Publicola Fight: Commenters light up the internet with some real gems

Vancouver commenters express their thoughts on the hockey riots

A while back I jibed Publicola a bit with my creation of a new feature on this blog called Facebook Fight!, an ongoing feature in which I take debates on land use or adjacent issues on Facebook and post them. Well, it occurred to me that we could also post the comments on Publicola here, especially when they refer posts made here. Some of the comments are really compelling (Charles makes an argument that needs refuting). Others inane. Others are just plain funny. Other comments were intended to somehow attack me personally (no, Rex I don’t live in my mom’s basement) but are actually quite funny. Where would we be without commenters? Thanks to everyone for caring so much about land use!

So here is the best of the best from the last go around on Publicola’s connection to my post on Sally Clark’s statements about density in Roosevelt.

gloomy_gus 3 days ago
Valdez certainly does relish his gotchas.

localgirl 3 days ago

This is how it comes across to me.  Sally is afraid to “intervene in the market” by rezoning an area that is already derelict and underused?

But by keeping the zoning the same on the underused and derelict parcels, isn’t she keeping the conditions the same, meaning that they will continue to be underused and derelict?

Something has got to be shaken up in Roosevelt to get the neighborhood redeveloped. There’s a reason why the area hasn’t developed–and a major reason is the parcels need zoned capacity to allow a development to make sense.  The City Council has an amazing opportunity here to do the right thing and to give the area the kick in the pants it needs.

It’s so disappointing that she sees modest height increases (65 feet) as “overzoning.”  And she calls herself pro-TOD, anti-global warming, etc. etc.  Sigh.  Put your money where your mouth is, Sally.

  • Bullshit – if developers can make 45 foot height limits pencil out profitably in Eastlake (and lots of other neighborhoods) they can in Roosevelt, too.

    The real difference here is that Hugh Sisley has deliberately let his properties become rundown to create a bogus rationale for a zoning scheme that is grossly out of scale with the surrounding neighborhood.  Clark (and for that matter DPD) is right not to reward him for this cheesy attempt at zoning blackmail.

  • Mr. X, since you obviously live in the neighborhood, wouldn’t you agree that all neighborhoods are different?  Same goes for the way developers look at the neighborhood.  Maybe developers can make something work at 45 feet in Eastlake, but they can’t in Roosevelt due to demographics, land prices, parcel sizes, etc. and need a little bit more height to make it work.

    Your neighborhood has an incredible opportunity to clean up the Sisley properties by increasing zoning by only 25 feet above the neighborhood’s plan.  It would be a shame to waste that opportunity, and to waste the public’s investment in your neighborhood by not allowing more people to live near the transit station.

    PS Somehow I doubt Sisley has done this as a grand blackmail scheme. He wins, and you and the rest of the City loses, if the zoning stays the same and his properties remain the way they are.

  • Nonsense – Hugh Sisley is sitting on his properties in hopes of getting a massive upzone to build towers, and is holding out for that.  If he doesn’t get that upzone (and he shouldn’t), he can make plenty of money at 45′, let alone 65.’  Sisley bought his properties for a song decades ago, and owns them free and clear.  Land cost is not a factor, so your assertion that he can’t make money unless there’s an upzone doesn’t wash.  For that matter, the Scarlet Tree just reopened in a brand new one-story building on 65th.

    This reminds me of the former WOSCA property along 1st Ave S, where the developer was clamoring for an upzone to some ridiculous height based on the claim that building there wouldn’t pencil out for them.  That site is now the location of a substantial new building for ING Direct – which didn’t require an upzone to for someone to make money after all.

    Same shit, different paper.

  • …and I don’t live (or own property) in Roosevelt.
  • Of course you don’t.  You own property in Greenlake, Northgate, Lake City, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, Shoreline or Kenmore.  :))  j/k  But seriously, prop. owners (real estate corps.)  *do* stealth fight to manipulate supply to their advantage.

    Station properties should not be subject to general height restrictions or they become vulnerable to sprawl interests.

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