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 email@example.com. At the hearing, check in at the sign-in table.)
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!).
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:
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!
Why all the fuss? New to the HALA Grand Bargain MHA proposal?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use your power to save our beloved neighborhoods and City. Please get involved and attend the forum!
The play area in Wallingford Playfield will close on Tuesday November 6for renovation and improvement. Construction fencing will be installed and demolition of the existing equipment that has been compromised because of termites will be removed.
Seattle Parks and Recreation anticipates opening the renovated play area in early 2019after the new play equipment is installed and improvements made. The new play equipment will meet current safety standards, and ensure accessibility to all children ages 2 to 12 in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
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!
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.
Vote for your favorite park and street improvements! Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks & Streets is a participatory budgeting initiative in which Seattle residents decide how to spend a portion of the City’s budget on small-scale park and street improvements.
Each voter may cast one ballot per City Council district, and may choose up to three (3) projects per district. (Voters are verified by a text message to a cell-phone, or by an exchange of email messages.)
In February 2019, Seattle voters will be asked to renew two levies to fund Seattle Public Schools — a Capital Levy and an Operations Levy.
Planning is currently underway for the Building Excellence V (BEX V) Capital Levy. The six-year levy would replace the expiring Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) Capital Levy approved by voters in 2013. BEX V would fund capital improvements including projects to modernize or replace aging buildings with modern, operationally efficient educational facilities. BEX V would also fund technology for student learning, district systems, and infrastructure and security.
The district is also planning for the three-year Operations Levy, which would replace the current Operations Levy approved by Seattle voters in 2016. This levy helps fund day-to-day operations and pays for critical programs and services that are not fully funded by the state.
SPS wants our input. We ask that you attend one of the three meetings being held next week, and/or write to Seattle Schools.
Here is some information about Lincoln High School:
Lincoln HS is not currently on the District’s list of priorities for inclusion in BEX V.
On the District’s facilities assessment documents, Lincoln HS is ranked second on the high school facilities needs assessment list.
The eastern part of the Lincoln campus is not included in the current renovation. This includes the auditorium (theater) and the gymnasium, which students will use once the school is open. These are to be upgraded in a Phase 2 renovation.
The District currently has no timeline for the Phase 2 renovation.
It has yet to be resolved if the gymnasium and auditorium are seismically safe.
To address the lack of athletic fields for the school, it has been suggested that Phase 2 could include an elevated athletic field built over the existing parking lot on the north side of the building – to both provide parking and an athletic field.
Here are suggested asks and questions to ask of SPS:
Include Lincoln Phase 2 in BEX V.
SPS should advocate for joint investment, with the City, in Lincoln Phase 2 to create school and community spaces like the performing arts center and the elevated athletic field.
If SPS does not include Lincoln HS in BEX V, then disclose a timeline for completion of Phase 2 and the impact to students and the Lincoln budget for operating in the existing facilities.
Please discuss transportation & parking as it relates to the proposed parking changes to the area around the school and
a) the feasibility of Metro transit for all students, and
b) the possibility of direct daily busing of students to offsite athletic fields and recreational facilities across the city.
Please determine if the gymnasium & auditorium are seismically sound. Include money to retrofit as needed.
What are the City and District plans for investing in communal spaces – i.e., community center / library – to serve the needs of the 3,000 students soon to be in need of after-school support services?
Community Meetings: please attend in person, if you can!
All meetings will take place from 6:30–8:15 PM.
Monday, April 23:T.T. Minor School (Seattle World School) lunchroom, 1700 East Union Street.
Tuesday, April 24:Jane Addams Middle School lunchroom, 11051 34th Avenue NE.
Thursday, April 26:Monroe School (Salmon Bay K-8) lunchroom, 1810 NW 65th Street.