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Op-Ed: Environmentalists Must Fight for Density
The city of Seattle will be soon decide whether or not to upzone the U district. In an editorial in The Stranger, Jesse Piedfort and Noah An of the Sierra Club and the Young Democrats of University of Washington, respectively argue that the zoning change is sorely needed. "Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment reported that the city is not on pace to meet its climate goals for the year 2030," they point out. Saying that the zoning change is a prime opportunity to address the issue noting, "The U District is an ideal place to build more housing for people. The neighborhood already has excellent bus connections and will, by 2021, have two new light-rail stations."
While the two organizations represent different people with a diverse set of interests, Piedfort and An emphasize their agreement on this issue. "The Sierra Club and the Young Democrats at the University of Washington agree that climate issues and affordability are closely linked—and so are their solutions. We need more housing, and for reasons of environmental and economic justice, that housing ought to be as close to transit as possible." They continue by suggesting that the advantages of the development aren't limited to environmental concerns, "At a time when we are dealing with a housing crisis, anything less than the full rezone recommendation is insufficient to address the great need for housing in one of Seattle’s most dynamic neighborhoods."