Notes from today’s Council meetings

Here’s what the Council members got done over Zoom today.

This afternoon, the Council reconsidered last week’s vote that failed to pass a bill temporarily suspending the Design Review Board. After adopting a revised amendment from Council member Morales (who voted “no” last week), she flipped her vote to “yes” and the bill passed by a 7-2 vote with Council members Herbold and Pedersen voting “no” again. Pedersen objected to passing the bill as emergency legislation, and Herbold said that she believed the provision of the bill that exempts all affordable housing projects from design review runs afoul of the Governor’s proclamation prohibiting action that is not either in response to the COVID-19 emergency or is “necessary and routine.”

Council member Lewis offered a new amendment that would force projects participating in the “Living Building” pilot projects to continue through the full Design Review Board process, but his amendment was rejected.

The Council also passed a pair of resolutions kicking off the process of renewing the University District Business Improvement Area. Council member Pedersen said this morning that the renewal bill will be considered in Council member Morales’s committee. The process requires holding a public hearing, and the city must mail out notices to the BIA ratepayers before approving the renewal.

Today the Council members also signed a proclamation declaring April to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This Wednesday is Denim Day, where people are encouraged to wear denim to raise awareness of and protest all forms of sexual violence.

The Council also passed a resolution ratifying (without changes) Mayor Durkan’s emergency proclamation capping third-party restaurant delivery fees at 15%, until either the Mayor’s emergency order is revoked or restaurants are once again allowed to offer dine-in food service.