In a victory of process though not yet substance of argument, a Seattle pro-development group has won the right to continue its challenge to efforts to roll back lowrise zoning heights in the city.
An announcement from Smart Growth Seattle sent Tuesday afternoon says the group “has prevailed in the first round of it’s (sic) appeal of the City’s proposed massive downzone of the city’s low-rise zones.”
Here’s the “too long, didn’t read” version of the decision:
While not exactly a first round victory on the merits of the group’s arguments that lowrise heights shouldn’t be lowered, the decision does allow the appeal to the Seattle Hearing Examiner slated for later this month to continue.
Earlier this summer, CHS reported on the efforts at City Hall to roll back height increases made a few years back:
The groundwork for the lowrise conflict was laid in 2010 when Sally Clark spearheaded an update to the multifamily zoning code that included allowances for higher buildings. With the first generation of buildings under the new code constructed, many neighbors have complained the buildings are too big and too tall. Where lowrise development is generally thought of as three to four-story townhouses and apartments, some developers have used incentives to cram five stories into tightly packed apartment and microhousing buildings.
In addition to what will surely be riveting Hearing Examiner drama later this month, expect Smart Growth Seattle and its opponents to be increasingly vocal this week leading up to the re-start of City Council negotiations over regulating microhousing in Seattle.