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Council News Release

11/3/2008  4:29:00 PM
David Yeaworth, Clark Office, 206-684-5328
Rob Gala, Conlin Office, 206-684-8805

Councilmember Sally J. Clark
Council President Richard Conlin

Proposal for new neighborhood with affordable housing approved

SEATTLE The Council today passed legislation that gives the green light to an upgraded residential and commercial district in Interbay. The area, due west of 15th Avenue East and adjacent to West Dravus Street, will be rezoned to allow for residential units up to 85 feet and businesses at street level. The upzone includes a provision that requires the developers of the project to provide a portion of the rental housing to people earning at 80% of the area median income or below, or pay into a fund to create such affordable housing.

Councilmember Sally J. Clark, chair of the Planning Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee, said, Our city needs more middle-income housing; this rezone helps meet that need through collaboration between the private sector and city government.

The district, often referred to as the Dravus neighborhood, is a proposed hub for bus rapid transit traveling on 15th Avenue West. Council President Richard Conlin said, "We have a great opportunity to create new housing -- affordable housing -- on a transit line and with the full support of the property owners and the surrounding neighborhoods. This legislation will foster a new community in an area of the City that has been ignored and neglected for years."

Councilmember Tim Burgess added, We heard from neighbors all around Dravus in support of making improvements to the neighborhood; this legislation is the city governments way of helping to make a difference.

Council approved the legislation in the midst of discussions about the proposed Workforce Housing Incentive Program which is under Councils consideration. The program, authorized by the State Legislature, provides an incentive to property owners to build more housing overall, and specifically more workforce housing, by increasing the building capacity in multi-family-zoned districts. Councilmember Nick Licata said, This legislation passed today is critically important in establishing the need for incentive zoning as a requirement for all new developments in the future.


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