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The Almighty Buck News

A Visual Walk Through Amazon's Impact On One Seattle Neighborhood 296

reifman writes: If you live in Seattle, it's easy to see Amazon.com's impact on downtown construction and growth but not everyone sees what's happening in neighborhoods like formerly sleepy Ballard. One by one, traditional Seattle homes are being razed and replaced by 3 1/2 story behemoths without regard for aesthetics of any kind. The new townhomes offer 12 foot wide living spaces for Amazon's brogrammer class. Take a walk with me down my friend's street to see what it's like to live amongst the returns of e-commerce success. Ballard is also home of the late octogenarian Edith Macefield, who refused to sell her house to developers as construction went up around her.
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A Visual Walk Through Amazon's Impact On One Seattle Neighborhood

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  • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @12:29PM (#49647893) Homepage Journal

    I don't recall people of Seattle complaining about how Bill Gates ravaged their city in the 90's...

    • It looks like an efficiency improvement to me.
    • by l0ungeb0y ( 442022 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @12:47PM (#49648057) Homepage Journal
      Because with MS most of the Developers bought shiny new McMansions built in Redmond, Issaquah, Bellevue and Mercer Island -- new development that expanded communities in the Eastside rather than tearing down historic neighborhoods that didn't need "revitalizing".
      • They changed the view across lake Washington from trees to houses. It's staggering if you lived there before MS bloomed.

      • by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [retawriaf]> on Friday May 08, 2015 @01:37PM (#49648555) Homepage

        My kingdom for mod points!

        What folks not from Seattle and it's environs don't realize is that while Microsoft is often referred to as a "Seattle company", it's not actually in Seattle. It's in Redmond, ten miles to the east. (Though there are satellite campuses all over the place nowadays.) Most of the growth that lead to Seattle's infamous traffic was/is equally to the east of Seattle proper.

        Like most metro areas, Seattle metro covers a huge area... but it's eponymous city is only a small part of that area.

        Downtown Seattle has prospered over the last couple of decades, and that's partly a side effect of Microsoft and the growth of the dot com era, not a direct result.

        • Downtown Seattle has prospered over the last couple of decades, and that's partly a side effect of Microsoft and the growth of the dot com era, not a direct result.

          Frasier reruns did the rest.

        • Most of the growth that lead to Seattle's infamous traffic was/is equally to the east of Seattle proper.

          To be fair, most of Seattle's traffic problems were due to Microsoft being in Redmond, and a giant lake being between Redmond and Seattle, meaning you had few very routes from where people actually lived, to where people actually worked.

          If Microsoft was in Seattle (as Amazon is) I doubt they would have affected traffic to the same degree. But, as Amazon is doing, it would have led to a lot of Seattle's residential neighborhoods, especially North Seattle, going through huge changes.

    • What's funny is that the smart-growth crowd doesn't call this "ravaging" but rather calls it "ingrowth" and "densification". It also "creates livable, walkable neighborhoods."

      I guess Amazon just made the mistake of doing this in Seattle rather than Portland where it's called approved growth planning.

  • I work in Seattle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2015 @12:30PM (#49647907)

    This was not an overnight problem. Amazon is growing, they are buying space where they can. There is no crime there. If Seattle wants to preserve the look of its older neighborhoods, it's had ample time to legislate the building codes.

    The real question is: When do we cross the line when legislating aesthetics. If someone buys the residential land, is it within the rights of the city
              To give them 4 floor plans they choose from? 8? Five outward shapes they can pick? Does the city pick the colors? The plants?

    Nearly everyone knows what looks ugly after the fact, but without building codes unrelated to safety and yet of draconian precision, how to you keep someone from building something ugly in advance?

    • The real question is: When do we cross the line when legislating aesthetics.

      This isn't necessarily an issue of aesthetics, it's an issue of size and density (lot floor area ratios). It could be fixed by simply changing the zoning such that only single-family houses were allowed, with a floor area ratios less than X, and with a maximum roof height less than Y.

      Alternatively, the older houses in those photos look old enough that they could just declare the neighborhood to be a historic district and then they c

      • Re:I work in Seattle (Score:5, Interesting)

        by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @12:48PM (#49648067) Homepage Journal

        I really think you don't get that our population will DOUBLE by 2025.

        Not 2040.

        But 2025.

        Time to rezone all arterial blocks to 6-8 stories and stop "preserving" overpriced Single Family Housing that drives all but the Upper Middle Class out of Seattle.

        (caveat - I own my house)

        • I really think you don't get that our population will DOUBLE by 2025.

          By "our population", do you mean Ballard, Seattle, the US or the entire world?

          Because it matters. A few months ago, I drove through Nebraska, and it didn't look to me like we're in danger of running out of habitable surface area in the US. And having seen a National Geographic special on the Asian continent, it doesn't look like we're going to be running out of habitable surface area on planet Earth (assuming no catastrophic climate chan

          • Spreading out won't help - it just increases traffic congestion. I'm specifically referring to the adjacent neighborhoods like Wallingford, Montlake, Capitol Hill, Queen Anne.

            All the arterials everywhere.

            The entire city population - and regional population - is going to double. Pretending it won't is part of the problem, and pushing growth out is part of what led to the current problem.

            I was in the meetings where we decided to upzone SLU to 8 stories. Maybe you missed them.

            • Spreading out will actually help in the long run. Overly dense urban areas are blights to natural habitats and put strains on natural waste management. This all assumes of course that logistics can or will be improved. For example, more teleworking.

          • by creimer ( 824291 )

            assuming no catastrophic climate change, which I don't

            Sea level is expected to rise by two feet in 2050 and four feet in 2100. My apartment complex in Silicon Valley is located on a flood plain that will be under water, assuming that no levees are built to prevent that from happening. The only levee plan I heard about was for the San Francisco Airport. I'm planning to retire to Las Vegas long before that happens.

            • Land is so valuable in Silicon Valley you can count on levees being built. We will hire some experts from the netherlands and spend the billions necessary. I expect even Alviso will be saved.
            • Last I looked at the IPCC report, it said that sea level might rise about two feet by 2100. Where do you get four feet from?

            • I'm planning to retire to Las Vegas long before that happens.

              You better hope they drain Lake Powell to fill Mead or you're going to wish you moved to Seattle.

        • Well, my post presupposes that increasing density is a problem in the first place and addresses how to solve that problem. If one rejects that premise, then of course what I said doesn't apply.

          For the record, I like both the single family houses and the higher-density stuff in those photos, but I agree they shouldn't be mixed together quite like that. What they ought to do is pick which nieghborhoods should go higher-density and which should be preserved (and it's valid for the answer to be "all of them,"

      • It could be fixed by simply changing the zoning such that only single-family houses were allowed

        This is exactly the sort of crap that leads to urban sprawl, and all the wasted hours on commutes, pollution, oil consumption, etc. We have the same problems in the Bay Area, where SF rejected more than 95% of building permits last year, and 90 minute commutes are routine. If you don't want the sprawl, the only alternative is dense housing in the core city. We need to stand up to the NIMBYs, or even worse, the BANANAs [wikipedia.org].

        • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

          It could be fixed by simply changing the zoning such that only single-family houses were allowed

          This is exactly the sort of crap that leads to urban sprawl, and all the wasted hours on commutes, pollution, oil consumption, etc. We have the same problems in the Bay Area, where SF rejected more than 95% of building permits last year, and 90 minute commutes are routine. If you don't want the sprawl, the only alternative is dense housing in the core city. We need to stand up to the NIMBYs, or even worse, the BANANAs [wikipedia.org].

          A friend inherited a house in SF (Sunset district) that was in pretty poor shape - he looked at the cost and time to get a permit to tear it down and replace it with a 2 unit duplex that would have fit almost within the same footprint of the existing house. He quickly gave on up that due to the cost and no assurance of ever getting his plan approved -- anyone nearby could tie up the planning process nearly indefinitely and he can't really afford to sit on an unoccupied house for a year or more while waitin

          • Re:I work in Seattle (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Bob the Super Hamste ( 1152367 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @02:15PM (#49648937) Homepage

            in SF

            I think I found the problem.

            Granted it isn't just SF but the whole general area. My wife's grandmother who is 88 still lives in the house they bought out there shortly after WWII in Marin county and it is more cost effective to continue to live in the house and pay people to come and take care of everything than to move into a senior living place. A friend of the family that worked for HP near the beginning until he retired likes to joke that he always wanted to live in a multimillion dollar home, he just didn't think it would be the home he bought when he started at HP a 2 block walk to work. Even in far away places that aren't CA suffer from these things as there was a recent case in St. Paul, Minnesota [twincities.com] where a demo permit was issued and then retracted the same day and the owner had to sue the city to demolish his own property.

            As someone who leans fairly libertarian my answer to these people who complain about new development is that if they don't like it they should buy the property. I also believe that people like Edith Macefield should be able to tell a developer to piss off and there isn't anything thing the government can do to force her to give up her property.

        • by creimer ( 824291 )
          San Jose is no longer sprawling outward as it once did since the 1970's. Mixed developments of ground floor stores and four-story apartments are popping up along the light-rail and other transit corridors. Many of the two-story tilt-ups from the 1990's are getting replaced by four- to seven-story office buildings. With much of Silicon Valley under the flightways of several major airports, condo and office skyscrapers are limited to 21-stories or so.
      • When demand for housing is high, if you zone to restrict change by limiting size and density you will increase the cost. This is great for the established home owner / NIMBYs. It keeps the renters and young people out while inflating the value of their homes. On the other hand, it's terrible for those poorer, younger people and it's also terrible for traffic as they get pushed farther and farther from the jobs. This is exactly the trade-off that San Francisco has made: keep the neighborhoods from changing

    • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @01:55PM (#49648729)

      In my experience terms like "aesthetics" and "historical integrity" usually translates to:

      1) All I care about is my property values, the rest of the world be damned!
      2) I bought this house decades ago with the assumption that this neighborhood would never, ever, ever, ever change. NO TAKEBACKS!

      • by njnnja ( 2833511 )

        I'm not sure about 1). The new entrants are probably increasing property values. But TFA makes clear that the issues are the important stuff, like

        The western afternoon light is gone

        If that doesn't satisfy the definition of "Armageddon" I don't know what does.

    • You just described Celebration, FL. Disney-enforced Leave It to Beaver Land. (Pleasantville in the Hollywood vision.)

    • by yayoubetcha ( 893774 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @03:35PM (#49649561)

      Portland, Oregon had designers come up with some aesthetically interesting townhouse complexes (through a judged competition process). You can use it or not. Your choice. But, if you do use it, you are fast-tracked to a permit that will save you months of waiting for approval.

      That's how you do it.

  • >> Amazon...Amazon...Amazon...

    Is someone just pissed they didn't get hired?

  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @12:39PM (#49647977)
    There was a lot of complaining when the city I live in rezoned some neighborhoods along what years previously had been the main thoroughfare (before the freeway was built and the highway designation was pulled) and the collections of old just-post-war homes and motels and businesses were sold off, razed, and the land rebuilt with three to five storey buildings of mixed commercial and residential use. Another part of town will probably follow suit, as recent changes in law will force landlords to bring their properties up to code compliance if they want to continue renting them out.

    Thing of it is, the strip that has already been redeveloped was in such poor shape that there really wasn't much of value lost in its redevelopment. It wasn't a quaint little neighborhood of chabby-chic bungalos with old landscaping, it was a neighborhood of falling-down buildings, many with real structural faults that would require significantly more than a facelift remodel, with unmaintained grounds or gravel-coated yards so that the maintenance was nothing. The area is also close to the college and to the popular downtown, and is along a major mass-transit corridor that leads to the big city downtown too. In short, the area was simply worth a lot more than its existing use could justify, and most of the occupants were renters, not owners.

    Some call the new buildings ugly. I will agree that some of the new buildings are not to my tastes. What I won't agree on though, is that the new buildings are worse for the area, or that the project was worse for the culture of the area. The old area was a slum. The new area has more residents, has more businesses, and isn't dangerous. Given that eminent domain can't be used in my state to take private land away from private owners to provide to other private owners, if the city had any strong-arming tactics they were probably based on actual infractions on the part of the existing owners (like building and fire code violations) which I can't really fault them for enforcing.

    Simply, if neighborhoods fall into blight and become slums they're ripe for this to happen. It's hard to really call it wrong when that happens.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2015 @12:40PM (#49647987)

    1) Complaining about new homes replacing shitty old 1950's houses.
    2) Complaining about modern architecture which is surely a personal preference, not some objective standard meaning "ugly and bad".
    3) Complaining about "brogrammers" simply with a cite of "lots of dudes at Amazon" as supporting evidence for a 'brogrammer' culture.

    Yep, Seattle hipster detected. You should probably move to Portland, where you can keep the dream of the 90's alive.

  • by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @12:43PM (#49648007) Homepage Journal

    Ok, so lets recap the article, Amazon needs to lead on diversity, assist low income in the area, change tax codes to be more "fair" in Seattle and Washington state.

    And the article says how horrible interviews are at amazon, but only for a woman. As if people around here don’t realize its a sweatshop, and everyone has to be oncall 24/x and work insane hours. They are burning people to make products, they pay great, sign on bonuses, moving costs, but life sucks there. There is a reason people are leaving after a year in droves.

    Crazy article, ignores many facets of working at amazon and concentrates on social reform outside the company. Agenda much?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > There is a reason people are leaving after a year in droves.

      My husband works in HR there, and people aren't leaving Amazon as much as they are leaving Seattle. Many of the new hires are shocked to find-out that fast Internet access is only available in a tiny number of buildings in the region. CondoInternet's fifty buildings is a tiny, tiny portion of the buildings in this area with a population of over 5 million. Also, those buildings are $400-600 more per month in rent. In other words, good Inter

      • People are leaving jobs and town because they can't get high speed internet? Color me skeptical. Plus, though I live across the water on the peninsula, I have many friends who live in Seattle and I've heard not once complaint about lack of broadband access - ever.

        On top of which, we just had a report here on Slashdot of broadband access being lost (temporarily) because a fiber was cut. Searching around a bit shows pretty much no significant complaints about lack of faster-than-dialup internet connections. (Many complaints that broadband isn't as fast as it should be... though it's hard to sort out the actual complaints from the unrealistic assumptions about what the service should be.)

        So, I'm moving beyond skeptical right to not buying it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gabrieltss ( 64078 )

      I interviewed with Amazon twice - both times told them no thank you. Now I get hit up by their recruiters weekly. I finally told them to stop contacting me. I wasn't interested in their "work your @$$ to death" corporate culture. Just like I told Microsoft I wouldn't work for them because I despised the company.

  • by wired_parrot ( 768394 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @12:43PM (#49648009)
    People have to live somewhere. As Seattle grows, if not from Amazon's expansion from other economic growth, the people moving in will need places to live. Placing those people in townhouses replacing low-rise bungalows is a good thing, in my opinion. The alternative is to expand the city ever outward, creating more suburbs. Instead what seems to be happening is that previously suburban neighbourhoods are becoming urbanized. Increased densification of these neighbourhoods makes public transport more viable, and will likely increase local commerce, making it a more walkable neighbourhood. I might have chosen a different architectural style for those townhouses, but overall I don't see how this is anything but a positive direction of urban development.
    • by MrRobahtsu ( 8620 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @12:51PM (#49648103)

      How dare you suggest that housing people want and need to buy and economic growth are more important than Jeff Reifman's delicate architectural sensibilities. You insensitive clod.

      Yeah, call the wahmbulance.

    • People have to live somewhere.

      Yes, but nobody likes migrant workers. They drive up the price of everything. They work day and night. They bring their own uncivilized subculture. They require earthquake-proof housing. They don't care about octogenarians. They block our views. They take our women. Migrant workers are just horrible-horrible human beings.

      I'm just glad that the KKK is making a resurgence in the Seattle mainstream media and on Slashdot thanks to Dice Holdings.

  • Oh Boo Hoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A nonymous Coward ( 7548 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @12:52PM (#49648115)

    People are building houses they want on property they own?

    The infamy!

    I wonder how the whiners felt about the people who lived in the area as the whiners' houses were being built. What, no retroactive self-shaming guilt trips? I am shocked, shocked! to discover egocentric whining.

  • All you have to do to see the difference is search for "Cops in Ballard" on youtube. You're welcome.

  • Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes (Turn and face the strain) Ch-ch-Changes
  • It's 2015 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jahoda ( 2715225 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @12:57PM (#49648161) Homepage
    Seriously, welcome to every single desirable, thriving metropolitan area in the country right now. Every single one of them.
  • ... was a twinkle in Jeff Bezos' eye.

    I lived on Queen Anne (south of Ballard) back in the late 80s - early 90s. Old Ballard was already being dismantled by developers, with old houses getting torn down and large apartment buildings going up in their place.

  • by SnapShot ( 171582 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @12:58PM (#49648177)

    The following is a dramatic representation of a conversation in Seattle.

    Scene: an artesian coffee shop, a late-forties white person is talking to another late-forties white person
    Person 1: When I cashed in my Microsoft shares in 1998 and I bought a house here it was a quiet residential street.
    Person 2: Yeah, I thought it would always be a quiet residential street, but then THOSE people moved in and I can't find parking.
    Person 1: This is the single worst thing that has happened in the history of human existence. You know the first thing the Nazis did when they invaded Poland... took all the parking.
    Person 2: I know, right? I have $500k in equity in my house but I can't find parking. If I sold my house to cash in my equity I'd probably have to move to Lynnwood or Rainier Valley.
    Person 1: I heard there's a new locally grown, gluten free, Vietnamese Banh Mi restaurant in Rainier Valley now.
    Person 2: Really? I heard they have quiet residential streets and plenty of parking. Maybe I should move there.
    Person 1: Good idea. I can cash in some of my Microsoft shares and start a new shade grown coffee shop. Get off the rat race, you know?
    Person 2: Yay! The people of Rainier Valley will really appreciate it. Let's go talk to our brokers.

  • What's the problem? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ichthus ( 72442 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @12:59PM (#49648191) Homepage
    So... I just don't see what the issue is here.

    ... without regard for aesthetics of any kind

    No, that's a contemporary, high density housing style. You might not like it, but there is regard for aesthetics. You just don't agree with the aesthetic value.

  • LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @01:00PM (#49648211) Journal

    Oh no, *change* is happening, and it's not in a direction that supports my almost-entirely-unrealistic vision of an affordable bucolic urban hipster paradise.

    SOMEONE STOP IT NOW!

    This part I read with almost glee:
    "...I admit Iâ(TM)m part of the problem. Not only did I come to Seattle for the opportunity to work at a large technology company, but it made me wealthy, as well. Iâ(TM)m not saying that Amazon shouldnâ(TM)t grow and that others shouldnâ(TM)t benefit from the opportunity, I just believe the companyâ(TM)s growing irresponsibly and beginning to have an irrevocably damaging impact on Seattleâ(TM)s character and quality of life..."

    In short, you're a fucking hypocrite. I got mine, so the rest of you stop trying to do what I did because it's just so not want I want.

    Yeah, well, life is change even in the land of non-chain coffee shops, horn-rimmed glasses, and experimental music.

  • Why does that always seem to translate into "no regard for the aesthetics I find most valuable"?

    We've had a ton of "debate" in Minneapolis over the last few years over teardowns in Southwest Minneapolis and there's always complaints about the "aesthetics", as if people were putting up houses that looked poorly built, used unpleasant color schemes or were otherwise easily identifiable eyesores. Most of them looked totally inoffensive.

    These Seattle townhouses look like they're just your basic contemporary s

    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      Is there a requirement that everything has to look as it always has, forever, especially when what's existing never met any standard to begin with?

      You've not lived in a area subject to a draconian home owners association I take it?

      • I don't live in a neighborhood subject to one but the newer development across the park seem to believe since they can see my neighbors' and my backyards they can send us complaints and that we actually might care. I made it a point to not buy a home subject to the whims of a failed middle manager, my mother and step father always talked up how great they were since, and I quote:
        "It prevents your neighbors from deciding that they want to pave their backyard and put up a basketball court."
        The funny thing wa
      • by swb ( 14022 )

        No, and I will always actively seek to avoid it if possible. I don't know if I would ALWAYS refuse one, but given two similar properties I'd choose the one without the HOA.

        I also think it's kind of a regional thing. I don't know of any HOAs off the top of my head that aren't townhouse developments.

  • When these small houses were built there was lots of room and fewer people. That has changed and there are more people who need to live in the same area. Neighbourhoods will change and densify. The only alternative is to grow outward and that is not a viable option as it creates land use and traffic issues.

    As for the aesthetics issues, older homes are built very inefficiently. There is a lot of wasted space. Newer construction has to use the space more efficiently to allow more people to live on the same lo

  • by boguslinks ( 1117203 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @01:16PM (#49648347)
    Seattle has zoning out the ying-yang, and the streets specifically need to be zoned to townhouse height to build the townhouses. That designation has been spreading over the last decade+.

    As far as aesthetics, just go to a neighborhood Design Review Board meeting, where the dozen or so busybodies in each neighborhood go and throw rotten vegetables at developers for hours, ruthlessly hounding them to get their designs more in line with the aesthetics of the busybody junta.

    (A sufficiently small townhouse project can evade the board, much to the chagrin of the busybodies).

    The problem with the townhouses is not that they're ugly or don't "fit in" but that too many of them get build without parking, as the anti-car elements on design boards and in the gummint browbeat developers into not offering parking.

    I looked at a lot of the new Ballard construction when house shopping in 2013, before buying a condo in another 'hood, they're not bad, the kitchens especially are generally being done very nicely, but you can't please everyone with how they look from the outside, I guess.
  • Get off my lawn! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @01:19PM (#49648365) Journal

    Born & raised in Seattle. Sure, I'd love the good old days of the 80's before Seattle started to get crowded, but whatever, life goes on. We have a bunch more people here in Seattle these days then we ever did. We need space for the people that are here. Ballard has been a little home owning community. People would buy homes, start families there. Well, family homes are not what is needed anymore. You have young single professionals looking for places to work, not young married couples looking for places to start a family. Does it suck because the Ballard I & you remember is changing? Nope, this has been going on all over Seattle. We are NOT the little community we used to be anymore.

    Seattle has grown up and it's time to get it new clothes that fit.

  • by Mark Atwood ( 19301 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @01:25PM (#49648437) Homepage

    I live in Seattle.

    I am all for the rebuild and densification of my city.

    The city can't sprawl, and sprawl is wasteful and ugly.

    Seattle was a company-town shithole for most of it's history, and only relatively recently has the nasty streetcrime and the worst of the corruption been mostly eliminated. (Most of the last bits of the bad poltical corruption left when a number of the the 40 year career party apparatchiks were invited to move to DC by their national party) The city is now ok-ish decently-ish well managed and has a thriving multi-centered economy, and so people want to live here. And I welcome them. As long as they are not from California and bring California's social and government pathologies with them.

    99% of the people complaining about people moving here, are either people who moved here themselves, or are the children of people who moved here. You don't get to move someplace, and then start bitching that people should stop moving here after you move here yourself.

    And I look at the buildings that are being demolished, and they made of old dried wood, and brick held together by crumbling mortar. A major earthquake, and they where going to fall down and catch fire. We need to demolish more of them faster, and build more denser buildings that are better able to resist the constant damp and moss, save water and sunlight and energy, made from steel not wood and sand.

    • As you know, the whole "it rains there every day" thing is a canard dreamed up by the people already here, to stop more people from coming.
    • You wrote:
      "99% of the people complaining about people moving here, are either people who moved here themselves, or are the children of people who moved here. You don't get to move someplace, and then start bitching that people should stop moving here after you move here yourself."
      ---------------

      Congratulations; you summed up the entire GOP immigration debate as in "Hi I'm Bill O'Rielly, blowhard for Right Wing Nut Jobs. I'm the son of an Irish immigrant and i just HATE all the Mexicans coming into the count

      • Congratulations; you summed up the entire GOP immigration debate as in "Hi I'm Bill O'Rielly, blowhard for Right Wing Nut Jobs. I'm the son of an Irish immigrant and i just HATE all the Mexicans coming into the country illegally."

        There, fixed that for you.
  • This guy comes across as an archetypical `mangina', bleating and fawning over "women's causes" in the desperate hope that one of them would give him a pity fuck. Why on earth are we giving this bilge coverage on Slashdot?

    I don't even know where to begin addressing the pseudo-feminist assertions and hypocrisies in this article:

    1. I've already got mine, Jack, from Microsoft of all places. I've retired from tech life and am now looking for a way to remain relevant to the world.

    2. Amazon's offices are sparse

  • I grew up in Ballard. They were already starting to do this in the 80s, I remember when my neighbor's house got replaced by an apartment. As much as I liked the way things were early on, I really hope they make these new places big enough to have parking garages. Ballard is already way too low on on-street parking, and the roads are hideously narrow (plus traffic circles everywhere, oh man do the fire departments ever hate that).

    They've been wrecking the place for decades trying to build a big suburb on

  • Take a look at Paris and Rome. Take a look at cities before elevators and you will find numerous beautiful, liveable areas with buildings in the 50-60 range. That is a good height. You're complaining about a 35 foot building?
  • Nothing new here...

    Silicon Valley used to be farmland in the 70s/80s. HighTech and then the dotcoms appeared and the small 1500sqft homes were mowed down and larger homes were built. A starter home (3bd/2bath), built in 1965, in what used to be "sleepy Sunnyvale/Cupertino" is now $1.5m

    Even looking at the demographics... when I went to grade school out here in the 80s my classes were all white/hispanic kids. Now those same classes have 10% caucasian and 90% Asian/Indian. No hispanic/black kids. And the a

  • In summary, Amazon has created demand for more housing. That housing has appeared. Maybe the city didn't control growth well, but I don't see how that's Amazon's fault. The alternative would be a housing shortage where prices are insane, some people being pushed to homelessness and others having two hour commutes and all of the pollution that entails. In short, if an area does well economically there are some challenges that are probably well worth the rewards. Not everybody will like it. They are free
  • Other than the author being butthurt at modernization, what's the problem here?
  • And people complain about zoning laws and HOAs and the like...

    This would not be possible where I live, between the city, laws for zoning, and our HOA, you just couldn't do this...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E... [wikipedia.org]

    That picture shows exactly why you have laws against "letting people do whatever they want without regard to other people".

    • That picture shows exactly why you have laws against "letting people do whatever they want without regard to other people".

      Which outcome would you have preferred?

      (1) The developers were prevented from building the condos, thereby continuing a housing shortage and causing people to lose lots of money.

      (2) The home got taken by eminent domain for some book value and then handed to the developer for next to nothing by the city?

      I think that picture shows a better alternative to either outcome.

      • You are implying that those were the only two choices...

        They were not...

        These three story townhomes are being built right next to single family homes, they are blocking out the sun.

        This is why New York City back in the 30's passed a law about how tall buildings could be near the property line....

  • Old, run-down, inefficient, low-density housing stock is replaced with modern, energy efficient, clean, high-density townhouses and condos. People should be happy about this.

    The problem is wealthy f*cks like Reifman and his "let them eat cake" attitude. Hey, he got his multi-million dollar home; why doesn't everybody else get one too, instead of destroying those quaint neighborhoods that he likes to perambulate through. And he wants to be admired for his socially responsible views. He doesn't care about mon

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, angry millenials, but "brogrammer" is not a real thing. It's a made up word that means nothing, these days it's just something angry feminists call male programmers.

  • by Webmoth ( 75878 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @08:04PM (#49651057) Homepage

    Liberties are of utmost importance, whether it be for digital data, sexual preference, religion, property, or any other activity that does not INJURE others.

    When you demand the right to control how your neighbor uses his property, you give implicit permission for him to control how you use your property. And that expands into every other facet of life.

    I don't like the flooding of historic neighborhoods with huge boxes any more than you do, nor would I want my neighbor to build an asphalt plant, but the loss of liberty is of even greater concern to me. If my neighbor did choose to build an asphalt plant, I would complain loudly, but I would also defend his right to do so. I do not have a "right" to not see, not hear, or not smell that which offends me provided it does not injure me. There is no right to not be threatened; no right to "feel safe." And I have no right to guaranteed property value at all. But I do have the right to move somewhere else, and I have the responsibility to accept whatever that costs me.

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