On Monday, the City Council started walking through proposed amendments to zoning in the city-wide MHA ordinance, starting with those in Council districts 4, 6 and 7. This morning, they covered the other four districts. As with Monday’s session, it was mostly a stress-free discussion that rarely bogged down in details. There were a few interesting moments, however, that exposed some recurring themes — and caused a couple of the Council members to show their cards.
Last week, the City Council discussed the cross-cutting issues related to the city-wide MHA legislation up for consideration. This week, it’s sorting through each Council district’s specific issues, starting with Districts 4,6 and 7 this afternoon.
This morning, Council member Rob Johnson and his colleagues took the citywide MHA legislation off the shelf, dusted it off, and restarted its journey to the finish line.
Back in October, the city issued its final environmental impact statement (FEIS) on proposed legislation loosening rules on building “backyard cottages” in single-family zones in Seattle, as well as a Racial Equity Toolkit evaluation of the impact of the legislation on racial disparities in the city. To no one’s surprise, an appeal has been filed against the FEIS — but the city is fighting back.
This morning, the Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee moved UW’s proposed update to its Major Institution Master Plan one step closer to adoption, making a handful of amendments and voting it out of committee. However, while the full Council is likely to approve it on Monday, what happens next is unclear.
This morning the City Council’s Select Committee on Citywide MHA met to get an update on where things stand after the Hearing Examiner’s decision last month, as well as next steps to move the legislation forward.
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.
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.
This morning, a Council committee put its fingerprints on the proposed University of Washington “Major Institution Master Plan,” and moved it forward in its approval.