Category Archives: housing

Hearing examiner rules for city in ADU EIS appeal

This afternoon, the Office of the Hearing Examiner released its ruling on an appeal of the adequacy of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the City Council’s proposed legislation relaxing rules on the construction of ADUs (aka “mother in law apartments” and “backyard cottages”) in single-family residential zones in Seattle.

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Understanding Rent Control

Council member Kshama Sawant has decided that 2019 is the year to push for rent control in Seattle — even though there is still a statewide ban on it. She held a rally last week announcing that she would be introducing rent control legislation (to become effective if/when the state lifts its ban), and earlier this week she invited the Seattle Renters Commission to present in her committee (video here) on why they are recommending that the city implement rent control.

I’m not an economist, not a landlord, nor a renter. But since we’re having this debate, I went to the UW Library and pulled the literature on rent control so I could understand the issues, the studies, and what the experts conclude.  Here’s what I found.

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Rentberry takes a double-loss in its case against the city’s moratorium

Friday was a bad day for Rentberry in Seattle. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones ruled against it in its lawsuit challenging the City of Seattle’s moratorium on rent-bidding web sites. And in a separate case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a blow to Rentberry’s key argument — and its best hope of winning on appeal.

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Anti-displacement bill gets first discussion

This morning, Council member Lisa Herbold’s bill requiring developers to replace any affordable housing units demolished by construction projects got its first hearing, in the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee.  And it didn’t get the warm welcome that one might expect. Rather, there was a complicated and sometimes frustrating conversation.

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MHA legislation passes out of committee after showdown over amendments (UPDATED)

It took about fours hours, but the Council worked its way through all of the proposed amendments to the city-wide MHA legislation and passed it out of committee this afternoon (and evening).

Here’s how it played out.

Council members Mosqueda (lectern), Gonzalez (far left), and Johnson (far right) hold a press conference on the MHA legislation, with supporters of the bill.

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Preview of Monday’s pivotal MHA meeting

Two weeks ago the Council walked through all of its proposed amendments to the city-wide MHA ordinance; I wrote up the results here. Tomorrow afternoon, they are scheduled to vote on those amendments, vote it out of committee, and then give final approval to the ordinance on March 18th..

The Council will also start discussing a draft companion resolution to accompany the MHA bill that commits the Council to several other actions.

Here’s a preview of how things are shaking out, and the awkward conversations the Council members will need to have tomorrow as they vote on amendments.

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