This afternoon I got word that Mayor McGinn sent this memo to Director of the Department of Planning and Development:
This is to follow up on our earlier discussion on Roosevelt zoning issues. Since before taking office, I have been listening to community input on potential heights and up zones.
I have also had time to reflect on the briefing you provided. At this time, I believe the city needs to take towers “off the table”.
Towers do not appear consistent with expectations for this neighborhood. At the same time, I believe that given the significant investment in light rail, and the potential for good neighborhood-scale development, the city needs to take a closer look at heights above 40 feet, such as 65 and 85 feet.
I look forward to DPD coming forward with new proposals to reflect this direction, and give the council a broader range of choices. The decisions we make now will be in place for a while. It is important to set the stage for good transit-oriented development.
I appreciate all of the thoughtful work you and your staff have done on this issue.
I have to say that this is just about what we were asking for in terms of City involvement. The letter I wrote about yesterday appears to have persuaded the Mayor to intervene in a positive way here. The Mayor’s memo to Sugimura takes into account that 120 feet might be too much (he takes them “off the table”), but also acknowledges the need for more height.
Now we need Sound Transit to step up and work with the community on the station design. Things are moving in a positive direction. I am curbing my enthusiasm. But I have to say that I am glad that instead of more plans (Roosevelt already has a neighborhood plan and the recent DPD legislative rezone work) it looks like we’re going to see proposals for the density we need around this critical station.
Thanks to all the folks that put the letter together and to Mayor McGinn for listening to our input and doing the right thing for TOD.