~ ABOUT THE CRANE COUNTING ~

Capitol Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods have been in a state of constant change since 1990 or so. You still can't go more than a couple of blocks without seeing a few cranes erected. Crane counting has become a thing. Unfortunately almost all these new buildings remain about 4-6 stories high limiting the amount of people who can enjoy this great city. This height restriction has caused less supply for the great demand in housing that has been created by the companies thriving and growing here in Seattle. This lack of housing is driving the cost of housing up as people compete for any available place to live close to where they work and play. 

The city of Seattle has created restrictive laws to keep these buildings short and to preserve the look of the existing neighborhoods creating obstacles and incentives for builders to augment existing plans. Some builders are keeping the facade of existing buildings around them as a compromise with the preservationists. The city of Seattle is maintaining these restrictions and adding more such as developer fees. These restrictions don't solve any of the supply issues we are having and they are causing additional issues. The result of the height restrictions are high rents and the proliferation of micro housing or apodments which are actually more expensive per square foot and less humane as living conditions. So we have short ugly buildings with tiny expensive places for people to live aka micro housing and macro housing for those who can afford it. The DPD is actually encouraging mother-in-law additions to houses as a solution. There are still average size apartments and houses but they go to the highest bidder. So if you’re fortunate enough to have a great paying job you can stay in Seattle, if not, you would have to leave because there is not enough housing, affordable or not.  

Seattle is or was known for its great people, tolerant, considerate, diverse, artistic, weird and innovative people, people who make life choices like pursuing their creative professions rather than or in addition to a career at their day job. It would make sense that a city that has benefited so much from these people would support these people rather than create laws and conditions forcing them to move away through economic evictions, intolerance and the preservation of objects, short buildings, or "neighborhoods" over people.

Compromise over new construction and the preservation of old construction has produced a mess nobody benefits from except the people who own the short buildings as rents go up and the property values skyrocket.  

Because of the preservationists every time Seattle needed a 25, 50 or a 100 story building a 6 story building or shorter was built. This has caused irreparable harm. This is what has caused the rise of rents and housing prices. This is what has caused people to move away from the neighborhoods they love. And this is what has caused so many disruptions to these neighborhoods. Instead of building the necessary amount of 100 story buildings, Seattle’s preservationists have caused what seems like 1,000s of 5 story buildings everywhere ruining, destroying or killing the very neighborhoods they were trying to preserve as people were forced to move away.

It is not the facade of an old one four or six stories building that make people want to live here, it is the jobs, the culture, the people, the affordability and the many amenities a city and location have to offer. Everything is in a constant state of change and when things change these changes should benefit everyone, not just a select few whether they be the preservationist or moneyed tech workers the way things have changed has cause a lot of people a lot of pain as detailed in the many newspapers articles and blogs in Seattle and the surrounding neighborhoods. I am not sure if a worse result could have been obtained through these zoning laws.

Who is preserving Detroit as it is being gobbled up by foreign investors along with certain choice property in NY, LA and Seattle. You don’t have to look any further than San Francisco to see the disastrous result of preserving old houses. 
  
Any one of those new buildings that were built in the last 20 years on Broadway would have been a perfect place for a 50 story building. The Starbucks Reserve – Roastery on Pike street is an obscene waste of space. It is a one story building where a 50 story building could be. Examples of this stupidity are all over Seattle. Something should be done to create tall buildings and energy efficient building like the

 Bullitt Center

A lot of people moved to Seattle because of the people here. Seattle didn’t have many of the issues other cities had, there was little to no crime racism or culture of intolerance you would find in other cities. You would rarely see a police officer, they weren’t needed. No matter how different you were, you were more than tolerated, you were encouraged to let your freak flag fly. People gave up great jobs and took pay cuts to live in this nurturing environment. They left family and friends, some were rejected ousted and sought the comfort of like minds here in Seattle. This is why people are upset as buildings were preserved instead of this rich unique culture that embodies the ideals of America. Innovation and creativity are a precious resource which bigotry bashes and conformity kills. This creative culture can’t be preserved by holding housing hostage to the highest bidder. People want to stay, not move away . . .again. 

As the graffiti says  "We came here to get away from you.” 

One can only wonder how beautiful and tall these building could have been, how inexpensive the apartments would have been and how diverse and rich our culture could have been without these ridiculous height restrictions and red tape created by the preservationists in Seattle. There is a beautiful view up there of The Olympic Mountains, Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainer, Seattle and more.

These preservationists and the proponents of “lowrise legislation” should be tarred and feather and run out of Seattle, I wonder if they are or have connections to land owners whose property has skyrocketed in value.

What Seattle needs is HIGHRISE legislation where new building have a height requirement instead of a restriction. 
We can’t afford to waste so much space.


This way our most valuable space won’t be wasted on short waste of space buildings. 
People will have people sized places to live and rents will be more in line with other expenses.


City Planning
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Planning, Land Use and Sustainability Committee
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Office of the Mayor
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