Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 19, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Transit-oriented communities

Stop the anti-housing NIMBYs

Once again Rainier Valley is the scene of wild speculation so ludicrous, it’s almost hilarious. This time the fuss is not over the light rail itself, but over “transit-oriented communities” around rail stations, as dictated by House Bill 1490 [“Distress over forced density,” Local News, Feb. 17].

Never mind that buildable land within half a mile of the Mount Baker Station is already zoned for an average density of over 50 dwelling units per acre, or that this bill is primarily about fighting suburban sprawl. Mount Baker resident Pat Murakami is still up in arms.

Never mind that the transit and environmental communities have joined forces with the Low Income Housing Alliance to ensure that future station-area development is mixed income as well as mixed use. Housing champion John Fox still rants and raves against imaginary densities, propelling anti-housing NIMBYs to man the barricades.

Meanwhile, we, who live near the Othello Station, love well-planned “density.” It’s the key ingredient for brewing truly diverse, compact, walkable communities.

You don’t need to speculate. Just look at what’s happening here to see what HB 1490 is all about.

— Dick Burkhart, Seattle

Affordable and aesthetically pleasing

As a recent college graduate, affordability and convenience to public transportation are my top criteria when searching for a place to live. As a young person living in Seattle, I feel I should have equal access to housing that meets these requirements as anyone else in my neighborhood.

One of the benefits of the Transit-Oriented Communities bill (HB 1490) is that it lays the groundwork for cities to create housing near new transit stations that people like myself could afford, as well as providing flexibility for cities to plan development around stations in a way that still shapes and protects the personality of each individual community and neighborhood.

In Seattle, we certainly understand the importance of protecting the essence of our neighborhoods.

But, if this bill is not passed, people like myself will have fewer and fewer opportunities to live in areas convenient to the public transportation we need. More importantly, the region will risk losing the rare opportunity to make a socially and environmentally responsible choice in shaping the future of our communities.

I urge my fellow Washingtonians to call their legislators in support of this bill.

— Michaela Howard, Seattle

Comments | More in transit

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►