Notes from today’s Council meetings

It was a three-fer Monday: a Council Briefing, a full Council meeting, and a Parks District meeting. Here’s what went down.

This afternoon, the Council approved a resolution naming February 4, 2020 as the date for a public hearing, to be conducted by the Hearing Examiner, in which property owners for the Waterfront LID may appeal their individual assessments. Those who wish to appeal must do s in writing in advance of the hearing date, then will have a chance to present their case. Following the public hearing, the Hearing Examiner will rule on each appeal. Property owners who disagree may then appeal the ruling to the City Council. As Council member Bagshaw and some members of the public have already noted, it’s entirely possible that hundreds of people may challenge their assessments, which could turn into months of work for the Hearing Examiner — and potentially the Council. 2020 is going to be so much fun!

Council member Herbold took a moment this morning to celebrate last week’s state Supreme Court ruling in favor of the city that upheld the “First in Time” tenant protection ordinance. However, she chose to highlight a side-effect: that the Court’s recognition of the lowest level of review, “rational basis,” as the proper standard for government takings in land-use regulation cases, “will have a positive impact to policy-making” for the city. Herbold also noted that the Office for Civil Rights has already developed administrative rules for the FIT ordinance, and now that the court has ruled it constitutional, they will be putting the rules back up on their web site shortly.

Council member Juarez announced that her next Civic Development, Public Assets and Native Communities Committee meeting will be on December 4th, and will cover:

  • an updated report on the legislation authorizing the Monorail to accept ORCA Cards for payment;
  • an agreement with the Seattle Aquarium to build the Ocean Pavilion along the waterfront;
  • appointments to the Central Waterfront Oversight Committee.

This afternoon, in the Parks District meeting, Superintendent of Parks Jesus Aguirre gave an update on the Parks District projects and spending in 2019 across its four main themes: “fix it first,” “maintaining parks and facilities,” “programs for people,” and “building for the future.” You can watch the presentation here. Next Monday, the Parks District meets again and will approve the 2020 budget for the Parks District and the 2020 levy rate.

Finally, Council President Harrell announced this morning that on Wednesday evening at Garfield High School there will be a screening of the movie “On The Brink,” which tells the story of Seattle’s Central District.