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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 4, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Seattle City Council proposes to limit development, but there are loopholes

Close loopholes, increase lot sizes and require disclosure of permits

The Seattle City Council fundamentally changed the rules for homeowners when it allowed developers to build on undersized lots [“Big houses, small lots,” front page, April 1].

Big houses built on small lots and even bigger houses maximizing setbacks and pushing height limits have found their way into most Seattle neighborhoods. The home at left, on NE 40th Street in Laurelhurst, is built on a small lot.

Big houses built on small lots and even bigger houses maximizing setbacks and pushing height limits have found their way into most Seattle neighborhoods.
The home at left, on NE 40th Street in Laurelhurst, is built on a small lot.

Density should be achieved through multiunit buildings in appropriate zones. The small lot and skinny building infill is destructive of the very nature of single-family homeownership. It causes anger, steals light and privacy, reduces open space and decreases home values. Many suffer for token density improvements and some profit for a few.It’s scarcely less disruptive than requiring every Seattle council member to have a stranger living in one of his or her bedrooms to achieve density.

Work for all Seattle residents — close loopholes in the current regulation, increase the size of lots for new infill homes (2,000 square feet is way too small) and require notices to the neighborhood on all such permits.

The current regulations don’t do much to truly reduce regional sprawl; they just reduce the quality of life in Seattle even more.

Sharron Sellers, Seattle

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