Making Regulatory Reform Work in Seattle

Although Seattle's downtown redevelopment may be receiving plaudits, Chuck Wolfe describes efforts underway to rethink land use regulations on a broader level in the city, with jobs in mind.

On the cusp of City Council hearings, Wolfe contrasts recent reports of a downtown revival with an update on the work of a regulatory reform roundtable, which has produced initial recommendations for Council adoption.

The roundtable's goal? Embrace immediate, simplifying measures intended to reduce complexity and increase flexibility, in turn decreasing the costs in time and money of starting and maintaining businesses and building new, more affordable housing as follows:

  1. Allow Small Commercial Uses in Multifamily Zones and Bring Back the Corner Store
  2. Concentrate Street-Level Commercial Uses in Core Pedestrian Zones Near Transit and Allow Residential, Live-Work or Commercial Uses in Other Areas Based on Market Demand
  3. Enhance the Flexibility of Parking Requirements
  4. Change Environmental Review Thresholds
  5. Encourage Home Entrepreneurship
  6. Expand Options for Accessory Dwelling Units and Rental Incomes
  7. Expand Allowance of Temporary Uses

Wolfe concludes:

"The proposals discussed here to help "make sustainability legal" (a catchy moniker coined by Seattle's Sightline Daily) can help lead the way, but they'll only work if they're implemented in concert with other efforts by city agencies, the city's planning commission and neighborhood stakeholders..."

Thanks to Chuck Wolfe

Full Story: The Quest to Make Regulatory Reform Work in Seattle

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