by Sarajane Siegfriedt
As John Fox and the Seattle Displacement Coalition correctly said, in Comp Plan Land Use Appendix A-1 page three totals), the real number is 35%. The 65% comes from the City Dept. of Planning which is the mouthpiece of the developers. They've excluded rights-of-way from the total acreage to get "Net Acreage." What's that? Why would anyone include it? Then for some inexplicable reason, they include parks and even Green Lake in the single-family part. So both the numerator and the denominator have to be changed to get this "65% of Seattle is zoned SF" Big Lie. The culprit is the city planners, who are in the pockets of the developers.
The real question for [the author of a recent crosscut article] Eric is, what is the carrying capacity of the zoned land? For SF >4,000 s.f., it's two units, either a mother-in-law apartment or a backyard cottage. If the HALA is successful in upzoning all urban villages to low-rise or midrise, what is the zoned capacity of these areas? In my Lake City urban village, a 162-unit, 7-story (not 6) midrise (with 6 so-called live/work units on the ground floor) is replacing three SF homes and one 22-unit courtyard building. I figure that's an increase of 600% to 800%, or 15% affordable units displaced by 162 new market-rate units. (These 25 units were demolished in 2015.)
The HALA proposes to increase multifamily zoning from 10% of the city to 13% in urban villages, plus upzoning along transit corridors to midrise multifamily (NC-65) for another 3% of the city to make multifamily zoning 16% of the city. That's a 60% increase from current acreage, and an increase of capacity of at least 600%. It's hard to defend any more increases to SF density on the basis of need, unless you believe developers need to develop more SF mansions. Bingo!
by Jon Lisbin
The Seattle PI (remember them) takes a critical look at the timing of the City's proposed Mandatory Affordable Housing program (MHA). I was particularly dismayed at this contradiction in perception and reality, not to mention the trend lines:
"Johnson was also quick to point out that much of the current boom is in commercial development, with residential having stayed more consistent with historical figures. According to the Downtown Seattle Association’s midyear report, residential development is currently breaking records. Last year, 3,500 residential units were completed -- a new record -- and with 12,000 units added since 2010 and 7,500 still under construction, downtown alone has seen a 44 percent increase in housing stock since 2010, the report found. What’s more, 20,000 new units are scheduled for completion after 2017."
by Lisa Parriott
It all started with us trying to save our magnificent Silent Giant, a vibrant 100 foot ponderosa pine that reaches straight up to the sky…
George, our elderly neighbor, had told us for years that he would never sell his property to a developer; he loved his big beautiful pine tree and he never wanted it cut down. But in the end, he did sell his home to a developer. The day after his property hit the market last winter, he was offered $30,000 over the asking price; all he had to do was agree to the terms before the offer expired on Saturday – the day before Sunday’s open house. Acceptance meant he would receive a lump sum of $505,000, cash, a month before Christmas.
We do not believe George knew that the purchaser was a developer. Nor do we believe George knew that he had side yard that could be potentially split into a second lot (~3,100sf ) and developed. The price he was paid certainly did not reflect that.
From the Wallingford Community Council
Increased density and zoning changes are proposed in Seattle's urban villages under the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) framework. The City has determined that MHA will have a significant adverse impact on the environment, and therefore the City is required to complete an environmental impact statement (EIS). The EIS will consider potential impacts associated with land use, housing and socioeconomics, public services, transportation, utilities, open space and recreation, aesthetics and height/bulk/scale, and historic resources.
The City government needs to hear from you now regarding the impacts of the proposed zoning changes! Development without concurrent mitigation benefits no one, regardless of whether one resides inside or outside of an urban village, in an apartment, a condominium, or a house.
Comments are now being accepted on the scope of the EIS. You may comment on alternatives, mitigation measures, probable significant adverse impacts, and licenses or other approvals that may be required. Consider incorporating the concerns described below, and send your comments by 5:00 PM on September 9, 2016.
Please continue to read...
by Sarajane Siegfriedt
The purpose of Neighborhood councils and their representative District Councils is to build community and to bring the unique needs of each community to the attention of the city. For example, Maple Leaf would never have received its wildly successful park built on a reservoir lid without thousands of hours of volunteer community involvement. The North District Council was crucial in organizing a broad expression of community support for the 130th Street Station being included in the final version of the ST3 plan. The Mayor's plan for a Commission on Community Involvement doesn't in any way substitute for community organizing of for the volunteer hours required by neighborhood grants.