Airport-Adjacent Seattle Suburb Aims for a Transit-Oriented Overhaul

The city of Tukwila, Washington, located in King County south of Seattle, is pursuing a new transit-oriented housing and development plan that will attempt to transform the area around its Link light rail station.

As report by Andrew Engelson for the Urbanist, Tukwila received a $100,000 grant from the state of Washington to create the “Transit-Oriented Development Housing Strategies Plan,” published in September 2021. The plan sets an ambitious target of adding 4,200 new homes in 20 years.

“The report issues recommendations for policy changes in three areas: increasing density of housing, preventing displacement, and improving infrastructure near the station,” according to Engelson.

“Policies the report recommends that could increase density include tax exemptions for multifamily projects with affordable units and creating development requirements that encourage homes with more bedrooms. Design rules are also scrutinized, such as reducing required recreational space and step back requirements. Most contentious may be a proposal to halve parking minimums per unit. Parking minimum requirements would go from 2.0 to 1.0 per dwelling unit in High Density Residential zones.”

The source article, linked below, includes details on how the city is already moving forward with the plan. As reported by Engelson, several affordable housing projects are already underway in walking distance from the city’s light rail station.

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