The story posted last night on the Seattle times was headlined “South Lake Union neighborhood advocates oppose taller, fatter buildings.” And South Lake Union NIMBYs are actually calling themselves NIMBYs and saying “it isn’t just the views, but yes the private views matter.”
What is breathtaking about the story is the complete paucity of any substantial argument by neighbors against more housing.
“It’s too fat!”
“It’s too tall!”
And they were so civilized, these Goldilocks of South Lake Union, considering their whole way of life is being put at risk by proposed changes outside their windows.
While opponents of change might be patting themselves on the back this morning, they really have outed themselves as opposed to change because its change. If it doesn’t look like they want to look they want it stopped.
In the end this is better for the debate on land use in Seattle. Change opponents can keep opposing density until it’s “just right,” and those of us who argue basic economics (more supply of housing means lower price) can make our case without resorting to plannerese. What’s better for the future of the city, waiting for the perfect urban form or building more housing for new families trying to make ends meet in our city?
In the end it’s up to City Council. Will they give in to the Goldilocks approach to urban form or will they support vibrant growth in South Lake Union and welcome new people to our city? Only time will tell, although the issue has already been debated for years. Isn’t it time for a decision? Which bed will we sleep in; the past, the future, or the status quo?