Mayor’s Affordability Committee Releases Tepid Growth Recommendations

As a follow-up to this morning’s post about the future of single-family housing in Seattle, here’s the final report from the Mayor’s “Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee”: Seattle Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (pdf)

There are a few relevant portions of the report that address single-family zoning.

From page 21 of the report:

MF.1 Increase the amount of land zoned for multifamily housing

The HALA Committee recommends devoting more land to multifamily housing especially in areas near amenities and services such as transit and schools. Any increase in development capacity should be tied to requirements for providing affordable housing.

There is a wide range of circumstances that present good opportunities to add or expand multifamily zoning in ways that complement neighborhoods, leverage existing resources and help the environment. New multifamily zoned land should be prioritized near green belts, open space and parks; near schools and community centers; and within walking distance of the frequent transit network. While an increase in multifamily zoned land to spur production of new multifamily housing is not expected to immediately decrease rents in the short-term, ensuring a growing supply of larger multifamily housing across the city can help to stem rent increases over the long-term. This strategy, which is expected to impact 6% of Seattle’s Single Family zones (3% in urban villages and 3% in the walksheds described above) should be viewed as an investment in Seattle’s overall housing market affordability for both current and future generations.

Strategies to preserve quality affordable multifamily housing and mitigate displacement must be a critical component of any plan for short- and long-term growth. There is risk of some increased displacement pressure in areas that are upzoned (that is, where zoning is changed to increase development capacity on a site). However, linking upzones directly to a requirement for affordable housing responds to some of the need that is fueled in part by growth. Additional strategies focused specifically on mitigating displacement will also be needed.

In my opinion, there’s no way that re-zoning just six percent of the land in Seattle that’s currently zoned for single-family is going to be sufficient for the kind of growth Seattle is expecting over the next few decades and is in fact already experiencing.

However, while the report doesn’t seem to be suggesting an actual re-zoning of most of Seattle’s single-family areas, it does recommend things like “increasing supply of accessory dwelling units” and “allow a broader mix of lower density housing types within single family areas.”

From page 24 of the report:

Increase Access, Diversity and Inclusion within Single Family Areas
Approximately 65% of Seattle’s land – not just its residential land but all its land – is zoned single family, severely constraining how much the City can increase housing supply. Among its peer cities, Seattle has one of the highest percentages of land dedicated exclusively to detached single family structures and a small number of accessory dwelling units. The exclusivity of Single Family Zones limits the type of housing available for sale or rent, limits the presence of smaller format housing and limits access for those with less income. Seattle’s zoning has roots in racial and class exclusion and remains among the largest obstacles to realizing the City’s goals for equity and affordability. In a city experiencing rapid growth and intense pressures on access to affordable housing, the historic level of Single Family zoning is no longer either realistic or sustainable.

SF.1 Increase Supply of Accessory Dwelling Units and Backyard Cottages
SF.1a Remove Barriers Code Barriers to Accessory Dwelling Units and Backyard Cottages
Although both Accessory Dwelling Units and Backyard Cottages are allowed in Single Family zones, several of the associated land use regulations are deterring their production in significant quantities. Some of the land use code regulations that are in place function as a barrier for a homeowner to take on adding an accessory unit to their home. The same code barriers may not be providing a strong public policy benefit. Therefore, in order to boost production, the City should remove specific code barriers that make it difficult to build ADUs and DADUs:

  • Remove the parking requirement. Currently, an off-street parking space must be created for an additional ADU or DADU.
  • Remove the ownership requirement. Allow both the accessory and principal unit to be rented. Currently, the owner must live in one of the two. The ownership requirement is a barrier to securing financing to build an ADU/DADU. Explore the opportunities and implications of Unit Lot Subdivision which would allow separate ownership of the primary dwelling and the accessory dwelling.
  • Allow a single lot to have both an ADU and a DADU. Currently only one is allowed.
  • Make minor modifications to remove barriers within existing development standards for DADUs, such as height limits, setbacks, maximum square footage, and minimum lot size to ensure constructability.

Removing these barriers is expected to boost production of ADUs and DADUs to levels in the range of 5% or more of all single family lots within 10 years, which could produce 4,000 or more new homes.

Oooh, 4,000 new homes in ten years! An even more impotent “solution” to housing shortages than dumping imaginary “sitting around” foreclosures on the market.

SF.2 Allow a Broader Mix of Lower Density Housing Types within Single Family Areas
The City should allow more variety of housing scaled to fit within traditional single-family areas to increase the economic and demographic diversity of those who are able to live in these family oriented neighborhoods. The broader mix of housing would include small lot dwellings, cottages or courtyard housing, rowhouses, duplexes, triplexes, and stacked flats. Although a broader variety of housing would be permitted, the total amount of “massing” or building area on a single lot should remain the same (excluding ADUs and DADUs). This does not eliminate the option of single family housing; rather, it increases the opportunities for more efficient use of very limited land resources. The program could take the form of land use code changes, or it could begin as a pilot program with a limited time period and a maximum number of units.

SF.4 Oppose Neighborhood Conservation Districts
During 2015, a proposal to establish a Neighborhood Conservation District program was brought for Council consideration. The program would allow groups of property owners in single family areas and lowrise multifamily zoned areas to establish conservation design guidelines that would be specific to areas as small as a block or two. As proposed, the guidelines would limit architectural style of new development in those areas and the program would set up an additional review panel that would need to give approval before building permits could be issued for infill development or alterations. The HALA recommends that the City not establish a Neighborhood Conservation District program as currently proposed. Such a program could reduce the areas of the city available to increase housing supply and affordability, and is thus at cross purposes with other recommendations in this report. The program could make approvals for new housing more time consuming and expensive. The program could also be used to limit the diversification of lower density areas of the city by creating a new avenue for existing homeowners to oppose the addition of new infill housing in their neighborhoods.

Frankly the recommendations in this report seem pretty tepid to me. I have no doubt it will be met with extreme opposition by all the typical NIMBY groups, regardless.


About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

98 comments:

  1. 1

    All of These Suggestions Don’t Hold Water in Reality

    The “where are you gonna park” dilemma was bad with SFHs allowed. Now, “with proper planning “…its all swept under the rug? LOL

  2. 2

    Snippet:

    “…“More first-time buyers are expected to enter the market in coming months, but the overall share climbing higher will depend on how fast rates and prices rise,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the NAR, said in a statement.

    Read more: http://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/are-millennials-finally-ready-to-start-buying-homes.html/?a=viewall#ixzz3fnpDx2nE

    Its all pipe dreams…?

  3. 3
    Marc says:

    Tim,

    I haven’t studied any of this so I’m not prepared to take a position but, conceptually, I’m all for increased density and greater flexibility in how property can be developed.

    More specifically, I think you may be underestimating the significance of these two bullet points

    • … Explore the opportunities and implications of Unit Lot Subdivision which would allow separate ownership of the primary dwelling and the accessory dwelling.

    • … remove barriers within existing development standards for DADUs, such as height limits, setbacks, maximum square footage, and minimum lot size to ensure constructability.

    4,000 more housing units in 10 years may not be a lot but I think this idea has fantastic potential for homeowners to grow their personal wealth. If it became easy (relatively speaking) to add a second unit onto a single family lot and then be able to sell it and keep the original home, I think many current homeowners will do just that and make a good return in the process (at least once enough contractors come back to the market so that a homeowner can get something built efficiently). And those who build and rent the second unit might do even better over the long term as they’ll get that rental income and then years of added appreciation on two homes when retirement time comes around and they sell.

    To date one of the big challenges for ADUs is that the city planning department does little but get in peoples’ way who want to build one. All of the various limitations (height restriction, lot coverage maximums, etc.) further serve only to make ADUs financially unfeasible. And the ownership requirement completely eliminates investors from doing it.

    I’d bet dollars to donuts that the “Unit Lot Subdivision” will get a lot of the small spec builders out there excited as it has the promise for an entirely new in-city housing product. Same for the small contractors that homeowners will want to hire to build them an ADU. Anything that increases the number of properties that can be divided, let alone, simplifies the process is a homerun for them. Not to mention the renters and buyers who will be all too happy to move in to these new units.

  4. 4
    Marc says:

    I meant to say the he city hasn’t been helpful for people wanting to build DADUs, detached additional dwelling units.

    By Marc @ 3:

    To date one of the big challenges for ADUs is that the city planning department does little but get in peoples’ way who want to build one. All of the various limitations (height restriction, lot coverage maximums, etc.) further serve only to make ADUs financially unfeasible.

  5. 5
    Erik says:

    We should keep the same housing units and not focus on adding more. San Francisco seems like a really nice place. I would not be disappointed at all to own a condo on the water in San Francisco. Adding housing units would drive prices down and make Seattle less desirable. For those that desire living in grimy areas, go to north to everett or south to spanaway. We Like the high prices in Seattle. It keeps the fact filth out.

  6. 6
    Mike says:

    Huh. Selling DADU’s as separate parcels seems suspiciously close to the tiny grandfathered lots that developers took a lot of heat for building separately. Even if it’s allowed, it’s going to raise a lot of hate from neighbors. There’s a big difference between having a backyard rental cottage roughly the size of a detached garage and a free standing fully functional SFH shoehorned in with separate driveway access. The city may as well allow people to divide their lots up into mini trailer courts with single-wides stacked 6 deep.

    The other downside to a massive expansion of ADUs is it’s not really suitable for transit oriented development. An extra 50 ‘units’ in a residential neighborhood will make the place much more crowded but it’s well below the mass needed to create a new transit corridor.

  7. 7
    Marc says:

    RE: Mike @ 6 – I agree that this scenario is similar to what the builders took heat for when building on small lots. And that’s probably why Tim said:

    “I have no doubt it will be met with extreme opposition by all the typical NIMBY groups, regardless.”

    I certainly don’t think making these lots divisible will have a major impact on housing affordability but it will have some and I think it will create a nice chunk of spontaneous equity for homeowners whose property are well suited for a divisible DADU.

    Of course, the socialists will just say it’s the rich getting richer.

  8. 8
    Stuart Branham says:

    There’s definitely some “got mine, screw you” attitude around here. (not just Erik) It’s almost like the people with this attitude think that others who can’t afford a $500k dwelling are going to ruin the neighborhood. I’m a 30 year old software engineer with a stay-at-home wife (transplanted last year, not sorry about it) and can’t afford a basic SFH or even a townhome in either Seattle or Bel-Red-Kirk. Wanting to stay away from Section 8 is one thing; trying to keep out the middle class is actually what I’m seeing.

    Just because I can afford $300k instead of $500k doesn’t mean I can’t keep a property landscaped.

  9. 9
    Rudolfo says:

    My favorite part of this post is :
    “Oooh, 4,000 new homes in ten years!”

    It radiates premium sarcasm.

  10. 10

    By Stuart Branham @ 8:

    There’s definitely some “got mine, screw you” attitude around here. (not just Erik) It’s almost like the people with this attitude think that others who can’t afford a $500k dwelling are going to ruin the neighborhood. I’m a 30 year old software engineer with a stay-at-home wife (transplanted last year, not sorry about it) and can’t afford a basic SFH or even a townhome in either Seattle or Bel-Red-Kirk. Wanting to stay away from Section 8 is one thing; trying to keep out the middle class is actually what I’m seeing.

    Just because I can afford $300k instead of $500k doesn’t mean I can’t keep a property landscaped.

    Well on the other hand there’s also a screw the people who are already there attitude. Neighborhoods have a certain feel, and changing that just because you want something different (and cheaper) is affecting those already there.

  11. 11
    Mike says:

    By Marc @ 7:

    RE: Mike @ 6 – I agree that this scenario is similar to what the builders took heat for when building on small lots. And that’s probably why Tim said:

    “I have no doubt it will be met with extreme opposition by all the typical NIMBY groups, regardless.”

    I certainly don’t think making these lots divisible will have a major impact on housing affordability but it will have some and I think it will create a nice chunk of spontaneous equity for homeowners whose property are well suited for a divisible DADU.

    Of course, the socialists will just say it’s the rich getting richer.

    That’s the problem. If it’s limited to properties that are well suited to an ADU, it’s going to be very uneven in it’s application. In neighborhoods where the homes originally had detached garages, it’s easier to see how it’s suitable to build another structure using existing easements. Other neighborhoods without alleys and homes positioned in the center of the lots aren’t going to benefit – or it’s going to be through tearing down existing homes and subdividing the lot.

  12. 12
    Blurtman says:

    The Bertha Boondoggle

    More than two years delayed
    Way over budget
    Governor ignores the screw-up
    Mayor ignores the screw-up
    No one gets fired
    Taxes go up
    We deserve better
    http://mynorthwest.com/11/2783151/You-might-actually-agree-with-McGinn-Sawant-on-Bertha?google_editors_picks=true

  13. 13
    pfft says:

    By Rudolfo @ 9:

    My favorite part of this post is :
    “Oooh, 4,000 new homes in ten years!”

    It radiates premium sarcasm.

    I wasn’t a math major but doesn’t that work out to housing for 4,000-16,000 people. that’s good right? better than 4,0000-16,000 less housing for people right? how many homes has seattle added in the last 10 years?

  14. 14
    Jay says:

    RE: Stuart Branham @ 8 – I totally agree with you. For those who want to live in a big lot, you are welcome to move to Carnation, Duvall, Fall City, North Bend, Snoqualmie, Monroe, etc.

  15. 15
    Rudolfo says:

    By pfft @ 13:

    By Rudolfo @ 9:

    My favorite part of this post is :
    “Oooh, 4,000 new homes in ten years!”

    It radiates premium sarcasm.

    I wasn’t a math major but doesn’t that work out to housing for 4,000-16,000 people. that’s good right? better than 4,0000-16,000 less housing for people right? how many homes has seattle added in the last 10 years?

    Good question. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the house-to-condo and house-to-townhome activity over the past two decades produced an increase like that or more.

  16. 16
    boater says:

    All in all it looks to me like they looked at what went wrong in San Francisco and said “Let’s not do that!”
    Increase height limits – Check
    Stop neighborhood design reviews – Check
    Default to allowing building vs default to denying. -Check

    Increasing the number of floors helps justify the cost of tearing down and losing some revenue on a working three story building if it can now go to eight. A lot of the cities potential housing will not appear because cash flowing building are already sitting on those zones and it just doesn’t make sense to rip them down and rebuild, yet. Adding height changes the equation. All I can say is I hope most of this goes through.

  17. 17
    Jonness says:

    The $1.4 million 1992 Booz-Allen & Hamilton study revealed what to do to alleviate this situation. It made recommendations to build bridges and tunnels to access Kitsap County. Then the Economic Development Council came into being in 1993, and since then nothing has been done.

    Engineering studies have shown that building a submerged floating tunnel would cost half as much as building a bridge, carry more weight, and cause minimal impact to aquatic life. More than a decade ago, activist Randy Boss re-pitched the Booz-Allen & Hamilton study in accordance with building a Submerged Floating Tunnel from Burien to Vashon Island and then building a bridge between Vashon and the Kitsap Peninsula. A 6-lane highway would further link the Mullenix corridor to SR-16 and SR-3. Commuters would pay a toll to use the tunnel to help fund the cost. In addition, it would replace the currently broken ferry system between these two points and alleviate the necessary yearly funding it requires.

    Seattle has vast untapped buildable lots about a two-minute drive across the Sound. Thus, there is no shortage of Seattle-area buildable SFH lots; there is a simply a bridge and tunnel shortage.

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20040624&slug=randyboss24

  18. 18
    Jonness says:

    Fauntleroy to Vashon to Southworth WA-160:

    The only problem with this route is Erik’s condo will lose half it’s value. Wait, is that a problem?

    https://www.google.com/maps/@47.5325165,-122.437098,12z

  19. 19

    RE: Erik @ 5

    How About the Opposite is True Too?

    It keeps the selfish “rich elite” filth in lying about how environmental they are, “I recycle”, but to Hades for demographic planning and population control…..the real solution.

  20. 20

    RE: Blurtman @ 12
    Alaska Has Its Bridge to No Where

    And we have the “useless” Kitsap Peninsula 2nd new bridge that jams all the traffic into one lane on I-5 anyway. God forbid we diverted the traffic two directions, like half of it to the rich elite University area.

  21. 21

    RE: Jay @ 14

    Or Better Yet….Kansas City

    The Kansas City high priced units are in the downtown area next to the Royals stadium….$100-150K for avg priced homes. Or if you’re on a budget, drive 15 miles to the $19K average priced homes on jumbo 1/2 acre lots too.

  22. 22
    boater says:

    I fail to see how saying there is cheap housing past Burien that could solve the problem does anything useful given there is cheap housing in Burien. The problem they are trying to solve is IN Seattle city limits there is limited affordable housing.

    Long term everything they are suggesting seems like a good idea. It will do extremely little in the next four years. I suspect they will be voted out because they are helping the future not the now. Sad.

  23. 23

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10

    The Single Income Seattle Majority

    We’re about 1.2 incomes per household in Seattle….meaning most avg household incomes are 1 income. If you lose your job, you’re screwed. If the double incomes buying $700K homes with double incomes lose an income, they’re screwed too with 1 income still working. Twice the probability of an income loss too.

  24. 24

    By boater @ 22:

    I fail to see how saying there is cheap housing past Burien that could solve the problem does anything useful given there is cheap housing in Burien. The problem they are trying to solve is IN Seattle city limits there is limited affordable housing.

    Thank you. I was going to say something on that topic, but didn’t. What you said is much better than what I was going to say.

  25. 25
    redmondjp says:

    Maybe this photographer can come up to Seattle and do the same, now that she’s photo-documented how people are living affordably in SFO:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3160157/Living-America-s-1M-city-average-San-Francisco-residents-forced-live-cars-trailers-garages-tents-Silicon-Valley.html

    There are lots of rivers around here; also, lots of old, unwanted vans for sale. Do the math!

  26. 26
    Erik says:

    RE: Stuart Branham @ 8
    Time to make some sacrifices. Send the wife to work, get a second job, or buy a condo. You computer complainers think everyone owes you something and you don’t have to make any sacrifices. All the rest of us have to sacrifice, why don’t you think you need to?

  27. 27
    Erik says:

    RE: Jonness @ 18
    That stupid little ferry isn’t doing much for prices on alki.

  28. 28
    redmondjp says:

    Maybe this photographer, now that she has photo-documented people living affordably in SFO, can move up to Seattle and do the same here:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3160157/Living-America-s-1M-city-average-San-Francisco-residents-forced-live-cars-trailers-garages-tents-Silicon-Valley.html

    We have a lot of rivers in our area. Also, I just checked Craigslist, and there are plenty of used vans for sale. Do the math! You think I am joking, but after you read this article, that’s how we most of us will actually be forced to live (those of us who survive and stay) for months/years after the big one:

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one

    Seriously, everybody on the west coast needs to read this article. Put it on FB, reddit, twitter, or whatever all you youngins use these days. Think about the implications (like, how and where are you going to do your business w/o running water and a functioning sewer system, or how you will charge your phone, not that there will be any wi-fi or cell service anyways). Also, consider what this will do to the entire west coast tech sector, not to mention the housing market. It’s not pretty.

  29. 29
    Stuart Branham says:

    RE: Erik @ 26

    I’m already making sacrifices and living in a rental condo. What do you sacrifice? I’d be happy with a townhome at this point but even those (at least the ones on the market) are too expensive. I gave up and settled with finding a place in Renton or Mill Creek. I’ve made several offers in those towns. The last home in Renton I actually put two offers on after a first deal fell through. Lost to cash buyers who must have offered more than 10% over list. It is complete insanity.

    Erik, you are the one talking about “keeping the filth out” but you clearly think 90% of people are filth. You are more filthy than them.

  30. 30
    Stuart Branham says:

    It’s also hard to be sympathetic to changing zoning when the reality is you can sell your home for far more (at your leisure) when the new zones are implemented. Then you can have that condo you would be happy with.

  31. 31
    Mike says:

    By Stuart Branham @ 30:

    It’s also hard to be sympathetic to changing zoning when the reality is you can sell your home for far more (at your leisure) when the new zones are implemented. Then you can have that condo you would be happy with.

    The thing you and other proponents are overlooking is if they sell in a down market, the up-zoning may have a disproportionately negative impact on their house price. If the “highest and best use” is to a developer, and developers aren’t buying (like they weren’t in ’09) they won’t get any premium. They’ll get only the devaluation associated with trying to sell an old single family home in an area zoned multifamily.

    You see this is the current Urban Village boundaries – a lot of shoppers don’t want to buy a SFH there to live in because they’d rather not end up with 40 apodments built to the lot line. So that leaves 2 types of buyers: 1) developers that plan to tear the house down paying land value only and 2) people looking to for a bargain. That’s great if your house is a run down “value in land only” kind of property but not so much if you’ve sunk a bunch of money into maintenance and renovations.

  32. 32
    HomeOwnerInMapleLeaf says:

    I love these proposals, and my biggest question is WHEN will we see these enacted? They can’t come soon enough from my perspective.

    I’ve owned my North Seattle Maple Leaf/Green Lake house for 23 years. Small house (1000 sf) on a huge corner lot (7500 sf). I can do a DADU today, but I really don’t want to be a landlord. I just want to sell half — profit from my patience and foresight (as I knew this day would come) — and enjoy my small house on my new lot that is only half the size of the former lot (less work for me to maintain).

    To the folks that cry “but the neighborhood will change!!!”, screw you. The lot to my south had a small house, which was torn down by the new owners, and they built a 3,500 sf huge house that looks out of place in Maple Leaf, and should have been built in Redmond. This was done under current zoning rules. So to me, the idea that we shouldn’t allow changes to zoning, because we don’t want our SL neighborhoods to change — are ideas that can only be believed by the ignorant or disingenuous.

    We should stop trying to make 65% of Seattle look like the suburbs.

  33. 33
    Tom says:

    I am itching to build a DADU myself. I am hoping to put up a detached garage with a 1-bedroom apartment above it, I did some preliminary research and I should be ok as far as my zoning but not so sure about all of the height / slope / setback / lot size requirements. I would have room to provide an off-street parking spot and the way the property is situated it shouldn’t hurt anyone’s views.

    Currently saving my pennies and considering pursuing a loan to get it done faster. It would be easy to rent it out for at least 80% of my total mortgage payment. If my situation ever changes or I want to be super-frugal I could move into the apartment and rent the house for more than my mortgage payment. Bonus: less lawn to mow.

  34. 34
    pfft says:

    Always remember, sometimes “it” is a feature not a bug…

    Affordable housing can mean undesirables for some.

  35. 35

    RE: Mike @ 31 – I think it’s really hard to assume that up-zoning will result in much of a premium price if the entire city is up-zoned. The reason higher zoned properties sell for more money is there aren’t that many properties available.

    To really take advantage you’d probably have to join together with neighbors to offer a number of adjacent parcels as a group. That would be valuable, but also difficult to do since your neighbors may not have an interest.

  36. 36

    To those of you considering adding a unit to an existing parcel, there was a post recently in Tim’s piece on the King County Capacity charge, where the poster claimed making a minor change to the property subjected her (?) to new connection charges or some such thing. I don’t know if the claims made in that post are correct, but that would be something to find out.

    https://seattlebubble.com/blog/2012/04/16/surprise-you-owe-thousands-of-dollars/#comments

  37. 37
    Erik says:

    RE: Stuart Branham @ 29
    I may be filth, but atleast I own on the water in Seattle sukka. I use to live on the mean streets of north everett, so it’s a big upgrade for me. I know all about living by nasty poor yuck yuck, it is no fun.

    Buy in mill creek, it’s wayyy nicer than Renton. Renton is better than Everett, but not by much. I have lived in the area over 20 years. Mill creek is a great area and Renton sucks.

    Let me help you. Up north, stay out of everett and marysville. Down south it gets worse because of the bases. Avoid Tacoma, spanaway, Lakewood, federal way, parkland, spanaway, and the rest of the south Seattle yuck yuck. Edmonds is pretty nice and not that expensive. Kenmore is real nice too and not crazy expensive. Lake forest park.

  38. 38
    boater says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24
    Thanks. I’m not usually the best writer so I appreciate the praise when I get it.

    RE: Stuart Branham @ 29 – Ignore Eric. He hasn’t had anything useful to say in…ever. He got lucky one time with a flip which I am sure you’ve heard of multiple times in every comment section. Now he’s just here to be an azz. He’s amazingly successful at that.

    RE: redmondjp @ 28 – I’ve been hearing of this earthquake for 35 years. It used to be an 8.0 earthquake that would wipe out all of downtown. Now its a 9.0.

    Here’s the heart of the problem with that article:
    Thanks to that work, we now know that the Pacific Northwest has experienced forty-one subduction-zone earthquakes in the past ten thousand years. If you divide ten thousand by forty-one, you get two hundred and forty-three, which is Cascadia’s recurrence interval:

    Last I checked into this they did not actually occur anywhere near that neatly and consistently spaced. They had as I recall a +/- of something like 450 years. So yeah we may be close to one or we may be really really far away from one. Can it happen? Sure. Should you have an emergency preparedness pack ready. Yes. Should you stop everything and run for the hills screaming? Probably not.

  39. 39
    greg says:

    I see the vested interests are afraid of rezoning….

    Just remember whatever changes are made in the end they tend to be small and tend not to change much at all.

    We could improve transport and rezone our way right out of this problem, but we never will because too many NIMBYs will cry and whine until they get their way.

  40. 40
    ESS says:

    There is no constitutional right to live in Seattle. Can’t afford it – there are suburban areas that are affordable. You can purchase a pretty little house in Mountlake Terrace – five miles north of Seattle and soon to have light rail, for under 350K.

  41. 41
    ESS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10

    Game Set Match to Kary. Excellent point.

  42. 42
    David B. says:

    RE: Jonness @ 17 – “Engineering studies have shown that building a submerged floating tunnel would cost half as much as building a bridge, carry more weight, and cause minimal impact to aquatic life.”

    And you thought the Bertha boondoggle was expensive!

  43. 43
    Mike says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 35 – Well, that’s the other downside. Certain areas will end up with no changes, and others will quickly become a collection of tenements suppressing both the rents and sale prices of adjacent properties. People who redevelop and sell quickly before supply catches up will benefit. Others that try to hold out a few years will sell cheap once their street becomes a slum of junk cars and section 8 crack houses.

  44. 44
    Erik says:

    RE: boater @ 38
    I made a beautiful remodel again over the water in Seattle. I repeated the process and I am far ahead again. I love the place. I did a high end remodel this time. Bought it for 300k and I could probably get 425k pretty easily. I see no reason to sell now since I think prices will go up rapidly In my area over the next 5 years. I wanna sell for $750k in 5 years, but I’d be happy selling for 600k though.

    The plan is simple. Buy low in an area you think will really appreciate in price. Remodel the place to increase the value. If you think the market or area won’t go up in price, sell it. If you are certain the place will go up in price, live in it or rent it. I think alki is undervalued. I think my condo complex on alki is way undervalued. Now I have a great place to do what I want with. Seems like a good spot to be in. You may not like me, but I have gone from poor and stressed about money to financially stable and relaxed by reading Tim’s data daily.

  45. 45
    David B. says:

    RE: boater @ 22 – “I suspect they will be voted out because they are helping the future not the now. Sad.”

    I suspect little or none of the recommendations in this report will be implemented because the city council won’t want to be voted out. Just consider what that same council did when builders were locating old tiny lots and building on them.

  46. 46
    Matt the Engineer says:

    Of course the report is tepid – it was put together by committee. But it’s a positive step in the right direction. And it’s changing the conversation. My favorite piece in the draft report was calling out SF zoning’s racist, classist roots and then calling for it to be abolished. Of course then by “abolished” they go on to describe effectively no changes except letting some duplexes in, but again better than nothing.

    Squeezing the poorer half of our population into 11% of our land area while the richer half gets 65% of our land area is a pretty shocking system. It would be one thing if the richer half bought that 65% fairly, while competing against apartments for land pricing. It’s another when you write the laws such that someone isn’t allowed to live there if they can’t afford to own* a 5,000sf piece of land.

    * ok, people rent houses too, but they tend to be better off than those that rent apartments.

  47. 47

    By boater @ 38:

    I’ve been hearing of this earthquake for 35 years. It used to be an 8.0 earthquake that would wipe out all of downtown. Now its a 9.0.

    Probably different faults. The one making news now is Cascadia, which would be something major, but a long way away (out in the ocean). There are many other faults, including the Seattle fault which I believe runs roughly under I-90. It wouldn’t generate such a large quake (probably not an 8 if I recall correctly), but it would be much closer, so potentially do more damage.

  48. 48
    redmondjp says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 47 – And there’s always the distinct possibility that the cascadia earthquake could trigger secondary quakes on existing fault lines that are right in our area. Not to mention the possibility of a volcanic eruption.

    But for anybody in a structure that is built on fill – soil liquefaction – look it up, but not before bedtime.

  49. 49
    Mike says:

    RE: Matt the Engineer @ 46 – If you take into account that Burien/White Center, Tukwila, Kent and Auburn together are the same size as Seattle, the poor have quite a bit of land – it’s just not as nice of land…

  50. 50
    Jay says:

    RE: Stuart Branham @ 29 – Prices are already dropping, sellers are lowering price to attract buyers. So be patient, wait till winter time, get your loan approved, and try again!

    Erik’s advice is pretty good. Don’t buy in Renton, you will regret it. Stay in the popular neighborhoods, and buy a small unit if you have to. Real Estate is ALL about location!

  51. 51
    Rudolfo says:

    By Mike @ 49:

    RE: Matt the Engineer @ 46 – If you take into account that Burien/White Center, Tukwila, Kent and Auburn together are the same size as Seattle, the poor have quite a bit of land – it’s just not as nice of land…

    Yes. That is what happens in a capitalistic society.
    And that is what we are witnessing.

    I’m sure they did not have this type of conversation in 1965 Moscow.

  52. 52

    By Erik @ 5:

    We should keep the same housing units and not focus on adding more. San Francisco seems like a really nice place. I would not be disappointed at all to own a condo on the water in San Francisco. Adding housing units would drive prices down and make Seattle less desirable. For those that desire living in grimy areas, go to north to everett or south to spanaway. We Like the high prices in Seattle. It keeps the fact filth out.

    “We” like the high prices in Seattle? Who’s “we”? You got a tapeworm, Erik?

  53. 53
    Jonness says:

    By boater @ 22:

    I fail to see how saying there is cheap housing past Burien that could solve the problem does anything useful given there is cheap housing in Burien. The problem they are trying to solve is IN Seattle city limits there is limited affordable housing.

    People work hard for decades so that they can afford the finer things in life. The rest of us have long daily commutes to work. The next best thing to having others pay your rent for you (so that you can live downtown) is to open up affordable housing that’s a two-minute drive from West Seattle. Thus, people can choose to live on one-acre lots in 4K sq. ft. homes or live downtown in 850 sq. ft. apartments. Having this choice would take far more of the pricing pressure off the 850 sq. ft. apartment than legislating another 4K homes over the course of the next 10 years.

  54. 54
    Jonness says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 24:

    Thank you. I was going to say something on that topic, but didn’t. What you said is much better than what I was going to say.

    Opening up a huge untapped land mass a two-minute drive from West Seattle will help alleviate price pressure in West Seattle, which will in turn help alleviate prices in Seattle. Put another way, take away all housing east of Seattle and force these occupants to live in downtown Seattle and watch what happens to prices in downtown Seattle.

  55. 55
    Jonness says:

    By Erik @ 27:

    RE: Jonness @ 18
    That stupid little ferry isn’t doing much for prices on alki.

    The Fauntleroy-Southworth ferry sucks. I used to use it when living near Southworth and working in Seattle. You have to arrive way early each way in order to fight traffic and ensure you get a spot on the boat. So round trip across the sound can take 3 or 4 hours. If you were to reduce the round trip to 4 minutes, far more people would be willing to cross. In addition, they would gladly pay more.

    That said, the ferry is a tourist boat. It doesn’t really do much for the locals. It’s usually quicker to just drive all the way down to the narrows and back up to Seattle.

    In 2010, I almost bought a brand new 5K sq. ft. lodge-style waterfront home in Southworth with high-end everything for $550K. It was a 5-minute walk from the Southworth ferry terminal, so I would have been able to walk on without the wait. But I just couldn’t get past sentencing myself to that ferry ride every day. In hindsight, I should have bought the house. I could have flipped it for more than double without doing much more than just living there a couple of years.

  56. 56
    Jonness says:

    By Erik @ 44:

    RE: boater @ 38
    I think alki is undervalued. I think my condo complex on alki is way undervalued.

    You might not like software developers, but there are lot of them headed up from Silicon Valley to your neighborhood because they share your sentiment about it being undervalued. Over time, this will drive up the price of your waterfront condo. I think you made another good investment.

  57. 57

    Pictures of My Kansas City Foreclosure I Grabbed Up

    Made one Seattle resident state, “looks like a $350K home in the Seattle area”, except our lots aren’t as nice or as big “The grass is so green. The steel fenced 1/2 acre backyard looks like a park.”…..some of the comments…”the central air [newer installation] is worth $10K alone…the roof looks new…”

    I bought in one of the expensive neighborhoods….$50-60K…but paid about half that.

  58. 58
    boater says:

    RE: Jonness @ 53
    Yes that should happen but if that should happen then why isn’t it already happening in Burien?
    The reason is that most of the folks complaining want to live in Seattle and more specifically in the hot neighborhoods. You can already buy affordable housing in west seattle, white center, burien and other area’s south of seattle.
    It seems crazy to build the bridge when people are expressing little interest in buying outside of Seattle.

    Add to that your suggestion amounts to adding a bridge behind a bridge with a heavy residential street connecting them to either I5 or a tunnel (if it ever finishes) with no downtown exits. Stacking capacity behind west seattle sounds bad to me. I lived commuting on the west seattle bridge and I dont see it handling much more capacity.

  59. 59

    RE: boater @ 58 – I was assuming this would connect via 405/518. If so the time to Bethel (Port Orchard) from Southcenter would be something like 20-25 minutes. Not that attractive.

    I think Jonness is suffering from the same problem the monorail supporters suffered from. Not recognizing that just because something can be built that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good idea.

  60. 60
    Erik says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 52
    I am in the Seattle group now that I reside in Seattle.

  61. 61
    Erik says:

    RE: Jonness @ 56
    I think so too. I don’t dislike software developers. I just dislike all the software people that tried to push me off this site. Wish I would have chose that path sometimes because there is a lot of money in it. Aerospace engineers are being paid less and less all the time. Software is a more lucrative path than aerospace.

    Seattle has a lot of room for price growth. West Seattle has even more room for price growth in my opinion. West Seattle real estate seems like a good longterm hold. If they ever fix their transportation problem, west Seattle could get very pricey.

    I go to the peninsula to hike or ride my 4 wheeler on the weekends. Fauntleroy ferry is the way to go. Not much traffic and it seems pretty quick to me. I meet my friend at port hadlock and I think the Fauntleroy ferry is quicker. Plus traffic in Tacoma is pretty rough unless you leave at an odd time. I’d rather sit on the ferry at drink a beer as opposed to fight traffic through Tacoma.

  62. 62
    David B. says:

    RE: Jonness @ 54 – “Opening up a huge untapped land mass a two-minute drive from West Seattle will help alleviate price pressure in West Seattle, which will in turn help alleviate prices in Seattle.”

    No thanks, I moved to Kitsap County to get away from the freeways and sprawl that have IMO mostly ruined the quality of life on the east side of the Sound. Worse, it would be government-subsidized sprawl (via a hugely expensive, bleeding-edge megaproject that’s certain to run massively over budget and behind schedule). Moreover, it would harm the quality of life for those in Seattle as well (who would cease to be a mere ferry ride away from a mostly rural area for outdoor recreation).

    That “untapped” land in Kitsap County is performing a number of practical uses right now, including: groundwater recharge, recreation, timber production, and food production. As a Kitsap County resident, I will support keeping things that way via efforts like the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project. The development here belongs were it mostly already is: existing urbanized areas, which can be densified (and in many cases infilled).

  63. 63

    RE: David B. @ 62 – I agree with most of what you said, but Bremerton has a rather large watershed for timber protection. Other areas of Kitsap County are being logged at an alarming rate. I think a lot of Kitsap may have been destroyed by a large wildfire maybe 70 years ago or so, so much of the timber is getting to be of harvest-able age. I remember as a kid the trees out by the airport were rather small , and there was a large burn layer in the dirt where I lived west of Green Mountain.

  64. 64
    David B. says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 63 – Bremerton indeed has a watershed, but the rest of the Peninsula depends on ground water, as do those of us on Bainbridge Island.

  65. 65
    Rebecca says:

    Then this article comes out in the New Yorker : http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one

    I’ll be looking much more seriously at putting forth my in city neighborhood property up for sale to help alleviate the low inventory!!!

  66. 66
    Erik says:

    RE: David B. @ 62
    Just build more bridges to west Seattle. We’ll take the extra capacity.

  67. 67
    Mike says:

    RE: Jay @ 50 – But Renton is the “Next Ballard” ( I heard this from a Realtor that sold in Ballard in 2006 to buy in Renton sort of near Kary)

  68. 68
    boater says:

    RE: Mike @ 67
    Oddly it could be. I lived or visited often Ballard from 1980-2005. It’s seen booms and busts several times in that period as it changed from primarily fishing related to now a residential hipster neighborhood close to Fremont.

    Renton has some good things going for it. It recently upgraded all of the schools so the facilities are at least decent. It has a nice waterfront park in Coulon and excellent amenities near it. It’s a reasonable proximity to both Bellevue and Seattle. It’s affordable. It seems like it is changing from a Boeing town to a suburb of Bellevue. The biggest negative is it’s South and for some reason the Seattle (and to a lesser extend Bellevue) gods have determined that thou shalt not go south of 90 if you want to be cool. This has been true for over 30 years. I wouldn’t fight it and I won’t be buying there anytime soon but I can’t explain why it is not more desirable.

  69. 69
    boater says:

    By Erik @ 66:

    RE: David B. @ 62
    Just build more bridges to west Seattle. We’ll take the extra capacity.

    And do what with it? Ram headlong into the bottlenecks that are Seattle’s surface streets, I-5 logjam or the soon(?) to be gone Viaduct? The existing WS Freeway has capacity. What it dumps into doesn’t.

  70. 70
    Jay says:

    RE: Mike @ 67RE: softwarengineer @ 1 – Right now, houses in Renton are ridiculously expensive, especially the ones that have a view of Lake Washington. But the schools there still suck, scores I mean. The neighborhood still sucks too, with broken down cars and beer bottles on the street. I lived in a rental house in Renton for a year. I am glad that I have had that experience, and will never buy a house there.

  71. 71
    Erik says:

    RE: boater @ 69
    I-5 is a problem and I don’t know the specific solution. Hopefully some of this light rail and this tunnel project relieve some congestion so we can build a bigger on ramp leaving west Seattle.

  72. 72
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: boater @ 68 – Finally someone gets it. Recent arrivals to Ballard have no idea what it used to be. There are plenty of future Ballards in the Puget Sound region, you just have to have a little vision and understand how areas can and cannot change.

  73. 73
    Blurtman says:

    In the hamlet of Sammamish, the Town Center cometh. Multi-level buildings are unheard of, especially in this former farming area with modest ranch houses. It is the Redmondization of the area.

    “Timing and Format
    The Village at Sammamish Town Center is opening fall 2016. TRF has secured entitlements, is in final permitting and is anticipating an August 2015 construction start. Anchored by a 35,000 s.f. Metropolitan Market and 14,000 s.f. drug store, the mixed use, multi-level project also features a 32,200 s.f. medical office building and 159 residential units. In addition, 32,800 s.f. of excellent retail, service and restaurant shop leasing opportunities are available across the site.
    Convenience

    The mixed-use shopping center will include 650 parking stalls on site. With multiple access points at 228th and 225th Avenues SE and SE 4th Street, The Village will have excellent vehicle and pedestrian circulation. The intersection of 228th Avenue SE and SE 4th Street is signalized and will allow customers to arrive from and leave in any direction.”

    http://www.trfpac.com/highlighted-projects/the-village-at-sammamish-town-center

  74. 74

    By David B. @ 64:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 63 – Bremerton indeed has a watershed, but the rest of the Peninsula depends on ground water, as do those of us on Bainbridge Island.

    I was addressing timber protection, but I think Bremerton might rely on ground water too. I don’t remember their watershed having a reservoir.

  75. 75

    By Erik @ 66:

    RE: David B. @ 62
    Just build more bridges to west Seattle. We’ll take the extra capacity.

    The bridges aren’t the issue–it’s the connections to I-5. [Edit: I see Boater said much the same thing.]

    I lived on Alki before the current bridge and when one of the two draw bridges was knocked out. It wasn’t that bad.

  76. 76
    Mike says:

    By wreckingbull @ 72:

    RE: boater @ 68 – Finally someone gets it. Recent arrivals to Ballard have no idea what it used to be. There are plenty of future Ballards in the Puget Sound region, you just have to have a little vision and understand how areas can and cannot change.

    Back when I went to UW it was one of the neighborhoods of last resort when students couldn’t find housing elsewhere – basically on par with Northgate or Lake City. You’d hear “I couldn’t find anything, I had to move to Ballard! UGH!”

    Even after the initial round of gentrification 10+ years ago people were saying the area was ‘done’ developing. That’s about the time it really started to develop. When I bought my house a few years ago being ‘5 minutes from Ballard on 24th’ was actually a major selling point.

  77. 77
    boater says:

    RE: Mike @ 76
    Adobe began the transition but I feel like it was Googles arrival that kicked it into high gear. Ballard’s transition began before that for reasons I don’t understand.
    I lived in Ballard twice. Once in 1997-99 and again in 2004-5. The transition was hard to believe. When I left half the storefronts were closed and empty. Large box stores stood vacant. Ballard icons like the flag store and the swedish restaurant on the corner were still in business.
    When I came back there were zero empty stores. There were tattoo shops on 24th, a sure sign of hipness. Dives had been replaced or sat next door to fine dinning depending on how hipsters felt about the authenticity of the dive bars.

    It reminded me in reverse of how Ballard went from super hot busy pre Volker rate hikes in the 80s to bust town as all the ship projects died at the alter if breaking stagflation.

    But back to Renton. On paper the town sure seems like it should be more attractive than it is. I’ve been here too long to bet on it. I’ll wait until it’s solidly turned and take less profit for less risk.

  78. 78
    Erik says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 72
    I’ve been looking for a comeback, but i really cannot find one. Checkmate, I think you’ve got me on that one. I see no plans to fix the commute problem from west seattle to downtown. Seems like west seattle really doesn’t want to grow big. If a computer company opened up south of seattle or in west seattle, that would work, but that is highly unlikely since south of seattle is nasty and west seattle wants to stay small.

    Guess I’ll have to live in my beautiful condo over the water in West Seattle and commute to Auburn. My property value probably won’t explode, but this place really works for me. I may continue to get double digit appreciation for the next 5 years though. I will sell it in 5 years and maybe even make a few hundred thousand profit. I will rent until the bubble bursts again and start this cycle all over.

  79. 79
    redmondjp says:

    Did anybody else catch this little nugget in the report regarding Sharia-compliant housing loans?

    http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/2015/07/seattle-mayor-offers-plan-to-help-followers-of.html

  80. 80
    David B. says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 74 – Bremerton gets its water from the Union River (fed by its watershed) as well as wells:
    http://www.ci.bremerton.wa.us/282/Drinking-Water-Report

  81. 81
    Seattlepilot says:

    I’m afraid the only way these policies will affect affordability, is to help desirable areas become less so.
    Current development has not led to affordability. Run down homes which once would have been affordable to people willing to put in the sweat, will be priced out with investor cash and split into high-priced, compromised, residence. This is now being done, primarily in our most desirable areas. ($1.5mil lot + Cost to Construct + Profit)/3 will never equal affordability.
    Buy in those less desirable areas and make them desirable. This is how the now hot areas came to be. But the profit motivated developers will never have that long term commitment to change, and will leverage their money to make the most, and the worst of the places you would now like to live.

  82. 82
    boater says:

    RE: Erik @ 78
    Seattle wants West Seattle to grow big. Oddly the failure of the monorail substantially enable that too. The city bought all the small properties along what was going to be the monorail route in anticipation of the build. When it failed to materialize they sold the land(for a profit). But now the land was free of tons of small businesses and one lot owners enabling developers to buy large chunks and build large multistory buildings. The developers have kept going along the building lines there just isn’t any transportation solution to speak of to deal with the consequences.
    It will be interesting to see if the new district based city council elections change how West Seattle is treated. I believe it is the largest population district in Seattle. That may have changed in the last few years with the apartment condo boom but I think it’s still true.

    In any case WS is a great place with a wonderful sense of community. When my kids graduate I may move back there. But that’s 20 years from now so who knows.

  83. 83
    Erik says:

    RE: boater @ 81
    Cool, I’ll sell you my condo on the water in west Seattle for 2 million dollars in 20 years.

  84. 84
    Jonness says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 59:

    I think Jonness is suffering from the same problem the monorail supporters suffered from. Not recognizing that just because something can be built that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good idea.

    Nah, it’s a great idea, albeit ahead of its time.

  85. 85
    Jonness says:

    By David B. @ 62:

    That “untapped” land in Kitsap County is performing a number of practical uses right now, including: groundwater recharge, recreation, timber production, and food production. As a Kitsap County resident, I will support keeping things that way via efforts like the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project. The development here belongs were it mostly already is: existing urbanized areas, which can be densified (and in many cases infilled).

    I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon, but I suspect planners will eventually build a tunnel that goes across (perhaps 35 or even 50 years from now).

    I was in Gig Harbor the other day, and as up-and-coming as it is, I’m surprised one of the major tech companies doesn’t build an annex on all that land at Gig Harbor North. That’s a super nice area in there, and it’s relatively inexpensive at-the-moment.

  86. 86
    boater says:

    RE: Jonness @ 85
    Tech companies these days won’t build that far from a solid tech school. That’s why Fremont and South Lake Union are so hot. UW.

  87. 87

    OMG, there’s actually a solution that doesn’t have anything to do with government (other than government slowing it down).

    http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/unprecedented-downtown-construction-may-be-produci/nm2GN/

  88. 88
    Jay says:

    RE: boater @ 77 – Sure, on paper, Renton looks great! But if you live there, you’ll find out how hard it is to get an appointment with a specialist. For example, if you have an ear infection, you will have to wait a month to see that stupid Ear Nose Throat Doctor at the Valley Medical Center. I was so disgusted by the lack of medical doctors in Renton. I was very happy that I called around and found a great ENT doctor in Seattle to treat my ear infection on the same day, instead of waiting for a month, with the same insurance. In addition, most of the doctors, receptionists and nurses are super incompetent, obnoxious and arrogant in Renton. They act like that they are so bored with their jobs, and don’t treat their patients properly. Only a handful of them are great and wonderful human beings! But if you go to Bellevue, Seattle or Redmond, you are surely treated with respect, and the doctors actually answer your questions and take you seriously.

    Moreover, your neighbors are very likely to be gun owners. When I rented a place there, most of my neighbors had guns. One of them didn’t put his guns in the safe, so his house was broken into and someone stole his guns. Another time, there was a stranger wandering in my landlady’s backyard, she called him, but he didn’t respond. So she called her neighbor, and her neighbor brought out his gun, pointed it at the stranger, and made him go away. That was just so freaky to me. A few streets from the rental place, there was a gun problem again. It was just crazy. And I was living in the better neighborhood in Renton, not the ghetto.

    South King County is definitely not for the faint of heart to live there. If you live there for more than 6 months, then you will know that it is quite depressing. Most of the good families home school their kids, and are very religious. It is a very DIFFERENT community from Seattle and the East Side.

  89. 89

    RE: Jay @ 88 – Your argument against Renton is doctors? Seriously? FWIW I quit going to the Virginia Mason downtown because I couldn’t find a decent doctor there. That, and that if you go to their main clinic and need an injection they charge you an extra $95 (or something) on top of the cost of the shot, just for being in the room!

    And guns? I’d agree that they should be locked up, but I really don’t care whether my neighbors own guns. Maybe if I had children that played in the neighbors’ houses, but other than that I don’t even understand why anyone would care.

    But good to know that your knocks on Renton are completely fanciful.

  90. 90
    Jay says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 89 – You just proved my point! Renton is DIFFERENT, and it is not for everyone. People like you love it, and people like me don’t want to live there.

  91. 91
    boater says:

    RE: Jay @ 88
    I lived in south king county for 20 years. Despite the picture you paint folks are not randomly walking around with guns. Would it shock you to know twice my brother encountered sword wielding druggies in Fremont?
    You do have a greater diversity of income, races, religions and politics in SKC. There isn’t one mindset that so overwhelms the populous to point where anyone having a different opinion is shunned.
    It’s not for everyone but it’s hardly any more dangerous than seattle.

  92. 92
    Jay says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 89 – By the way, I have never been to Virginia Mason, so I have no idea what you are talking about. The lack of doctors in Renton shows the lack of medical services there, which is important to me. When I am sick, I want to find a great doctor near my home. I don’t want to drive an hour to the better neighborhoods across town to get a doctor.

    Another advice for people who are shopping for a home, please look up local crime map. Bellevue and Redmond have crime maps, so you know exactly what the neighborhoods are like. Searching for crime news also helps. If you search “Renton gun” on google news, you will get tons of news articles, and you’ll understand what I mean.

  93. 93
    boater says:

    RE: Jay @ 92
    I did your suggested search. It’s largely Renton residents getting killed in other cities.

    Doing the seattle search gets you a page of gun control followed by news that gun crime is a problem in south seattle / rainer beach.

  94. 94

    By Jay @ 92:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 89 – By the way, I have never been to Virginia Mason, so I have no idea what you are talking about. The lack of doctors in Renton shows the lack of medical services there, which is important to me. When I am sick, I want to find a great doctor near my home. I don’t want to drive an hour to the better neighborhoods across town to get a doctor.

    Valley Medical is connected to the UW. But my point was that the doctors I was using at VM were not good. Just because you can get an appointment with someone downtown doesn’t mean they are good. In fact it is more likely to mean just the opposite.

  95. 95

    By boater @ 91:

    RE: Jay @ 88
    I lived in south king county for 20 years. Despite the picture you paint folks are not randomly walking around with guns. Would it shock you to know twice my brother encountered sword wielding druggies in Fremont?

    Actually, people are probably walking around with guns everywhere! Or at least there’s probably a random distribution of people who are carrying a gun (legally or illegally). Swords, not so much. They seem to be mainly a Seattle issue, based on your brother’s story and one news story I’m aware of.

  96. 96
    boater says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 95
    Fair enough. Conceal carry permits are fairly easy to get if you want one and aren’t a criminal. If you’re a criminal you probably just dont care.

  97. 97
    Jay says:

    RE: boater @ 93 – Yes, South King County Sucks!

    These are the articles that I have found on Google News using “Renton gun” as search key words:
    1. “No one injured as 12 shots hit home on Renton Hill”, Jul 17, 2015 at 3:00PM, http://www.rentonreporter.com/news/316335831.html
    2. “Murder charges filed in deaths of West Hill grandmother, Renton Housesitter”, Jul 14, 2015 at 11:23AM, http://www.rentonreporter.com/news/315010961.html
    3. “K9 tracks man after argument over lighter sparks fight | POLICE BLOTTER”, Jun 27, 2015 at 10:00AM, http://www.rentonreporter.com/news/310160401.html (This is freaky, I used to shop at this Fred Meyer a lot when I lived in Renton)
    4. “Car stolen at gunpoint”, “ROBBED AT GUNPOINT”, “SHOT IN THIGH”, May 10, 2015 at 10:00AM, http://www.rentonreporter.com/news/303133341.html

    All these cases took place in Renton.

  98. 98
    Jay says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 94 – “Valley Medical nurses, health-care workers rally for staffing”, http://www.rentonreporter.com/news/316353241.html. The hospital is not bad, I hope they will find a solution for this. Seeing a doctor right away for an ear infection is better than waiting for a month. Would you wait for a month?

    When I lived in Renton, my neighbor had cancer and it took them 1 hour to drive to Swedish to get cancer treatment, each way. So 2 hours round trip. He only had limited time and life left, and he spent most of that time driving and visiting doctors.

Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.