So according to the Seattle 2035 Development Capacity Report, "Based on current zoning, DPD estimates that the city has development capacity to add about 224,000 housing units." According to the HALA website, Mayor Murray wants to add 50,000 housing units in the next 10 years. So there's plenty of capacity with current zoning to meet that goal, right?
Mayor Murray says we need to upzone the urban villages because we need more density, but that's not really the case. Mayor Murray needs to upzone the urban villages because in the "Grand Bargain" Mayor Murray stated that the Linkage Fees will not take affect until the upzoning is effective. Basically giving the developers the neighborhoods in exchange for affordable units (and I cannot help to ask possibly campaign contributions). The upzoning has nothing to do with need for more density. And that is why the Affordable Housing contingent and the Developers both had a seat at the table with the Mayor, and the Neighborhoods did not. The first three all had something to gain. The Neighborhoods were the sacrificial lamb.
But the sad part about this Bargain is that we all live or work in this city, we all share this city. And in the end we all will be affected by this poor decision.
Seattle 2035 report:
Information regarding Linkage fees being linked to upzoning:
"To facilitate faster implementation, Mandatory Inclusionary Housing will be considered as part of neighborhood upzones in progress and for areas where environmental reviews were recently completed. The City’s existing incentive zoning will remain in effect until Mandatory Inclusionary Housing is implemented. In 2015, the City aims to adopt a Commercial Linkage Fee ordinance. The program will be phased-in over 3 years. Over that time, commercial property will be zoned to greater capacity and linkage fees will come into effect with the implementation of this additional capacity."
"Linkage fees won’t take effect until upzones are done — that’s the sugar developers were given to help the medicine go down — but the city signaled that it’s a done deal." http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/editorials/city-council-rushed-to-pass-seattles-grand-bargain/