So – why did the city enact an expanded BIA when the vast majority of property owners in the U District opposed it? Answer: Instead of a one-parcel/one vote election, the city weighed each parcel’s vote according to its appraised value. So – owners of more valuable properties – like the Audi/VW dealership, Sundance Theaters, and the Hotel Deca – were given a much higher voting percentage than small restaurants, dry-cleaning, or upholstery shops. The city also allocated 47% of the total voting power to the UW because it owns 35 or so parcels in the planning area. Because of this weighted voting scheme, it only took 41 total property owners in addition to the UW to outvote, percentage-wise, the other 400 property owners who opposed the expanded BIA.
The property owners shown in red in the attached map probably can be counted upon today to be skeptical of how the proposed U District upzone will benefit them.
There is noticeable correlation between the “blue” properties shown on this map and the 2016 maps produced by OPCD that illustrate high-rise sites likely to be developed under the upzone.