Urban Fold

Zoning Changes Bring Good and Bad in Downtown Seattle

Zoning changes in downtown Seattle have created a more dense area, as was intended. But the zoning changes are also bringing some unintended consequences.

"This time two years ago, former city council member Peter Steinbrueck was pushing a zoning package designed to transform downtown Seattle. He envisioned remaking the urban core from a space dominated by office buildings into a bustling residential center. His plan seems to be working. Approximately 15,000 units are currently proposed to the city or under construction, thousands of which are in apartment and condo towers between Belltown and I-5. 'I consider this to be the most important work in my 10 years on the council,' he says."

"But the zoning changes that allow developers to build taller buildings and denser neighborhoods are also resulting in designs that could inadvertently hinder the very urban vitality Steinbrueck, now teaching sustainable architecture at the University of Washington, sought to foster."

Full Story: Towering Problems

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