The City Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning (PLUZ) Committee will hold a public hearing to take comments on the Mayor’s Recommended Plan on Monday, June 27, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. For the meeting notice, click here.
Please attend and make public comment.
Sign-up sheet opens at 5:30pm, get there early & bring a neighbor. FYI: the city is providing Childcare. NOTE: 90 seconds /person (90 seconds is about 200 words or a bit less than half a page). Keep it clear & focused.
Summary of Top Concerns & Suggested Comments (for more details, click here):
1. Requirements missing to follow the Neighborhood Plans: Each neighborhood in Seattle has a unique character and developed a neighborhood plan on how to best accommodate projected growth while maintaining the livability that makes it unique. The Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan removes the requirements to follow the neighborhood plans, eliminating neighborhood input in planning for growth.
Recommendation: Do not repeal proper consideration of neighborhood planning & involvement.
2. Specific Rezone Criteria Removed, eliminating restrictions, guidelines and predictability for rezones. Not all urban villages are the same with identical services, composition, characteristics and history. Eliminating other considerations attempts to apply a one size fits all standard for zoning all urban villages.
Recommendation: Do not repeal the current criteria for rezones.
3. Ability to upzone & convert single family lands based on proximity to bus service.
GS 2.12 of the Mayor’s proposal reads, “Include the area that is generally within a ten-minute walk of light rail stations or very good bus service in urban village boundaries.” The underlined language was added by the Mayor to the original 2035 draft. This opens up any area within a ½ mile of “very good bus service” to be considered part of an urban village, essentially entire neighborhoods, including Wallingford. “Very good bus service” is not defined in the plan, and bus service is always changing. Urban village boundaries should not be based on undefined and temporary criteria.
Recommendation: Restore the language of the department’s proposal.
4. Affordability eliminated from the comprehensive plan’s land use policies. The Mayor’s plan eliminates provision LU11 retaining existing affordable housing along with other provisions.
Recommendation: Do not repeal current policies to protect and promote affordable housing.
5. All protective criteria and limits on upzoning of single family zones are eliminated. The Mayor claims to have backed off of the goal of eliminating single-family zones. Through vastly expanding the boundaries of urban villages, much of his proposed comprehensive plan moves the city closer to that objective.
Recommendation: Reject proposals which would eliminate or substantially reduce single family neighborhoods without consideration of local conditions and neighborhood planning.
6. The plan seeks to reduce automobile ownership by making parking more difficult. Policies like this favor the able bodied over the disabled and elderly, an equity and social justice problem. They harm small local businesses that depend on street parking, and they generally fail to acknowledge the realities of life in Seattle today. The city needs to come up with a non-punitive way to reduce car ownership, as well as provide us with better public transportation alternatives.
Recommendation: Require off-street parking in all new development.
Outside of Comp Plan: Create a task force to create non-punitive ways to reduce automobile ownership.
7. Chop-chop! Trees. Several provisions of the current LU39, LU40 and LU41 regarding tree retention, protection, and the indiscriminate removal or destruction of trees are jettisoned by the Mayor’s plan. Instead the Mayor proposes general language extolling the benefits of nature, an urban forest and the ecosystem.
Recommendation: Do not repeal current goals & policies protecting urban trees.
8. Equity lip-service replaces specific equitable goals and policies.
Recommendation: In addition to including the equity policy of LU 8.3, do not repeal current policies to preserve and develop equitable access to housing and transit for vulnerable populations.
Whether you are able or unable to attend the Public Hearing, please send in comments by 5pm, Monday, June 27th, via e-mail, phone calls & snail mail by 5pm, June 27th to Amy.Gore@seattle.gov and all city council members.
Please comment by email to the City Council, and/or by phone (206) 684-8888:
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And please submit your comments to Mayor Murray:
Link to Seattle 2035 NOTICE that the webpage touts "Neighborhood Plans" even though the language requiring them to be followed has been removed from the Mayor's Recommended Plan.