There was a little kerfuffle at City Hall last week over the South Lake Union rezone, where six Councilmembers (Bagshaw, Burgess, Clark, Conlin, Godden , Licata)* decided to contract for a consultant to see if the various development taxes Vulcan will pay are a good deal for the city.
I’m always concerned that density opponents may use delay to kill good legislation, in particular because dense development in itself a good deal for the city quite aside from whatever external amenities it funds. And Conlin, to his credit, is fired up to do this upzone. Here’s what Burgess said the consultant would be up to:
When selected, the consultant will have the following assignments: (1) to determine the financial feasibility of scenarios to strengthen incentive zoning focused on affordable/workforce housing in South Lake Union in conjunction with the proposed 2013 rezone; (2) to evaluate the proposed Development Agreement between the City and the Vulcan-related entities regarding Lot 59, Lot 74, and other properties owned or controlled by Vulcan; and (3) to evaluate any documents, reports, and/or analyses related to the rezone. We believe the consultant’s work will be finished in late January or February.
He also told me the Council’s work on the SLU rezone should be done by the end of the first quarter of 2013, so this won’t get kicked to the next Council or to the next Mayor, who could be more hostile to density. Although taxing density is a nutty way to fund amenities, this doesn’t appear to be an existential threat to the upzone.
The Mayor’s office did not return a request for comment.
* As reported to me (and other outlets) by Burgess himself.