Northgate development worries low-income housing advocates

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 10 at 7:21 PM

SEATTLE -- Community groups and housing advocates have appealed a planned development just north of Northgate Mall, concerned that low-income housing is disappearing in Seattle.

The property in question is Northgate Apartments at 11200 1St Avenue NE. There are 207 low income units that will likely be replaced by nearly 2,000 mid- and high-income units.

The Seattle Department of Planning and Development has granted the developers a rezone but is not requiring one-to-one replacement of the low-income units.

Resident Frank Booth, who is disabled with diabetes, said, "I don't want to be homeless."

The rezone and development could mean Booth's $800-a-month, one-bedroom unit would be torn down and replaced with a one bedroom renting for twice the price.

"I feel like I'm being run out of Seattle," said Booth.

The Maple Leaf Community Council and The Seattle Displacement Coalition have appealed the development. The Coalition's John Fox said failure to require low income units "runs directly in contradiction to the city's commitment to preserve low income housing and it contradicts the city's plan to end homelessness."

In a written statement, developers Northgate Plaza LLC said "there does need to be further consideration of the conditions of approval. That is what the appeal process is for, and we look forward to participating in that process."

The zoning appeal will be heard by Seattle's Hearings Examiner on May 22.

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