Friday’s meeting of the Planning, Land Use, & Zoning committee will begin with an incantation to open a Hellmouth under City Hall. Thenceforth,
High Priest Committee Chair Rob Johnson will preside over three legislative evils.
Update: The Mayor put this project “on hold.” It will return, presumably with a Racial Equity Toolkit analysis leading the way. CM Sawant has famously proposed diverting the money to build 1,000 new homes. More to come…
The City Council was deluged on August 15 by #BlockTheBunker protesters, but the Council approved construction of the new North Precinct police station, anyway. They left the contentious question of how much the building will cost for the upcoming budget process, to begin in late September.
The author of the definitive study of Seattle’s Urban Village strategy says HALA undermines that strategy by splashing upzones across the city.
Peter Steinbreuck authored the “Seattle Sustainable Neighborhoods Assessment Project” (SSNAP) in 2014 under a contract from the City of Seattle. The study was commissioned to provide baseline data for the consideration of the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan. Steinbreuck concluded in his report that the Urban Village strategy (established by the 1994 Comp Plan) is working and viable. (See: a short Power Point or the complete report at Steinbreuck’s website.)
The critical tactics of the Urban Village strategy are to concentrate growth – job growth and population growth – in designated areas, and to support that growth with high-capacity transit services. In parallel, four core values are to be preserved: community, environmental stewardship, economic opportunity, and social equity.
The appeal by Marty Kaplan and the Queen Anne Community Council is running long. The hearing, which began August 31, took up all of two days and is not complete. The appeal will continue on Friday, September 30th, at 9:00 AM.
The appeal is aimed at requiring the City to create an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Councilmember Mike O’Brien’s proposed legislation that would loosen regulations on Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs), also known as “Backyard Cottages” (though they’re more like small houses than like cottages).
Recordings of the appeal hearing are available on the Hearing Examiner’s website.
The Mayor has promised to deliver legislation enacting police reform by September 5. The Mayor will break his promise to deliver legislation by September 5, instead delaying until the end of September via Ansel Herz at The Stranger.
The Community Police Commission (CPC) in August submitted its own proposed legislation (and a letter highlighting their recommendations). The question now is to what extent the Mayor’s proposal will align with the CPC’s.
This will be the first public meeting of the CPC after the Mayor delivers his proposal (assuming he meets the deadline).
The Mayor’s proposal must be approved by Federal judge James Robart before it goes to the City Council, which will have the ultimate say in the matter, probably acting in early 2017.
The best thing about the Crosscut story on the Escala appeal is the response it elicited from one JJ Smith, a commenter on Disqus to whom we have had occasion to refer previously. We are reproducing Smith’s response here because we appreciate the swift precision of the author’s prose and the accuracy of their thinking. We do not know who Mr/Ms Smith is, but we will offer them a gig if they’ll get in touch.
The author seems to assume, without citing evidence, that the Mayor’s HALA scheme will actually increase housing “affordability” in Seattle. Is it too much to ask to see the independent analysis that proves this before accepting the premise?
Unfortunately, HALA is the product not of a rigorous and public analysis, but of a private handshake deal between major developers and the mayor’s office. From that point on the “grand bargain” was treated as fait accompli, and the rest has all been a sales job.
The City is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for their Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program. You have the opportunity to comment on the “scoping” of the EIS, to suggest what issues the City should address. The Eastlake Community Council has prepared an excellent briefing on scoping issues. Please read it, then email your comments by 5:00 PM on Friday, Sept. 9. (Eastlake CC asks that you send additional suggestions to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
— Ansel Herz (@Ansel) August 23, 2016
The outburst of opposition to building the North Precinct “Police Bunker” was more than a protest against an overly expensive municipal construction project. It was more, even, than a protest against police abuse of racial minorities in Seattle.
The #BlockTheBunker campaign is a local expression of a national agenda that aims to deliver power to Black people and communities, and to remedy deep social grievances with origins stretching back centuries. The agenda was codified in 2015, when a national collective of more than 50 organizations called “The Movement for Black Lives” came together in Cleveland, Ohio. In the year since that convening, the group’s “Policy Table” has created a “platform” called A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom, and Justice, which was released nationally on Monday, August 1, 2016.
The Community Police Commission just won a huge victory. On Monday, August 15, Federal judge James Robart cleared the way for the City Council to consider legislation that will create a permanent civilian oversight structure for the Seattle Police Department. This decision is the culmination of a 5-year struggle during which the Commission has fought with the judge, the Mayor, and the powerful police union.
Immediately following the judge’s decision, the Commissioners spoke to the public via “Facebook Live” from the steps of the courthouse. (This is an innovative and powerful use of this new service!)