Early last week, Council member Kshama Sawant turned her committee hearing into a political rally to demand that the Council overturn the Human Services Department’s RFP results and restore funding for organizations that lost funding, most notably SHARE, WHEEL, The Women’s Referral Service, and an Urban Rest Stop. After some behind-the-scenes shuttle diplomacy by Council member Teresa Mosqueda, the Council did that very thing this afternoon.
First the Seattle City Council passed an ordinance allowing Uber drivers to unionize, to try to address issues with compensation and conditions for drivers. Then last fall it passed an ordinance limiting AirBnB rentals, to try to stop short-term rentals from bleeding off badly-needed units from the local housing market. Now it has a new target: rental housing auction platforms such as Rentberry and Biddwell.
As a result of the City Council passing new regulations on short-term rentals, the city’s Department of Construction and Inspections has published updated rules, including interpretations of the new ordinance. You may be surprised by a few of the rules.
This morning the Progressive Revenue Task Force held its second meeting, the first with substantive discussions of the issues. There were some important insights that help clarify the picture of the need — and the possible ways to address it.
(updated 1/19/18 10:00am — the city provided updated slides with corrections for bad data and incorrect math)
This evening the Office of Housing held a public hearing on the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed affordable housing project at the old Fort Lawton site in Magnolia. It was a standing-room-only crowd, and the vast majority of speakers voiced their support for the project.
This afternoon the City Council voted to approve the third piece of the short-term rental (i.e. AirBnB) regulatory structure, completing the Council’s work on regulating the nascent but quickly growing market.
The third and final piece of Seattle’s short-term rental regulation scheme passed out of committee this morning, though it still might see some changes before it is voted into law next Monday.
This coming Monday the Council will try to pass the proposed regulations on short-term rentals, such as those listed on AirBnB. But first they have a few more amendments to consider.
As part of officially introducing the employee hours tax (aka the “head tax”) into the budget process last week, Council members O’Brien, Harris-Talley and Sawant submitted draft legislation for it. Now that it’s something concrete and not just a set of talking points, let’s look at what it says, and what it means.
Last December, the city’s Hearing Examiner ruled that the city needed to perform an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before it could proceed to enact changes to the rules for mother-in-law apartments and backyard cottages (aka ADUs and DADUs). The city is now moving ahead with the EIS process, and you have your first opportunity to provide input.