Bulletin: July 7, 2009                          for immediate release                           (206-632-0668)

New city data shows Seattle at 60% of its 20-year residential growth target thru April 2009

"Who says upzones are needed when the city continues to absorb far more than its share of the region's growth at the expense of the physical and social character (and affordability) of our city"

UCUV Growth Report - Master0309.pdf

"Who says upzones are needed when the city continues to absorb far more than its share of the region's growth at the expense of the physical and social character (and affordability) of our city"

Click on link above for recently released city data updating the progress we are making towards meeting our 2024 residential growth targets. From January 2005 thru March of 2009, over 28,000 housing units have been added to Seattle's stock. This number includes 16,504 units that are already built and another 11,721 units that have been "permitted" and at various stages of construction or pre-construction process. And while there may be an economic downturn, it hasn't yet affected the number of new units either built or permitted in Seattle.  Since Jan of '08 over 6500 units have been added to Seattle's housing stock with 2800 of that total finished in the first three months of 2009!

From 2004-2024, Seattle must add 47,000 units to its stock - a number set by the Puget Sound Regional Council and based on what regional leaders determine is our city's fair share of regional growth obligation. While other urban areas across the region are falling thousands of units short of their growth targets, Seattle in just four years and 3 months has reached 60% of it's 20 year growth targets.  At this rate, we'll add over 110,000 units under current zoning by 2024 over twice the rate needed to fulfill our targets.

Here's some neighborhood figures you might find interesting as well.  >From 2005-Mar 09, Ballard has reached 205% of it's 20 year targets. Fremont reached 124% of it's target. Eastlake has reached 240% of its target. Capitol Hill: 130% of its target. Goodness, I think they need another upzone just to be on the safe side.

And what about those so-called "TOD" (Transit Oriented Development) areas where we are told those nasty neighborhood groups are standing in the way of the density we need to support light rail  Most are well ahead of densities required under growth management and the regional growth plan. Roosevelt has reached 66% of its 20-year target. North Rainier (Mt Baker Station) has reached 105% of it's target. Columbia City has reached 75% of its target. And at Othello, they've reached 77% of their required target.  Northgate and the U-District are slightly exceeding the pace they need to set and have reached 30% and 33% respectively of their 20 year targets.North Beacon is right on pace at 20% of its target. Only the Rainier Beach area falls short reaching only 2% of its target.

We are told over and over by developers, and their pro-density partners from the corporate wing of the environmental movement (folks who Geov Parrish calls the "let's fight sprawl by destroying our neighborhoods camp") that Seattle is not meeting it's fair share of the region's growth requirements. It's repeated like a mantra by city officials, most council and mayoral candidates (fortunately not all) until it becomes the gospel. Then it becomes the rationale to justify still more upzones (specially around rail stops) during the coming process of revising the neighborhood plans and multi-family land use code.  Still more of our dwindling tree canopy, urban streams, and existing low income housing stock will be placed at risk and legitimized under the guise of the conventional wisdom

Stay tuned for our next bulletin.  The State's Office of Financial Management released new population projections in 2007 which show King County growing at a faster rate than previously forecast - one-third more growth in fact by 2022 than their 2002 prediction. That 2002 estimate became the basis under Growth Management for the current 2024 targets and growth now assigned to Seattle and it's neighborhoods. It means that when new 25-year targets are set at the end of 2010 (for the period 2006-2031 it turns out), Seattle and it's nabe's will be called on again to absorb still more growth.  We'll tell you how much it may more it may mean for Seattle and your neighborhood. But as we will show in our next bulletin, we on pace to exceed even these revised targets and our city under current zoning has more than enough capacity to meet even these upwardly revised figures.  We'll also show you what cities and areas of the region by contrast are falling short of their targets.

John V. Fox for the Coalition  206-632-0668

Sources for chart below include: July '05 2000-2022 Targets for Seattle and King County can be found in Chapter 4 of PSRC's "Growth Management by the Numbers - Puget Sound Milestones" link: Puget Sound Milestones Reports

Source for 2006-2031 Proposed County-Wide targets is contained in the April 09 King County Growth Management Planning Council Agenda and can be found here: CountyApril09growthtargetreport.pdf

Residential Growth Set by PSCOG as required by GMA






* 2006-2031




** 74816




* 2031 County-Wide Target Estimate from April 15 '09 Growth Management Planning Council - Proposed

* this likely will be the next growth period upon which new targets will be based

** Seattle 2031 Target assumes City Continues to Absorb 32% of County-Wide Target



2031 target assuming city continues to absorb 32% of county growth target


Units already added '06 - 3/09


17.9% of Target

remaining units to be built by 2031


* if only 9876 units were built by now and we'd reached 13.2% of target

we'd be on pace to reach our 2031 revised target