Today, in Crosscut I wrote an article about some of what I’ve learned here reading the code. Crosscut commenters are a rare breed; creatively and obsessively curmudgeoned, they often have good insights, if not into my employment status, into their own condition.
I couldn’t agree more that the land use code is a morass. However, I’m wondering if the author actually lives in one of the condo or apartment pigeon-hole units he seems to be promoting? I’ve heard more than enough blabbering from people who advocate more density, often those with a financial stake in the game. But if you ask them where they live, it’s “Mountlake Terrace” or “Madison Park”… The pendulum evidently has to swing back toward the type of housing the previous generation wanted to clear out after WWII. Single-family homeowners (emphasis on “family” and “owners”) seek to preserve some degree of personal privacy, their own outdoor space/gardens, general upkeep, and overall civility in their neighborhoods, which are threatened by large-scale dense developments, often rentals, with their increase in noise, traffic, crime, etc. I’ll bet if you talked to thse people, you would find that preserving equity is a second tier concern.
I don’t think Stan is wrong. It seems like he’s being honest. But he kind of makes my point doesn’t he? Not all single-family homeowners are afraid of a decline in “overall civility in their neighborhoods, which are threatened by large-scale dense developments, often rentals, with their increase in noise, traffic, crime, etc”
But it’s this very angst Stan writes about–density destroying the American dream–that underlies the counterintuitive tendencies we have as a city on land use. Why ruin that dream because someone says it’s better? And besides who are these do-gooders anyway? Why destroy the value of my investment for outsiders?
Am I right? Is Stan right, are we up zone cheerleaders going to bring noise, traffic, and crime?