Two weeks ago, I reported that King County Metro had pulled the plug on an RFP for a transit-oriented development (TOD) project in Northgate, infuriating Council member Juarez.
Today the Seattle Times reports that in a letter to Juarez, her colleague Council member Mosqueda, and Mayor Durkan, the county has committed to issuing a new RFP by July 31st. It also says that the County land to be used for affordable housing must be provided to the nonprofit developer at no cost, and that the amount of required affordable housing units will be increased from what was in the original RFP.
UPDATED: This afternoon Juarez released a statement on King County’s decision:
“With two hospitals, a college and major a shopping center, Northgate is widely recognized as being important to the City as a whole. Today’s decision by the King County Executive further underscores that North Seattle can – and should – be a shining example for other neighborhoods and institutions who are watching to see how Northgate transit-oriented development will unfold and enhance the region,” said Debora Juarez, District 5 – North Seattle. “Furthermore NGTOD will serve as a model for development which can be replicated elsewhere around Seattle to include transit-oriented childcare and other aspects of city living that are vital to our region, including District 5.”
At the beginning of June, King County cancelled its pending RFP for a “transit-oriented development” (TOD) affordable-housing project on county-owned property next to the forthcoming Northgate light-rail station, and said that it would be starting over with the process. Council member Debora Juarez, whose District 5 includes Northgate, is fed up with the delays on the project, and she and other city leaders are giving King County Executive Dow Constantine an earful.
The Hearing Examiner’s Office has been adjudicating nine separate challenges by neighborhood organizations to the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the city’s city-wide MHA upzones. After a hearing on May 31 to discuss several motions for summary judgment, last Friday the Hearing Examiner issued rulings — and it largely went in favor of the city. The appeals are far from resolved, and won’t be until early fall, but several issues were taken off the table as potential flaws in the FEIS.
Back in January, Mayor Durkan announced a proposal to use $5.3 million from the sale of a city property to fund “bridge housing” to get more of the city’s homeless population off the streets. The City Council tweaked the plan a bit, but in the end Durkan’s $5.3 million survived and the Council ratified the funding plan in February.
Today Durkan is revealing the next step: a specific plan for how the money should be spent.
Tomorrow a bill will be introduced into the City Council’s legislative process that repeals the tax imposed last year on short-term rentals such as those offered through AirBnB and HomeAway. But if you thought the city might be turning over a new leaf in its tax policy, think again.
Earlier this year, the Council passed a one-year moratorium on sites such as Rentberry and Biddwell that allow landlords to conduct auctions for their rental properties. Today, the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court challenging that moratorium.
Friday morning the Council will once again take up the proposed head tax, this time offering and voting on specific amendments. While we can expect some last-minute amendments, several have already been posted online. Here’s what will be up for consideration.
This morning, two landlords and the Rental Housing Association of Washington filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court challenging the City of Seattle’s “Fair Chance Housing” tenant-protection ordinance that prohibits the use of criminal records in selecting tenants.