One way Seattle’s leaders could make it a city for everyone

King County’s tax assessor keeps a list of properties that could be put back into productive use…does Seattle’s political leadership have the courage to take over derelict properties and put them back to work? This story mentions several parcels that the owner refuses to secure or develop, allowing an encampment to fester into multiple crime scenes. The city may as well just take it, either through liens or eminent domain.

“After we spend $20,000 to demolish 1808 E. Annonia Ave., what do we do next?” he says, referring to a derelict house on the list. “What we do is file a lien for the $20,000 it costs taxpayers to demolish it, and then we just move on to the next one. No.”

Weidner argues that cities owe it to taxpayers to collect on their liens and put abandoned properties back on the tax rolls.

The whole article is worth a read…there is no affordable housing without affordable land and St Petersburg FL understands that better than Seattle does, it seems. St Pete has figured out how to turn land from speculative eyesore to productive asset.

There is a lot of talk about Seattle’s family-friendly neighborhoods and its devotion to single family homes. The later are an anachronism in this day and age but the former is still possible, if the various disused or undeveloped parcels of land with the city could be put to work. Is this a city for speculators, as Vancouver was in the early part of the 21st century? Does it want to be a city or just a base for outdoor activities and world travel? Seems to me, if I had those interests I’d want as low-maintenance of a home as possible, rather than spend my weekends and free time on landscaping when I could be hiking or skiing. There’s room for all of that. But not if a lot of that land is tied up in speculative holdings and crime scenes.

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