Tami Michaels re Mayor Nickels & Multi-Family Design Standards

Home Improvement Radio Expert Seattle 770 KTTHTomorrow morning, Saturday July 26th, at 11:00 a.m., a representative of the Seattle Mayor’s Office will be On Air with Tami Michaels.  The show will be devoted to Mayor Nickels proposed changes to multi-family zoned construction (original announcement from the Mayor’s Office).

And more details about Tami’s show tomorrow here.

Tami called me before I left for Inman Connect to discuss this topic, specifically with regard to regulations that could increase costs for builders and consumers at a time when the housing market is weakening.  The discussion led to the age old question “Can government dictate taste in housing style?”

I have had many discussions over the years with various municipalities regarding this topic, and they all hinge on this quote from City Councilmember, Sally Clark “The mayor and I have both heard a lot lately about how growth is affecting our neighborhoods, not all of it is positive…”

Over the span of my 18 plus years in real estate in various places on both Coasts, I have become involved with this issue from time to time, and EVERY time it boils down to nothing happening except a bunch of controversy with little to no satisfactory result.  I have been to several “town meetings” where everyone who was griping was invited to attend and participate in discussions to improve whatever everyone “wanted” or was griping about.  Each time what became apparent as a result of these meetings is that you can never get everyone to agree, and sometimes you can’t even get people to attend the meetings!!!  It’s one thing to hang around griping about change, it’s quite another to be asked to get involved in a viable solution.

So I ask anyone who thinks they might have something to add to the discussion regarding proposed changes to multi-family zoned building projects in Seattle, to head on over to Tami Michaels’ post and add a comment.  I’m going to listen to tomorrow’s radio show and gather more info before commenting.  Maybe you would like Free Flushes to become mandatory…maybe not.

Anyone involved in Seattle Real Estate, or residents who have something to add about townhomes or the proposal in general, should tune in tomorrow at 11:00. “The changes would affect the 10 percent of the city zoned for multifamily construction, from low-rise development throughout the city to high-rise residential towers on First Hill. The change is heralded by the Mayor’s Office as “… the first major update to multifamily zoning in Seattle in 20 years.”

Don’t let a once in 20 years change pass by, without at least craning your neck to take a peek at what it’s all about.

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: ardelld@gmail.com cell: 206-910-1000

10 thoughts on “Tami Michaels re Mayor Nickels & Multi-Family Design Standards

  1. one condo builder put a # on it; said it would add about $50,000 per unit, this cost would be past on to the buyers as a hidden City fee, nothing he (the builder) could do to help the buyer, forced by the city.

  2. Not sure what “it” is that adds $50,000 per unit, but most of the requested changes are not mandatory. The builder can sometimes put a whole extra floor of units if they make the requested changes. So maybe it adds to the cost of each unit, but getting to build and sell a whole extra floor of units could actually reduce the consumer’s cost per unit. Depends on whether the builder spreads out the benefit, or keeps it all for himself.

  3. A desire for select government intervention is par for the course in Seattle. Seattleites and our politicians want to believe they are progressive and liberal. Mostly, we are statist and elitist.

    We are taxed too much without accountability for where the money is spent. The people vote No stadiums, but the legislators ignores the will of the people.

    We demand affordable housing, but NIMBY. We want to help the homeless with tent cities, but cry NIMBY based on unfounded fears to a significant rise in crime, prostitution, violence, drug use.

    We complain about sprawl, so the Growth Management Act is created. Now we complain about prices when the GMA adds about $2000k (I think that amount is right from the UW economic study) to the price of a home.

    We complain about what rural land owners in the sticks do with their property in the name of saving the environment, but we refuse to pay for our decisions and actions.

    How about less guvment involvement? Shouldn’t we let market forces determine what happens? If they are that bad, buyer demand for good looking better constructed housing will outweigh their demand for lower priced housing.

  4. Michael,

    The way I read the proposal, the “guvment” would only get involved if the builder wanted a variance from current zoning. If the builder wanted taller than allowed, there was a tradeoff of something the City wanted. That seemed fair.

    But, I’m not in favor of changing things because people are whining about “the look”. I’ve seen people love something five years after it was built, that they hated while it was being built because it was “different”.

    As to market forces, you are dead on. I remember a City Councilman coming over to talk with me about FAR Code changes here in Kirkland. The conversation turned to the City dictating taste and style, which I did not agree with. The house everyone hated, that the City thought to prevent in the future has been on market for years! That’s enough incentive for no one to build one like it in the future.

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