The owners of Re-Bar this year told us they wanted the bar designated a landmark. Many patrons agree.

Legacy Business Effort Jumps First Hurdle in City Budget Wrangling

A measure to put $100,000 toward a study of the issue was included in Tim Burgess’ package of amendments, released yesterday.

As we noted yesterday, City Councilmember Tim Burgess released his package of amendments the council would like to make to the budget. Among the many amendments Burgess is proposing to Mayor Ed Murray’s spending plan is $100,000 to study how Seattle could implement a legacy business program.

As envisioned by supporters of the measure—a crowd that includes writers, preservationists and Duwamish tribal members—the program would provide protections to businesses that neighborhoods or other communities consider culturally vital. The $100,000 is simply to allow the city to explore how such a program could work. The effort comes as many feel angst over how development is reshaping the city.

A commercial affordability task force put together by Murray recommended the idea of a legacy business program, but his administration ultimately decided against funding the study in its budget. However, Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who has been championing the idea since she took office this year, has pressed the issue and introduced the amendment to the budget.

The study is by no means a sure thing, yet. Over the next month the council and mayor will further wrangle over the specifics of the budget. However, Burgess including the funding is a big step.

There’s lots of other stuff in Burgess’ package, which we will be exploring over the course of the budgeting debate. But in a world where even the Old Spaghetti Factory isn’t safe from developers, this effort seems to be riding the zeitgeist.

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