Seattle in Progress

LR3 Downzone Passes, But Construction Will Proceed Under Old Rules for Some Time

Jul 9, 2015, Ethan Phelps-Goodman

Last week I reported on the controversy around tall buildings in lowrise neighborhoods and the bill before City Council to roll back some of the density allowances put in place in 2010. (See The end of tall buildings in residential neighborhoods?) On Monday of this week Council voted to approve the legislative compromise before it. That means that many of the 33 tall buildings in lowrise 3 (LR3) zones that I profiled last week would no longer be approved if proposed today.

The legislation does not, however, have any impact on projects that are already under construction or approved for construction. Searching the City’s permit database revealed 21 such projects currently under way in LR3 zones. Not all permitted projects will actually be built, but even assuming a few don’t come to pass, that still means the next year or so will likely bring as many new tall LR3 buildings as 2013 and 2014 combined.

Here are the remaining projects that were approved under the older, more permissive rules:

All 4+ story buildings under construction or approved for construction in LR3 zones. Click on any pin for more information about that project.

As with the already completed buildings, most of the construction is focused on Capitol Hill and the U-District. (And as before, this is not to say there isn’t heavy construction in districts such as Ballard. They just don’t contain as much LR3 zoned land.)


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