Earlier, CHS looked at Capitol Hill’s portion of the 15% of Seattle slated to be re-zoned to allow for taller buildings as part of Mayor Ed Murray’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda.
The Central District is poised for even more transformation.
Most of the affected zones throughout the city (Central District included) would get the standard “HALA bump” — a one story increase in allowable building height along with new “mandatory housing affordability” requirements for all new residential construction. As part of Seattle’s “Grand Bargain,” MHA will link the creation of affordable housing with market-rate development by requiring all new multifamily buildings to make 5-11% of their units affordable or require developers to pay into an affordable housing fund.
In the draft HALA maps, city planners used the letter “M” to denote several things: where MHA requirements would apply, the relative leap in zoning, and how much affordable housing developers would need to build or fund. Here’s how it breaks down:
Starting near 23rd and E Pine, there are several blocks of single family zones that are slated to become new low-rise zones (hatched lines indicate more significant up zones), allowing for medium-sized apartment projects. A 15-foot building height allowance would be added in the parcels adjacent to Madison Ave.
The parcels around 23rd and E Union are poised for a more significant upzone, although it is worth noting all the recent development prior to MHA taking effect. The Uncle Ike’s property and Midtown Center property would get a baseline height boost from four to seven stories.
Moving south on 23rd into the yellow-hued area, many of the single family home blocks will only receive a minor zoning code change. The proposal would change the single family home areas to residential small lot (RSL) zones, which allow for cottage houses or more than one house on a single property.
A chunk of low-rise blocks around 16th and Marion would be subject to MHA requirements, but would receive no significant zoning changes.
Most of the blocks at and around 23rd and E Cherry would keep the same zoning type while getting the standard extra story of allowable building height, with one exception. The parcel currently home to ALTSpace just east of 23rd and E Union would transition from a low-rise to neighborhood commercial zone and come with an M1 level of affordability requirement.
Chief among the HALA principles is that denser housing should be built around major transit centers. With a light rail station on track to open at I-90 between Rainier Ave and 23rd Ave by 2023, city planners have proposed a smattering of up zones around Judkins Park. Many blocks of single family home zones would transform to low-rise zones with M1 affordability requirements.
An expansion to the area’s urban village would capture properties directly around I-90 and a handful of blocks north of the freeway between 24th Ave and 27th Ave.
Outside of a few parcels, there are no zoning changes planned for area east of MLK Way between Union and Jackson.
As we reported Monday, Mayor Murray recently announced that new developments in the Central District would be required to include an even higher level of affordable housing than initially announced, though those changes are not reflected in the current maps.
Under the update, the high-MHA geographic area has been expanded to include the Central Area and some areas of Capitol Hill. Developers of new projects in these areas would be required to make 7 to 11% of their units affordable to those at or below 60% AMI.
City officials plan to hold five community meetings to gather public feedback on the maps. You can also take a closer look at the maps and submit feedback at hala.consider.it