Seattle's Inclusionary Zoning Proposal Falling Short of Expectations

A critical component of the landmark and controversial Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) platform, announced first in July 2015.

1 minute read

April 30, 2016, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Seattle Apartments

Edmund Lowe Photography / Shutterstock

Daniel Beekman writes a critique of the inclusionary zoning policy proposal by the Murray Administration in Seattle. After repeated promises that the city's proposed mandatory inclusionary housing policy would "require market-rate developers to build a minimum number of affordable units in any new construction…"

Beekman throws cold water on that promise, however, reporting that the most recent version of the plan, sent to the City Council by Mayor Ed Murray this week, administration officials "anticipate that 3,700 affordable units would be created through inclusionary housing." Moreover, "they expect that fewer than half of those units — only 1,500 — would be constructed as part of market-rate buildings."

The proposed policy allows developers to pay in lieu fee rather than constructing affordable housing on site. Also, according to Beekman, "developers in South Lake Union and downtown would play by different rules than other developers."

The article gives a detailed account of the evolution of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda following its initial, controversial announcement, through the negotiations that produced the in lieu fee of Beekman's current concern. The article is a detailed feature, of interest to anyone looking for more information on the politics and nitty gritty of inclusionary zoning, affordable housing, and development incentives.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 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.