Category Archives: City Council

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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 February 6

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

Agenda:

  • Welcome / Call to Order.
  • Special Guest: Jesseca Brand, from the City of Seattle, explains the City’s Racial & Social Justice Equity Lens. What it is and how the city uses it.
  • Committee reports.
  • Announcements:
    • The next Monthly Meeting will be Wednesday March 6, 7 PM.
    • Public Hearing on the Mandatory Housing Affordability legislation. Thursday February 21, 5:30 PM at Seattle City Hall. Please plan to attend and voice your concerns.
    • This year’s Annual Meeting will be Wednesday May 15.
    • 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. Please renew or join now!
  • Good of the Order (anything people want to bring up).
  • Adjourn.

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

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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Testify at the 2nd MHA Public Hearing, Monday March 12

Public Hearing Regarding Rezones to Implement Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) Requirements

The second of six Public Hearings. The first hearing focused on District 4. This hearing will focus on Districts 5 and 6. Wallingford is in both District 4 (City Councilmember Rob Johnson) and District 6 (City Councilmember Mike O’Brien).

Many parcels in Wallingford would change from Single-Family to Lowrise 1, Lowrise 2, or even Lowrise 3 zoning. Testify – Be heard & be seen to let the City Council know of your concerns!

Monday March 12, 2018, 6:00 PM
Northgate Community Center (Multi-Purpose Room)
10510 5th Ave NE.

For those who wish to testify, sign-up sheets will be available starting at 5:30 PM. Get in line early in case there is a crowd.

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Be Heard at the MHA Public Hearing, Monday February 12

Public Hearing Regarding Rezones to Implement Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) Requirements

Many parcels in Wallingford would change from Single-Family to Lowrise 1, Lowrise 2, or even Lowrise 3 zoning. Be heard and be seen to let the City Council know of your concerns!

Monday February 12, 2018, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Eckstein Middle School (Auditorium)
3003 NE 75th Street.

For those who wish to testify, sign-up sheets will be available starting at 5:30 PM. Get in line early in case there is a crowd.

MHA FEIS Preferred Alternative Map for Wallingford Urban VillageWe recommend you ask to:

  • Alter the Urban Village boundaries to spare 700 Single-Family homes from being upzoned to multi-family. The City’s affordable housing goal for our neighborhood is still met with those altered Urban Village boundaries.
  • Prevent massive developments next to houses. Many of the up-zones change building heights from three stories up to five stories!
  • Require setbacks and step-downs to preserve yards, trees, and daylight.
  • Require on-site parking.
  • Require affordable housing units to be built on-site.
  • Require true family housing in all zone definitions. Add density limits back to the zone definitions so that two-, three-, and four-bedroom units are built throughout the neighborhood.
  • Increase mixed-income housing development in Wallingford.
  • Protect our local small businesses. Require affordable leases in new buildings.
  • Require the City to track displacement of low- and middle-income residents, and small businesses.
  • Impose Impact Fees now to fund schools, parks, roads, and public safety!

The hearing will focus on changes affecting District 4:
Eastlake, Fremont, Greenlake, Roosevelt, U-District, and Wallingford Urban Villages;
Bryant, Laurelhurst, Ravenna, Sand Point, View Ridge, Wedgewood, and Windermere neighborhoods.

Public Notice:
http://web6.seattle.gov/DPD/LUIB/Notice.aspx?BID=1311&NID=26783
City Calendar:
http://www.seattle.gov/event-calendar?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D126504168

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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.