HALA Livability Night Out – Tuesday April 19

Join Mayor Ed Murray and his team to learn about and talk about what makes Seattle livable.

Tuesday, April 19, 6:30-8:30pm
Museum of History & Industry

Don’t miss this meeting!  If you live in or around the Wallingford Residential Urban Village (or the Fremont Urban Village), HALA (the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda) will impact your neighborhood.  This is an opportunity to ask the Mayor questions, express your concerns, and let the City know your point of view!

The planned agenda is:
Join us for a “PeckaKucha” style word slam about the livability of our city.  We will have local talent to entertain and an opportunity to find out what many City programs are up to.  HALA will be featured and you can find out what is in store for Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda in the city.
6:30 – 7:15pm Open House
What will happen at the Open House?  Attendees will have a chance to discuss policies and proposals with City staff one on one. When you get all your questions answered you can enjoy the history of Seattle by visiting the rest of the museum.
7:15 – 8:00 pm  Program
The Mayor and his Department Directors will be on stage to do an update on how they see the vision of a vibrant Seattle coming through the programs they lead.  This program will be lively and fun.
8:00 – 8:30 pm Q&A with the Mayor

HALA is an extensive set of proposals made by a committee formed by the Mayor, to add more affordable housing in Seattle.  The City Council will be voting on these proposals, in bits and pieces, this year and next year, along with other related initiatives including a new Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan.  The agenda calls for extensive public outreach and engagement, and it’s important that we respond to these opportunities.

Changes that could be expected, if HALA proposals are adopted:

  • Rezone Single Family areas to Multifamily, within the Wallingford Residential Urban village boundaries. This affects about 700 houses in our neighborhood.
  • Raise height limits by 10 to 20 feet, in Low-Rise and Neighborhood Commercial zones.
  • Remove restrictions on backyard cottages (Detached Accessory Dwelling Units). Allowing multiple units on a lot and removing the owner occupancy requirement makes this into a type of multifamily housing that can be built in all Single Family zoned areas.
  • Reduced Design Review requirements and increased SEPA review thresholds, reducing any opportunity for public comment.
  • Reduced parking requirements for new construction outside the Urban Village. (On-site parking requirements have already been eliminated inside the Urban Village!)
  • Remove micro-housing restrictions (for “apodments”) that were recently enacted by the City Council in response to public pressure.

These changes are supposed to increase the availability of housing – but the City’s own figures show that we have far more than enough developable land without these changes to meet projected growth.  They’re supposed to increase affordability, but may actually decrease it, since new construction often means tearing down more affordable older housing.

The Mayor’s new Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan proposals encourage higher density zoning in the Wallingford Residential Urban Village by reducing on-site parking requirements, removing existing protections for trees, doing away with neighborhood involvement, and eliminating neighborhood growth plans. Meanwhile we can continue to expect basic services and amenities such as schools, parks, transit and sewer to fall behind and fail to keep up with growth.


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