Understanding the Comprehensive Plan and the MHA Program

The Council has been working its way through reviews of the various sections of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan, and the accompanying Mandatory Housing Affordability program. From the public comments during Council hearings and from discussions on social media, it’s clear that there is a lot of confusion about what the plans say. And it should be no surprise; the Comprehensive Plan is huge, and the city staff made many well-intentioned changes in the way it’s organized that are more confusing if you’re familiar with the old plan. They have published a “crosswalk” document to guide people trying to compare and …

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This week at Council Chamber

Monday morning, the Council Briefing will feature an annual report presentation on the Yesler Terrace  affordable housing project. Monday afternoon’s Full Council meeting will have the final vote on approving the sale of the Pacific Place Garage, and eleven appointments tot he Seattle Design Review Board. This week’s Introduction and Referral Calendar has two items of note: a Chief of Police Audit Report; an extension to the Seattle Opera’s lease of the Mercer Arena. Tuesday morning the Civil Rights. Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee meets, with a full agenda including: a review of the Economic Development and Arts & Culture elements …

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City Council to US Immigration: don’t screw up a good thing

Earlier this week Council member Lorena Gonzalez, the chair of the Gender Equity, Safe Communities, and New Americans Committee, circulated a letter for her colleagues on the City Council to sign. The letter is addressed to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and raises concerns about their proposal to increase fees for naturalization. In particular: The fee for Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, will increase from $595 to $640 — though they are also proposing a reduced fee of $320 for those whose household income is between  150% and 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. The application fee for form …

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