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Seattle Mayor Changes Mind on Single-Family Zoning

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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) committee spent nearly a year coming up with recommendations for him to push the city forwards the city grows in density without enough affordable housing to come with. After initially touting the HALA recommendation to create more density within "single-family zoning" neighborhoods, Murray has flipped and dropped that proposal from his list of recommendations. Along with that, Murray's spokesperson says he "is not actively pursuing HALA's recommendation for changes for ADU/DADU's in Single Family Zones." All of which is to say that if Seattle wants to solve it's affordable housing issues, it's traditionally-residential neighborhoods are not going to be part of the solution.

For opponents of the addition of structures such as duplexes, triplexes and micro-apartment buildings into neighborhood such as Ballard, Magnolia or Wallingford, it's a major victory.

The Seattle Times has been a strong opponent of the proposal from the get-go and apparently public opinion followed. The mayor blamed "sensationalized reporting by a few media outlets" as part of the reason he couldn't find support for the plan.

Murray did say that he will move forward with other HALA recommendations such as expanding "urban villages" to allow for denser development around transit and commercial areas as well as granting developers zoning flexibility in exchange for affordable housing commitments.

Afterward, city council member Mike O'Brien issued a statement that leaned towards the possibility that he will continue to push for more ADUs and backyard cottage development in residential neighborhoods, so that recommendation may not be done just yet. In the meantime, the mayor is calling for "renewed public dialogue on how best to increase affordable housing in denser neighborhoods." We'll see how that goes...
· Seattle Mayor Will Not Support Controversial Single-Family Zone Change [KPLU]
· Mayor Murray Loses Spine, Comes Out Against His Own Committee's Recommendation for Increased Density [Stranger]
· Seattle's 'upzoning' plan seems to be sinking [ST]
· HALA Proposal Drives 'Grand Bargain' for Affordable Housing [CS]