And so begins the season of legislation to implement a new housing regime in Seattle…
Comprehensive Plan – Seattle 2035
The City Council is considering parts of the Comp Plan in various committees through August. (See the Land Use Advocacy Schedule for details.) Councilmembers may introduce amendments to the Mayor’s recommended plan August 2 and August 16 in the Planning, Land Use & Zoning committee. Dates are not set for sending the plan to the full Council or for a Council vote, but are expected in “Fall 2016.” Our Comp Plan resources are here.
An appeal of the Comp Plan’s Environmental Impact Statement will be heard August 16. Details.
Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA)
The parts of the HALA agenda will be enacted piecemeal.
- The framework legislation for”Mandatory Housing Affordability” for may come up for a Council vote as early as July 25. Read Susanna Lin.
- The first scheduled neighborhood-specific upzone is for Downtown and South Lake Union, which is being appealed (hearing August 24).
- Next in line is the U-District, where there’s a massive community effort to suspend upzones until good data is obtained about displacement. Read the latest update from Livable U-District. Comments are being accepted until July 15: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Meanwhile, HALA “focus groups” (which seem to be a sales pitch rather than a discussion) continue. See here for a schedule.
- You may weigh in on a strange online survey.
The Queen Anne Community Council filed an appeal of the environmental Determination of Non-Significance attached to Councilmember O’Brien’s proposal to remove barriers to the construction of backyard cottages and mother-in-law apartments. Appeal web site is here. The City’s Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) on Friday, July 8 filed a motion to dismiss the appeal. The Hearing Examiner page with links to documents is here. The appeal is scheduled to be heard August 31.
Stop the sale of Myers Parcel
This is not legislation, but it’s part of the effort to preserve a livable city. The Seattle Green Spaces Coalition (“Keep public lands in public hands!”) is sponsoring an online petition to Mayor Murray to stop the sale to private owners of 33 acres now owned by the City. There were 1,724 signers as of this morning.
Planning Commission is working to gut single-family zoning
We have learned that the Seattle Planning Commission – an advisory body with substantial influence – is working to “provide written and visual information to inform constructive discourse on reassessing existing Single-Family zone regulations in light of Seattle’s housing crisis, as well as the needs of our growing and diverse population.”
Yes, it’s another front on the war to invade the neighborhoods with high-density development without neighborhood-specific planning or input. Do you sense a pattern here? Information is scarce online, but we are told the Commission intends to create a poster extolling the virtues of increasing flexibility in single-family zones. Public comment is only sparsely allowed at Commission meetings, but if you want a schedule, see here. We’ll track this and follow up.
Design Review meeting for City’s People’s site in Madison Valley
And finally, if you want some excitement, we suggest you visit the initial Design Review meeting for the City People’s site redevelopment in Madison Valley. The meeting is Wednesday, July 13, at 6:30 PM, in the Seattle University Student Center, Room 210. The stakes are high and the community is intensely involved. Visit and join the Save Madison Valley Facebook Group, which has 578 members.