Lazy Link Of The Day v.2.0

Erica beat me to it, but I can’t possibly not comment on  this bit of Seattle Times lameness regarding Seattle’s proposal to allow “backyard cottages” in single family zones.  The set up of the piece—describing the perceived horrors of the proposal from the point of view of just one person who may or may not ever actually be impacted in any way—perfectly captures the spirit of Seattle NIMBYism and how it impedes progressive policy.  A few whiny big mouths trump the long term interests of millions.  And by not bothering to note any of the big picture environmental and social benefits of backyard cottages, the Seattle Times piece only feeds the NIMBY fire.

If we are looking for painless ways to create a more sustainable Seattle, allowing backyard cottages is 100 percent no-brainer.  But still, the City has to go out and hold 17 public meetings before acting.  I wonder how much all those meetings cost the taxpayers? 

And witness how City officials are obliged to tip-toe around it—a DPD official is quoted as saying “Some people feel the proposal would add density to the single-family neighborhoods, and that’s just not true.”    Huh?  That may be technically correct according to code, but please, the whole idea of backyard cottages is to create more housing units without consuming more land.  The math is pretty much unequivocal about what that means for density.  

But no, dear God no, speaketh not of even the gentlest incremental change to sacred single-family.   And beware the damnable cottage!

4 Responses to “Lazy Link Of The Day v.2.0”

  1. Lance

    [bang head here]

  2. BrianM

    Sometimes state mandates are a GOOD thing. California has mandated that all communities permit second units in single family zones, subject to reasonable standards with no discretionary review.

    Of course, impact fees still make such cottages are too expensive for most people to built, but at least there are no public hearings and opportunities for NIMBYism.

  3. Comitant

    It is the single best way of raising density without destroying the single family character of Seattle neighborhoods. You get alley life, pedestrian streets in some areas, and owners get to offset costs.

    Town houses pop up like mushrooms in single family neighborhoods and nearby you’ll find all those pretty Fischer-Price condos. The zoning code here is the equivalent of a fat man sitting down in the middle of three seats.

    How about starting an online petition distributed on blogs?

  4. I Skim The Seattle Times And Crosscut So You Don’t Have To | hugeasscity

    […] at Crosscut today, some dude apparently has some fear to monger about scary scary backyard cottages.  I would rather work on my income taxes than read it.  It pains me just to link to it, […]

Leave a Reply