Univ. District Hi-Rise Upzone Plan - Friday 9/9, 9:30 AM in Council Chambers; and Noon event by Mayor at Univ. Heights School

posted Sep 8, 2016, 1:18 PM by PRCC Webmaster

Press release: Seattle City Council to begin review of UDistrict HiRise Upzone plan - this Friday 9:30AM in Council Chambers Sept 9th & Mayor holds noon event Monday UHeights School

City's plan threatens 1500 affordable housing units and dozens of small businesses

"You're encouraged to attend and oppose this plan driven by large property owners and the U of W: a plan to turn the district into a hi-tech 'incubator' hub" with zero regard to how it affects the Districts existing diverse and affordable character"

And Mayor Murray will hold press event Monday Noon Sept 12th at University Heights School to hype what now has become his "prodeveloper highrise plan".    We're told also that the Mayor has handpicked so-called "stakeholders" to join him Monday to lend the appearance his plan has community support.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  At forum after forum over the last 2 years, including two we sponsored - the only two forums where every resident received an invitation by mail to comment - each drawing over 200 attendees - nearly all residents - both tenant and homeowner - and small businesses voiced strong opposition to this upzone.  CM Rob Johnson for Friday's City Council meeting is doing the same thing.  He's invited four handpicked "stakeholders" drawn from the property owner's and U of W created "UDistrict Partnership" to join councilmembers around the Council table. But predictably he's excluded small businesses, low income tenants, seniors, homeowner representatives.   It's emblematic of the entire process - the community's vast majority, their 'input' has been cynically manipulated or ignored.    (Johnson's handpicked panel includes the head of the "Partnership" managing the area's BIA and receiving small business tax dollars for that purpose.  By city ordinance, no BIA funds are supposed to used to lobby for passage of the UDistrict upzone - but that's exactly what will happen Friday morning when the head of the Partnership paid with BIA funds to manage the BIA participates in Johnson's panel. )

The Displacement Coalition, Livable UDistrict, UDistrict Community Council and others will be present at the Council meetings Friday and on Monday at the Mayor's event at Noon UHeights School to speak out against this highrise plant which is nothing more than a blueprint for the destruction of our community and it's rich unique socially and economical diverse affordable and historic character.  We'll be urging all our supporters and affected residents to join us.  The future of the UDistrict is at stake.

Background: The University District is one of the first neighborhoods planned for upzoning since the City has been working on a plan for the University District for the last 3 years.  The area that is proposed for significant height increases is roughly from 50th to the Ship Canal and from I-5 to the University of Washington's main campus (the University of Washington has its own separate institutional highrise overlay
plan for its west campus also now underway).  The majority of this area is currently zoned 45-65 feet tall with a few exceptions and would be upzoned for 240' to 320' towers.   

       The University District as we know it would be wiped out and replaced with another hub similar to Downtown or South Lake Union.

       Concerns of possible spillover of zoning changes (“transition zones”) into surrounding areas.

This is one of the first neighborhoods the City proposes to upzone and it will set a precedent.  It is effectively the first neighborhood to be hit with the Mayor's "HALA" upzone plan.  We urge you to attend and OPPOSE this plan and instead call for measures to preserve existing small businesses and low cost housing already hard it by runaway growth as a result of the current zoning code.  As it is, the area is overzoned and has nearly twice the zoning capacity it needs to accommodate 2035 residential and job targets. There's a backlog of infrastructure needs due to runaway growth now such as added transit capacity, a need for more open space, parking issues, preservation of several dozen historic buildings.  Put first things first.. let's address issues and concerns caused by growth under current zoning.   No upzone until neighborhood needs are addressed! 

Attend if you can or call/email to oppose the city/UW/big property owner "displacement agenda".  

For more information from the community click on following links or call 206.632.0668 or mail us here: