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Originally published February 7, 2014 at 7:54 AM | Page modified February 7, 2014 at 7:56 AM

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Editorial: Seattle needs more time to consider Sodo land-use changes

Backers of proposed land-use changes that would allow more hotels and an apartment tower in Sodo are right to give the council more time to decide.

Seattle Times Editorial

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The industrial land provides jobs. High rise condos and apartments do not. MORE
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KEY backers of proposed land-use changes that would allow hotels and an apartment tower on several blocks in Sodo have wisely agreed to back off for now.

It’s the right move. More time will allow the Seattle City Council to gather crucial information as it strives to strike the right balance between two priorities: injecting more 24/7 vitality into the neighborhood around Safeco and CenturyLink fields, and protecting the stadiums’ industrial neighbors, including the Port of Seattle.

The land-use changes, prompted in part by the possibility of an NBA arena in the neighborhood, were proposed late last year by the Department of Planning and Development.

It asked the council to approve the amendments by March 31. That struck industrial interests and others as too hasty, especially with two freight-mobility studies that could provide important insights just getting under way.

This week, the department said it could support a one-year postponement. Another backer of the amendments, the public authority that owns CenturyLink, also has said it doesn’t object to a delay.

Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who chairs the council’s land-use committee, said this week that he’s inclined to table the amendments until next year.

At this point, there’s no reason to do anything else.

Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Ryan Blethen, Sharon Pian Chan, Lance Dickie, Jonathan Martin, Thanh Tan, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).

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