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Monthly Meeting – April 2024

Wednesday April 3, 2024, 7 PM

Join Us – engage on neighborhood issues, opportunities, projects, and initiatives. Learn. And as as something piques your interest, volunteer. 🙂

Location: Room 202 of the Good Shepherd Center4659 Sunnyside Ave N.

Agenda:

  • Welcome and Call to Order
  • Special Topic: Future of Aurora Avenue – SDOT is seeking public input.  Jules Posadas, Public Engagement Lead, Seattle Department of Transportation to present.
  • Special Topic: “Comp Plan” – Both the One Seattle Comprehensive Plan 2044 to guide growth for the next 20 years and the DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Study) which analyzes impacts of growth strategy alternatives have been released.  The city’s public engagement period has started and comments will be incorporated into the Final Comprehensive Plan and FEIS (Final EIS).  Click here for more information (open houses, links, how to submit feedback, etc.).
  • Committee reports
  • Announcements
    • Earth Day Clean-Up: Saturday, April 20, 10 AM to 1 PM.  Meet at 45th & Wallingford, next to the Animal Storm statue 
    • Annual Meeting and Board Elections: Wednesday, May 8, 7PM.  Any interest in serving on the WCC Board, please email communications@wallingfordcc.org
    • Note: the May Monthly Meeting is canceled
    • Membership – Renew / Join: To vote for the 2024-2025 Board, one must be an official member a minimum of 15 days prior to election.  To renew or join, click here.
    • Wallingford Beautification: if you are interested contact Rhonda Bush at rhonda.bush@historicwallingford.org to participate. 
    • Seattle Needs Trees – There is a city-wide movement to amend the legislation to bring it into compliance with the City’s own 2035 Comprehensive Plan goals (30% coverage by 2037), as well as the state Growth Management Act. To learn more, click here.
    • Hybrid Meeting Tech Help: need volunteers with the equipment to lend to make the bi-monthly meetings hybrid.  It is something we would like to offer, but we need a volunteer or two to do so.  Contact pres@wallingfordcc.org if interested. 🙂
  • Good of the Order (anything people want to bring up)
  • Adjourn

Draft Comp Plan 2044 Released, Public Engagement Needed!

Deadline for public comment is May 6th, 2024, 5PM.

Two important documents were released the week of March 5, 2024 by the city. The first is the 20-year Growth strategy called One Seattle Comprehensive Plan 2044, which aims to guide growth for the next two decades. The second document, the DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Study), analyzes the impacts of growth strategy alternatives.

It’s a very large body of work, and sometimes things are missed or need additional consideration. Help the city review their work! Public engagement is extremely important, and we list opportunities for you to participate and use your voice to influence the choices being proposed by city leaders.

The public engagement period has started, and your comments will be incorporated into the Final Comprehensive Plan and FEIS (Final EIS), which must be voted on by the City Council later in 2024. The deadline for public comments is May 6 at 5:00 pm.

About the Comp Plan

First, the Comprehensive Plan (One Seattle Plan) focuses on goals, policy recommendations, expanding housing options, zoning changes, map expansions, and updating Seattle’s residential zones, such as reclassifying urban villages to urban centers. Also, the city is required to apply the rules of House Bill 1110, which was passed by the state in 2023. HB1110 overrides previous single-family zoned lots and now permits 4-6 units per lot citywide, depending on proximity to transit.  The WCC would like the MHA (Mandatory Housing Affordability) program to apply to everywhere HB1110 applies, and would appreciate public advocacy to make this happen.

Illustrations of the application of HB1110, showing four units to a lot housing configurations, can be found here.

Here is the link to the One Seattle Comprehensive home page.
Here is the link to documents and other information for both the One Seattle Comprehensive Plan and DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Study).

Open Houses for the Comprehensive Plan are all from 6:00 – 7:30pm in person:
– Chief Sealth: Wednesday, April 3
– Garfield: Tuesday, April 16
– Eckstein: Thursday, April 25
– McClure Middle School Seattle City Hall (location changed!): Tuesday, April 30
– Virtual Online: Thursday, May 2

The deadline for comments on the Comprehensive One Seattle Plan is May 6, 2024, at 5:00 pm.
Send comments to OneSeattleCompPlan@seattle.gov

About the DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Statement)

The DEIS focuses more on the five growth alternatives for Seattle with analysis of impacts and mitigations the city anticipates. Here is the link to a concise Executive summary analysis on the growth alternatives.

Links to online Information Sessions to be released before the meetings:

1) DEIS information online session Tuesday, April 2, 7-8:30 pm. For more information, contact: Jim.Holmes@seattle.govor call 206-684-8372.

2) DEIS online information session Thursday, April 11, 7-8:30 pm, focusing on 130th and 145th Street stations. Contact person: Patrice.Carroll@seattle.gov or call 206-684-0946.

The deadline for comments on the DEIS may be submitted before May 6 at 5:00 pm

at the DEIS Story Map
and/or mailed to:
   Jim Holmes  
   Office of Planning and Development  
   P.O.Box 94788  
   Seattle, Wash. 98124-7088  
and/or emailed to: PCD_CompPlan_EIS@seattle.gov

Public Hearings on the DEIS will be both online call-in and in-person live:

1) Wednesday, April 17, at 10 a.m.  
City Hall 600 4th avenue, Boards and Commissioners Room, Floor 12

2) Monday, April 22, at 6:00 p.m.  
City Hall 4th Avenue, Boards and Commissioners Room, Floor 12

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Monthly Meeting

Wednesday March 6, 2024, 7 PM

Location: Room 202 of the Good Shepherd Center4659 Sunnyside Ave N.

Agenda:

  • Welcome and Call to Order
  • Special Guest Council Member Maritza Rivera, District 4.  CM Rivera will share a bit about her first two months in office, what her focus is for 2024, and take questions.
  • Committee reports
  • Announcements
    • Wallingford Beautification: if you are interested contact Rhonda Bush at rhonda.bush@historicwallingford.org to participate. 
    • Seattle Needs Trees – There is a city-wide movement to amend the legislation to bring it into compliance with the City’s own 2035 Comprehensive Plan goals (30% coverage by 2037), as well as the state Growth Management Act. To learn more, click here.
    • Hybrid Meeting Tech Help: need volunteers with the equipment to lend to make the bi-monthly meetings hybrid.  It is something we would like to offer, but we need a volunteer or two to do so.  Contact pres@wallingfordcc.org if interested. 🙂
    • Next Monthly Meeting: Wednesday, April 3, 7PM.
  • Good of the Order (anything people want to bring up)
  • Adjourn

Ask City Council to allow discussion on Transportation Impact Fees. Support Council Bill 120635.

CALL TO ACTION: Email, Call and Testify

This week, please ask City Council to support Council Bill 120635 to amend the City’s Comprehensive Plan to allow the Council to engage with the public and then to later vote on whether to adopt transportation impact fees to pay for infrastructure needs created by new developments.

Monday, Nov. 6th: Please contact all Members of City Council and ask them to vote YES on CB 120635.

Tuesday, Nov. 7th: Please consider also making public comment either in-person or via telephone and ask all Councilmembers to vote YES on CB 120635.

City Council needs to hear from we, the people.  🙂

NOTE: CB 120635 is a procedural requirement—it does NOT impose any fees. What it does do is allow for the discussion, public engagement, and then, ideally, a vote.  If the comp plan does not get amended, then the exploration of impact fees cannot happen.  Impact fees are charged by all surrounding communities of Seattle, i.e., Redmond, Bellevue, Renton, Bainbridge Island, etc..


What are Impact Fees?  Impact fees are one-time charges assessed by a local government against a new development project to help pay for new or expanded public capital facilities that will directly address the increased demand for services created by that development. *
 
What can Transportation Impact Fees be used for?
Transportation impact fees must be used for “public streets, roads, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities that were designed with multimodal commuting as an intended use” that are addressed by a capital facilities plan element of a comprehensive plan adopted under the GMA, per RCW 82.02.050(4) and RCW 82.02.090(7).
According to our discussions with the Washington State Department of Transportation, “bicycle and pedestrian facilities that were designed with multimodal commuting as an intended use” would include any bike trail/lane/path, sidewalk, or any other multimodal trail/lane/path, whether on-street or off-street, as long as it is publicly owned or within the public right-of-way and connects two or more destinations.
It is unlikely that transportation impact fees can be used for other multimodal improvements not listed above, such as transit vehicles or recreational hiking trails.
Since impact fees are restricted to capital facilities, they cannot be used to fund transportation studies or operating and maintenance costs. *


Development impact fees are not a new idea—the cost to provide infrastructure for new real estate development should be carried in part by those new projects (“growth should pay for growth”).  Implementing development impacts fees—like 70 other Washington Cities already do—requires a two-step process: our comprehensive plan must be amended to allow impact fees before they can be considered by a separate ordinance. CB 120635 is just the first step (amending the comprehensive plan)!  

The timing of CB 120635 is particularly important because the 2015 Move Seattle property tax levy expires next year. Ideally, that property tax can remain flat or even decrease; shifting a reasonable amount of the burden to the for-profit developers of new market rate projects (as is done by Redmond, Bellevue, Federal Way, Shoreline, and 66 other Washington cities) will help make this tax reform possible. 
 
CM Herbold, a long-time proponent of impact fees, and CM Pedersen are co-sponsors of CB 120635 to amend the Comp Plan to enable consideration of a program at a later date.


Reference:
– * Source and language for What are Impact Fees and What can Transportation Impact Fees be used for? Comes from https://mrsc.org/research-tools/ask-mrsc
– To read Council Bill 120635 – click here

Background reading links:
– CM Pedersen’s page
– CM Herbold’s page
– Seattle Times: Seattle Leader Wants Developers to Help Pay for Transportation Projects


Some talking points on this topic:
•        Seattle is overdue for impact fees to help us pay for our transportation infrastructure rather than piling the entire cost-burden on homeowners and renters through property taxes. 
•        Seattle is an outlier when 70 other Washington State cities, including Bellevue, Redmond, Renton, Bainbridge Island (as well as cities across the nation) collect this important revenue for better infrastructure to support growth. 
•        Impact fees do not interfere with growth – Bellevue, Redmond and many other cities in Washington use those fees and these cities have not stopped growing. 
•        Seattle’s proposed impact fees would be relatively small in comparison with other cities’ programs.
•        Public, non-profit, and other low-income housing projects could be exempt from these fees. 
•        Impact fee revenue can be used for projects that support for ALL modes of travel, including pedestrians, transit, bikes, and freight. 
•        Impact fee revenue would free up other transportation revenues that Seattle needs to fix our aging bridges.  
•        Impact fees could be used to help pay for new or replacement trees in upgraded rights of way (streets) projects. 
•        Impact fees are not likely to appreciably impact market rate housing production or rents – driving down land values reduces upward pressure on market rent rates.  
•        Impact fees will not reduce the supply of low-income housing: Low-income housing is likely to be exempt.

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Monthly Meeting, November, In-Person

Wednesday November 1, 2023, 7 PM

Location: Room 202 of the Good Shepherd Center4659 Sunnyside Ave N.

Agenda:

  • Welcome and Call to Order
  • Guests:
    • Scott Lien /Kamiak and Weinstein AU will present an update on their 6-story, 105-unit apartment building at 4318 Stone Way North.  The project will include space for restaurant & retail and also include parking for about 60 vehicles.
    • Councilmember Alex Pedersen or Toby Thaler /Pedersen’s office will go over the proposed Transportation Impact Fees legislation.
  • Committee reports
  • Announcements
    • Lid I-5 – Community Vision Workshop, Thursday, November 9, 2023, 5:30-8:00pm, Gould Hall Court, 3950 University Way NE.  Covering the highway, connecting communities – come brainstorm, share ideas, and help with envisioning the possibilities.  All are welcome.  To learn more and rsvp, click here.
    • 45th Street beautification projectVolunteers Needed – Creative project to replace the banners along 45th Street:  
      We have a small group of people interested and could use a few more!  This project needs outreach, project coordination, and creativity – does any of that sound like you?  If so, please email pres@wallingfordcc.org to get connected.
    • Seattle Needs Trees – There is a city-wide movement to amend the legislation to bring it into compliance with the City’s own 2035 Comprehensive Plan goals (30% coverage by 2037), as well as the state Growth Management Act. To learn more, click here.
    • Hybrid Meeting Tech Help: need volunteers with the equipment to lend to make the bi-monthly meetings hybrid.  It is something we would like to offer, but we need a volunteer or two to do so.  Contact pres@wallingfordcc.org if interested. 🙂
    • Next Monthly Meeting: Wednesday, Dec. 6, 7PM.
  • Good of the Order (anything people want to bring up)
  • Adjourn