It always drives us crazy that the city has important meetings in the summer. But this can’t be avoided; you should really pay attention to the upcoming HALA Focus Group meetings. These groups have been created to advise the city on the specifics of the Grand Bargain as it will “appear” in your neighborhood. Beginning in late May, they will be discussing zone wide changes to support the Grand Bargain in terms of height and density changes and possibly where those might be located within the neighborhoods.
The people in the Focus Groups are your neighbors and you can help them by showing up for two specific reasons. First, there will be a public comment time at the beginning of each meeting. You should let them know if you support the direction things are moving, or, if you don’t agree, tell them what should be done to make things better. Many of the Focus Group members are fairly new to the process of community planning and discussion, and it would be helpful for them to have suggestions to work with.
The second reason you should attend is so that YOU become more informed about what may be the biggest single transformative process to happen in this city in a long time. This is a big deal, and many eyes should be watching how this Grand Bargain is put together.
And while the Focus Groups will be concentrating on zoning changes, don’t forget that the overarching framework legislation has just been released which defines how much affordable housing developers will be required to put into each new building, and the terms of on-site production or allowing payment in lieu of on-site. Being familiar with the framework informs the zoning discussion; many eyes are also needed on that.
You can find which the schedule for the HALA Focus Groups (and which group your neighborhood is with) at http://www.seattle.gov/hala/focus-groups
The link to the Mandatory Housing Affordability – Residential Zones Framework Directors Rule is at http://murray.seattle.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Directors-Report.pdf
And if you are really ambitious, the link to the proposed framework legislation is at http://murray.seattle.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Directors-Report.pdf
The Framework legislation will have a public hearing on June 21, and this is the tentative schedule: 6/7 Planning and Land Use Zoning (PLUZ) Committee Briefing, 6/21 Public Hearing, 7/8 PLUZ committee discussion, 7/19 Possible PLUZ vote, 7/25 Possible Full Council vote