City unanimously approves adoption of University District upzone
By Patrick Quinn, KOMO News Published 7:29 am, Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Seattle city leaders unanimously passed a proposal Tuesday to upzone the University District.
The U-District upzone will allow for the construction of high-rise buildings, while requiring developers to contribute to the production of affordable housing in the U-District.
"As that community grows in the future, it will grow affordably," said Seattle mayor Ed Murray during a Tuesday news conference.
The MHA program will generate more than 6,000 affordable homes over a 10-year period, according to a media release.
"Today's passage of the University District Upzone represents a huge step in living our values as a welcoming, sustainable, and inclusive city," said councilmember Rob Johnson.
But critics are concerned about its execution, saying upzoning the district hurts more than it helps.
"The mayor's plan is going to replace only a fraction of what we're going to lose," said John Fox of the Seattle Displacement Coalition. "This is a flimsy excuse for destroying the character of our community."
The zoning changes would extend from I-5 to 15th Avenue and from Ravenna Boulevard down to Portage Bay.
The upzoning comes in conjunction with the arrival of the U-District light rail, scheduled to open in 2021.