Category Archives: Backyard Cottages

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Public Hearing on the MHA “Grand Bargain”, Thursday February 21

Express Your Concerns to the City Council

Please attend the only Public Hearing for the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) legislation on Thursday February 21, 5:30 PM at Seattle City Hall in Council Chambers. Come early to sign up to testify. Arrive by 4:30 PM to secure an earlier speaking time.

Tell our City Councilmembers to VOTE NO on the MHA Legislation:
Despite input from neighborhoods all over Seattle, the MHA legislation has remained pretty much the same since it was first proposed. The City’s propaganda paints a story that the MHA Legislation is the only way to increase affordable housing in Seattle. What the city does not tell you is that it displaces as much as it replaces, that it does not work to grow the city in a way that simultaneously grows livability and quality of life, and that the fee-in-lieu payments are ridiculously low.

Also, while the “consent package” of amendments being considered for the legislation includes an intention, there is no adequate “claw-back” provision to revert the zoning back to present definitions should the City be sued and the mandatory part of MHA be found to be unlawful (leaving the up-zones in effect, increasing rents and property taxes, without any affordable housing units!).

Come support your neighborhood, your city, and the testimony of your neighbors. Everyone should attend to show the Council the serious commitment of our opposition to MHA at the Public Hearing.

(Childcare will be provided. Please RSVP to Noah An at noah.an@seattle.gov. At the hearing, check in at the sign-in table.)

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Tell Mayor Durkan & City Council to Vote No on the MHA “Grand Bargain”

Time to Email, Call, and Write Mayor Durkan and the City Council

Tell Mayor Durkan that while the vision sounds good (we all want more affordable housing, both subsidized and naturally occurring), the devil is in the details. And the details do not support passing the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) legislation.

Mayor Durkan and City Council need to hear from the people of Seattle before the final MHA hearing (which is February 21, during Seattle Public Schools winter break).

Please email, call, and write Mayor Durkan and our City Council members with your concerns and ask them to VOTE NO on the MHA Legislation.

Here is why:
Despite input from neighborhoods all over Seattle, the MHA legislation has remained pretty much the same since it was first proposed. The City’s propaganda paints a story that the MHA Legislation is the only way to increase affordable housing in Seattle. What the city does not tell you is that it displaces as much as it replaces, that it does not work to grow the city in a way that simultaneously grows livability and quality of life, and that the fee-in-lieu payments are ridiculously low. Also, there is no adequate “claw-back” provision to revert the zoning back to present definitions should the City be sued and the mandatory part of MHA be found to be unlawful (leaving the up-zones in effect, increasing rents and property taxes, without any affordable housing units!). 

Please email and call Mayor Durkan:jenny.durkan@seattle.gov; 206-684-4000; Mayor Jenny Durkan, PO Box 94749, Seattle, WA 98124-4749.

Please email and call City Council: lisa.herbold@seattle.gov, bruce.harrell@seattle.gov, kshama.sawant@seattle.gov, rob.johnson@seattle.gov, debora.juarez@seattle.gov, mike.obrien@seattle.gov, sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov, teresa.mosqueda@seattle.gov, lorena.gonzalez@seattle.gov; 206-684-2489; Seattle City Council, PO Box 34025, Seattle, WA 98124-4025.


Save the Date: Please plan to attend the only Public Hearing for the MHA legislation on Thursday February 21, 5:30 PM at Seattle City Hall in Council Chambers. Come early to sign up to testify.

If you can, attend the final consideration of the MHA legislation before the Select Committee on Monday February 25, 2:30 PM and before the Full Council on Monday March 18, 2:00 PM at Seattle City Hall in Council Chambers. Come early to sign up to testify.


Impacts here in Wallingford:

MHA FEIS Preferred Alternative Map for Wallingford Urban Village
  • If MHA passes, properties in the Wallingford Urban Village change from Single-Family to Lowrise-1, Lowrise-2, and even Lowrise-3 zoning (See maps below).
  • If MHA passes, 700 single-family homes will be up-zoned to multi-family zones.
  • If MHA passes, massive developments will be allowed next to houses. Many of the up-zones change building heights from three stories up to five stories!
  • If MHA passes, set-backs and step-backs to preserve yards, trees, and sunlight remain inadequate and may be greatly reduced by up-zoning.
  • If MHA passes, no affordable housing units will be required to be built on-site, and the fee-in-lieu payments provide a further discount to developers.
  • If MHA passes, it will decrease housing diversity and will drive families out of the urban villages. There are no requirements to build true family-sized three-bedroom housing.
  • If MHA passes, it will drive out local small businesses as there are no requirements for affordable leases in new buildings.
  • If MHA passes, property taxes increase for all up-zoned properties as adjacent properties are developed.
  • If MHA passes, rents will increase as new market-rate units are built.
  • If MHA passes, no on-site parking will be required in multi-unit buildings.
  • If MHA passes, the true displacement of low- and middle-income residents, and small businesses will go unknown as there is no requirement to track existing affordable housing and leases.
  • Whether or not MHA passes, the City (alone among Washington cities) will not have any Impact Fees to fund schools, parks, roads, and public safety!
MHA Zoning Changes for Wallingford Urban Village, Map 17
MHA Zoning Changes for Wallingford Urban Village, Map 16

MHA Zoning Changes for Wallingford Urban Village, Map 18


Why all the fuss? New to the HALA Grand Bargain MHA proposal? 

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Monthly Meeting, Wednesday December 5

Time: 7 PM.
Location: Room 202 of the Good Shepherd Center, 4659 Sunnyside Ave N.

Agenda:

  • Welcome / Call to Order.
  • Special Guest: Martin Kaplan of the Queen Anne Community Council (QACC). He will review the current Accessory Dwelling Unit (mother-in-law apartment and backyard cottage) rules, and the Appeal by the QACC of the proposed new rules.
  • Update on the Appeal by the Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability, and Equity of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Mandatory Housing Affordability policy.
  • Committee reports.
  • Announcements:
    • The January Monthly Meeting is cancelled!
    • The next Monthly Meeting will be Wednesday February 6, 7 PM.
    • N 34th Street Mobility Improvements meeting Tuesday December 11, 4:30 – 6:00 PM at Fremont Brewing. (See the postcard.)
    • Time to renew your Wallingford Community Council (WCC) Membership!
      In 2017, the WCC moved to a calendar year membership. You can join at any time throughout the year, but to be a member for the full twelve months, please renew or join now!
  • Good of the Order (anything people want to bring up).
  • Adjourn.
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Deadline for ADU EIS Scoping Comments, Thursday November 16

Comments must be submitted by 5:00 PM tomorrow, Thursday November 16!

The City is proposing to change the Land Use Code to remove barriers to the creation of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in single-family zones. The proposal allows for two ADUs instead of one per lot, removes existing off-street parking and owner-occupancy requirements, and changes development standards that regulate the size and location of detached units (DADUs).

We urge you to express your concerns regarding what issues the City should study in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Your comments may address these topics:

  • The objectives for this proposal are not clear. Better objectives might be more affordable housing, more family housing, preservation of tree canopy and yards, and development compatible with existing single-family housing.
  • Only one alternative is presented for this proposal. At least two alternatives to accomplish the objective are required. You may suggest alternatives to be studied.
  • The impacts of this proposal on neighborhoods, public services, and natural resources.
  • Measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the effects of this proposal.

Comments must be submitted by 5:00 PM on November 16 by:

Further information is available at the City’s Accessory Dwelling Units EIS website. The City will produce a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).  When the DEIS is released, you will then have a chance to comment on the specific conclusions in that document.

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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.

Agenda:
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).
Announcements:

  • 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 http://www.seattle.gov/emergency-management/prepare/prepare-your-neighborhood.
  • 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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Wear Black to the City Open House, Thursday October 26

A.K.A. the “Funeral of the Neighborhood Voice”

Thursday October 26, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Hales Brewery (in the Palladium)
4301 Leary Way NW

Wear black as together we mourn the loss of our Neighborhood Voice

The City wants to remove Single-Family zoning language from our Neighborhood Plan to allow for upzones and increased building heights in our neighborhood.  This Thursday, the City is having an Open House in which they want to “start a discussion” around changes to five neighborhood plans.

If you think that neighborhoods should have a voice, and believe that residents, neighborhood businesses, schools and the city should all be involved and working together to plan the future – then wear black and attend the Open House.

We can make a statement about our lack of voice.  Here’s how:

  1. Show up, dressed in black as a visual protest of the City killing our Neighborhood Plans by controlling its language and not allowing neighborhood-directed planning.
  2. The City will ask you to rewrite a section of our neighborhood plan to remove single family zoning language and will dictate what language is allowable, or ask you to choose one of their options. Instead, we recommend you tell the City that our neighborhood plans and zoning should only be changed through a formal neighborhood planning process.

Please join us for the “Funeral of the Neighborhood Voice”.
Suggestions for Signs:

  • RIP – Neighborhood Voice
  • RIP – Democracy in Seattle
  • RIP – Livability
  • RIP – Affordability
  • Death of the Neighborhood Plan
  • Silenced! Neighborhood Voices
  • Resurrect Neighborhood Plans

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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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HALA Open House, Saturday April 29

Saturday April 29, 1:30 – 3:30 PM
Northgate Community Center
10510 5th Ave NE

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is hosting a Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Open House for NW Neighborhoods.  All ages are welcome, so feel free to bring the kids. There will be complimentary food and beverages.

The Open House will feature maps detailing proposed changes to Urban Villages in the event’s specific focus region.  Come talk with City staff, connect with your neighbors, and express your concerns with the City’s plans!

Click here for a short list of questions to ask the City.

The Wallingford Community Council (WCC) advocates redrawing the Wallingford Urban Village boundaries as recommended in the second page of the WCC Position Paper on Affordable Housing, Increased Density, and Livability in Wallingford.

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HALA Open House, Thursday April 27

Thursday April 27, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Hale’s Ales Brewery
4301 Leary Way NW

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is hosting a Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Open House for NW Neighborhoods.  All ages are welcome, so feel free to bring the kids. There will be complimentary food and beverages.

The Open House will feature maps detailing proposed changes to Urban Villages in the event’s specific focus region.  Come talk with City staff, connect with your neighbors, and express your concerns with the City’s plans!

Click here for a short list of questions to ask the City.

The Wallingford Community Council (WCC) advocates redrawing the Wallingford Urban Village boundaries as recommended in the second page of the WCC Position Paper on Affordable Housing, Increased Density, and Livability in Wallingford.