Category Archives: Quality of Life

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.

Public Hearing: Restricted Parking Zone Changes, Thursday June 20

Proposed Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) Expansion in Southeast Wallingford

Thursday June 20, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Hamilton International Middle School, 1610 N 41 Street
In the Commons. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) staff will give a brief presentation at 6:30 PM. Public comment begins at 6:45 PM and is limited to 2 minutes per person.

Map of Proposed RPZ Changes for Southeast Wallingford

The proposed RPZ changes include an expansion of the existing Zone 22. The hours would be changed to 7 AM – 6 PM (from the current 8 AM – 5 PM) to be consistent with many other RPZs in the City. SDOT initially proposed an expansion of Zone 34 as well, but the majority of feedback received did not support expanding Zone 34.

Comments are accepted though Sunday June 30.
Comment form: www.surveymonkey.com/r/SEWallingfordRPZProposal.
Email: WallingfordParking@seattle.gov.
Phone: 206-684-4103.
All comment methods are treated equally.

For more information:
New and Changing RPZs – Southeast Wallingford.

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

Dunn Lumber Expansion Tour, Wednesday May 22

Dunn Lumber is rebuilding their headquarters and lumberyard in Wallingford. You are invited to walk with the project planners around the site of the future Dunn Lumber Headquarters Expansion Project on Wednesday May 22. The tour will begin at 6:00 PM (outside) at 3826 Latona Ave NE, near the Burke Gilman Trail. The tour will last about 1 hour.

You can learn more about the project and comment on it at the Dunn Lumber Headquarters Expansion Project website.

Wallingford Community Council "Kite Hill" logo

Wallingford Waterways Walk, Saturday May 11

Join us on a family-friendly walk along Lake Union to learn about the public access points on Lake Union.

When: 9:00 – 11:00 AM on Saturday May 11, 2019. Rain or shine.

Map of waterways in Wallingford. Prepared by James Thompson. © Copyright 2015 Wallingford Community Council. All Rights Reserved.

Where: Waterway 15 (Next to Ivar’s on the west, NE Northlake Way & 4th Ave NE). We’ll meet down at the lake by the wooden bench. At about 9:15 AM, we’ll begin to work our way west toward Waterway 22 (the south end of Stone Way). For those so inclined, join us after the walk for a beer at the Fremont Brewery.

Why: Wallingford’s public waterways are wonderful features of our community and the Wallingford Community Council has, through the years, made access to the public waterways a key action item. We hold this walk to raise awareness of where the public access points are along the Wallingford section of Lake Union and to teach some of the history. In addition, we want to improve shoreline habitats.

What: We will visit each Waterway of Wallingford, explaining efforts to preserve public access and showing where they are. If you are handy with the phone and social media – help us to raise awareness of each Waterway on google and apple maps and other social sites with your photos and comments

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43rd Legislative District Town Hall, Saturday March 16

Saturday March 16, 1:30 – 3:00 PM
Seattle First Baptist Church
1111 Harvard Ave
(Facebook Event notice)

Join Senator Jamie Pedersen, House Speaker Frank Chopp, and Representative Nicole Macri.

Get an update on the 2019 Legislative Session.
Share your comments, concerns, & questions.


Please be aware of Senate Bill ESSB 5812 and House Bill SHB 1797 which would allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on any lot (regardless of lot size) with a single-family house, and would prohibit owner occupancy requirements. These bills would also restrict parking requirements, impact fees, and other land-use regulations for ADUs.
Senator Pedersen voted for ESSB 5812 (which has passed the Senate), and Representative Macri is a sponsor of SHB 1797.
Note: It is legal now to build ADUs in the City of Seattle.

Wallingford Community Council "Kite Hill" logo

Monthly Meeting, Wednesday March 6

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

Agenda:

  • Welcome / Call to Order.
  • Special Guest: John Schwartz, The Schwartz Co. / Weber Thomspon / SRM Development, presents an update on the office building project at 3524 Stone Way N (Hashtag / Stone Way Cafe).
  • Committee reports.
  • Announcements:
    • The next Monthly Meeting will be Wednesday April 3, 7 PM.
    • 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.
"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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