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Good job, Publicola! But you got the winners and losers wrong

2011 April 26
by Roger Valdez

< Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess gets density >

There isn’t a single source out there in the world covering land use in Seattle that matches Publicola. But I think we need a second opinion. Their angle on today’s Pioneer Square rezone vote was winners and losers.

Today’s winner: Nick Licata. Today’s losers: The Downtown Seattle Association.

Mmmmmkay. Maybe. A little off target I’d say.

Today’s winner: Tim Burgess and density. Today’s loser: Pioneer Square

Publicola did a good job of reporting land use. But in my estimation they got the winners and losers wrong.

The bottom line on this is that Tim Burgess (an aspirant to the office of Mayor) affirmed the importance of density. He didn’t have the votes. And, since the Council is a creature of consensus, he opted to fold and play his cards another day.

If you can’t see the video, he said good neighborhoods . . .

. . have high density, where people can rub shoulders together, trade ideas, create jobs, bring innovation, be safe, create community

Density is a “good policy” that creates these things. This puts Burgess in line with sustainability in terms of what he is saying,

Licata didn’t do anything today. I don’t get how he’s a winner.

Sure the DSA didn’t get their way here today, but more density is coming to Pioneer Square. Unfortunately, because we took years to make this decision we’re not in front of growth but behind it. That’s why Pioneer Square loses. Density is another way of saying more people, and that’s what Pioneer Square needs.

We will have to hold Burgess accountable. He was outvoted now, but will he build a block of votes on Council for what he calls good policy?

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This post originally appeared at Seattle’s Land Use Code, a blog that chronicles the reading of the entire land use code and includes other news and observations about planning and land use.

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