Letter to the Editor: aPodments not a fit for Ballard

Dear editor,

There are several issues related to the notion of building aPodments in Ballard which are being glossed over in the rush to construct. First, in large, densely populated urban areas--Manhattan, Tokyo, even San Francisco, aPodments may be a workable alternative housing for many, but really, in Ballard? In neighborhoods comprised of families, they make far less sense. The argument is made that aPodments are inexpensive, but for whom? The twenty- or thirty-somethings, flush with disposable income? Perhaps. But, this is also a mobile, transient population with no real ties to the community.

Then, there is transportation. Developers assume, and assure us, that renters of aPodments will use public transportation. Few developers have ever been on public transportation. If they had, they’d be far less sanguine about its effectiveness, attractiveness, and reliability. There is even the possibility that developers backed opposition to the light rail project. So, the wave of aPod people will be driving, and, there is no provision for parking for them in the neighborhood.

San Francisco, at least, has stringent laws about height, density , casting shadow on other properties, etc. Seattle seems to be a City of Loopholes, allowing developers license to do whatever they please with the blessings of an apparently indifferent planning department. This wonderful little town with a relatively short but rich history is being sacrificed to zealous over-building real estate moguls. Greed is killing this community. City Leaders - is anyone home or paying attention? Or are you one of them and have infiltrated the government to pad your pockets? And, last, and most sad, it seems whichever of the two ‘progressive’ mayoral candidates is elected, the wholsale destruction of every residential neighborhood in Seattle is likely to continue. The City of Seattle seems to have had an agenda with Ballard dating back to the dead horse in Ballard’s water supply that continues unabated today, that is, the complete erasure of this community as a viable entity within the City. Pity.

Thank you,
Carla Madrigal and Ben LeFebvre

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