The Seattle City Council approved a controversial plan to develop part of Fort Lawton into affordable housing.
Last week, the Committee on Housing, Health, Energy & Workers’ Rights unanimously passed the legislation. The full council vote on Monday was also unanimous.
The development plan calls for 237 affordable housing units on 34 acres of land near Discovery Park in Magnolia. Housing would be open to people of varying income levels. Eighty-five units would be for seniors making less than 30% of the area median income, and about 100 units would be rowhouses for renters making up to 60% of the area median income. Fifty-two homes would also be built for owners who make up to 80% of the area median income and contribute labor during the building process.
Under the plan, four to five acres would also be incorporated in Discovery Park, 13 acres would be preserved for recreation, and six acres would be turned into athletic fields and parking.
Construction will likely begin in 2021 and could finish by 2026.
The project stirred significant community reaction. In the development plan, the city says it received 1,001 letters and emails and 82 individual testimonies in response to a 2018 environmental impact review, most of which the city said were supportive of the project.
A January 2018 meeting brought standing room only crowds who had mixed reactions to the plan. Most residents said it would put a necessary dent in Seattle’s housing crisis but some said they had concerns about an increased risk to public safety.