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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Expensive Housing Highlighted in Bellevue

The King County Council held a town hall meeting in Bellevue last night to discuss the Eastside economy. One of the hot topics in the meeting was of course housing. For instance, it was suggested that restrictive land use regulations have a hand in the skyrocketing housing costs:

King County needs to consider loosening the urban-growth boundary and allowing more development on land that is close to freeways and other amenities, said Bob Wallace, CEO of Wallace Properties in Bellevue and a panel member. Operating in a free market is "going to be difficult if we have such a stranglehold on the land," he said.
Also, as prices keep going up and up, some workers are feeling squeezed out.
If the Eastside wants its workers to also live in the area, it must provide cheaper housing and more entertainment for young people, Bellevue resident Martin Hickman said during the public-comment period.

Hickman, 21, said he and his friends think Bellevue is "a terrible place to live," with few nightlife options and rents beyond their price range.
I don't understand how the city is going to magically "provide cheaper housing." I think the problem goes beyond the city level. But it's definitely good to have public discussion on this important topic.

(Ashley Bach, Seattle Times, 08.30.2005)

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