McGinn, Constantine tout development incentives
By Jeanne Lang Jones
Puget Sound Business Journal, July 24, 2012
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine this morning rallied support for proposed development incentives billed as bringing more jobs and residents to downtown Seattle while preserving rural farms and forest land.
If the incentive program is approved by the Seattle and King County councils this fall, real estate developers would be able to build bigger projects in return for buying up development rights tied to farms and forests.
As part of the incentive package, King County would donate a portion of the property tax it collects on participating development projects to the city. The money would help build new sidewalks, bike paths, neighborhood parks and other improvements in the neighborhoods such as South Lake Union absorbing the new development.
For the rural areas, sale of the rights to develop the land would keep farms and forests from being developed.
The Seattle incentive program is the first to be created under new state legislation passed in 2011. City and county officials have been working with the nonprofit land conservancy Forterra since last fall to craft the proposed incentives.