SEATTLE-The University of Washington is close to gaining a lot more freedom when it comes to leasing space near its main campus. The Seattle City Council on Nov. 29 will vote on amendments to its 1998 agreement with the University of Washington regulating the school’s leasing activity surrounding its main campus. The council lifted long-standing square footage restrictions last year, but on appeal it was determined the council did not follow proper procedure and needed to begin the process anew. The amendments still restrict the university from leasing ground-level space in pedestrian overlay zones and from leasing in residential zones for non-residential uses. One amendment also prohibits the university from leasing or acquiring the former Batelle property east of the campus in the Laurelhurst neighborhood because of its location in a residential zone, a council spokesperson tells Another amendment requires the university to focus 75% of its leasing activity to areas immediately west of its campus in the University District.Since 1985, the UW has been limited in how much space it could lease surrounding its campus in an attempt to ease concerns about the university’s expansion into the neighboring community. Originally, the limit was 241,950 sf. The restriction was expanded to 400,000 sf in 1991 and then to 550,000 sf in 1998. In June 2003, by a 6-3 vote, the city council lifted the lid, thereby allowing the university to lease an unlimited amount of space in the neighboring University District. In September 2003, eight community organizations appealed the adoption of the ordinance to the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board, alleging that it violated Growth Management Act goals and requirements relative to public notice, public participation, and internal plan consistency. Without ruling on plan consistency, the board found that passage of the ordinance lifting the lease lid failed to comply with the GMA’s public notice and public participation requirements. The board remanded the ordinance to the city and directed that legislative action be taken to bring it into compliance with the goals and requirements of the Growth Management Act by no later than Aug. 30. The city later obtained an deadline extension to Dec. 2.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Dig Deeper



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.