Have you donated yet to the appeal?

If you have, will you dig deeper and donate more?

The City has not adequately assessed the negative impacts of its planned upzones, nor studied reasonable alternatives to upzoning to create affordable housing. 


This is why Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity (
SCALE) has filed a legal appeal of the Environmental Impact Statement with the Hearing Examiner against the City.

SCALE logo

28 community groups are joined together as SCALE to take legal action against the City to demand an honest and unbiased assessment of the impacts of upzoning on neighborhoods, tree canopy loss, displacement, schools and small businesses.

SCALE has been successful in funding our legal fees so far, with the generous support of Seattle citizens, Coalition members and a number of skilled volunteer lawyers among us. However, this is a very large and complex appeal.

In order to fund next legal steps, we need to redouble our fundraising efforts in April. Can you help now?

Thank you for caring about the future of our city as a livable place for all!


Please make a donation today! 

Simply click on the green button!


Checks made out to Seattle Fair Growth can be mailed to:

Seattle Fair Growth
2442 NW Market Street, Box 487
Seattle, WA 98107

Seattle Fair Growth is acting as fiscal agent for Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity (SCALE).

If your community organization is interested in joining us and would like a presentation from SCALE, please contact sfg@seattlefairgrowth.com.
To learn more about why we are appealing the Mandatory Housing Affordability Environmental Impact Statement please read the following editorial from our legal team – All of Seattle’s Neighborhoods deserve a say in upzoning upheaval as well as Susanna Lin’s op-ed in the Seattle Times Entitled “Don’t believe HALA upzone hype
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Urgent action needed, including emailing individual Seattle City Councilmembers and the Mayor, to prevent further reductions of on-street parking in crowded neighborhoods

Last year, Livable Phinney won a great victory before the Hearing Examiner. Seattle City Code allows efficiency unit developments with no parking in neighborhoods with “frequent transit.” The flawed rationale is that if transit is frequent, cars aren’t needed. Frequent transit is defined as one bus every 15 minutes. Livable Phinney was able to show for a project in their neighborhood that, though the bus schedule shows buses arriving every 15 minutes, in actuality, 40% of the time, buses were not “frequent,” so the Hearing Examiner agreed that an efficiency unit development without parking was illegal and couldn’t be built.

The Seattle City Council majority refuses to address parking overcrowding and is prepared to change the definition of “frequent transit” from one bus every 15 minutes to one bus every 20 minutes to continue to avoid addressing parking.

The Herbold Amendment: Councilmember Lisa Herbold has proposed an amendment (see attached) to address parking overcrowding in some neighborhoods. Under current City Code, even if a parking study shows a development will aggravate parking overcrowding, STAFF CANNOT ADD MITIGATING CONDITIONS to address parking. Under the Herbold Amendment, if on-street parking occupancy in the surrounding neighborhood is at or above 85%, staff can add mitigating conditions, such as requiring additional off-street parking, denying RPZ passes to buildings shown to aggravate parking overcrowding, or other measures.

ACTION REQUESTED:  Please email the listed Councilmembers and Mayor urging them to support the Herbold Amendment, which will probably be considered by the full City Council at its April 2, 2018 meeting at 2PM in City Hall. It is critical that we support Councilmember Herbold to show the full City Council how important parking is to the neighborhoods. A simple, sample email that can be used or modified is provided below; the below list of Councilmembers and Mayor could be pasted in the “To:” field, though separate emails to each Councilmember and the Mayor would probably be more effective.


Use this template or write your own:

Dear Councilmembers and Mayor:

Please support Councilmember Herbold’s amendment to Council Bill 119173, off-street parking regulations, currently scheduled for consideration by the full City Council on April 2, 2018.  The amendment allows, but doesn’t require, parking mitigation for an individual project, when on-street parking occupancy in the surrounding neighborhood is at or above 85%.

lisa.herbold@seattle.gov, bruce.harrell@seattle.gov, kshama.sawant@seattle.gov, rob.johnson@seattle.gov, debora.juarez@seattle.gov, mike.obrien@seattle.gov, sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov , teresa.mosqueda@seattle.gov, lorena.gonzalez@seattle.gov, jenny.durkan@seattle.gov


The Herbold Amendment Summary: Councilmember Lisa Herbold has proposed an amendment to CB119221 (previously CB119173) to address parking overcrowding in some neighborhoods.

Under current City Code, even if a parking study shows a development will aggravate parking overcrowding, staff cannot add mitigating conditions to address parking.

Under the Herbold Amendment, if on-street parking occupancy in the surrounding neighborhood is at or above 85%, staff can add mitigating conditions, such as requiring additional off-street parking, denying RPZ passes to buildings shown to aggravate parking overcrowding, or other measures.

Councilmember Lisa Herbold Amendment – SEPA mitigation of off-street parking impacts

READ full text here (updated): Council Bill 119173: Potential amendments for vote – Attachment 9. Amendment Fa: SEPA mitigation authority 

This amendment would change the City’s policies under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) to allow the city to condition approval of development on parking for projects within an area with frequent transit service in an urban village and to allow mitigation of parking impacts through limits on RPZ permits.

The City’s SEPA policies, pursuant to Washington State law, require analysis of impacts of development on parking. If impacts are identified, the City’s SEPA policies provide a range of methods to mitigate those impacts, including:

  • Transportation management programs;
  • Parking management and allocation plans;
  • Incentives for use of alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles;
  • Increasing the amount of parking required for the development; or
  • Reducing non-residential development densities.

However, the SEPA policies remove the authority to mitigate parking impacts from individual projects in areas where parking requirements have been removed. This includes the following areas:

  • Most Urban Centers, such as Capitol Hill/First Hill, Downtown, South Lake Union, Uptown and parts of the University Community;
  • Station Area Overlay districts (around light rail stations);
  • Parts of urban villages within a frequent transit service area; and
  • Areas where on-street parking is not at capacity and would not be at capacity after the development.

The proposed amendment would allow parking mitigation in frequent transit service areas in urban villages when parking is at or over 85% capacity and would allow restrictions on RPZ permits as a potential mitigation measure.

You tell me this filthy choking air is progress, that your steel and glass boxes are better than each tree, happy, green, full of life

Poem for May 16th by James A. StansberryIMG_20171019_075935.jpg

From the many tribes singing in my blood
I come and I say, you are the same people
who brought trinkets, worthless then, less now
to bargain, we would have simply welcomed you
to our land, but, you could not hear it
singing then, cannot hear it crying now
and you took it all, greedy then, greedier now
and you tell me

me  with Cherokee, Blackfoot, African and Haitian

dancing in my blood, you tell me this filthy choking air
is progress, that your steel and glass boxes are better
than each tree, happy, green, full of life
arms full of Mother Sky, you tell me

again

a lie

you, who only hear dollars whispering
coin’s empty tarnished hurdy-gurdy

you tell me

a neighborhood is this mad destructive dance
and I say, with my red blood, my African blood, my Haitian blood
you are wrong, you are lying, again, and this time
I reject your trinkets, because this time I see you
for the broken trickster you really are and I say
not one more tree, not one more house, not one
more family on the street, this stops here.

 

James A. Stansberry is an author, nature activist, shaman and resident of the U District. I had the pleasure of meeting James while protesting the U District upzones in 2016. The U District was the first neighborhood upzoned under former Mayor Ed Murray’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA).

More than two dozen community groups, including Seattle Fair Growth, have joined together to take legal action against the City stating it has not adequately studied the negative impacts of the proposed upzones. To learn more about the appeal and to make a donation to help cover legal costs, click here.

Former Mayor Ed Murray’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda falls short on both affordability and livability. We can do better.

An edited version of this statement was given by Alex Pedersen on February 12, 2018 at the District 4 public hearing on Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA). It is are shared here with permission.

Alex Pedersen with his children - Copy

Alex Pedersen, founder of the neighborhood newsletter http://www.4toExplore.org and former legislative aide to Tim Burgess. Alex and his family have lived in the Ravenna neighborhood for over a decade.

Good evening.

Thank you, City Councilmembers, for travelling from City Hall to our neighborhood to have this public hearing tonight.

My name is Alex Pedersen. My family and I live in Ravenna and, for the past several years, we have published a neighborhood newsletter that celebrates Northeast Seattle (www.4toExplore.org). As someone who has worked in both the public and private sectors to analyze affordable housing, let me say this about the proposal before you tonight:

We can do better.

We can do better because former Mayor Ed Murray’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda falls short on both affordability and livability.

We can do better by increasing the percentages of affordable housing. Setting aside only 2% to 12% benefits the wealthy 1% at the top of the economic food chain while leaving only scraps to the low-income families who need the affordable housing.

We can do better by inserting meaningful protections against economic displacement. Among the many disruptions caused by upzones, upzoning too much, too soon causes land values to spike. Higher land values mean higher taxes, which can push out vulnerable populations including senior citizens and small, neighborhood businesses.

We can do better by requiring more affordable housing on site — we want the affordable housing in our neighborhoods — that is the right thing – the equitable thing — to do. So then build it now, build it onsite – instead of letting developers discriminate and delay by writing a check and being “NIM-D’s” — “not in my developments.”

We can do better by crafting fair Impact Fees to help build more public schools. Sensible Impact Fees are charged throughout Washington State and throughout the nation and we need them in Seattle so that growth pays for growth.

We can do better by concentrating the growth within the existing boundaries of the Urban Villages where frequent and reliable transit already exists, rather than forcing it upon neighborhoods where it would benefit only real estate speculators.

Finally, we can do better by letting our new Mayor Jenny Durkan provide more affordability and more livability, rather than ramming through the backroom deal of the former mayor.

Please continue your hard work for our city by rapidly revising the proposal so that it is truly affordable, truly livable, and much, much better for everyone. Thank you.

The Seattle Times Opinion: “All of Seattle’s neighborhoods deserve a say in upzoning upheaval”

Below is an excerpt from the February 14, 2018 Seattle Times (for the full article click here). Written by Claudia Newman and David Bricklin, attorneys who are representing Seattle Coalition for Affordability Livability and Equity (SCALE) in the hearing examiner appeal of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the citywide implementation of the Mandatory Housing Affordability policy. Seattle Fair Growth is one of the 26 member groups of SCALE.

In the same way that we protect wetlands, streams and habitat in the face of increased development, we must also protect our schools, mobility, walking, trees, character and open spaces in the face of increased development in the urban areas.

The Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) began this process the right way. It reviewed, in great detail, the impacts of upzoning in South Lake Union. Then, city planners reviewed, in detail, the impacts of an upzone in the University District. Next was Lower Queen Anne. It’s not clear why former Mayor Ed Murray’s staff then jettisoned that careful neighborhood-by-neighborhood approach and proposed a single piece of legislation to upzone 27 neighborhoods at once. Analyzing so many changes all at once was an impossible task. It resulted in meaningless generalities, omissions, misleading statements and outright inaccuracies.

Ballard is not the same as Beacon Hill. Madison Valley is nothing like West Seattle. Greenwood and Jackson Place and North Rainier each have their own unique layout and issues.

From 1994 to 2003, the city engaged in an extensive, bottom-up, neighborhood-specific planning process. Neighbors and city staff developed plans for individual neighborhoods. The goal was to allow higher density in a way that would protect the quality of each neighborhood. Roughly 30,000 citizens of Seattle worked on those neighborhood plans.

But in 2015, Mayor Murray entered into the “Grand Bargain” with developers and affordable-housing advocates. The so-called “grand” bargain was consummated only by omitting a key constituency from the agreement — impacted residents. The people who live in the neighborhoods and know them best had no meaningful representation at the table. The neighborhood plans were sidelined.

 

To learn more about the SCALE legal appeal and to make a donation visit seattlefairgrowth.org/appeal.

One can support density and still be against the MHA upzone proposal

The following comments were given by Julie McCleery on February 12, 2018 at the District 4 public hearing on MHA. They are shared here with permission.

julie headshot

Dr. Julie McCleery is a Wallingford resident and researcher at UW whose work focuses on building healthy communities, especially for youth.

Thank you for your time. I think it’s important to note that one could be for increased density and still against this particular proposal. I am against this legislation for a number of reasons but will focus on the lack of feasibility study, mitigation, and concurrency planning. Specifically, the lack of neighborhood-centric planning means that the plan for Wallingford fails to take into account a variety of issues that warrant consideration prior to determining density levels and, that if not addressed, run counter to the principles at the heart of urban village design.

These issues include, but are not limited to, the following

          Wallingford is the only urban village that will house a middle school and a high school in its center. 2000 young people will come and go daily. No consideration was given to that fact in either the renovation of Lincoln High School or in the design of the urban village. Nowhere in this city do we have a model for what it looks like to manage the school buses, metro buses, cars, cars with teen drivers, bikes and pedestrians within a high density urban village with two school zones. The safety and transit implications warrant your attention now. 

          Hamilton and Lincoln will be the only comprehensive middle and high schools in the city without athletic fields. Further, Wallingford is the only community without adequate access to a community center (defined by the City’s only levels of service). And Wallingford has the second smallest library in the city – which does not have capacity to provide services for Wallingford’s population.

Therefore, all of these students (as well as the residents of Wallingford) have to leave the urban village to access these civic amenities, increasing dependence on transit and running counter to the plans for a walkable, inclusive, dense neighborhood.

The City has worked hard to build civic infrastructure near students, seniors and those in need of services in other communities. Serving the residents – both existing and new – of urban villages should be part of the larger vision for HALA. This means access to high quality, low cost services should be part of the land use, urban planning and design conversation right along with density, not an afterthought.

Seattle Times op ed “Don’t believe HALA upzone hype”

Excerpt from the Seattle Times op ed written by Seattle Fair Growth board member Susanna Lin:

“The city has produced a biased study that does not honestly or accurately assess the impacts of those zoning changes on displacement, the loss of tree canopy, school capacity, historic and cultural resources, transportation, small businesses and infrastructure. The city’s document also fails to study alternatives beyond upzones that could better address our affordability crisis with fewer adverse impacts

The concern about the city’s upzone proposals are so great it has spurred more than two dozen community groups from across Seattle to come together to file a legal appeal challenging the adequacy of the study. The new coalition is called Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity. It is composed of neighborhood, housing and homeless advocacy groups, small business and environmental groups from across Seattle. sdr

To read the full piece, click on this link:
https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/dont-believe-hala-upzone-hype/

To donate to the Coalition’s appeal against the HALA upzone impact study, click here: seattlefairgrowth.org/feisdonate.html

 

Seattle Fair Growth mentioned in the French publication Le Monde diplomatique…

“Susanna Lin, of the Seattle Fair Growth association, lives in the Wallingford district, recently invaded by developers. She said: ‘You can’t just let the developers build and build and build, and not also build schools, and not also invest in transit, and not also invest in sewers, in roads, in fire protection.”

For the full story, please follow this link: https://mondediplo.com/2017/11/05seattle

Get out the vote!

**Ballots due November 7th**
Seattle does not need more developer-funded elected officials in City Hall.  Seattle Fair Growth recommends the following candidates for City Council:
  • Vote: Jon Grant, City Council position 8
    Jon Grant is a housing advocate and grass roots organizer.  He is not taking any campaign contributions from developers or CEOs.  He is advocating for a tax on our wealthiest corporations to build 5,000 units of public housing, which would virtually end unsheltered homelessness in Seattle.  If you want someone with real solutions to our housing crisis, vote Jon Grant for City Council, position 8
  • Vote: Pat Murakami, City Council position 9
    Pat has decades of experience advocating and volunteering for our neighborhoods, public safety and our schools.  She is a strong voice against developer-driven policies and upzones and is not taking political campaign contributions from developers.  If you want a strong neighborhood voice on City Council, vote Pat Murakami for City Council, position 9.

Wallyhood: “The life and death of our Neighborhood Plan”

Screen Shot 2017-10-21 at 2.57.28 PM

Using Wallingford as an example, this post on the Wallyhood blog shows us how much our neighborhood planning process has fallen over the years.   Click here to read the full blog post.

Attend the city hosted meeting on October 26th to demand the City return to a neighborhood-driven planning process.

Comprehensive Plan Amendment Meeting:
Thursday, October 26, 2017, 6 – 7:30PM
Hales Brewery (in the Palladium)
4301 Leary Way NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Two topics covered: (1) City asking you to write single family zoning out of our Neighborhood Plans, (2) What impacts should be studied for proposed backyard cottage/in-law apartment legislation

Meeting announcement: http://www.seattle.gov/hala/calendar?trumbaEmbed=eventid%3D125000719%26view%3Devent%26-childview%3D