I feel very fortunate to live right in the heart of the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. I am never quite sure about Seattle – truth be told – as I find the weather very difficult to handle around here. That being said, I love my neighborhood. It’s urban, hip, eclectic, young, alternative, busy, and changing right before my eyes everyday. After all, the Beehive faces the new light rail station. Everyday, the crew moves closer to completing this massive project.
Even though this neighborhood is about as urban as you are going to get in Seattle, it really feels like a true neighborhood for the community who call this area home. In the park, I see the same faces, have gotten to know the dogs in the neighborhood, know the people who live on my block, etc. I love the fact that we get to have this neighborhood feel at the very same time that we can walk to cool shops, restaurants, and run errands, such as the grocery store, post office, bank, all within an easy walk. It’s not too often you find such a sweet spot, but for those of us who live on the Hill, we got it in spades!
That is why the residents of Capitol Hill – me included – are in a complete uproar over proposed zoning changes to the entire Capitol Hill neighborhood. Basically. Mayor McGinn and Council Member, Richard Conlin, want to allow commercial use on the ground floor of ANY building in most of the entire Capitol Hill neighborhood. Of course, this type of zoning will hurt existing businesses on the arterial roads, which surround us and are completely walkable, and it will also forever alter the quiet, multifamily residential streets.
What is most troubling about this to me? Not one person who lives in this area even knew about this proposed zoning change until developers were sniffing around the neighborhood and someone casually asked them what they were doing? Ah, just snooping around waiting for the proposed zoning changes to be voted through!
What??? That’s right, if you live in Seattle, there isn’t much the City Council needs to do to pass such regulatory reform legislation. Just register it and take a vote. As you can imagine, the neighborhood and citizens are completely up in arms about this. This isn’t going to make our neighborhood more walkable – we already can walk everywhere. Residents have paid quite a bit of money to own in this neighborhood as well. This needs more thought, this needs more consideration, this calls for citizen activism.
If you live on Capitol Hill, please get informed here. If you live in other parts of Seattle, get ready. Such proposed legislation may be coming to your hood soon. They are dubbing it the Corner Store Grocery Proposal.
I don’t often swear, but this is bullshit. I feel like I am living in Gotham City and the Mayor and Council are out to wreck the people and their communities.
Oh, Batman! Where are you? I’m about to put out the call with the light in the sky. I know my neighbors are at the ready for action!