Seattle population growth

AnnabelB / flickr

Hundreds of low-cost housing units and small businesses are threatened if proposed changes to zoning go through in Seattle’s University District. That’s according to neighborhood groups who are hosting a community forum with city officials Monday evening to voice their concerns.

Seattle’s University District is one of the city’s six main urban centers zoned for high density. It’s already growing rapidly, with change propelled by a new light rail station at the heart of the neighborhood.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Since the gold rush, Seattle has had its booms and busts. With each population swell, there has been talk, and maybe some grumbling, about who is coming and what mark they will leave on the city. That has been no less true with Seattle’s latest migration.

Courtesy Peter Steinbrueck /

It’s been 20 years since Seattle adopted a growth management strategy based on so-called “urban villages.”

Those are neighborhoods targeted for high density to help reduce urban sprawl. A new report gives the city a mixed review. Among the critiques: people aren’t living close enough to where they work.

As more people move into the Seattle area, the demand for housing goes up. And so does the style of housing with high-rise apartments and condos replacing older, stand alone homes. Real estate appraiser and educator Richard Hagar tells KPLU's John Maynard this trend is expected to continue, thanks to our relatively stable economy and mild weather. Both are factors for people moving here, as are the companies that continue to employ thousands of people such as Amazon and Microsoft.