Last fall, CHS documented a new spirit of activism on the Hill as groups emerged to shape the ongoing pressures of development in the neighborhood.
Recently, a new flyering and petition effort has hit the Hill seeking not only to protest tall, multifamily development in areas of Capitol Hill outside the Broadway and Pike/Pine cores but literally roll back zoning changes that have opened up those areas to taller, bigger projects.
Nobody has yet answered our inquiries to Seattle Speaks Up about who is behind their effort but the seattlespeaksup site documents informed — if not at times, incendiary — arguments with plenty of insider-worthy commentary about members of the Seattle Planning Commission.
The flyers distributed around the 15th Ave area of Capitol Hill warn of “way too tall” buildings for your “lowrise neighborhood” and warn not to let developers “convert lowrise to midrise.” The effort’s petition says the fix is to legislate the elimination of the city’s “growth area” — urban centers, urban villages, and light rail station areas — height and density allowances and put the areas under the same zoning rules as the rest of the city:
The proposed fix would reduce maximum building heights and floor area ratios inside designated growth areas to levels outside growth areas, and would thereby alleviate the majority of the detrimental effects of the 2010 changes.
In 2010 along with other significant changes to the city’s zoning, Seattle implemented rules allowing developers to build to 40-foot heights in lowrise zones within the designated growth areas of the city, 10 feet higher than outside the areas.
In the years since, Capitol Hill has seen a massive wave of continued development as rents rise and the demand for housing in the central, most walkable areas of Seattle continues to increase. A majority of this development have been in zones allowing projects up to seven stories tall.