Category Archives: Land Use

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MHA DEIS Comments Due by Monday August 7

We need you and your friends and neighbors to comment this weekend!

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) evaluates the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program impacts on Urban Villages, and in multi-family and commercial areas throughout Seattle. Residents from many neighborhoods have reviewed and analyzed the DEIS.  The results are available in the Comments folder and the Analysis folder.

Please view the comment and analysis documents, find the issues important to you, and email your comments to the City at MHA.EIS@seattle.gov or by using the online form.  Submitting many brief comments is probably preferable to sending one long email.  The more people who submit comments, the more seriously the City has to address the comments!


If you are overwhelmed or short of time, here is a suggested comment to make:

“The DEIS is not sufficient to represent all Urban Villages and the City overall. Each Urban Village is unique, with different housing types, cultural traditions, businesses, resources, and growth needs. This DEIS fails to recognize and examine these differences.

Each Urban Village and Surrounding Area needs to be analyzed separately, thoroughly and accurately via their own individual EIS.

Additionally, the DEIS does not address how the whole City will be impacted by the changes both in this DEIS and the other SEPA analyses combined. Seattle residents live in both their own neighborhoods and in the City at large, yet this DEIS has failed to analyze the impacts to both thoroughly and accurately.”

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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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Design Review Program “Improvements”, Comments due Monday July 10

Growth Without Oversight:

Seattle Design Review “Improvements” Released
Your Input Matters!

Do you believe in responsible growth that is positive for your community’s quality of life as well as benefitting developers and investors?

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 neighborhood.

The City and Neighborhood Design Guidelines combine with the two public Design Review Review meetings format 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.

Please ask all Council members to:

  • Leave the Design Review process as is.
  • Direct city employees and the Design Review Boards to enforce existing design guidelines.

Two Important Dates:

  • Public comments will be accepted through Monday July 10, 2017.
  • SEPA appeals may be made through Thursday June 29, 2017.

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 design guidelines without public review.

Submit your comments by Monday July 10, 5:00 PM to William Mills, Land Use Planner Supervisor, at william.mills@seattle.gov or by mail to:
City of Seattle, SDCI
Attn: William Mills
PO Box 94788
Seattle, WA 98124-7088

Please send your comments to the City Council by phone, 206-684-8888, or by email:
sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov; tim.burgess@seattle.gov; mike.obrien@seattle.gov; kshama.sawant@seattle.gov; rob.johnson@seattle.gov; lorena.gonzalez@seattle.gov; lisa.herbold@seattle.gov; bruce.harrell@seattle.gov; debora.juarez@seattle.gov

Please submit your comments to Mayor Murray:
http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/get-involved/contact-the-mayor


Your input DOES MATTER!  Last year, due to comments and push-back from all over the city, the proposed changes were tabled until now.


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WallHALA Meeting, Tuesday June 20

Help Respond to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Mandatory Housing Affordability

The WallHALA committee is meeting this Tuesday June 20, 7:00 – 9:00 PM in the Wallingford Community Senior Center on the bottom floor of the the Good Shepherd Center, 4659 Sunnyside Ave N.

The City has released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA). The agenda is to organize ourselves to study and analyze the DEIS, and to formulate responses to it.

We need your expertise to find flaws, oversights, adverse impacts, and inadequate mitigation solutions in the DEIS relating to land use, transportation, schools, storm water, tree canopy, the three alternatives presented for affordable housing, the public engagement process, and the opportunity index and equity analysis. We will assign parts of the study to multiple volunteers, in order to make the task more manageable. We encourage other neighborhoods to join us and work together on these tasks.

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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.

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Save the Ave Fundraising Party, Friday March 31

Help to protect endangered small businesses and nonprofits in the U-District from displacement by the up zone at the first Save the Ave Fundraising Party for University District Small Businesses. Join them for a raffle, good times, great beer, and for a good cause. At the Big Time Brewery on Friday March 31, 6PM – 11PM (all ages until 10PM).

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Mike O’Brien will have Office Hours, Wednesday April 5

Councilmember Mike O’Brien will have Office Hours at the Ballard Public Library on Wednesday April 5, 4:30 – 6:30 PM.

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Find It, Fix It Walk with Mayor Murray this Tuesday March 14

Join with your neighbors for a Find It, Fix It Walk with Mayor Murray and with various City Department representatives. We will gather for refreshments at 5:00 PM on the southeast corner of Woodland Park (N 50th Street and Stone Way N and Green Lake Way N). The walk will begin at 5:30 PM and will finish at Murphy’s Pub around 7:00 PM.

Topics to be discussed during the walk include:

  • Park safety.
  • Homeless encampments.
  • Safe street crossings and traffic calming.
  • Pedestrian and bicycling safety.
  • The HALA “Grand Bargain” and Urban Village zoning changes.
  • Overuse of Wallingford Playfield.
  • Overcrowded schools.
  • Waterways and shoreline access.
  • Uneven sidewalks.
  • Missing street trees, and maintenance of existing street trees.

Don’t see your concerns? Come and add your voice to the conversations!
Can’t make the walk? Join us at one of the six stops on the route.
Bring your families! — Bring your friends! — Bring your neighbors!

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Correction: The real email address is pres@wallingfordcc.org

Correction: A previous notice for Tell Mayor Murray your “Grand Bargain” upzone concerns had an incorrect email address. The correct address is pres@wallingfordcc.org if you wish to help doorbell to get the word out to gather on Densmore Ave N by 6:00 PM Tuesday.

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