Seattle Design Process “Improvements” Public Hearing

Your Input Matters!

Seattle Design Process “Improvements” Public Hearing
MONDAY, Sept. 11, 2017

Sign up to testify: 5:00pm
Public comments begin: 7:00pm

LOCATION of Public Hearing:
SIFF Cinema Uptown, Auditorium 3
511 Queen Anne Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109

Growth without Oversight
Do you believe in responsible growth that is positive for your community’s quality of life?

Then make your voice heard with the City Council! The City’s proposal to amend the design review process takes away your influence concerning what gets built in your immediate neighborhood.

Currently, both the City and the Neighborhood Design Guidelines combine with a format that offers two public Design Review meetings to make growth fit within the context of your neighborhood.  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.

If you can attend the Hearing & make public comment, please do so! See below for more info on the proposes changes.
Get there early & bring a neighbor! 

In addition to attending the hearing, please ask all Council Members to:
– Leave the Design Review process as is
– Enforce: Direct city employees and the Design Review Boards to enforce existing design guidelines

“Please leave the Design Process as is, and instead, direct the city to start enforcing design guidelines. Too many departures are being granted, too many setback requirements are being ignored, and too many loopholes are being exploited due to poor enforcement by the City.”

Please CALL City Council and tell them your thoughts:  206-684-8888
Please E-mail City Council:

sally.bagshaw@seattle.govtim.burgess@seattle.govmike.obrien@seattle.govkshama.sawant@seattle.govrob.johnson@seattle.govlorena.gonzalez@seattle.govlisa.herbold@seattle.govbruce.harrell@seattle.govdebora.juarez@seattle.gov

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


Proposed changes that impact neighborhoods include:

  • Removing neighborhoods from the process by replacing language such as:
    • “Neighborhood priorities among the design guidelines” with “identify guideline priorities”.
    • “Highest priority to the neighborhood” with “highest priority to the Board”.
  • Exempting projects on properties of less than 10,000 square feet from any design review. In the past 2 years, 29% of projects were in this category. For perspective: most four story apartment buildings are on properties of less than 10,000 square feet.
  • Restricting the scope of the Design Review Process:
    • Administrative – Developments inside Urban Villages get Administrative Design Review, with no public meetings, if less than 20,000 square feet.
    • Hybrid – Developments up to 20,000 square feet (or larger inside an Urban Village) would require only the Design Review Board “Recommendation” meeting and not the “Early Design Guidance” meeting.
    • Full – Only the largest developments, over 20,000 square feet, and only outside Urban Village boundaries, would require the normal Design Review Board “Early Design Guidance” and “Recommendation” meetings.
  • Revising who is a stakeholder by changing straightforward terms such as “Developers” to more generic terms like “Project Proponents”.
  • Shifting responsibility and authority from the Design Review Board to the Director. This has the effect of making Design Review Boards less independent, and will make the Board positions less attractive to the professionals who volunteer their time.
  • Granting departures from building code without public review.

Your input DOES MATTER!  Last year, due to comments and push-back from all over the city, the proposed changes were tabled until now.


Want to learn more?

The Seattle Neighborhood Coalition (SNC) will be discussing the proposed Design Review changes at their monthly meeting this Saturday9:00AM500 30th Ave S. (Leschi neighborhood of Central District).

Read more about the draft recommendations here:
Design Review Program Improvements, Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI).
Draft Ordinance (PDF format).

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Monthly Meeting, Wednesday September 6

Location: Room 202 of the Good Shepherd Center, 4659 Sunnyside Ave N.

Agenda:
7:00 PM – Welcome / Call to Order.
Approval of Minutes.
Committee reports.
Special Guests:

  • David West, U District Alliance for Equity & Livability: Development impacts on neighborhoods surrounding the University of Washington.
  • Ruth Harper, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT):  Findings from the parking study done in response to RPZ requests from the Wallingford Community Council (WCC).

Good of the Order (anything people want to bring up).
Announcements:

  • The next Monthly Meeting will be Wednesday October 4. Both mayoral candidates: Cary Moon and Jenny Durkan have been invited to speak on displacement, impact fees, parking, and many more topics.
  • Position 8 Candidate Forum with Teresa Mosqueda and Jon Grant hosted by Welcoming Wallingford. Hear from the candidates on the critical issues facing the city (including housing). There will be time for neighborhood questions.
    Thursday September 14 from 7:30-9:30 PM
    Wallingford Presbyterian Church, 1414 N 42nd Street

    Family Works will be accepting donations, particularly for hygiene products. Please bring something to donate!
  • The Roof is Now Open! As a result of a SEPA appeal by the WCC, public access to the roof of the new Tableau building at Woodlawn Avenue N & N 34th Street is open during business hours. The Entry door is located next to Cafe Acadia. If the door is locked, ask at the Tableau reception desk for the door to be unlocked.
  • Lake Union Waterways: There are public access points (Waterways 15-22) along the shores of Lake Union. Please help to raise awareness of these amazing community assets by reviewing them and posting photos on Google, Apple, and other online maps.

9:00 PM – Adjourn.

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MHA DEIS Comments Due by Monday August 7

We need you and your friends and neighbors to comment this weekend!

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) evaluates the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program impacts on Urban Villages, and in multi-family and commercial areas throughout Seattle. Residents from many neighborhoods have reviewed and analyzed the DEIS.  The results are available in the Comments folder and the Analysis folder.

Please view the comment and analysis documents, find the issues important to you, and email your comments to the City at MHA.EIS@seattle.gov or by using the online form.  Submitting many brief comments is probably preferable to sending one long email.  The more people who submit comments, the more seriously the City has to address the comments!


If you are overwhelmed or short of time, here is a suggested comment to make:

“The DEIS is not sufficient to represent all Urban Villages and the City overall. Each Urban Village is unique, with different housing types, cultural traditions, businesses, resources, and growth needs. This DEIS fails to recognize and examine these differences.

Each Urban Village and Surrounding Area needs to be analyzed separately, thoroughly and accurately via their own individual EIS.

Additionally, the DEIS does not address how the whole City will be impacted by the changes both in this DEIS and the other SEPA analyses combined. Seattle residents live in both their own neighborhoods and in the City at large, yet this DEIS has failed to analyze the impacts to both thoroughly and accurately.”

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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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Design Review Program “Improvements”, Comments due Monday July 10

Growth Without Oversight:

Seattle Design Review “Improvements” Released
Your Input Matters!

Do you believe in responsible growth that is positive for your community’s quality of life as well as benefitting developers and investors?

Then make your voice heard with the City Council! The City’s proposal to amend the design review process takes away your influence concerning what gets built in your neighborhood.

The City and Neighborhood Design Guidelines combine with the two public Design Review Review meetings format to make growth fit within the context of your neighborhood. 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.

Please ask all Council members to:

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

Two Important Dates:

  • Public comments will be accepted through Monday July 10, 2017.
  • SEPA appeals may be made through Thursday June 29, 2017.

Proposed changes that impact neighborhoods include:

  • Removing neighborhoods from the process by replacing language such as:
    • “Neighborhood priorities among the design guidelines” with “identify guideline priorities”.
    • “Highest priority to the neighborhood” with “highest priority to the Board”.
  • Exempting projects on properties of less than 10,000 square feet from any design review. In the past 2 years, 29% of projects were in this category. For perspective: most four story apartment buildings are on properties of less than 10,000 square feet.
  • Restricting the scope of the Design Review Process:
    • Administrative – Developments inside Urban Villages get Administrative Design Review, with no public meetings, if less than 20,000 square feet.
    • Hybrid – Developments up to 20,000 square feet (or larger inside an Urban Village) would require only the Design Review Board “Recommendation” meeting and not the “Early Design Guidance” meeting.
    • Full – Only the largest developments, over 20,000 square feet, and only outside Urban Village boundaries, would require the normal Design Review Board “Early Design Guidance” and “Recommendation” meetings.
  • Revising who is a stakeholder by changing straightforward terms such as “Developers” to more generic terms like “Project Proponents”.
  • Shifting responsibility and authority from the Design Review Board to the Director. This has the effect of making Design Review Boards less independent, and will make the Board positions less attractive to the professionals who volunteer their time.
  • Granting departures from design guidelines without public review.

Submit your comments by Monday July 10, 5:00 PM to William Mills, Land Use Planner Supervisor, at william.mills@seattle.gov or by mail to:
City of Seattle, SDCI
Attn: William Mills
PO Box 94788
Seattle, WA 98124-7088

Please send your comments to the City Council by phone, 206-684-8888, or by email:
sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov; tim.burgess@seattle.gov; mike.obrien@seattle.gov; kshama.sawant@seattle.gov; rob.johnson@seattle.gov; lorena.gonzalez@seattle.gov; lisa.herbold@seattle.gov; bruce.harrell@seattle.gov; debora.juarez@seattle.gov

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


Your input DOES MATTER!  Last year, due to comments and push-back from all over the city, the proposed changes were tabled until now.


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WallHALA Meeting, Tuesday June 20

Help Respond to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Mandatory Housing Affordability

The WallHALA committee is meeting this Tuesday June 20, 7:00 – 9:00 PM in the Wallingford Community Senior Center on the bottom floor of the the Good Shepherd Center, 4659 Sunnyside Ave N.

The City has released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA). The agenda is to organize ourselves to study and analyze the DEIS, and to formulate responses to it.

We need your expertise to find flaws, oversights, adverse impacts, and inadequate mitigation solutions in the DEIS relating to land use, transportation, schools, storm water, tree canopy, the three alternatives presented for affordable housing, the public engagement process, and the opportunity index and equity analysis. We will assign parts of the study to multiple volunteers, in order to make the task more manageable. We encourage other neighborhoods to join us and work together on these tasks.

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Green Lake area paving projects

Green Lake Area Paving Projects, Saturday June 10

The Seattle Department of Transportation will pave arterial streets in Green Lake and Wallingford. Design will take place in 2017 and 2018, with construction as soon as 2019.

There is a Drop-in Session at Billings Middle School, West Hall, 311 NE Maple Leaf Place on Saturday June 10, 10:00 – 11:30 AM.

Project locations include:

  • N 40th Street: Stone Way N to Latona Ave NE
  • N 50th Street: Phinney Ave N to Roosevelt Way NE
  • Stone Way N: N 45th Street to N 50th Street
  • E Green Lake Way N/E Green Lake Drive N: N 50th Street to Densmore Ave N
  • Green Lake Drive N: Densmore Ave N to Aurora Ave N
  • N 80th Street: Aurora Ave N to I-5

The N 40th Street crosswalk at Bagley Ave N is part of this project.

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Candidate Forums

Here are some of the upcoming public forums for Mayoral and City Council candidates. Please use these opportunities to bring to the attention of the candidates your concerns about livable neighborhoods, affordable housing, Urban Village zoning changes, neighborhood representation, impact fees, transportation, parking, and other important issues.

Mayoral Candidates with the Seattle Neighborhood Coalition

The Seattle Neighborhood Coalition (SNC) will have two programs dedicated to extended meetings with Seattle Mayoral Candidates. Each meeting will have one hour individual sessions with 3 different candidates. The candidates will make opening and closing statements, respond to a few fixed questions from the SNC, and then respond to audience questions.

The Saturday June 10, 1:00 PM meeting is with Jessyn Farrell, Jenny Durkan, and Nikkita Oliver at Black Zone, 2301 South Jackson Street, Suite 203. Admission is $10 (which includes finger foods), but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

The Saturday July 8, 8:30 AM meeting is with Cary Moon, Michael McGinn, and Bob Hasagawa at the Central Area Senior Center, 500 30th Ave S. Admission is $6 (or $14 for buffet breakfast), but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Picnic in the Park Candidate Forum

The Fremont Chamber of Commerce, the Wallingford Chamber of Commerce, the North Seattle Industrial Association, and the Seattle Propeller Club have invited the Mayoral candidates, City Council At Large candidates, City Attorney Candidates, and Port Commissioner candidates to the Picnic in the Park Candidate Forum at the picnic area in Gas Works Park, 2101 N Northlake Way on Wednesday June 21, 12:00 – 1:30 PM. Admission is $20 for members & $25 for non-members. Register to pay ahead or pay at the door.

Position 8 Candidate Forum

Our Revolution Ballard, in cooperation with the 36th District Democrats and Trinity United Methodist Church, is hosting a forum for the candidates running for Seattle City Council Position 8. So far, six candidates have agreed to join us for the forum: Hisam Goueli, Jon Grant, Mac McGregor, Teresa Mosqueda, Sheley Secrest, and Charlene Strong. At Trinity United Methodist Church, 6512 23rd Ave NW on Tuesday June 27, 6:00 – 8:00 PM.

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Monthly Meeting, Wednesday June 7

Location: Room 202 of the Good Shepherd Center, 4659 Sunnyside Ave N.

Agenda:

7:00 PM – Welcome / Call to Order.
Approval of Minutes.
Annual Meeting Election Results.
Committees for 2017-2018.
Committee reports.

Special Guests:
The Ship Canal Water Quality Project Jenna Rahm and Alex Mockos, Seattle Public Utilities.
Save Evans Pool and Greenlake Community Center Susan Helf.
Wallingford Find It, Fix It Walk – Report by Lemmis Stephens III and Paige Madden.

Good of the Order (anything people want to bring up).

Announcements:

  • The Monthly Meeting on July 5 is cancelled! The next Monthly Meeting will be Wednesday August 2.
  • The Wallingford Family Parade is Saturday July 8 at 11 AM.
  • Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks & Streets. The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods asks that you vote between June 3 – 30 for small-scale park and street improvements. Age 11 & older can vote.
  • Congestion is expected near Husky Stadium for the University of Washington Commencement on Saturday June 10, 12:30 – 4:30 PM.
  • The WallHALA committee will meet on Tuesday June 20.

9:00 PM – Adjourn.

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Lincoln High School Community Meeting, Monday June 5

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) will be renovating Lincoln High School and it will re-open as a permanent high school in September of 2019.

A Lincoln High School community meeting will be held Monday June 5, 6:30 – 8:30 PM in the Hamilton international Middle School Commons, 1610 N 41st Street, with Rick Burke, Director SPS District II. Meeting topics will include:

  • Introduction of Ruth Medsker, Lincoln High Principal starting June 1 of this year.
  • Updates on high school boundaries. HS Boundary Task Force process and work-to-date.
  • Answers to frequently asked questions from prior meetings. Process and timeline for still-open questions.
  • Facility design updates.
  • Dedicated time for student Q&A. Bring your current HS student even if they aren’t Lincoln-bound to share their suggestions.
  • Opportunity for small-group networking to launch PTSA, Music/Arts, and Athletics community groups.

Director Burke will stay until 9:00 PM or later to meet with John Stanford International School families after the Ice Cream Social.

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