Seattle Channel - PLUNC Committee
Seattle Channel - PLUNC Committee

Last weekend Sally Clark, chair of the Planning and Land Use Neighborhood Committee (PLUNC), held a meeting about the future of the Lowrise development codes (L1, L2, L3, L4) in the city of Seattle (see zoning map here). This is the second half of a  large code update, with Highrise and Midrise development codes already approved by the city council at the end of last year. In many ways those update were less controversial than the Lowrise codes, and in some way less important. Ten percent of Seattle is zoned as one of the Lowerise zones, and these areas are where a majority of population growth in the city will occur. Additionally, ugly and dysfunctional townhouses are often the rallying cries of NIMBY.

In general the thrust of the update is to move away from prescriptive codes that create cookie cutter builds to a more flexible code and administrative review procress that gets us what we want; attractive, context sensitive, affordable, and sustainable housing. The issues related to this are complex and I really don’t have the knowledge or time to fully dive into them, but the resources below will give you decent understanding of the issue.

High quality and affordable housing is critical to what this blog advocates for and this update certainly is a step in the right direction. There will be more meeting on this topic where you can give public comment on March 25th and April 2nd.

2 Replies to “Lowrise Multifamily Code Update”

  1. This is great news. Not only do our building codes need to be radically changed, but now is a great time to do it – while construction is slow and builders have time to think about designs, rather than just building at full speed with off-the-shelf plans.

  2. Seattle needs to start “clear cutting” all high rises and return to a max 3-story code.

    Most of downtown could be plowed under and turned into parks and green belts.

    If they can’t get customers for the Columbia Tower, they sure must have a lot of low class stuff that should just be razed.

    Same with condoes.

    This would preserve the current price of premium single family homes to the extent that that is still possible at this point.

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