GMA Data: “All You Want to do is Use Me”

Bill Withers knows about getting used

Bill Withers came to mind this morning as I considered how some neighborhood groups use and abuse data generated by planning agencies to implement the Growth Management Act. Here’s Mr. Withers on being used and used again: But it doesn’t feel so good getting used when you’re on the other end of neighborhood groups that […]

NAIOP Joins Smart Growth Seattle


The Washington Chapter of NAIOP has joined Smart Growth Seattle as a sponsor. NAIOP is the commercial real estate association for developers, owners and investors in the industrial, office and related commercial real estate industries. NAIOP has become a Smart Growth Seattle sponsor because the organization’s work is consistent with NAIOP’s land use agenda in Seattle. “Affordability […]

Incentive Zoning:Wrong Problem, Wrong Solution


There is abundant quantitative evidence that puts to rest the idea that there is a lack of “workforce” housing. The market is producing many new units of housing priced at 30 percent of he monthly income of people who earn 60 to 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). The City Council may have already […]

Seattle City Council to host housing forum


Next Thursday, February 13th the Seattle City Council will host a forum on “workforce housing.” Workforce housing is typically defined as housing that is “affordable” for people earning between 60 and 80 percent of Area Median Income, about $42,000 to $52,000 in household income for two people. The current normative standard for housing expenses (what […]

2014: The Year of Housing Supply

As part of announcing our new partnership supporting the work of Smart Growth Seattle, I was asked to speak at the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s Community Development Round Table (CDRT). I spoke to the CDRT about 15 years ago about neighborhood development and how private development could be leveraged to support implementation of Seattle’s […]

Smart Growth Seattle Hires Roger Valdez as its Full-Time Director

This is a press released issued today.  Growing group’s director will advance dialogue and policy around housing choices, urban density, sustainable development, economic opportunity and architectural diversity Seattle, WA – Jan. 27, 2014 – Smart Growth Seattle today announced that Roger Valdez will be the full time director of the organization. Valdez helped found Smart […]

Councilmember O’Brien: No Changes to LR3

Preserve the status quo or grow smart?

An effort is underway to “fix” or “clean up” one of the model zones in Seattle’s land use code for growing smart: LR3. The LR3 zone is a mix of many different types of multifamily housing (including microhousing) that is meeting the growing demand for housing in Seattle. The LR3 zone is doing what it […]

Microhousing Debate: Social Engineering Becomes Social Plumbing

the kitchen sink

Smart Growth Seattle has taken on the microhousing issue that has been captivating the attention of the press and City Council lately. There was a panel debate that happened last week and tomorrow I’ll be on a panel sponsored by Publicola. The action with that panel starts at 6:00 Tuesday at the JewelBox Theater at […]

Other People’s Housing: Seattle’s Debate Continues

north district council

Deciding where to live is a decision that each of us has had to make at one point in our lives. Should we live in a house or an apartment? What part of town should we live in? Do we want a yard or not? Our choices are often limited by our income and our […]

North District Council Considers Housing Choice

The local Seattle land use world has been abuzz lately with talk about small, affordable apartments—otherwise known as aPodments. What’s frustrating about all this talk is that it’s almost inevitable that the talk will lead to some kind of action. Members of the City Council feel like they have to do “something” to address the […]