This afternoon, after years of work, the City Council gave final approval to the “city-wide” MHA legislation, which upzoned and applied affordable-housing requirements in the city’s urban villages .
This morning, Council member Lisa Herbold’s bill requiring developers to replace any affordable housing units demolished by construction projects got its first hearing, in the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee. And it didn’t get the warm welcome that one might expect. Rather, there was a complicated and sometimes frustrating conversation.
It took about fours hours, but the Council worked its way through all of the proposed amendments to the city-wide MHA legislation and passed it out of committee this afternoon (and evening).
Here’s how it played out.
Two weeks ago the Council walked through all of its proposed amendments to the city-wide MHA ordinance; I wrote up the results here. Tomorrow afternoon, they are scheduled to vote on those amendments, vote it out of committee, and then give final approval to the ordinance on March 18th..
The Council will also start discussing a draft companion resolution to accompany the MHA bill that commits the Council to several other actions.
Here’s a preview of how things are shaking out, and the awkward conversations the Council members will need to have tomorrow as they vote on amendments.
Last Friday, the City Council held its first public discussion of the amendments formally proposed for the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) “upzone” ordinance. While no official decisions were made (that will happen on February 25th), it became clear which ones had consensus support — and on others, where the battle lines are being drawn.
Two notable things happened today with regard to the proposed city-wide MHA “upzone” legislation: the city published the anticipated Final EIS addendum expanding on the historic resources analysis, and the City Council’s list of proposed amendments was released in advance of tomorrow’s MHA committee discussion.
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.