City’s newest UDistrict HiRise Upzone proposal unveiled Tues May 31st 6-8pm at Neptune Theater 1303 NE 45th St

City’s plan threatens 1500 affordable housing units and dozens of small businesses

“You’re encouraged to attend and oppose this plan driven by large property owners and the U of W: a plan to turn the district into a hi-tech ‘incubator’ hub” with zero regard to how it affects the Districts existing diverse and affordable character”

The University District is one of the first neighborhoods planned for upzoning since the City has been working on a plan for the University District for the last four years.  The area that is proposed for significant height increases is roughly from 50th to the Ship Canal and from I-5 to the University of Washington’s main campus (the University of Washington has its own separate institutional overlay plan for its west campus).  The majority of this area is currently zoned 45-65 feet tall with a few exceptions and would be upzoned for 240′ to 320′ towers.

  • The University District as we know it would be wiped out and replaced with another hub similar to Downtown or South Lake Union.
  • Concerns of possible spillover of zoning changes (“transition zones”) into surrounding areas.

This is one of the first neighborhoods the City proposes to upzone and it will set a precedent.  It is effectively the first neighborhood to be hit with the Mayor’s “HALA” upzone plan.  We urge you to attend and OPPOSE this plan and instead call for measures to preserve existing small businesses and low cost housing already hard it by runaway growth as a result of the current zoning code.  As it is, the area is overzoned and has nearly twice the zoning capacity it needs to accommodate 2035 residential and job targets. There’s a backlog of infrastructure needs due to runaway growth now such as added transit capacity, a need for more open space, parking issues, preservation of several dozen historic buildings.  Put first things first.. let’s address issues and concerns caused by growth under current zoning.   No upzone until neighborhood needs are addressed!

Attend this meeting if you can or call/email to oppose the city/UW/big property owner “displacement agenda”.  

University District Urban Design Draft Zoning Proposal Open House

When: Tuesday, May 31, 2016, 6 – 8pm

Location: Neptune Theater (1303 NE 45th St)

Following this over the next 2 weeks, the city also will hold 4 “office hour” meetings in the District – you may want to drop by one of those as well. For more on these and locations: click here

OPCD (the City’s newly named Office of Planning & Development) will take public comment on the draft zoning proposal until June 24, 2016. To make public comment please email:

And we recommend you cc the City Council:;;;;;;;;

Contact the Mayor Murray:

For more information from the community click on following links:


About John V. Fox

Director, Seattle Displacement Coalition
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