After five meetings and a contentious public hearing last week, the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee passed an amended MHA rezone for the Uptown urban center out of committee today.
After a long and contentious public hearing last week. Council member Rob Johnson has decided to withdraw one of two controversial amendments to the proposed MHA upzone of the Uptown Urban Center.
The Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee is holding a public hearing tonight on two issues: the proposed MHA rezone of the Uptown urban center, and some potential changes to the way that design reviews are done.
Many of the Council’s public hearings are perfunctory: the Council members already have a good idea how they plan to vote, and the most that commenters can hope for are to get some minor tweaks to the legislation. But as of last Friday when the PLUZ committee met to discuss the two topics, there are some big open issues that the Council is scratching its collective head over.
Yesterday afternoon, the City council adopted MHA upzones for three segments of the 23rd Avenue corridor in the Central Area, along with a companion resolution of other city commitments to addressing gentrification and displacement in that area.
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.
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).
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.
This afternoon the City Council voted unanimously to rezone the downtown and South Lake Union areas of the city, granting additional zoning capacity in exchange for affordable housing. Most of the discussion was around one controversial amendment.