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February 21, 2013


Charlie Mas

Why doesn't Seattle do what other Washington communities do and assess impact fees on developers. Impact fees are the conventional way to require developers to pay part of the costs of the public infrastructure required by their development. Impact fees are used to pay part of the costs of things like sewers, roads, street lights, schools, and parks.

Impact fees would be an ideal way to increase benefits to the public in exchange for value given to the private sector.

Beyond that, I don't understand the impetus for creating a downtown elementary school in South Lake Union. There are 326 empty seats at Lowell Elementary just a six minute drive, about a mile and a half, from Denny Park. There is no shortage of school capacity in the neighborhood. In these times of constrained budgets it makes little sense to squander our precious education dollars on building a school we don't need.

Charlie Mas

The report from the Downtown Seattle Association that makes the case for a downtown school is a jumble of misinformation and disinformation. For example, the map of downtown doesn't match the map of the census tracts used as a data source. The census maps are significantly bigger. Also, the data shows that the bulk of the children live in the south end of downtown, Yesler Terrace, yet the DSA calls for a school in the north end of downtown at South Lake Union. There's already a school across the street: Gatzert.

As I have already noted, there are over 300 elementary school seats available close by at Lowell. Another school about a mile and a half from Denny Park, T T Minor, has been leased. Re-opened, it would provide hundreds more elementary school seats.

The school district's demographic projections do not show any legitimate need for a school in SLU. That data has not changed.

The report is full of intentionally misleading claims. Please do not rely on it without subjecting it to some rigorous critical review.

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