Author Archives: WCC Communications

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.