Author Archives: WCCAdmin

Wallingford Community Council "Kite Hill" logo

Monthly Meeting, Wednesday November 1

Location: Room 202 of the Good Shepherd Center4659 Sunnyside Ave N.
Time: 7:00 PM

Program: George Scarola, Permitted Homeless Encampment coming to Wallingford from Ballard.

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

Special Guests:
George Scarola, Department of Homelessness
The permitted tiny house homeless encampment in Ballard is moving to Wallingford in December.  George Scarola will explain the program and answer questions.  See below for more information on the Northlake area legal encampment.

NOTE: There will be another community meeting later in November; the Department of Homelessness is working to confirm a venue larger than Room 202.

Zach Carstensen, Director, Outreach & Engagement, Office of Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07).

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

  • The next Monthly Meeting will be Wednesday December 6, 2017.
  • Emergency Preparation, City-wide Communication Hubs: To learn more about gathering and supporting each other in the event of earthquake, storm, or other large-scale emergencies, please visit
  • The ADU EIS Scoping Comments are due 5:00 PM, November 1, 2017.
  • KOMO News and KING 5 covered the Thursday October 26 “Funeral of the Neighborhood Voice”.
  • 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.

9:00 PM – Adjourn.

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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:

Please submit your comments to Mayor Murray:

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).

TWO Important City Public Hearings – HALA & Seattle2035

There are TWO important city public hearings in the next two weeks related to HALA & Seattle2035.

Tuesday, June 21st, 9:30 AM, HALA – Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) – Upzone Framework Legislation – Public Hearing (City Hall)
Monday, June 27th, 6:00 PM, Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan – Public Hearing (City Hall)

This e-mail focuses on the June 21st Public Hearing for HALA – Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA).

ACTION: This Tuesday, June 21st, 9:30am, City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue
Public Hearing on the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability – Residential (MHA-R) program.
If you can attend and make public comment, please do so, get there early, and bring a neighbor!!  NOTE: Each person gets two minutes (about 260 words or half a page). Keep it clear & focused.

What is the MHA Upzone Framework Legislation public hearing about?
This is the framework legislation for the MHA-R program that would allowupzones for a parcel in exchange for (a) a percentage of affordable housing units built on site or (b) “in lieu” fees, where the developer contributes to a fund for the City to build affordable housing elsewhere.  The framework legislation that the City Council is considering does not yet implement the upzones, but this hearing is the first step.  The HALA upzones propose that inside the Urban Village boundaries, all Single-Family Zones would be upzoned to some version of Multi-Family.  In Wallingford, there are currently about 700 parcels zoned single-family that could be affected.  However, the gains from an upzone will not be as high as the City expects because many of these parcels are already multi-family via grandfathered duplexes or under-the-radar ADU/DADUs.  Click here for a map.

The schedule for the framework legislation is as follows – all allow opportunity for public comment:
June 21st: Public Hearing at 9:30 AM at City Council chambers in City Hall
July 8th: PLUZ discussion
July 19th: possible PLUZ vote
July 25th: possible Full Council vote
If the framework legislation passes, the City Council will be one step closer to implementing upzones of single-family parcels to multi-family zoning.

A Summary of Concerns regarding MHA-R (go to bottom of e-mail for suggested comment to council members)
1. The city does not need to incentivize development.  The City is experiencing the largest building boom in history with no change to current zoning. According to a report from Dupre + Scott, 36,000 units are already in the pipeline and planned to open in Seattle over the next four years.  That’s half of the city’s target of 70,000 new units by 2035. In testimony to the City Council, Dupre & Scott stated that they project a glut of rental units for the next four to six years.
2. The city is giving away more than it gains.
   – 2.8% – 7% affordable unit set asides are too low.  Cities with similar programs require 10% – 30%
   – The City will not require set aside units unless a neighborhood is first upzoned (The Grand Bargain)
   – There is no guarantee that the developer will build or pay, The legal means to require the building of affordable housing or the payment of the in-lieu fees have not been created.  Developers could sue to avoid having to build affordable housing or to pay in lieu fees, yet the upzones will have already been given away.
   – Replacement or Additional? There is currently no data available to indicate whether the 6,000 affordable units estimated to be created are in addition to those that are demolished to create the new units, or just a replacement.
3. Charge impact fees, just like neighboring cities do.  36,000 units are coming on-line before the MHA-R program is planned to go into effect.  The city should collect impact fees from developers, like most other cities, to fund both infrastructure improvements and additional affordable inclusionary housing.
4. Family-sized housing – where is it?  The City needs to ensure that the development capacity added through upzoning includes a greater supply of three-bedroom and larger family-sized units.
5. Inclusion vs. Affordable – what happened there? The Mayor originally said that we would be trading upzoning for mandatory inclusionary housing, so that we would see affordable units in our neighborhood and in every project. However, he has changed the language to eliminate the inclusionary requirement.
6. We have the development capacity under current zoning!  According to the Seattle Department of Planning & Development (DPD), Seattle has the capacity to add 224,000 housing units and the goal is 70,000 by 2035. Wallingford has already met its growth target through 2025 and has the capacity under existing zoning to meet the projected demand nearly three times over.
7. Maintaining the character of Seattle’s neighborhoods as they grow.  Each neighborhood in Seattle has a unique character and developed a neighborhood plan on how to best accommodate projected growth while maintaining the livability that makes it unique. The Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan appears to remove the requirements to follow the neighborhood plans, eliminating neighborhood input in planning for growth.

Whether you are able or unable to attend the Public Hearing, please send in a comment (suggested comment below).

Please comment by email to the City Council, and/or by phone (206) 684-8888:;;;;;;;;

And please submit your comments to Mayor Murray:

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The Antiquated Sewer System & the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA)

Many areas in Seattle have combined sewers where rainwater from roof and street runoff (which often carries pollutants), and raw sewage from our homes combine in the sewer pipes.  During and after heavy rains the sewage flow can exceed the capacity of the waste treatment pipes and the untreated sewage overflow is discharged through Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) directly into waterways.

The zone immediately North of Lake Union from The Locks to Lake Washington produces a significant proportion of the raw sewage dumping into the freshwater areas of Seattle.  Wallingford, Ballard, Fremont, and the U-District dumped more than 130 million gallons of raw sewage into Lake Union, Salmon Bay, and the Ship Canal during 2014 (the most recent data available) alone.  King County and Seattle City CSOs discharged a total of 1.14 billion gallons over 388 events during 2014 (this includes only untreated overflows).

There is a plan in place to address the problem, but according to The Long Term Control Plan (see page 302) the NW Seattle CSO basin projects will not be fully completed until 2030.  If the HALA proposals to upscale zoning are successful, the increased housing density will exacerbate the existing raw sewage problem.  Every new toilet added to the system means more fecal matter in our freshwater!

We urge you to share your opinion of this situation with your elected officials in city government.

Please comment by email to the City Council:;;;;

And please submit your comments to Mayor Murray:

Feel free to send your version of this suggested comment:

I oppose HALA up-zoning in the areas that have significant raw sewage outflows.  These environmentally sensitive areas should be specifically excluded from HALA and growth initiatives until the planned sewage retrofits are completed.  Both King County and City of Seattle Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) should be improved in the affected areas before new population growth should be considered.

It is irresponsible for you as our elected city leaders to consider exacerbating the current environmental problems in these sensitive areas with more population and more raw sewage. As government officials, it is your responsibility to ensure that we are in compliance with the State Growth Management Act, which requires concurrent growth of infrastructure with density, and the Federal Clean Water Act.  The environmental impact of HALA is a significant concern for myself and my family.

For additional information:

  1. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU): Sewage Overflow Prevention:
  2. CSO Program 2014 Annual Report:
  3. SPU: Protecting Seattle’s Waterways.  Long Term Control Plan:
    See page 157 for a CSO map. Page 302 shows a final completion date of 2030 for NW CSO projects.
  4. Seattle Ship Canal Water Quality Project:
  5. Growth Management rules with regards to wastewater treatment:
  6. Rainwise – infomation on managing runoff, including rebates if you live in an overflow area: