Zoning Part Two: Exclusionary Zoning’s End

Exclusionary zoning is the problem, not the answer.

As we pointed out yesterday, inclusionary zoning (IZ) ordinances—rules that encourage private developers to provide some housing offered to lower-income tenants at below-market rates—were largely a reaction against “exclusionary zoning” practices that made it hard to build low-cost housing in many municipalities. Starting in the early 1970s, hundreds of cities and towns across the United States began to adopt IZ policies. This raises a key question: how effective have these programs been in boosting the supply of affordable housing, and reversing the legacy of exclusionary zoning?

The  …  read more »

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Zoning: Inclusionary v. Exclusionary

To create inclusive housing, end exclusionary zoning practices.

At last count, Seattle ranked as the fastest growing major city in America. The city’s growth has easily outpaced the projections of its decade-old Comprehensive Plan, which foresaw 47,000 new households (as well as 84,000 new jobs) between 2004 and 2024. Between 2005 and 2012 the city added 29,330 net new housing units---roughly 62 percent of its 2024 target in just 7 years.

This rapid growth has stemmed in large part from the city’s relatively robust economy. From March 2013 through March 2014, for example, King County (which includes Seattle) ranked fifth among all US counties in net job growth, trailing only the likes of Los Angeles County and Manhattan.

But the population boom has sent housing prices and rents trending upwards---creating real anxiety among many renters, and fears that Seattle’s housing market will price out residents that once could afford to live in the city.

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Weekend Reading 9/26/14

Why women get paid less than men, free-range kids, and more.
Original illustration by Nina Montenegro of ghosttide.com.

Alan

My favorite wrap-up of this week’s UN Climate Summit.

We put this in the Daily—about how Cascadia could become a climate refuge, attracting immigrants from harder hit locales—but have you considered this? The region’s cities all have comprehensive plans that assume certain amounts of population growth then indicate where they expect those people to live. The projections may all be way too low, and unless cities plan to accommodate climate refugees in compact, walkable urban zones, they’ll end up  …  read more »

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Marching Forward Against Climate Change

How to make good decisions when you can't predict the future.

The day before the People’s Climate March, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published an opinion piece by Steven Koonin titled: “Climate Science is Not Settled.” The title conforms to the merchants of doubt’s strategy of sowing doubt and confusion, but it is not even an accurate summary of the article. The article actually affirms that the main things almost everybody thinks of when they hear “climate science”—whether climate change is happening and whether it is caused by  …  read more »

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Courting Families in Portland

How Portland removed barriers to family-friendly courtyard housing.

Event: “The Thin Green Line” in Bellingham

A presentation and Q&A on Northwest coal, oil, and gas exports.

Weekend Reading 9/19/14

PARK(ing) day is here!; Worldwide border abolishment; and more.

A Month of Disappointments for Coal Exporters

The bad news for the coal industry keeps rolling in.

How State Public Money Pays for Coal Exports and Oil Trains

Tracking public fund investments in fossil fuel projects.

Have You Signed?

Countering Big Money in citizens’ initiative signature drives by targeting fraud.