Category Archives: Calls to Action

City Council Vote on Backyard Cottage Zoning Changes, Monday July 1

City Councilmember Abel Pacheco and the Mayor need to hear from you before Monday. Contact them today!

Monday, July 1, 2019, 2:00 PM in Council Chambers at Seattle City Hall.

Councilmember Pacheco and the Mayor need to hear from you regarding proposed changes to the rules governing backyard cottages (Detached Accessory Dwelling Units or DADUs) and mother-in-law apartments (Attached Dwelling Units or ADUs) on single-family lots.

Currently, the City allows backyard cottages to be built on most single-family lots.

The proposed changes include:

  • Removing the owner occupancy requirement. (Currently, the owner must live on-site.)
  • Allowing both a mother-in-law apartment (ADU) and a backyard cottage (DADU) on the same lot, instead of one or the other, increasing the number of possible housing units on a single-family lot from two to three units.
  • Increasing the height and size of backyard cottages while reducing the minimum lot size.

Concern: These changes combine to turn single-family lots citywide into targets for developer and investor speculation as they open up having three rental units on one single-family lot and decreasing the opportunities for home ownership. The Seattle Times Editorial Board writes, “The new proposal is a wish list for developers, private and nonprofit, allowing nearly every single-family lot to be used for triplexes.”

There are more proposed changes to be concerned about in this upcoming legislation regarding open space, trees, setbacks and property lines, parking, etc… To read more about these concerns, click here.

Don’t be fooled by advocates calling this a moral imperative. This mostly helps politicians’ benefactors: developers and labor groups wanting license to build rentals virtually everywhere.
– The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Think about it and share your opinion of these proposals with your elected officials in city government. It’s important that they hear from you now. See below for a suggested message.

Please call and comment by email to our City Councilmembers:
Abel Pacheco: 206-684-8808, abel.pacheco@seattle.gov
Lisa Herbold: 206-684-8803, lisa.herbold@seattle.gov
Bruce Harrell: 206-684-8804, bruce.harrell@seattle.gov
Kshama Sawant: 206-684-8016, kshama.sawant@seattle.gov
Debora Juarez: 206-684-8805, debora.juarez@seattle.gov
Mike O’Brien: 206-684-8800, mike.obrien@seattle.gov
Sally Bagshaw: 206-684-8801, sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov
Teresa Mosqueda: 206-684-8806,  teresa.mosqueda@seattle.gov
Lorena González: 206-684-8802,  lorena.gonzalez@seattle.gov
All Councilmembers: council@seattle.gov

Please share your concerns with Mayor Durkan:
Mayor Durkan: 206-684-4000, jenny.durkan@seattle.gov


Feel free to send your own version of this suggested message:

I encourage you to keep the current accessory unit rules allowing ADUs & DADUs to remain in place, as is, with no rule changes.

The existing rules support both home ownership and the city’s goal for 4,000 additional rental units through ADU development over the next ten years. The success of the current program can be seen through the rate at which new ADUs have and are currently being built throughout Seattle.

Under the proposed changes, owner occupancy is being dismissed as a requirement. Without the owner occupancy requirement, single-family lots city-wide will be turned into targets for developers and investors looking to increase their rental portfolios. As the Seattle Times asks, “If the goals are increasing housing opportunity and reducing economic disparity, why not preserve and widen pathways to home ownership and the middle class?”

Home ownership creates stability for families, individuals, pets, schools, and neighborhoods.

Please vote No on the proposed rule changes to the current ADU/DADU legislation!

Sincerely,
[your name]


For more information:
To read the DRAFT ADU Legislation – click here.
For a Comprehensive List of Changes and Concerns – click here.
To read the Seattle Times Editorial on this subject – click here.
For a letter from Phinney Ridge Community Council – click here.
To read suggestions for how to both increase backyard cottages and retain opportunities for home ownership – click here.

City Council: Backyard Cottage Zoning Changes, Tuesday June 18

Zoning Changes for Backyard Cottages and Mother-in-Law Apartments and Home Ownership

Tuesday June 18, 2019, 2:00 PM
The Sustainability and Transportation Committee will consider and vote on the proposed legislation.

Currently, the City allows backyard cottages to be built on most single-family lots. On June 11 and before June 18, 2019, City Council members need to hear from you regarding proposed changes to the rules governing backyard cottages (Detached Accessory Dwelling Units or DADUs) and mother-in-law apartments (Attached Dwelling Units or ADUs) on single-family lots.

The proposed changes include:

  • Removing the owner occupancy requirement. (Currently, the owner must live on-site.)
  • Allowing both a mother-in-law apartment (ADU) and a backyard cottage (DADU) on the same lot, instead of one or the other, increasing the number of possible housing units on a single-family lot from two to three units.
  • Increasing the height and size of backyard cottages while reducing the minimum lot size.

Concern: These changes combine to turn single-family lots citywide into targets for developer and investor speculation as they open up having three rental units on one single-family lot and decreasing the opportunities for home ownership. The Seattle Times Editorial Board writes, “The new proposal is a wish list for developers, private and nonprofit, allowing nearly every single-family lot to be used for triplexes.”

There are more proposed changes to be concerned about in this upcoming legislation regarding open space, trees, setbacks and property lines, parking, etc… To read more about these concerns, click here.

Don’t be fooled by advocates calling this a moral imperative. This mostly helps politicians’ benefactors: developers and labor groups wanting license to build rentals virtually everywhere.
– The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Think about it and share your opinion of these proposals with your elected officials in city government. It’s important that they hear from you now. See below for a suggested message.

Continue reading

Public Hearing: Backyard Cottage Zoning Changes, Tuesday June 11

Zoning Changes for Backyard Cottages and Mother-in-Law Apartments and Home Ownership

Two events at City Council Chambers, 2nd floor, Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave on the proposed legislation.

Tuesday June 11, 2019, 5:30 PM
Public Hearing at City Hall
– Please attend if you can.  Arrive early to sign up to speak (usually two minutes per person).

Tuesday June 18, 2019, 2:00 PM
Possible Vote by the City Council.

Currently, the City allows backyard cottages to be built on most single-family lots. On June 11 and before June 18, 2019, City Council members need to hear from you regarding proposed changes to the rules governing backyard cottages (Detached Accessory Dwelling Units or DADUs) and mother-in-law apartments (Attached Dwelling Units or ADUs) on single-family lots.

The proposed changes include:

  • Removing the owner occupancy requirement. (Currently, the owner must live on-site.)
  • Allowing both a mother-in-law apartment (ADU) and a backyard cottage (DADU) on the same lot, instead of one or the other, increasing the number of possible housing units on a single-family lot from two to three units.
  • Increasing the height and size of backyard cottages while reducing the minimum lot size.

Concern: These changes combine to turn single-family lots citywide into targets for developer and investor speculation as they open up having three rental units on one single-family lot and decreasing the opportunities for home ownership. The Seattle Times Editorial Board writes, “The new proposal is a wish list for developers, private and nonprofit, allowing nearly every single-family lot to be used for triplexes.”

There are more proposed changes to be concerned about in this upcoming legislation regarding open space, trees, setbacks and property lines, parking, etc… To read more about these concerns, click here.

Don’t be fooled by advocates calling this a moral imperative. This mostly helps politicians’ benefactors: developers and labor groups wanting license to build rentals virtually everywhere.
– The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Think about it and share your opinion of these proposals with your elected officials in city government. It’s important that they hear from you now. See below for a suggested message.

Continue reading
"Keep Seattle Livable" logo

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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"Keep Seattle Livable" logo

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? 

Fixing the MHA Grand Bargain, Saturday January 12

The Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability, & Equity (SCALE) is hosting the following event. Please forward this invitation to friends and family who live in less active neighborhoods and who would be greatly impacted by MHA:

Please attend “Fixing the MHA Grand Bargain”

Dear Concerned Neighbor,

The Seattle City Council has an aggressive schedule to adopt the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) legislation by the middle of March. They will discuss amendments to the MHA and to the Comprehensive Plan in January. The single Public Hearing will be held on Thursday February 21.

This will change our city forever! The Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability, & Equity (SCALE) remains concerned that MHA does not truly address affordability, destroys the livability of our homes, and provides no equity for non-wealthy residents. Unfortunately, the Appeal of the MHA Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was not successful, except for requiring the City to more fully examine the impact on historic properties.

Now is the time to push City Council, especially your Councilmember, to make the MHA Grand Bargain the Right Bargain. SCALE is hosting an educational forum, “Fixing the MHA Grand Bargain” on Saturday January 12 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon at the Central Area Senior Center, 500 30th Ave S.

The agenda will cover:

  • The urgency for action now!
  • The MHA legislation schedule.
  • The results of the MHA EIS Appeal.
  • What was learned from evidence presented at the Appeal.
  • Amendments being proposed to correct deficiencies in the MHA legislation (for both citywide and neighborhood specific issues).
  • The action plan to get amendments into City Council for discussion and adoption.

An optional background session covering “What is MHA?” will be held at 9:00 AM before the main meeting.

There is no need to RSVP. Coffee and light snacks will be provided. The closest bus routes are 14 and 27. Questions? Contact SCALE at info@scaleseattle.org.

Use your power to save our beloved neighborhoods and City. Please get involved and attend the forum!


The Ruling of the Hearing Examiner does not address the wisdom of the MHA legislation. Please see the editorial “A wake-up call for Seattle neighborhoods”, The Seattle Times editorial “Mayor must work with neighborhoods on Seattle’s growth and affordability plans”, and David Horsey’s cartoon “Shattering Seattle’s great neighborhoods”.

Wallingford Community Council "Kite Hill" logo

Defend Your Neighborhood; Support the MHA Appeal

Dear Neighbor,

Last year, the Wallingford Community Council (WCC) joined the Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability & Equity (SCALE) in filing an Appeal of the MHA Final EIS. The City’s “Grand Bargain” fails at increasing affordable housing, accelerates displacement of residents, and does nothing for livability.

This city-wide volunteer coalition of community organizations has raised $200,000 to pay legal expenses, and has put in many hours doing research and preparation work to keep costs down.

The Hearing Examiner’s ruling is expected in early November. As the end of the Appeal process nears, it is important to continue funding this effort. Please help SCALE raise an additional $20,000 to cover legal summary briefs and counter briefs for final arguments.

Please donate, and ask your friends to do the same!

Online:
www.scaleseattle.org/donate.html

By Check:
Seattle Fair Growth Appeal
2442 NW Market Street, Box 487
Seattle, WA 98107

(Pay to the Order of: “Seattle Fair Growth”; Memo: SCALE member group you support, or your neighborhood.)


Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability & Equity Accomplishments

Dedicated volunteers from 29 neighborhoods and organizations, working with a legal team of 2 paid and 6 volunteer attorneys, have:

  • Appealed the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the City’s proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) ordinance, documenting MHA’s acceleration of displacement, contempt for neighborhood planning, devaluing of historic resources, and indifference to impacts on trees, open space, and land use.
  • Met weekly since November 2017.
  • Reviewed over 100,000 City documents.
  • Presented SCALE’s legal case during 18 full days of Hearings.
  • Engaged 6 Expert Witnesses.
  • Wrote an Opinion Editorial published by the Seattle Times.
  • Testified in multiple Seattle City Council meetings.
  • Strengthened community connections across Seattle.

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Nickelsville Gravel Project, Saturday September 8

Co-sponsored by the Wallingford Community Council (WCC) and the University Sunrise Rotary Club.

Volunteers needed!

This community work project is to help the residents lay new gravel walkways at the Nickelsville Northlake Tiny House Village in Wallingford and we need your help!

Currently sharp stones and concrete make it very difficult to walk from the little houses to other facilities. The new gravel pathways will make getting around much easier for residents. This is a big project, and we need a lot of volunteers!

Bring a rake, shovel, wheelbarrow or just yourself and come join the WCC, Rotarians, and Nickelsville residents in making this project a success!

The Rotary Club will be providing coffee starting at 8:30 AM, and we will begin working at 9:00 AM. There will be a hot dog lunch at Noon. The Nickelsville Northlake Tiny House Village is at 3814 4th Ave NE (north of Ivar’s Salmon House).
1st Shift: 9 AM to 12 PM (Noon).
2nd Shift: 1 PM to 4 PM.

Click here to volunteer. Let us know you’re coming and what equipment you can bring! Or email Karen Dalton at karen.dalton@gmail.com.

Wallingford Community Council "Kite Hill" logo

Monthly Meeting, Wednesday September 5

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

Agenda:

Welcome / Call to Order.

A Navigation Team Representative from the City will address safety concerns about illegal encampments, garbage, and hazardous waste (needles, human feces). What the police can do. What residents can do.

Phil Reichel of Save N40th will present on why they oppose the Seattle Department of Transportation plan to remove parking on N/NE 40th Street in order to add bicycle lanes.

Committee reports.

Announcements:

  • The next Monthly Meeting will be Wednesday October 3, 2018, 7 PM.
  • City Councilmember Rob Johnson has released a new Tree Ordinance that replaces tree protections in favor of tree removal and mitigation. The Coalition for a Stronger Tree Ordinance is meeting Saturday September 1, 11:15 AM to 1:15 PM at the Green Lake Public Library. The Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee is holding a Public Hearing on Wednesday September 5, 9:30 AM in City Council Chambers.
  • Volunteers needed to help construct gravel walkways at the Nickelsville Northlake Tiny House Village on Saturday September 8 (see below).
  • Wallingford Historic Homes Fair on Saturday October 6 from 10 AM to 4 PM at the Good Shepherd Center.

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

Adjourn.

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Green Lake & Wallingford Paving Project, July 21, 24, & 28

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is planning major lane configuration changes when paving N/NE 40th Street, N/NE 50th Street, Green Lake Way N, E Green Lake Way N, E Green Lake Drive N, and Green Lake Drive N in 2019. This would provide new Protected Bicycle Lane facilities.

The Green Lake and Wallingford Paving & Multi-Modal Improvements project team is holding meetings for the public to learn more about the project and to provide feedback. Kids’ activities and light refreshments are provided:

Saturday July 21 from 12:00 – 2:00 PM
Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Lower Level

Tuesday July 24 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Saturday July 28 from 12:00 – 2:00 PM
Green Lake Library, 7364 E Green Lake Dr N

Concerns for residents, small businesses, cyclists, and pedestrians are:

  • Removal of all street parking on N/NE 40th Street from Wallingford Ave N to 7th Ave NE.
  • Removal of one side of street parking on N/NE 40th Street from Stone Way N to Wallingford Ave N, on Stone Way N from N 45th Street to N 50th Street, and on Green Lake Way N from N 50th Street to N 52nd Street.
  • Safe transtition of bicycle traffic from a two-way Protected Bicycle Lane to two one-way Protected Bicycle Lanes at Green Lake Way N and N 52nd Street.
  • More cut-through traffic on residential streets due to congestion from new signals at Green Lake Way N and W Green Lake Way N (Pitch &  Putt), and at Green Lake Way N and N 52nd Street.
  • No traffic improvements to the low-performance intersection of Stone Way N, N 50th Street, and Green Lake Way N.
  • Lulling casual cyclists into false sense of safety with an uphill Protected Bicycle Lane on N/NE 40th Street which transforms into high-speed sharrows in traffic on the downhill sections.

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