What is a housing emergency really?

I want to tell you about 417 acres of land owned by the city of Seattle, about 1% of the Seattle that does not have a road on it.

This land does not have any housing on it or city offices or facilities freely open to everyone. You have to pay money to use this land.

This land is largely covered in non-native plant species, not rare or special non-native plants, but the most common non-native plant found everywhere.

This land only gets 200,000 user visits per year, but despite costing money to use does not net the city significant revenue. Those 200,000 user visits per year probably represent fewer than 50,000 unique users per year1.

All of this land is very close to current frequent transit. It is near shopping, schools and other important amenities.

Continue reading “What is a housing emergency really?”

65%, 57%, 35%: how much Seattle land is zoned single family really?

It’s a number that gets bandied about a lot. Depending on who is involved in the conversation you will have angry repudiations and corrections of that number. “Well, actually …” followed by a claim of a wildly different number. I happened upon Rezone Seattle today which pointed me at page 421 in the appendices (pdf) of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan. That page has the end of a very long data table that breaks out the number of acres in different sub-regions of Seattle by their zoning. Since it’s the end of the table it has the total acres per zoning type catalogued. Here’s a picture:

screenshot table of zoning

Continue reading “65%, 57%, 35%: how much Seattle land is zoned single family really?”