Seattle Gives Final Approval to 27 Upzones

An historic moment for planning in Seattle: Density bonuses for affordable housing are now allowed all over the city as Seattle implements a big piece of its long-percolating Mandatory Housing Affordability plan.

1 minute read

March 19, 2019, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Seattle

Checubus / Shutterstock

"Taller buildings in the hearts of more than two dozen neighborhoods, denser housing on some nearby blocks and requirements that developers help create affordable housing," writes Daniel Beekman.

Those will be the intended results of "some of the most sweeping zoning changes in the city’s recent history," after the Seattle City Council voted unanimous support for 27 upzoning proposals as part of the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) plan.

"The council’s vote will allow denser construction in and around 27 neighborhood hubs while requiring developers in those areas to contribute to affordable housing by including low-income apartments in their buildings or by paying fees," explains Beekman. Other parts of the city already zoned for multi-family and dense commercial development will also be allowed new building heights. In total, about 6 percent of the city is now allowed to build at higher capacity than previously.

Beekman provides additional background on the history of the MHA initiative as well as the heated political debate that preceded the vote.

Monday, March 18, 2019 in The Seattle Times

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Google office building in Virginia.

Virginia Data Centers Draining State’s Water Supply

Being the world’s largest data center hub is having a severe impact on local water resources.

May 9, 2024 - Grist

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state.

Northwest Power Demand Could Surge as Data Centers, Transportation Electrification Ramps Up

New estimates project a steady increase in electricity demand due to population growth, data centers, and the shift to electric power in homes, buildings, and transportation.

May 17 - Governing

Blurred traffic speeding by on freeway with Los Angeles skyline in background.

California Testing Per-Mile Gas Tax Alternatives

A summer pilot program will test the fairness and efficacy of collection mechanisms for mileage-based fee options.

May 17 - Newsweek

Close-up of 'Pay rent' note in red marker on day 1 of monthly calendar.

After Months of Decreases, Rents Nationwide Are Going Up

Average rents rose by $12 around the country so far this year.

May 17 - Smart Cities Dive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.