Sunday, April 15, 2012

Homeless in Haller Lake?

Homeless in Haller Lake?

Haller Lake development worries low-income housing advocates. Zoning “Magic Loophole” converts 207 affordable housing units to 2000 unaffordable units, puts residents on the street.

Using what some might call a “magic loophole” in Seattle’s zoning code a developer is converting a couple of hundred affordable housing units to about 2,000 unaffordable units on the same 365,040 square feet on nine square blocks.

The results: Dramatic increases in already challenging neighborhood traffic, congestion, noise and pollution, not to mention an alarming spike in homelessness.

Likely not since lower Queen Anne was scraped clear of its affordable Victorian apartments to make way for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair have so many Seattle households been so adversely affected.


Posted on April 10, 2012 at 5:49 PM, Updated April 10, 2012 at 7:21 PM, edited April 14, 2012 at 3:34 PM by Haller Lake Community Club Land Use Chair Rick Barrett.

SEATTLE -- Community groups and housing advocates have appealed a planned development just north of Northgate Mall and across the street from the famously congested Northgate exit on I-5, are concerned that low-income housing is disappearing in Seattle.

The property in question is Northgate Apartments at 11200 1St Avenue NE. just across the street from the Northgate mall, and located in the southern portion of the almost entirely single and multi-family zoned Haller Lake neighborhood. 
There are 207 low-income units that will likely be replaced by nearly 2,000 mid-and high-income units.

The Seattle Department of Planning and Development has granted the developers a rezone but is not requiring one-to-one replacement of the low-income units.

Resident Frank Booth, who is disabled with diabetes, said, "I don't want to be homeless."

The rezone and development could mean Booth's $800-a-month, one-bedroom unit would be torn down and replaced with a one bedroom renting for twice the price.

"I feel like I'm being run out of Seattle," said Booth.

The Maple Leaf Community Council and The Seattle Displacement Coalition have formally appealed the development, along with a Haller Lake resident and Haller Lake Community Club member. The Coalition's John Fox said failure to require low income units "runs directly in contradiction to the city's commitment to preserve low income housing and it contradicts the city's plan to end homelessness."

In a written statement, developers Northgate Plaza LLC said "there does need to be further consideration of the conditions of approval. That is what the appeal process is for, and we look forward to participating in that process."

The zoning appeal will be heard by Seattle's Hearing Examiner on Tuesday, May 22.

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