Airport-Adjacent Seattle Suburb Aims for a Transit-Oriented Overhaul

The challenges and opportunities of transforming from a car-centric to a transit-oriented, affordable built environment are on display in a Seattle suburb.

1 minute read

November 9, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A Link light rail transit train navigates a corner with an empty field and parked cars in the background.

A Link light rail train approaches the Tukwila International Boulevard Station in 2016. | vewfinder / Shutterstock

The city of Tukwila, Washington, located in King County south of Seattle, is pursuing a new transit-oriented housing and development plan that will attempt to transform the area around its Link light rail station.

As report by Andrew Engelson for the Urbanist, Tukwila received a $100,000 grant from the state of Washington to create the “Transit-Oriented Development Housing Strategies Plan,” published in September 2021. The plan sets an ambitious target of adding 4,200 new homes in 20 years.

“The report issues recommendations for policy changes in three areas: increasing density of housing, preventing displacement, and improving infrastructure near the station,” according to Engelson.

“Policies the report recommends that could increase density include tax exemptions for multifamily projects with affordable units and creating development requirements that encourage homes with more bedrooms. Design rules are also scrutinized, such as reducing required recreational space and step back requirements. Most contentious may be a proposal to halve parking minimums per unit. Parking minimum requirements would go from 2.0 to 1.0 per dwelling unit in High Density Residential zones.”

The source article, linked below, includes details on how the city is already moving forward with the plan. As reported by Engelson, several affordable housing projects are already underway in walking distance from the city’s light rail station.

Thursday, November 3, 2022 in The Urbanist

Few passengers waiting in subway station with multiple platforms and "North Station" signs in Boston, Massachusetts

Boston Transit Riders Report Safety Concerns

Almost three-quarters of current and former riders report feeling unsafe while using MBTA services.

September 18, 2023 - Hoodline

View of Interstate 205 bridge over Columbia River with Mt. Hood in background.

The Unceremonious Death of a Freeway Expansion Project

The end of an Oregon freeway project didn't get much fanfare, but the victory is worth celebrating.

September 19, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

Wood frame house under construction

Houston Lot Size Reforms Yield Positive Results

New research shows that reducing lot size requirements helped create thousands of new homes.

September 17, 2023 - Pew Trusts

High-rise modern apartment buildings with green space in front courtyard with outdoor exercise equipment.

Architecture and the Housing Crisis

A new book brings architects into the housing discussion.

6 hours ago - Next City

Aerial view of Koreatown neighborhood in Los Angeles with downtown skyline in background.

New Los Angeles Rent Relief Program Targets Pandemic Debt

The program prioritizes the lowest-income tenants who accrued debt during the early part of the pandemic.

7 hours ago - LAist

Roadside city limit sign for Santa Clara, California.

‘Agrihood:’ An Urban Farm With Affordable Housing

California’s largest urban farm also provides 165 units of affordable housing for seniors and veterans.

September 25 - ABC 7 News