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Seattle Councilmember Calls for Transit-Oriented Density

Seattle Councilmember Abel Pacheco writes on opinion piece for The Urbanist to make the case for transit-oriented density on The Ave in the city's University District.
December 10, 2019, 8am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"With a light rail station and a new RapidRide line set to open right in its midst, the U District is an ideal place to steer growth," writes outgoing Seattle City Councilmember Abel Pacheco.

Pacheco's argument boils down to the possibility of both adding new development density while preserving the neighborhood's historic character. But add new density the city must, according to Pacheco, to deal with the city's ongoing, rapid population growth.

Pacheco sets the discussion of how to plan The Ave against the context of the city's Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) requirements, which are enacted whenever a section of the city is rezoned. "Following the citywide MHA rezones that were adopted earlier this year, University Way, better known as The Ave, is now the only commercial strip in the entire city where MHA requirements do not apply," explains Pacheco.

Pacheco's proposal is ambitious: "[D]ue to the already underutilized height available on The Ave, I believe that we should instead utilize three of those rezone proposals in addition to rezoning of The Ave. By combining these proposals, we would take some of the development pressure off the main corridor of The Ave while allowing us to further orient density around new light rail stations and in one of the most pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods in Seattle." {Emphasis from the original.]

The article provides more details on those three rezone proposals.

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Published on Monday, November 25, 2019 in The Urbanist
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