A Seattle bungalow. Many of Seattle’s neighborhoods are zoned for single-family homes, which could change soon.
The Seattle Times reported Tuesday night that Seattle may soon consider restricting the construction of single-family homes in a large swath of the city.
A draft report authored by Seattle’s Housing Affordability and Living Agenda (HALA) shows recommendations to increase the amount of multi-family zoning and drastically decrease the amount of single-family zoning in an attempt to increase the housing inventory in the growing city.
“New multifamily zoned land should be prioritized near green belts, open space and parks; near schools and community centers; and within walking distant of the frequent transit network,” stated the committee in the report.
Roughly 65 percent of the city would be affected by this change, according to the Seattle Transit Blog. A final version of the report won’t be available until early next week.
Currently, there are three kinds of single-family zoning in Seattle, which are almost identical except for the size of the lot. The smallest a lot can be is 5,000 square feet, which committee members believe can be used to house more residents.
The draft report has garnered discussion about the protection of character in Seattle’s neighborhoods and the affordability of housing today and in the future. A DC Office of Revenue Analysis study published Wednesday found that Seattle has some of the most expensive housing in the nation.
However, HALA is just an advisory committee created by Mayor Ed Murray and the City Council to suggest policies and programs to make Seattle more livable. Therefore, any suggestions must be translated into law, which may or may not pass, and with the flack the committee is receiving, its recommendation for the zoning change could change by the final report.
Like many cities, nationwide, Seattle is grappling with affordability and is considering new ways to house a rapidly growing population. In 2013, according to the Seattle Times, it was the fastest growing city in the nation and added about 18,000 new residents.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/leaked_report_shows_seattle_may_drop_single-family_zoning/10096.
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