City alters growth reports disguising actual levels of growth in relation to neighborhood targets

Until recently, you had ready access to a report allowing you to see rates of growth city-wide and in your neighborhood since 2005 and see this in relation to city and neighborhood 2024 assigned growth targets.  Under the Growth Management Act (GMA), Seattle is assigned a regional growth target, then the city parcels out a portion of that target to each of our neighborhoods.  Always the intent was to provide citizens with a accessible tool to readily understand how fast your community was growint.

But this report was removed from the city’s website and replaced with a more confusing breakdown of growth rates and in comparison to a base or total number of residential units in your community.  All of a sudden you cannot see for example that a neighborhood like Ballard has reached 425 percent of its 2004-2024 assigned target. But you will be able to see numbers for Ballard showing  an overall growth rate of 2 percent per year.   Well heck no problem here at all…Ballard can handle more.

Here is what was a long running and regularly updated report posted by the City that allowed the public to review levels of growth in relation to regionally and neighborhood assigned targets.  Notice that this report shows levels of new construction already exceeding 2024 targets in most areas of the city.  Hold on to the old report so you can keep track of your neighborhoods total new construction above your 2024 target.

And here is a link to a copy of the new report:

Try and get any sense of from this new report how fast our city is growing.

The following link provides a little more detail on new 2035 targets set for each neighborhood that will allow you to do your own calculation of progress each neighborhood is making towards meeting these newly assigned 2035 targets…. Ooops almost forgot, the city has decided to downplay rates of growth in relation to “targets” calling them instead “estimates”.   Except for Urban Centers where the Growth Management Act requires regionally and city-set ‘targets’ to be assigned, Seattle planners have decided they don’t want neighborhood folks to have any clear idea of how much growth they’re being hit with.



About John V. Fox

Director, Seattle Displacement Coalition
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