Region Of Boom: We Hear You! | KUOW News and Information

Region Of Boom: We Hear You!

Feb 24, 2016

We have been collecting audience responses about changes they are seeing in the Seattle region as part of our Region of Boom project.  

You sent us hundreds of responses detailing the frustrations of a booming city and how the physical shifts in and around Seattle are affecting your life in the region.

One of the most common complaints was about new construction and what that means for the way the city is changing. 

"All the cranes in the air are for massive apartment buildings. All glass and metal. I feel like the character of our city is losing ground," wrote Vickie Woo. "It feels like the urban planners aren't really planning for the future, but rather for the present."

The vast majority of reactions to the changes we are seeing are negative. Do you have a different take? Have you seen big benefits to our big growth? We need to hear from you too!

We compiled some of the comments below based on common themes that surfaced. But that got us thinking about other questions: How is the city's growth affecting the way you raise your kids? Has it expanded your culture or curiosity? What parts of your lifestyle are shifting? Let us know!

Jump to a section to explore comments:

City Character | Housing Woes | Green City? | Getting Around | Away From Seattle

Credit KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

City Character

"I feel as though we're losing Seattle's character -- the fishermen, the grunge music scene, the artists, the arts, the culture that has formed because of the incredible, astonishing wet and soggy environment around us. My neighborhood is filling with folks who don't know where their water comes from, where their waste goes, who don't appreciate the fragility of the environment and our great obligation to protect and preserve it. There's so much mindless consumption, luxury cars with drivers who are impatient and rude." -Laureen, Magnolia (Seattle)

I feel like the city neighborhoods are losing the uniqueness that they were known for and why I enjoyed living in Seattle. We are becoming a large megalopolis without a unique identity. -Anonymous

"The worst problem as I see it is that the city is being changed from one of small town feeling to that of an impersonal big city full of stress and hassle. I'm sure we will move at some point due to all the noise and congestion." -Sherry Tuinstra-Rosales, Northgate (Seattle)

Let Us Know: How has a physical change in your neighborhood affected your view of its culture?

In this Oct. 5, 2009, a driver goes past a large condominium under construction in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.
Credit AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Housing Woes

"Several houses and a strip mall were knocked down to build a six-story apartment building with retail space on the first level. Neighbors are referring to the building as "the monstrosity" because it is so out of character from the rest of the neighborhood of single family houses." - Marie DeBenedictis, Proctor District (Tacoma)

"In the past year, we have seen massive tear downs, and there are more to come. Now it's affecting small mom-and-pop businesses with historical roots to be replaced by six to seven-story apartment buildings instead of permanent housing." -Sandra Street, Queen Anne (Seattle)

There is a pernicious degradation of my neighborhood's character by way of modernizing the housing stock. Developers are buying charming old homes, knocking them down, and replacing them with million-dollar, diversity-destroying, soulless big box monstrosities. -Marynard Garritty, Bryant (Seattle)

"Developers like to talk about the 'vibrancy' that development brings to neighborhoods. I think community, affordability, and sustainability need to be considered, too. Change is inevitable, and I support it, but the change that is going on now seems to be driven more by profit motive than consideration of whether it is 'good' for the neighborhood. I also worry that, as retirees, my wife and I can afford to stay in the neighborhood in which we have been very active, given the increase in property taxes." -Mike Veitenhans, Phinney Ridge (Seattle)

Let Us Know: Do you developing single-family lots for multi-family use is an eyesore or necessary for combatting housing shortage?

In this aerial photo taken Aug. 2, 2014, two houses are shown under construction in a Seattle neighborhood.
Credit AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

I think the character of the buildings is changing and we will miss the preponderance of charm and variation in design that has existed in the neighborhood. -Steve Huson, Upper Queen Anne
Seattle's Magnolia Bridge is seen in view of the Olympic Mountains.
Credit AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Green City?

"Every single tree, vegetation, flower and bush has been taken out during development and redevelopment, an accounting of biological loss that has yet to be accounted for in the City but will be this year. If we are worried about climate change, flooding, erosion and poor water quality, paving over the city without creating or saving natural spaces is a quick way to accomplish ruin." -Heidi Siegelbaum, Ballard  (Seattle)

"Growth is good, but unchecked growth is not. We're not getting new green spaces that's for sure." -Vickie Woo

Let Us Know! Have you seen changes in your neighborhood's green spaces?

Getting Around
A boarded-up former Denny's restaurant is reflected in a crossing signal button in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood Tuesday, March 18, 2008.
Credit AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

"Addition of bicycle lanes that no one uses and traffic impediments at crossings where no problems have existed. Bicycle lanes are a solution looking for a problem as are the new traffic islands. Unnecessary expenses suggest a city government completely clueless." -Sherrie Quinton, Fishermen's Terminal (Seattle)

"These past few years we've watched a steady march of taller and taller buildings moving toward us from the financial district, and mid-rises popping up all around us, many increasing density in Belltown. What's been hard is to have both nearby parking and bus access disappearing at the same time." -Kate Hurlocker, Belltown (Seattle)

Let Us Know! How has development changed the way you get around?

This May 31, 2012 file photo shows a bicyclist commuting during rush hour past a logo designating a bike route in Seattle.
Credit AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File

Away From Seattle

"We moved from south Beacon Hill to Renton a few years back and love it - got a huge house with a view for the price of a shack in Seattle. Was surprised with how great downtown Renton is physically: great spaces, transit-friendly, all walkable, affordable housing -- all the pieces are there. I expect the surge is about 10 years out." -Devin, Renton 

"Development in southern Bothell is going berserk. There is only one protected crosswalk in the mile between the Kirkland/Bothell line and Bothell Way." -Anonymous

"Woodinville advertises its wine tasting districts as a destination for anyone visiting Seattle but it is not easy to get to from downtown unless they rent a car, there is nowhere to stay in the area (which is pivotal when alcohol is involved) and there is a disconnect between the Hollywood Hill district and the warehouse district. The city of Woodinville doesn't seem to support growth of the industry, resulting in an 'unfinished project' type vibe." -Anonymous

Let Us Know! Is life better outside of Seattle? Or more of the same?