Author Archives: WCC Communications

Monthly Meeting this Wednesday March 2

Wednesday March 2nd at 7:15 PM
Room 202 of the Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North
(see agenda at end of post)

Once a year the Wallingford Community Council has a membership campaign to add new members and renew existing members. WCC dues are affordable by nearly everyone. In order to vote at the Annual Meeting, you must be a paid member. Please help WCC represent the neighborhood by joining on the WCC Membership page. PayPal, credit cards, and checks accepted.

Each May, at the Annual Meeting, the WCC elects its officers. Our bylaws require that a nominating committee endeavor to nominate at least two qualified and consenting WCC members for each office. If you would like to nominate yourself or propose someone for a board position, please send the name, address, phone number, email address, and the name of the board position to Lee Raaen at Lee@Raaen.com before March 15th. The positions open for election this year are:

President
Vice President
Recording Secretary
Treasurer (a two year term)
Three (3) Board Members-At-Large


The President, Carl Slater, would like help with managing meeting places and organizing programs for the monthly General Meetings. Please contact him using our contact us page if you are interested.

Agenda
7:15 Minutes (Kim England)
7:20 Treasurer’s report (Paul Willumson)
7:25 Lincoln High School report (Marilyn Cope & Carl Slater)
7:35 Shoreline & Waterways report (Lee Raaen)
7:45 University of Washington report (Brian O’Sullivan & Jon Berkedal)
7:50 Transportation report (Eric Fisk)
7:55 Parking report (Mary Fielder & Catherine Smith)
8:00 Communications report (Frank Fay)
8:05 Parks & Recreation report (Angelique Hockett)
8:10 Appoint Lee Raaen as alternate delegate to the Lake Union District Council
8:15 Membership Campaign (Carl Slater)
8:20 Planning report (Greg Hill)
8:30 WallHALA Urban Village report (Greg Flood, Donn Cave, & Donna Williams)
9:00 Adjourn

Reminder: HALA Focus Group applications due tomorrow (February 26)

The City is seeking applicants for community focus groups to help shape the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) recommendations for our communities. A key focus of the Community Focus Groups will be land use and zoning changes that could affect neighborhoods.

Visit http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/HALA/HALACommunityFocusGroupApplication.pdf for the application. Download the application, fill it out, and save it. Submit the application to HALAapplication@seattle.gov by email.


Community representatives will be asked to attend about 8 meetings, read materials, and respond to emails between meetings. The total time commitment will be 5–10 hours per month. Most meetings will occur at City Hall in downtown outside of typical business hours. Understanding that community members may require assistance with parking and transportation in order to participate, the City will offer access to free parking and public transit for Community Focus Group members during meeting times. Downtown was selected as a central meeting location so that representatives from many neighborhoods would have access.

Monthly Meeting this Wednesday February 3

Wednesday February 3rd at 7:35 PM
Room 202 of the Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North

The Wallingford Community Council usually meets monthly on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:15 PM. This month’s meeting is delayed to allow members to attend the Backyard Cottage Community Meeting.

There will be a presentation by the Seattle Department of Utilities (SPU) concerning a major underground storm water diversion facility being built from Ballard, through Fremont, and ending in a vent shaft near the new Wallingford transfer station. There is little expected impact to Wallingford, as the soil extraction will happen in Ballard. One concern of the Wallingford community is the eventual use of SPU-owned land surrounding the vent. SPU will explain the project and answer questions.

Backyard Cottages Community Meeting

Wednesday, February 3rd, from 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Wallingford Community Senior Center (bottom level of the Good Shephard Center)

The City’s Description: “Expanding the construction of backyard cottages could provide thousands of new housing units throughout Seattle and give homeowners an opportunity to earn stable, extra income and remain in their homes. Join us, along with Council member Mike O’Brien, at two public meetings to discuss policy options that would encourage production of backyard cottages.”

The WCC is concerned about the proposed changes to the rules governing backyard cottages, and it encourages those interested in this topic to attend. The WCC General Meeting will begin after this meeting.

Follow Up on the January 20th Urban Village Meeting

The WCC hosted an informational meeting January 20th regarding the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan and the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), and their potential impact on the Wallingford Residential Urban Village. Over 200 people attended, and more than 80 people signed-up to be part of a WCC committee on these issues. More have joined since by registering for ongoing WCC communications online on the mailing list registration page.

A complete record of this meeting has been posted in a video playlist on YouTube.

The next step is an organizational meeting to develop the WCC Urban Village effort. Stay tuned for further updates regarding the time and place for this meeting.

From the President:
The January 20th meeting was a great success in terms of attendance, community participation, and program. Thanks to all who attended! If you want to help and haven’t already signed up, please feel free to contact me or subscribe to our mailing list.

Carl Slater
President, Wallingford Community Council

HALA Telephone Town Hall, Sunday at 4 PM

The Mayor will be calling 70,000 households directly to talk with them about HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda). The first teleconference is this Sunday January 31st from 4-to-6 PM for North Seattle neighborhoods. To participate, answer your phone at 4 PM Sunday or you may call in to the Participant Line: 855-756-7520 Ext. 31030#.

Further teleconferences are:
Tuesday February 2nd from 6-to-7 PM for Central Seattle.
Thursday February 4th from 6-to-7 PM for South Seattle.
You can call in directly to any of these events.

HALA meeting with the Mayor this Tuesday (Today)

** Correction: We have received an important clarification regarding the HALA meeting on the evening of Tuesday January 26th. The meeting will have a “resource fair” format with many simultaneous presentations by staff from city departments (Planning & Community Development, Construction & Inspections, Parks, Transportation, et cetera). The Mayor is expected to speak at 6:00 PM and other members of the City Council are expected to attend. **

It is important for many people from Wallingford to take advantage of this opportunity to talk to everyone there from the city, including the Mayor and our other elected officials.

Let them know your point of view!

Seattle at Work: Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda
When: Tuesday, January 26, 2016. 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Where: Seattle City Hall—600 4th Ave – Bertha Knight Landes Room

For more information see the city’s HALA and Seattle 2035 web sites.

No matter what else is happening, having numbers on our side is very important!  It is our understanding that the Mayor, the developers, and the pro-HALA City Council members are making strong efforts to get their people to this meeting.


Talking Points for the HALA meeting:

  1. The City’s own studies show that the current comprehensive plan can handle the forecasted growth of people by 2035.  Is this new plan necessary
  2. Re-instate neighborhood planning processes for re-zoning and development.  Why are we, both current & future residents, being excluded from the process?
  3. Re-instate the Land Use directive to maintain the character of Seattle’s neighborhoods and retain existing affordable housing, discourage the demolition of residences and displacement of residents, while supporting redevelopment that enhances our communities.
  4. Do not Force out single family home owners by increasing property taxes to allow for more multifamily units.  
  5. Enforce and collect “impact fees” from developers, as well as other agreements.
  6. Require additional school funding to support increase of families
  7. Require and provide off-street parking to support the increase in density.  Parking is necessary for our small businesses, it is necessary for people both employed in the area or employed outside of the area who are not on a bus line and need cars to get to work.  Even in New York City, people have and use cars.
  8. Require additional funding to support improved public transit and bicycle routes (the current plan: no parking and no improved public transit)
  9. Vote NO to up-zone Low Rise Zoning – keep it lower than 40ft.  
  10. Re-instate the criteria that land designated single-family and meeting single-family rezone criteria can only be up-zoned when all of the following conditions are met:
    1. The land is within an urban center or urban village boundary
    2. The rezone is provided for in an adopted neighborhood plan
    3. The rezone is to a low-scale single-family, low-scale multi-family or mixed-use zone, compatible with single-family areas
    4. The rezone procedures are followed
  11. Require that new development meet basic green building guidelines such as passive house, LEED for Residential, GreenGlobes, etc.

Notable absences:

  1. Requirement for additional parking to support this increase in density.
  2. Requirement for additional school funding to support this increase in families
  3. Requirement for additional funding to support improved public transit or bicycle routes (no parking AND no improved public transit)
  4. There is no “cap” for re-zoning.  All properties in the area would be subject to re-zoning.  
Key Points for those who live in the Urban Village:
  • The HALA Advisory Committee VOTED to rezone our area to Residential Small Lot (RSL) Zoning, which has essentially allows for more units on a single lot but has height restrictions in place.  
  • The HALA Committee then ADVISED to also up-zone to Low Rise Zoning (LR) but this was not VOTED on.  LR height restriction is 40 ft., unclear if there is restriction on # of units.  
  • HALA proposes increased housing density in the face of increasing housing demand.  
  • HALA does not provide a mechanism for adding resources to support this increased density in our neighborhood.  
  • HALA has many elements that clearly financially favor developers at the expense of single-family home owners. 
  • NOTE: other high walking score neighborhoods (Madison Park, Laurelhurst, Queen Anne, eastern portion of Wallingford) with MAJOR thoroughfares and transit services have NOT been included in the Urban Village and thus HALA. These areas have generally LARGER lot sizes.
  • The city has clearly targeted areas with smaller homes and likely lower income families that do not have the finances to mobilize against this significant change in the landscape of their neighborhood.

Urban Village, Seattle 2035 and HALA informational meeting this Wednesday!

The Wallingford Community Council will hold an Urban Village, Seattle 2035 and HALA informational meeting on: January 20th, 2016, 7:00 – 9:00 PM at the Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, in the Chapel on the 4th floor.

Zoning and Housing Density Changes Proposed for the Wallingford Residential Urban Village

Map of Wallingford Residential Urban Village

Map of Wallingford Residential Urban Village

The Wallingford Community Council wants you to know of major changes proposed in our neighborhood. Mayor Ed Murray will soon finalize recommendations to the Seattle City Council to revise the basic planning laws that govern what can be built on your and your neighbors’ property.

Mayor Murray has teamed up with developers and with advocacy organizations that promote housing density and want to change the way we live. Their first step is changing the City’s Comprehensive Plan through the Seattle 2035 process, followed by zoning changes recommended in the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) plan.

We believe these proposals will not create more affordable family housing or more affordable apartments, other than a few subsidized units.

Proposed “Seattle 2035” changes to the Comprehensive Plan would:

  • Eliminate requirements to include residents’ input in changes to neighborhood zoning and other aspects of the Comprehensive Plan.
  • Make it much easier to rezone any property in or near the Urban Village from single-family to multi-family.
  • Eliminate specific zoning types within the Urban Village from the future land use map.
  • Revise descriptions of single-family areas, making it easier to rezone to multi-family.
  • Again permit “skinny houses” and houses built on sub-standard lots.
  • Remove protections for trees and goals for more trees.
  • Permit more development on steep slopes and in environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Eliminate parking requirements for apartment complexes.

Mayor Murray’s “Grand Bargain” with the HALA panel of developers and advocacy organizations would:

  • Change all single-family zoning within Urban Villages to multi-family zoning.
  • Greatly increase the allowed heights and size in multi-family zones (from 3 to 4 or 5 stories) and in commercial zones (from 4 to 5 or 6 stories).
  • Push out locally-owned small businesses that cannot afford the higher rents in new mid-rise mixed-use buildings.
  • Accelerate demolition of existing affordable housing.
  • Replace affordable housing with “top-dollar” houses and apartments.
  • Increase rents for non-subsidized apartments.
  • Increase the parking shortage.
  • Create new legal “loopholes” for developers.
  • Make these changes despite City studies confirming that existing zoning is adequate for predicted future population growth!

How to Write to the Mayor and City Council:

References:

SPS Renovation of Lincoln High School

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

Construction Manager Mike Finnegan invites volunteers to join the School Design Advisory Team (SDAT) to work with the architects to craft concepts and specifications for the new program. There will be 6 formal meetings of the SDAT on Thursday afternoons, 3:30 – 5:30 PM, at Nathan Hale High School beginning in January and ending in March.

The SDAT will comprise about 20 people. Seattle Public Schools is seeking 2 nearby residents, and 1 or 2 Lincoln High School alumni.

You must apply to be considered for the SDAT. See the LHS School Design Advisory Team (SDAT) Application for details and the submission form. Applications must be submitted to Lucy Morello, Project Manager for Seattle Public Schools, by 3:00 PM on Monday November 30th.

The Wallingford Community Council (WCC) will separately designate 1 representative and 1 alternate representative to the SDAT. You may apply by email to pres@wallingfordcc.org for the WCC positions.