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November 17, 2012 at 7:00 AM

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Vulcan and McGinn bargain for South Lake Union height limits

Dangerous precedent

Zoning regulations for the city of Seattle are created for the greater good and have taken years of careful planning [“Vulcan, McGinn bargain for tall towers at Lake Union,” page one, Nov. 15]. Paul Allen's request to reshape the appearance of South Lake Union for his own personal gain is more than a visible impact on this part of our city. Review of city planning and zoning documents will undoubtedly prompt many more.

Furthermore, approval of this request will set a dangerous precedent for development of other city of Seattle waterfront property. Listen to “It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” and see if you don't' hear: “But wait, there's more.”

– Jeffrey W. Waymack, Seattle

Don’t give away the farm

Let me get this straight. Vulcan gives land valued at $10 million to $12 million to the city and then gets back a credit of up to $12 million from the city toward future fees, netting out to zero. So, in exchange for nothing the city relaxes the law just for Vulcan and gives them the right to build up to 24 stories on three buildings. Wow, what a sweet deal. Can other South Lake Union landowners get in on that?

Oh, I forgot the benefit:The city can house 400 low-income residents in an area withten Tom Douglas restaurants and the “Whole Paycheck” market. They will be well served. The mayor is being snookered and so are we.

I think we all want a new and vibrant South Lake Union, but let’s not get carried away, Mayor Mike McGinn. It will all work out just fine without you giving away the farm. Let’s not forget that Paul Allen amassed all his South Lake Union property by buying it dirt cheap from landowners worried that their land would be taken by eminent domain for the Seattle Commons. We (you) do not need to worry about Vulcan.

—John Keckemet, Seattle

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