Category Archives: Backyard Cottages

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Important Land Use Issues

1. Request an extension: MHA DEIS

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) evaluates the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program impacts in Urban Villages, and in multi-family and commercial areas throughout Seattle. It presents three alternatives.  The first alternative is to not do the MHA Upzone program.  The second appears to be an expanded variation of what was presented at the end of the HALA Focus Groups and in the Urban Village Workshops.  The third alternative presented is brand new, and is not based on discussions with the HALA Focus Groups or the Urban Village Design Workshops.

Please request to extend the MHA DEIS comment period! Released on June 8, 2017, the DEIS is 462 pages long and the appendices are 364 pages long. This is over 800 pages to review within only 32 days.

Please send your request to: MHA.EIS@seattle.gov, as well as to the City Council by phone, 206-684-8888, and/or by email: Lisa Herbold, Bruce Harrell, Kshama Sawant, Rob Johnson, Debora Juarez, Mike O’Brien, Sally Bagshaw, Tim Burgess, Lorena González.

Please submit your request to Mayor Murray:
http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/get-involved/contact-the-mayor

These documents may be viewed or downloaded from the City’s MHA Environmental Impact Statement website, or from copies in the EIS folder on the Wallingford Community Council (WCC) website. These are large documents! The main document is 50 MB, and the appendices are 95 MB.

2. Public Hearing: MHA DEIS

Attend the Public Hearing on the DEIS on Thursday June 29, 5:30 PM at Seattle City Hall. Open House at 5:30 PM; Public Hearing starts at 6:30 PM.

  • Request an extension to the MHA DEIS comment period.
  • Ask for clarifications on MHA issues.
  • Share your concerns on MHA impacts.

3. Submit comments: Design Review Process “Improvements”

Please comment on the proposed Design Review Process “Improvements” by Monday July 10, 5:00 PM.

Ask the Land Use Planner and all Council members to:

  • Leave the Design Review Process as is.
  • Direct city employees and the Design Review Boards to enforce existing design guidelines.

Growth without Oversight: Without the check and balance of inclusive design review, growth can destroy neighborhoods. With it, the character and quality of the neighborhood is strengthened when adding housing and commercial spaces.

Click here for WCC call-to-action and contact information for comments.

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HALA Open House, Saturday April 29

Saturday April 29, 1:30 – 3:30 PM
Northgate Community Center
10510 5th Ave NE

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is hosting a Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Open House for NW Neighborhoods.  All ages are welcome, so feel free to bring the kids. There will be complimentary food and beverages.

The Open House will feature maps detailing proposed changes to Urban Villages in the event’s specific focus region.  Come talk with City staff, connect with your neighbors, and express your concerns with the City’s plans!

Click here for a short list of questions to ask the City.

The Wallingford Community Council (WCC) advocates redrawing the Wallingford Urban Village boundaries as recommended in the second page of the WCC Position Paper on Affordable Housing, Increased Density, and Livability in Wallingford.

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HALA Open House, Thursday April 27

Thursday April 27, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Hale’s Ales Brewery
4301 Leary Way NW

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is hosting a Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Open House for NW Neighborhoods.  All ages are welcome, so feel free to bring the kids. There will be complimentary food and beverages.

The Open House will feature maps detailing proposed changes to Urban Villages in the event’s specific focus region.  Come talk with City staff, connect with your neighbors, and express your concerns with the City’s plans!

Click here for a short list of questions to ask the City.

The Wallingford Community Council (WCC) advocates redrawing the Wallingford Urban Village boundaries as recommended in the second page of the WCC Position Paper on Affordable Housing, Increased Density, and Livability in Wallingford.

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Mike O’Brien will have Office Hours, Wednesday April 5

Councilmember Mike O’Brien will have Office Hours at the Ballard Public Library on Wednesday April 5, 4:30 – 6:30 PM.

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Wallingford Urban Village Community Design Workshop, Tuesday January 17

You are needed now! Join your neighbors to help us all Keep Seattle Livable!

Come to the Wallingford Urban Village Community Design Workshop

Tuesday January 17, 6:00 – 9:00 PM. (Come late if you have to. Showing up matters!)
Hamilton International Middle School, 1610 North 41st Street.
Hosted by Councilmember Rob Johnson.

We’ll explore clear and meaningful ways to be part of decisions about our neighborhood. We still have time to stop forced “upzoning” that will hurt Wallingford and surrounding areas. Don’t delay, it’s up to us to guide this process.

Here are the basics of what “Keep Seattle Livable” means:

  • Retain zoning that creates community.
  • Keep affordable rental prices and property taxes.
  • Protect our local small businesses.
  • Preserve yards, parks, trees, and sunlight.
  • Prevent massive developments next to houses.
  • Fund schools, parks, and roads with Impact Fees.

Learn what the city is not telling you at the WCC Home page.
Use this interactive MHA web map to see how the proposed zoning changes will affect you.

Tuesday January 17 at 6:00 PM – Bring your friends, see what the city is up to, and have your voice heard before it’s too late!

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Lorena González hosts Open House, Thursday January 12

Seattle City Councilmember Lorena González is hosting an Open House this Thursday, January 12 at 2:00 – 4:00 PM in City Hall. As an At-Large Councilmember, she is up for re-election this year. An RSVP is requested.

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Wallingford Educates Wallingford, Saturday January 7

Special Meeting

Saturday January 7, 10AM – 1PM
Hamilton Middle School

Wallingford Educates Wallingford meeting on Saturday January 7, 2017.

Please see the Wallingford Educates Wallingford page with the presentations given at the meeting.

Wallingford Educates Wallingford on the HALA “Grand Bargain”, MHA Upzoning, and how this impacts our neighborhood. All Wallingford residents are effected, not just those living in the Urban Village. Over the past year, the City has done minimal outreach and education to the residents of Seattle regarding the City’s rezoning plans. Come learn more about the zoning changes and how you can be involved.

Poster Image: Wallingford Educates Wallingford meeting on Saturday January 7, 10AM – 1PM. Page 1 of 2. Continue reading

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Office Hours for Councilmember O’Brien this Wednesday (October 26)

Councilmember Mike O’Brien (District 6 / Northwest Seattle) is hosting drop-in office hours at the Green Lake Public Library on Wednesday October 26, 3:00 – 6:00 PM.

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Zoning Changes for the Wallingford Urban Village

The City has released maps of the draft zoning changes for Urban Villages. Each map shows possible zoning changes necessary to implement Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) in a specific neighborhood. Maps for Wallingford and Fremont are available on the WallHALA page.

See the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) page for an explanation of the proposed MHA zoning changes, and examples of the buildings allowed.

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Zoning Changes for Backyard Cottages & Mother-in-Law Apartments: Your Input Matters!

The City of Seattle is considering changes to the rules governing backyard cottages (Detached Accessory Dwelling Units or DADUs) and mother-in-law apartments (Attached Dwelling Units or ADUs) on single-family lots. The proposed changes include:

  • Removing the owner occupancy requirement.
  • Allowing both a mother-in-law apartment (ADU) and a backyard cottage (DADU) on the same lot.
  • Removing the off-street parking requirement.
  • Permitting up to 12 unrelated persons to live on a single-family lot.
  • Allowing backyard cottages (DADUs) on lots less than 4,000 square feet.
  • Increasing height limits to allow structures up to 27 feet tall, which is 2½ stories.

These changes could have profound impacts on single-family neighborhoods throughout the city, both inside and outside of urban villages. The HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda) Strategy SF.2 proposes allowing more variety of housing types in single family zones, including duplexes and triplexes.  By allowing three units (a principal dwelling and an ADU and a DADU) on a single-family lot, this proposal moves towards the HALA goal of allowing multi-family dwellings on single-family lots. This, in addition to no parking and increased residents, could drastically affect the livability and character of single-family neighborhoods.

For a full discussion see the Backyard Cottages page.

We urge you to share your opinion of these proposals with your elected officials in city government.

Please comment by email to the City Council:
Lisa Herbold; Bruce Harrell; Kshama Sawant; Rob Johnson; Debora Juarez; Mike O’Brien; Sally Bagshaw; Tim Burgess; Lorena González.

And please submit your comments to Mayor Murray:
http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/get-involved/contact-the-mayor


Feel free to send your version of this suggested comment:

I oppose the changes to the backyard cottage rules that are being discussed within city government. Removing the owner occupancy requirement while simultaneously allowing both backyard cottages and mother-in-law apartments on the same lot could have profound impacts on single-family neighborhoods throughout the city, both inside and outside of urban villages. How is this different than the original HALA proposal to allow multi-family developments in single-family zones?  That proposal was rescinded due to its unpopularity with voters.  This one should be too. This, in addition to no parking and increased residents, could drastically affect the livability and character of single-family neighborhoods.  Please prevent these rule changes from occurring.

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