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.
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.
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.
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.
This morning, the Council voted out of committee an ordinance that would extend for another six months the temporary moratorium on several forms of commercial development in the Aurora-Licton Springs Urban Village.
In contrast to the speed with which the Council passed a 12-month moratorium on commercial development in the Aurora-Licton Springs Urban Village last year, a proposed six-month extension is being considered more carefully.
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.
The Hearing Examiner’s Office has been adjudicating nine separate challenges by neighborhood organizations to the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the city’s city-wide MHA upzones. After a hearing on May 31 to discuss several motions for summary judgment, last Friday the Hearing Examiner issued rulings — and it largely went in favor of the city. The appeals are far from resolved, and won’t be until early fall, but several issues were taken off the table as potential flaws in the FEIS.
Here are some highlights and notes from today’s City Council meetings.
This morning’s big story: yesterday’s release of the final EIS for the proposed city-wide upzone of urban villages.