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.
City, having blown its chance for affordable units in apartment boom, is now deflecting blame
By: Jon Lisbin
Re: Danny Westneat's Seattle Times Article:
Yes, the city has already blown it's chance. Truth is, like the stock market, trying to time the housing market is a losing game. The city needs a steady consistent growth strategy, one that involves the community and builds into it factors that maintain livability and minimizes displacement. What we're seeing is reactionary and will bite us in the end. Yes, that end.
That's why I believe an effective inclusionary zoning plan makes sense in theory. The current MHA-R proposal however needs major improvements such as increased contribution from developers, incentives for building on site, 1 on 1 replacement of affordable housing, impact fees etc. If you have a moment, please sign Seattle Fair Growth’s petition for managed growth.
Martin Kaplan nails it! Don't allow bureaucrats to stifle citizen engagement, and ram top down policies down our throats, while degrading the city we love! Read the op ed
"There is not a war between urbanists and neighborhoods, only a rising storm from thousands of Seattleites who love their city, but very much dislike Murray’s and O’Brien’s new ideological foundation behind one-size-fits-all zoning, top-down proclamations that ignore public input, and a forced march toward controversial policies with little if any background study, with no reliable metrics and data, and without a serious and citywide commitment to listen to neighborhoods and invite their unbiased input."
by Susanna Lin
There has been a lot of discussion about HALA, but a far broader change to Seattle land use policy is coming up in the form of a new version of the Comprehensive Plan. The City is required to draft a Comprehensive Plan which acts as a roadmap for urban planning over a 20 year period. We have reached the end of that 20 year period for our first Comprehensive Plan, so Mayor Ed Murray has undertaken to write another one, which will be the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan. The Mayor’s office has released the final draft, and a public hearing was held on the Comprehensive Plan on June 27th at 6:00 PM at City Hall.
Which tree is better for the environment?
The Comprehensive Plan is a massive document. It is 575 pages and its details could never be covered in one blog post. You may read through it here, or if you prefer there is a hard copy at the Wallingford Public Library.
The Comprehensive Plan includes a set of Neighborhood Plans. According to people involved in the initial drafting 20 years ago, it was a four year operation in which residents were really given a chance to shape the policy and it included an extensive vetting process with neighborhoods. It served as a lovely example of true neighborhood engagement.
The Neighborhood Plan lays out a fairly specific vision of how and where development should occur within the neighborhood, and the Comprehensive Plan made a binding commitment to that vision. In particular, areas zoned Single Family Residential could be upzoned (for example to Multifamily Residential) only where the Neighborhood Plan provides for it.
by John Fox and Carolee Colter, Seattle Displacement Coalition reprinted from Pacific Publishing newspapers April 2016
The Seattle Displacement Coalition has deep roots in Seattle’s neighborhood movement. We’ve written this “Outside City Hall” column, featuring important neighborhood issues, for 13 years. We personally know most of the leaders of Seattle’s active community councils, and our views are nearly always in synch with theirs.
For example, the Laurelhurst Community Council, representing one of Seattle’s toniest neighborhoods, was among the first to back a tough demolition-control law barring developers from tearing down our city’s affordable housing stock unless units were replaced one-for-one at comparable price.