How important is it for you to see the Space Needle?

Proposed development in the South Lake Union neighborhood is putting the spotlight on views and who gets them.

A recent study found that three-fourths of Seattle voters want public views protected around Seattle, including that of the Space Needle at Seattle Center.

This comes as the Seattle City Council finalizes a proposed rezone of the South Lake Union neighborhood that would allow the development of three tall towers.

It's a question of public views of a private entity.

The Space Needle is owned by the Space Needle Corporation, which wants to protect views of its iconic tower.

A 2001 Seattle ordinance preserves views from 10 city parks, but the list does not include South Lake Union Park.That's across the street from where the expensive new condos will go up, condos with views of the Needle.

Because taxpayers and private donors, led by Paul Allen, spent $30 million to renovate the park, some argue the view of the Space Needle should be preserved.

I want to see it. We remember when it was built, said Terry Rose, as she strolled through South Lake Union Park Thursday.

It's a trade off, said land use blogger Roger Valdez.

Vakdez says people can walk to the views. He prefers the revenues and jobs that come with development.

You know you have to look at our future and where we are going to put all the new people. I think it's inevitable that we're going to block somebody's view in the process, he said.

The study was funded by the Space Needle Corporation, the private company that owns the Space Needle, and conducted by EMCResearch.

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