Seattle Considers Trading Height Limits For Affordable Housing

The city's planning commission wants to use "incentive zoning" to encourage the development of taller buildings and generate revenue for the city's affordable housing fund.

1 minute read

February 28, 2007, 1:00 PM PST

By Christian Madera @

"Developers should be able to build taller than current zoning allows if they pay for public amenities such as affordable housing, the Seattle Planning Commission said Tuesday.

Mayor Greg Nickels favors such a plan and is working on so-called incentive zoning proposals for the South Lake Union, Interbay and South Downtown areas. Nickels intends to roll out his proposals in the next year. They would be similar to new downtown building rules Nickels and the City Council approved last year.

The downtown rules let developers build more than 100 feet above zoning limits if they pay roughly $19 per square foot into an affordable-housing fund.

The Planning Commission is a volunteer advisory group with no real power, but city officials sometimes cite the commission's advice in setting policy. Most of its members are architects, planners and real-estate experts."

Thanks to ArchNewsNow

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 in The Seattle Times

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