Yesterday Seattle’s Office of the Hearing Examiner released a ruling on a legal challenge to the city’s final Environmental Impact Statement on a proposed affordable housing project on the Fort Lawton property adjacent to Discovery Park in the Magnolia neighborhood. The ruling fully affirms the adequacy of the EIS and dismisses the challenge.
Last Wednesday, the Hearing Examiner for the City of Seattle released his ruling on the appeal of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the city’s Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) plan to upzone neighborhoods in exchange for required contributions to affordable housing. The ruling finds that the FEIS is adequate on nearly all grounds, except for its analysis of historic sites.
After years of complex transactions, land-use decisions, construction projects, and moving money around, the city of Seattle is on the verge of disposing of the “Mercer Megablock,” a 96,000 square foot parcel of land in the heart of South Lake Union. So naturally, a set of activists are agitating to have the city rethink the plan.
Council member Mike O’Brien’s proposal to increase the number of mother-in-law apartments and “backyard cottages” has been on hold for over two years, since the Hearing Examiner ruled in late 2016 that a full Environmental Impact Statement was required. The final EIS was published last week, and once the inevitable appeals are dealt with that hurdle will have been crossed. But later this week, O’Brien’s office will hold a special meeting to discuss a Racial Equity Toolkit evaluation of the proposal that looked on how it will affect underserved communities at risk of displacement.
Short and sweet today.
Last week, King County finally re-issued its RFP for a Transit-Oriented Development project in Northgate, next to the new light rail station. It fails to live up to its most significant promises.
In June, Rentberry filed for a preliminary injunction to block the City of Seattle’s prohibition on rent-bidding platforms. But last month, the company and the city agreed to set that motion aside and proceed directly to cross-motions for summary judgment. Rentberry’s new motion was filed last Friday.
This afternoon, Council President Bruce Harrell announced the newest Council committee: the Select Committee on Homelessness and Housing Affordability.
Five City Council members sent a letter to three of their counterparts on the King County Council, asking them to spend more lodging tax revenues on affordable housing.
On Monday, the Select Committee on Citywide Mandatory Housing met to discuss the status of the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) plan and to respond to public concerns. The Office of Housing (OH) spent much of its time addressing two common concerns: the public’s preference for “performance” over “payment,” and where OH should be able to spend money raised through payments.