Dear Mayor Durkan & City Council members,
The attached illustration prepared by Megan Kruse shows 12 buildings currently in the pipeline that will add 2,500 parking spaces to a two by four block neighborhood. How many is that, relative to the total number of cars that already park there and will enter from and exit onto the alleys and streets bordered by 1st, Lenora, 5th, and Stewart? Is it a 10% increase? 25%? 200%?
You should know, if you don’t know yet.
Our city has bent over backward to entice and accommodate developers to put Seattle on the top of the heap of fastest growing, most congested, most expensive places. We’ve let them build loading berths that no truck can get into or let them build high-rises with no loading berths at all. We’ve given them deductions on waste storage space requirements that defy understanding. We’ve let them remove exceptional trees from an urban forest we pledged to protect. We disregard and disrespect the Historical Landmark buildings and districts and the efforts and investments of their caretakers when we allow them to be boxed in until the public can no longer see or appreciate their beauty.
CB119398 will give downtown high-rises a free pass from the SEPA process, an automatic Determination of Non-Significance. We need to tighten controls, not throw wide the gates.
Seattle is like a middle-schooler with low self-esteem who thinks they have to give the cool kids anything to win their approval. Wake up! Seattle has always been desirable. You mustn’t be afraid to demand that Seattle’s new suitors understand and acknowledge the commitment required to build and maintain a place as precious as Seattle. Developers must gratefully accept responsibility to bear the true cost of stewardship over a place like this. There is no need to underestimate the value of full participation. When you discount the price of admission, you cheat all Seattleites, because that discount is going to have to be paid by everyone and Seattle will be slightly less beautiful and full of life with each transaction until what is left is not worth so very much after all.
Some developers may threaten to leave if you don’t give them what they want. Don’t be afraid. Let them go. We can’t afford to give them that kind of control over us!
CB119398 is bad for Seattle because it will speed up the development process and reduce the oversight and controls that protect our environment and our quality of life.
We must exercise our own responsibility as stewards over this place.
The Seattle Downtown Residents Alliance always encourages submissions by members and occasionally guests, subject to space availability and editorial discretion. This is a guest post and any views and opinions supplied therein belong solely to the author.