UPDATE 4:31 – The Slog has an interview with Jim O’Halloran, chair of the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association’s land use committee. In the piece Jim says “We’ll take the density but we expect to have considerable influence on how and where it’s accommodated.”
In response to the letter we added our signatures to (and 60+ of you did as well), asking for more leadership on the Roosevelt station area rezone, the Mayor has sent a letter to Diane Sugimura, Director of the DPD asking for her department to revisit the proposed zoning changes. The letter is below.
This is to follow up on our earlier discussion on Roosevelt zoning issues. Since before taking office, I have been listening to community input on potential heights and up zones. I have also had time to reflect on the briefing you provided.
At this time, I believe the city needs to take towers “off the table”. Towers do not appear consistent with expectations for this neighborhood. At the same time, I believe that given the significant investment in light rail, and the potential for good neighborhood-scale development, the city needs to take a closer look at heights above 40 feet, such as 65 and 85 feet.
I look forward to DPD coming forward with new proposals to reflect this direction, and give the council a broader range of choices. The decisions we make now will be in place for a while. It is important to set the stage for good transit-oriented development.
I appreciate all of the thoughtful work you and your staff have done on this issue.
Tim Burgess also sent his own letter.
The only thing I would add is that I would urge the city to truly “bookend” the range of proposed rezone alternative in any future studies. The rezone currently proposed would likely reflect a minimum action alternative (and not even really, this rezone was based on the 2006 neighborhood plan which should have already been implemented), with at least two additional alternatives, each more dense than the last. The additional alternatives needs to be bold and visionary, not token gestures. Future proposals should focus on the entire neighborhood, not just on the the Roosevelt Development Group (RDG) properties. A well distributed range of alternatives will give everyone the information necessary to make informed decisions.