In a unanimous opinion released this morning, the State Supreme Court ruled that the City of Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Ordinance applies to UW campus — a major blow to UW’s efforts to assert its independence over what happens on its campus.
The Office of Planning and Community Development has responded to citizen requests by extending the deadline for public comment on the city-wide MHA upzone Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
On June 8th, the city published a Draft Environment Impact Statement (DEIS) for the “city-wide” implementation of the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program. It’s 462 pages of dense material. Here’s your cheat sheet.
This morning the Council voted to pass the pending MHA rezone of the Chinatown-International District out of committee and forward it to the full Council for final approval. But they did so knowing they still had much work to do on the bill.
As the neighborhood MHA upzones have been working their way through the Seattle legislative process, Council member Rob Johnson has held out hope that development projects already in the queue for permits could be enticed to “opt in” to the MHA program, gaining the ability to build bigger structures in return for delivering affordable housing. This afternoon, Johnson announced that his hope is becoming reality, with seven projects in the Downtown-South Lake Union area beginning the process to opt in.
This morning, the Council heard a proposal to tighten the rules and streamline others in order to prevent vacant buildings from becoming neighborhood nuisances — or worse, fire hazards.
If Council member Mike O’Brien has his way, the land use code will be amended to allow opponents of the proposed King County Youth Service Center to appeal issuance of a Master Use Permit for the facility.
Since the beginning of the year, MHA upzones have been approved for the University District and the Downtown/South Lake Union areas of the city. Now the third piece is up for consideration: the Chinatown/International District (CID).
Lots of zoning talk this morning.
The city’s Incentive Zoning program has its roots in the 1970’s and has grown and changed much in the decades since then. Today it’s co-managed by the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) and the Office of Housing (OH). Last year, Council member O’Brien asked the City Auditor to verify whether the city was accurately applying the IZ land use code to projects that opted into the program. They found a long list of issues and made 22 recommendations for improvements to the program. This morning, the City Council was briefed on the findings.