Category Archives: Quality of Life

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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? 

Winter Weather Resources at the City of Seattle

With winter weather continuing for the next few days, these City of Seattle information resources may be useful:

Wallingford Community Council "Kite Hill" logo

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.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Gas Works Park, Thursday, January 17

Thursday, January 17. Open house hours are from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
John Stanford International School, 4057 5th Avenue NE.

Seattle City Light and Seattle Parks and Recreation invite community members to an open house on to learn about the utility’s proposal to install public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Gas Works Park as part of Seattle’s Drive Clean Initiative.

Gas Works Park has been identified as a site for two direct current (DC) fast chargers. These units can charge most electric vehicles for approximately 80+ miles of range in 30 minutes.

The meeting will be held in the school library. The public is encouraged to drop in anytime during this time frame. Street parking is available around the school. Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information, please contact:

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”.

Design Review Board, Monday January 7, 6:30 PM

The Design Review Board for the Northeast District considers two neighborhood development projects in Room 202 of the Good Shepherd Center, 4659 Sunnyside Ave N.

  • 6:30 PM: 4106 Stone Way N (3032254). Early Design Guidance for a 5-story, 113-unit apartment building with retail. Parking for 80 vehicles proposed. Existing buildings to be demolished. Details and Design Proposal.
  • 8:00 PM: 3421 Woodland Park Ave N (3032609). Early Design Guidance for an 8-story, 123-unit apartment building and 5 live/work units. Parking for 9 vehicles is proposed. Existing buildings to be demolished. Details and Design Proposal.

The public may comment on the projects presented to the Design Review Board. Design Review considers multiple aspects of a building and site such as:

  • The overall appearance of the building.
  • How the proposed building relates to adjacent sites and the overall street frontage.
  • How the proposed building relates to unusual aspects of the site, like views or slopes.
  • Pedestrian and vehicular access to the site.
  • Quality of materials, open space, and landscaping.

For reference:
Upcoming Design Review calendar for development projects.
The Wallingford Neighborhood Design Guidelines.

Wallingford Community Council "Kite Hill" logo

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.

SR-99 Tunnel Opening Events, Saturday February 2

Official Ribbon Cutting
Saturday February 2, 11:30 AM at the South Hub.

Walk on the Viaduct and in the Tunnel for Free!
Saturday February 2, 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM.
Tunnel access at the North Portal and the South Hub.
Viaduct access at the Battery Street Tunnel and the Seneca Street ramp.

Free tickets are required to access either the Tunnel or the Viaduct or both roadways. See Step Foward for more information and to reserve tickets.

Paid events include an 8K Run/Walk starting Saturday February 2, 7:30 AM at the North Hub, and a Cascade Bicycle Club ride Sunday February 3, starting 8:00 AM – 10 AM at the North Hub and ending at 12:30 PM.

SR-99 Viaduct Closure Meeting, Thursday November 29

Viaduct Closure Information Sessions

Thursday November 29, 6:30 – 7:30 PM in Room 202 of the Good Shepherd Center
Wednesday December 5, 6:30 – 7:30 PM at the Northgate Community Center

Seattle Department of Transportation representatives will provide information on the upcoming Viaduct closure and on future transportation projects at this meeting. The closure is currently planned to begin on January 11, 2019.

For more details see:
The City calendar for November 29 and for December 5.
The How You Get Around is Changing notice.

Monthly Meeting, Wednesday November 7

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

Agenda:

  • Welcome / Call to Order.
  • K C Dietz and Amalia Walton from the Lake Washington Rowing Club on maintaining public access to Lake Union at Waterway 23.
  • Eliza Ives and Jacob Orenberg from Seattle City Light on the “Public Direct Current (DC) Fast Charging Electric Vehicle” pilot program in the Gas Works Park area.
  • Darby Watson, Project Development Director, from the Seattle Department of Transportation will give an overview of recent design changes to the Green Lake and Wallingford Paving and Multi-Modal Improvement Project (which includes N/NE 40th Street).
  • The City Arborist will discuss plans for the trees along N/NE 40th Street (and answer questions).
  • Committee reports.
  • Announcements:
    • The next Monthly Meeting will be Wednesday December 5, 7 PM.
    • The play area in Wallingford Playfield will close on Tuesday November 6 for renovation and improvement, and is expected to open with new play equipment in early 2019.
    • The play areas at the North Transfer Station are closed through December 2018 for improvements to address Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
  • Good of the Order (anything people want to bring up).
  • Adjourn.