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Seattle's Harmful "Preservation"

Updated: Apr 28, 2022

As we know, historic properties are subject to rights given by the municipality. In turn, some people have taken advantage of those rights to limit what can be built in the area. Seattle has seen repeated instances of the blatant dismissal of affordable housing. With a need for more (and affordable) housing, a developer proposed a 200 unit development at the site of an old parking garage. The proposal was shut down as it was believed to draw attention away from the surrounding historic buildings. Instead, the former parking garage was sold to a different developer with plans of creating an office building. In this case, the claim of historic value was used to prevent "unsatisfactory" developments that would alter the neighborhood.

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