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City Committee Approves Higher Buildings In Roosevelt

Bryan Buckalew
12/15/2011

A City Council committee has cleared the way for taller buildings in Seattle's Roosevelt neighborhood. City planners want to add density around a future light rail station there. KUOW's Bryan Buckalew reports the decision has been months in the making.

TRANSCRIPT

The Roosevelt rezone plan adds considerable density to several blocks near the center of the neighborhood. But the crux of the argument came down to two blocks — the ones just south of the high school. Density advocates favored building heights of 65 feet. Neighborhood advocates said building heights should be no higher than 40 feet.

The two sides have been at an impasse for months. Wednesday, a City Council committee voted in favor of taller buildings. Jim O'Halloran chairs the Roosevelt Neighborhood Land Use Committee.

Jim O'Halloran: "I'm certainly not thrilled, but I don't consider it a tragic defeat for the neighborhood either."

A real estate firm called the Roosevelt Development Group has leased the blocks south of the high school. They plan to build apartment buildings there. Ed Hewson leads the firm.

Ed Hewson: "It's really nice to no longer be talking about height and to be focusing on the positive, which is: how do we build the best buildings that we possibly can in those locations and make the streetscapes as attractive as they can possibly be."

Hewson says he hopes to go into the early design phase within the next three months or so. The full City Council will vote on the Roosevelt rezone plan January 17.

For KUOW News, I'm Bryan Buckalew.

© Copyright 2011, KUOW

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