Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Debating the Future of One of Seattle's Pedestrian-Friendly Gems

The corridor along University Way is currently exempt from the wave of upzoning implemented by the city's Mandatory Housing Affordability program, but that exemption is only temporary.
September 25, 2019, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

The city of Seattle is debating the future of University Way, know locally as The Ave, as pressures from investments enabled by the city's Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program have raised alarms with local residents and officials. Natalie Bicknell reports on the debate surrounding the zoning of the corridor.

"The Ave, which is one of the most pedestrian-friendly commercial districts in Seattle, lies right in the heart of the University District urban village, one of the first urban villages to be upzoned under MHA back in 2017–although The Ave was taken out of the upzone following community pushback," explains Bicknell for the backstory on the debate.

In a particular contentious election climate, District 4 City Council candidates Shaun Scott and Alex Pedersen have waded into he debate by agreeing on opposition to any plan that would upzone the corridor, and a neighborhood group called Save The Ave "scored a second win this spring when it convinced the City Council to extend the exemption for The Ave during the citywide rollout of MHA."

"However, the exemption continues to be temporary, and the City is now preparing for a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) that will study the potential impacts of upzones on the area," according to Bicknell.

The article includes the ideas for changing the zoning of the corridor currently being circulated by a public engagement survey connected to the SEIS process.

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 in The Urbanist
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email