The Seattle City Council voted 8-1 today in favor of a plan designed to increase urban density in the 10-block area surrounding the Mount Baker light-rail station.
Councilmembers said the rezone will work in conjunction with the larger-scale neighborhood plan to make walking and biking safer, while creating space for new jobs and housing. The legislation also will allow some buildings to be constructed up to 125-feet high in the north Rainier Valley neighborhood.
Council member Sally Clark said the legislation will “yield a very good setting of the table” for new businesses, jobs and other neighborhood services in the area. “We do have a commitment to a growth strategy in the city.”
Councilmember Bruce Harrell, who lives in what will be that district when the city moves to district elections, voiced the lone “no” vote, noting there are no pending development projects contingent on the legislation. Harrell acknowledged that rezoning is part of a larger urban development project, and said the conversation about the neighborhood’s future would continue.
“This approach, to me, is not the smartest approach in terms of our zoning policies,” he said.