I was pleased to read The Times’ article about Roger Valdez and his views regarding a “higher-density Seattle.” [“Sharp-tongued philosopher a provocateur for urban density,” Local News, Aug. 9]. He expresses important alternative views to those who fear losing single-family neighborhoods and their resistance to the evils of duplexes and rooming houses.
High-density neighborhoods can be much more than simply building low-end duplexes and triplexes. I lived in row-house and town-home neighborhoods for more than 20 years in Washington, D.C., and Portland, Ore. Currently I live in a Kirkland neighborhood consisting of 40-plus connected town homes and apartment-style condos. I prefer these types of neighborhoods to the single-family neighborhoods where I have also lived.
Having a smaller footprint and sharing some maintenance and repair costs make housing more affordable. Putting more people closer together facilitates public transportation and other urban amenities. Most important, I have found these neighborhoods to be delightful places to live. They provide diversity, a better sense of community and a higher degree of neighborly engagement and involvement.
I hope the views of Valdez and others will get the mayor and others to rethink the benefits of alternatives to single-family neighborhoods and to embrace this kind of change.
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Richard Arends, Kirkland