Understanding the University District Rezone

Since 2011, the city has been working on a plan to rezone the University District as part of the long-term strategic effort to grow it into another “urban center.” That plan is now in its final stages, tentatively set to come up for a vote by the Council some time in January. The proposed rezone  plan is large, complex, and controversial. Let’s look at what it entails, and what the issues are.

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Homeless encampments meeting enters bizarro world

I’ve been scratching my head all afternoon and evening trying to figure out how to write something coherent about what was fundamentally an incoherent, chaotic meeting of the Human Services and Public Health Committee this morning to discuss the pending homeless encampment legislation. I’m going to give a quick rundown on what happened (ok, maybe not so quick) then share some thoughts and observations.

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Council takes up homeless encampment legislation

Yesterday morning the Council had its first substantive discussion on the merits of the bill introduced earlier this month to rewrite the city’s protocol for clearing unsanctioned homeless encampments. While yesterday’s meeting was intended to be just a forum for discussion with no decisions, it nevertheless highlighted just how much work needs to be done on the details of the bill before it’s ready for adoption – and how unlikely that work will be finished before the Council’s self-imposed deadline of the end of the month.

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Unionizing Uber drivers: harder than it looks

Last December, the City Council passed landmark legislation giving drivers for Uber and Lyft the right to engage in collective representation and bargaining. The ordinance delegated to the Director of the Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) department the rulemaking associated with defining the requirements for a Qualified Driver Representative (QDR) and the process for a QDR to officially be recognized as such and assume responsibilities for its members. The Council instructed FAS to have the rulemaking done no later than 240 days from the date the bill became law, which is  September 19th. You may recall that the Mayor declined …

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