September 13, 2007
...put up a mixed-use Condo development
What's good for the Canada goose is sauce for the gander.
The loud, annoying feathered invaders from the north, who have flown to Seattle, chased off the native species and left their droppings over the landscape are quite familiar to natives who can remember a day when the honkers actually just visited the region and politely migrated after their seasonal stay was complete.
Quite similar are the rich, white liberals who move here, feather their nests and then squawk whenever someone else tries to encroach on their turf. Isn't it lovely to live someplace where the sun rises above the Cascades and sets over the Olympics and once a year you can drive to Mount Rainier National Park. Now if only someone would shut down those smelly dairy farms and stop those horrible loggers from cutting down trees...
That's why I always laugh at freshly-minted Seattleites who bemoan every single new development which crops up in the city limits. Witness the hand-wringing over the Smith Tower's conversion to condos. See also the Seattle Weekly's blog entry by Mike Seely - I affectionately call him the most hated man in Seattle journalism - who wrote about a multi-story condo project going into Wedgewood that has many of the neighbors in a NIMBY frenzy. (You know it's a hot topic when someone other than yours truly and the Weekly staff adds their thoughts to a Daily Buzz column).
So they don't want their neighborhoods infilled. Guess what? It's called the Growth Management Act. And the plan is to level all of your quaint little neighborhoods of single-unit houses which have remained static since the 1950s and replace them with multi-story mixed-use developments. Don't like it? Well then I guess griping about the GMA isn't just for rednecks out in the country anymore.
To be fair, the act doesn't manage growth. It just limits new construction to well-connected developers who grease the palms of county officials by creating "master planned developments" after scooping up the properties of farmers and small landholders who are regulated out of their homes.
So a new condo unit is going into Wedgewood, or Belltown, South Lake Union or Queen Anne. No tears here. Don't like it? Move back to where you came from.
As for myself, it's easy to see where I stand. Sadly, "Lesser Seattle" is as dead as grunge and "the bastards" kicked us out before we could do the same to them.
I'd quote my favorite Joni Mitchell song about paving paradise and putting up a parking lot. 'Cept the new developments going into Seattle won't have enough spaces to park your car and you'll be forced to ride a Sound Transit train from where you don't live to someplace where you don't work.
Posted by DonWard at September 13, 2007
07:06 PM | Email This
1. What cities change and grow, the hell you say. Next your going to tell me that kids these days with their baggy pants and dang hipity hop music are ruining this Country and messing up your lawn.
2. It's all a master plan to limit future road building,So they can save their taxes for Services.
It is a cop out that is brutal on commercial traffic. now with congestion pricing it will be brutal on the poor.
The social cut gets higher and higher.
Brother can you spare a road.
It is sheer genius.
Kicking out your poor for rich that never need services,while we save money for services for people that don't need them,so we will always have money for services we don't need.
Why should we pay them when they should pay us.
Brother can you spare a condo.
Brother can you spare a 10 dollar cornish game hen.
4. Hey Don, maybe you didn't get the memo, but Seattle is the next New York City, didn't ya know? Gonna grow up instead of out, and in just 593 short years, will have achieved the population density required to make SoundTransit economically viable.
The home I currently live in, and moved into brand new just two short years ago, sits on what used to be pasture. Nice damn home too, near as I can tell it's appreciated some $100K+ in the time I've been here. And there are lots of developments going up in this general vicinity - couple hundred new McMansions, minimum, with more on the way.
One of the local hippies vandalized a land use sign just up the main road: "Homes not wanted. Build park instead." Like that is going to happen. Seems the vandal sort of forgot about property ownership and the fact that parks cost money - I guess they thought someone was just going to GIVE AWAY some $20M in property.
Am I sad to see all the pasture go away? No, not in the slightest. Nobody really runs horses out here anymore, and most of the older homes in the vicinity are, to put it politely, crap. But the crap tends to sit on lots that are measured in acres, not square feet, and the owners are typically well into their retirement years or fast getting there. What happens next is inevitable, and if a condo sneaks in, I don't really care about that either.
Sure could use a KFC close by though, and a better steakhouse....guess we'll see what shakes out when they get on redeveloping what currently passes for a downtown....
About hip-hop. The Seattle City Council and Greg Nickels (great Conservative thinkers all) are trying to get rid of local bars and clubs too.
New York by-and-by. We already learned that 150 year ago at Alki
You see the old pictures of Seattle and the Smith Tower is looming in the horizon. It is still here. I am glad they are converting to condos because it doesn't pencil anymore to be offices.
I would even buy one if I could. And, I am no condo man.
"Quite similar are the rich, white liberals who move here, feather their nests and then squawk whenever someone else tries to encroach on their turf"
My cousin was in the papers when he drove his cattle to summer range along the same Western Trail his Grandfather had driven his cattle to summer range on a century ago. Seems that a bunch of foreigners, primarily from California, had decided to "stake a claim on their piece of the old west" (as the advertisers had urged them to do as they rolled video of drovers and cattle plodding along). Dennis drove his cattle along the trail and through the center of their "piece of the old west," and all of a sudden they decided that he was in the wrong. In the first place they built in rangeland and in the second place they built dead square in the path of a cattle trail which had been used for centuries to move cattle from summer range in the Belt Mountains to winter along the Sun River and back again. By the time the smoke cleared the local papers had made a laughing stock of the buffoons who thought that they had a "right" to come in and demand to change permanently someone else’s way of life and the court had refused to consider their case for any damages as having any merit.
The naivety of people was driven home to me when I used to spend a lot of time at my Grandfather's home in Livingston each summer and I over heard a couple from New England discuss how they "ought to sell everything and move to Montana and raise cattle," my thoughts were "yea the first February that you are out in a fourteen degree below zero barn at 2:00 AM with your arm up the back end of a cow all the way to your shoulder trying to shove a calf forward enough to turn it - while a 1,200 lb cow is doing her best to shove it the opposite direction and you have spent the last two weeks doing the same… Just stay in New England where you belong."
9. Great post, Don. I'm still laughing and crying at the same time, as I watch the nuevo limo-libs destroy the region.
"you'll be forced to ride a Sound Transit train from where you don't live to someplace where you don't work"
Yes, indeed. That's what mass transit is all about.
What I don't understand is this. Here in Whatcom County they seem to be building houses like there's no tomorrow. Developments are springing up all over the place. Where are all the people coming from? And who are they trying to entice with these homes? What I see are empty condos, claustrophobia-inducing apartment buildings, and (on the other end) houses so huge you could fit two or three of mine inside. There don't seem to be a lot of houses in the midrange.
It appears to me that our area is aiming to draw retirees and people who can't afford to buy homes - and that's it. I'm just trying to figure out why anyone would want to do this.
It is because of limited views of transplants to rural areas like you that this crap is happening.
-First taxes are raised that diminish the money these people, in what you call crappy houses, have to spend on their houses, meaning of course they have a hard time keeping them up.
-Then vulture developers move in and snap up land that the owners of these "crappy houses" can't afford anymore.
With no compassion to the fact that they still ride their horses, milk their cows, grow their own vegetables, event though a majority of their land is now un-worked.
And yes I live in an area where I'm watching this happen right now. Yes we've fought it. Yes we've been to the meetings where one developer swaps some shitty gravel parking lot for pristine wetland in what is called abatement. Yes we've watched $500/hr lawyers talk circles around council and board people.
You are indeed a sorry sack of ...
13. each summer and I over heard a couple from New England discuss how they "ought to sell everything and move to Montana and raise cattle,"
That's funny - I grew up in Montana, and the sheer number of people that moved up there in the spring and sold the following spring for warmer climates was astounding. Most of them were from California - they couldn't believe how inexpensive it was to live there, how few people, what wonderful scenery....of course, there weren't any jobs either, but what the hell, it's a dream, right?
Don't let the summer in that state fool you - cold fronts from frozen north blowing in regularly are a fact of life, and typically the first snow on the ground in early September is still on the ground (underneath a lot more snow) in April or May.
Also, the tendency of everyone to drive around in a truck with two or three rifles in the rear window tends to freak out those not used to casual acceptance of 2nd amendment rights. Just to let you know, yes, those rifles are loaded, and so is the pistol in the glove box.
14. Sounds like I would like Montana.
15. John @ 13: Made me laugh! Same applies to Idaho. Invariably, they cluster in spots like Sun Valley, where they don't have to mingle with the local yokels.
13 & 14,
Conservatives' rifles and glovebox handguns are loaded out here on the Olympic Peninsula as well. So far it hasn't kept the Californians and Seattle leftists out, and they've combined votes with the meth-head welfare-types to pretty much take over our local governments.
I Grew up in Port Angeles.
Your check must be in the mail,without any jobs to speak of.
7 out of 10 jobs are govement related.
You are pretty much are either govement sponsored or are in a Tribe.
Which govement section do you work in.
The whole family tree moved out of Port Angeles in the 1980's ending family presence there since early 1900's.
Brother can you spare a job.
18. Don't blame the people in Port Angeles for what they are now.
It used to be a beer drinking pot smoking town where you could trust your neighbor.
Now its a beer drinking whiffing town because they can pass a piss test on monday.
I have no siympathy for those people that wanted a drug free community,and ended up with a bathtub gin community,and now are sniveling about meth..
They should have left well enough alone.
Brother can you spare
PBD @17 & 18,
I don't live in PA, never did. And I don't really know the "new" culture up there, now that logging and the mills have died out. It used to be a rough and tumble blue collar town, and typical of those towns, you did know and trust your neighbor.
I live in Chimacum, where you can commute to Kitsap or hit the ferries for work. My own family roots are logging, farming, fishing and mill work and go back well over 100 years in this area. I worked for the Navy at Keyport for 33 years, retiring earlier this year. I now cut/bale hay and do other tractor-related work for local farmers and landowners. Got to stay busy, ya know?
I'm torqued at the meth culture that allows my neighbor to have his shop looted for $15K worth of metals and tools with no prosecution of the thieves, even though it's known who they are and the evidence exists. The meth dirtbags are shuffled in and out of jail for all sorts of property crimes and no one (except the sheriff's dept and victims) seems to care. The Pt. Townsend crowd that runs the government seems only interested in raising property taxes, expanding their empire and creating more environmental regulations. Idaho is looking better every day.
Meth heads can pass a piss test.
I long for my old town...they way it used to be.
Now when I go to a tavern instead of hearing laughter,it is all quiet,and people are communicating with hand gestures.
It is like being in a room full of third base coaches.
I cant stand the meth culture either,but I blame the drug free community push that started the drug testing.
Now the Marijuana people turned to meth,or coke because they can pass a piss test.
You would be surprised how many people do meth,Lawyers,Doctors,Judges,truck drivers, dock workers,mill workers.
All because they can pass a piss test on Monday.
Welcome to my old town.
I agree the threat of piss testing did the 70's culture in, but meth?? Beer and pot were mainstays of the blue collar crowd of the previous generation, but we rattled out the cobwebs on Monday morning and went to work. Most of the meth-head trash just steal cars, strip copper/brass and live in filthy trailers. It's a white knuckle, garbage culture where no one cares about anyone else, including neighbors and family. You lie, steal and screw anyone to keep the buzz going. The beer/pot culture was laid back, and most people did care about their family, friends and job. Most of us grew up, moved on and became responisble citizens. I doubt the meth heads will grow up. Their bodies, brains and teeth will rot and they will die in trailers, shacks and jails, leaving a trail of violence and grief behind. What a shame.
22. Hey you guys! This thread was so good! I never get out of Seattle... no car and no $, so it's really interesting to read about Port Angeles, Port Townsend... etc. Great posts!
Besides Raymond Carver... are there any other writers who deal with non-Seattle Washington?