Seattle councilmembers are looking to modify a proposal that would make it easier for property owners to demolish buildings that have fallen into disrepair in order to encourage alternative uses.
Councilmember Lisa Herbold proposed amendments to an ordinance that would cut the amount of time a property owner must wait before being granted a demolition permit to exempt some houses, create a mandatory registration for vacant properties and prohibit demolition until repairs on a building exceed half the cost of its replacement value.
The idea is to use these buildings as temporary housing until they are demolished.
WELD, an organization that employs primarily people coming out of the criminal justice system for construction work, asked councilmembers for something similar in June. The founders said that access to a registry of buildings in need of repair would help them with their mission to transition people out of incarceration and into society with a job and a place to stay.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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