves, dig in and, you know, lean into the discussion. What does a growing city need? Housing that is affordable across all incomes, especially as high-paying professional jobs in technology draw so many new faces here. Non-car transportation infrastructure designed hand-in-glove with our growth plans, our schools and in concert with all modes.

Here are two ways to get involved in proactive discussions about Seattle’s future today:

Proposed Changes to Low-Rise Housing: Low-rise zones in Seattle (L1, L2, L3) are essentially the types of single family homes, townhome and skinny homes you see on neighborhood streets. During the last decade, small scale developers have worked legally within the code to 1) build townhouses up to 3 stores plus attic and 2) subdivide larger Seattle lots into four lots, allowing for four townhouses or small ‘skinny’ homes. These are neighbors selling their homes on their own volition to builders who can make room for 3 or 4 families where there were once just one. Three or four families that perhaps until now couldn’t go to your nearby school, ride your frequent-service bus or enjoy the clean and safe neighborhood you’ve enjoyed. It’s a chance to say ‘yes’ to a changing city and ‘yes’ to neighbors and neighbors-to-be. Time to let folks in.

Meeting is today at 2:30pm at City Hall, (Planning, Land Use and Sustainability Committee) where city officials will discuss whether to disallow these types of development. 

Input on This Fall’s Transportation Levy: The Move Seattle Levy (we’ve written about it here and here) will be a 9-year property tax that invests heavily in transportation backlog and critical repaving, but, some say, not enough in Greenways, bicycle infrastructure and safe walking routes to school for children. Again, thinking less about ourselves and more about the next generation of Seattle citizens, consider advocating to help tip the balance more favorably toward those uses that think about the next twenty years, not the last.

Public hearing is 5:30pm tonight at Seattle City Hall.


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