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Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 24, 2013 at 7:38 AM

Seattle City Council considers rezoning in South Lake Union

New development will be exclusionary

The University of Washington's new medical research building at South Lake Union gets a wipe down. (ELLEN M BANNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES)

The University of Washington’s new medical research building at South Lake Union gets a wipe down. (ELLEN M BANNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Are the window washers shown wiping down the UW’s new medical-research building walking to work [“City Council should move forward on South Lake Union rezone,” Opinion, March 20]?

Perhaps if new development did not fight inclusionary zoning, the public benefits being touted would not be so hard to swallow. We elect City Council members to be advocates for those not at the table, not acquiesce to special interests who can write their own op-eds.

Kudos City Council. You have my vote.

–Selena Carsiotis, Seattle

Council applies due diligence

The City Council has not been delaying action on the South Lake Union rezone. It has a Committee of the Whole, meets with interested parties daily and holds marathon sessions. In the area of incentive payments and Block 59, the council had to hire its own consultants to get straight answers.

Our coalition has supported additional measures to maintain diversity of housing and to meet city policy goals. But the mayor’s office doesn’t even know how we’re doing citywide on these goals and does not have a plan on how to meet them. We think the council is taking the necessary time to establish a balance between added incentive payments from developers for affordable housing and future growth in SLU.

We support at least 95 percent of the proposed height and density increases, but are recommending some changes near Lake Union and Fairview based on consideration of residents, the built environment and community connections to Lake Union and the Space Needle. These are values worth the study of the Council beyond what the mayor’s staff provided.

We support the “due diligence” the council is applying to incentive payments and height and density issues. “Rubber-stamping” this mayor’s proposal would have been irresponsible.

–John Pehrson, South Lake Union Community Coalition, Seattle

Comments | More in Seattle, Seattle City Council | Topics: South Lake Union

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