Planners in Seattle want to add housing to Little Saigon, a neighborhood with a strong Vietnamese culture, without disrupting the district's character or displacing residents.
"The central Seattle neighborhood of Little Saigon is best known for its strong cultural identity and its cluster of Vietnamese groceries, restaurants and other family-owned businesses.
But city planners also know the community east of the International District for its mostly untapped potential for new housing.
That room to grow has officials plotting major change for Little Saigon. Seattle's planning department wants to bring condos and apartments to the business-oriented, close-to-downtown neighborhood surrounded by the Central District, Rainier Valley and Chinatown. A proposal for new zoning could be before the City Council as soon as late this year.
Backers say the new rules would bring vibrancy to the neighborhood while making much-needed room for more Seattle residents. They see today's long blocks of gray, low-slung buildings, vacant parcels and surface parking lots there making way for tree-lined streets and pedestrian-friendly walkways featuring bright storefronts and housing."