A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

City conducting environmental review process for changing rules for building accessory dwelling units in single-family zones

October 6th, 2017 by Doree

The City of Seattle is conducting an environmental review process to study possible effects of changing rules for building accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in single-family zones.

ADUs include backyard cottages, known as Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs), and in-law apartments, known as Attached Accessory Dwelling Units (AADUs). The first phase of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process is to determine the scope of the study, and we want your input on what to consider and analyze as we explore allowing more ADUs in Seattle’s neighborhoods.

ADUs are small, secondary dwelling units inside, attached to, or in the rear yard of a single-family house. The City’s proposal involves allowing both an in-law apartment and a backyard cottage on the same lot, removing the existing off-street parking and owner-occupancy requirements, and changing some development standards that regulate the size and location of backyard cottages. Based on a decision from the City’s Hearing Examiner in December 2016, we’re preparing an EIS to review the potential environmental impacts of this proposal.

During the scoping phase, you can help us determine the alternatives we’ll study, potential environmental impacts to consider, and possible measures to avoid or reduce the effects of the proposal. Comments are due by 5:00 p.m. on November 1, 2017.

You can comment online; by email to ADUEIS@seattle.gov; by mail to Aly Pennucci, Council Central Staff, PO Box 34025, Seattle, WA 98124-4025; or in person at one of two public meetings, including from 6-7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Hale’s Ales (in the Palladium), 4301 Leary Way NW.

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City extends comment period on evaluation of citywide Mandatory Housing Affordability

July 6th, 2017 by Doree

The Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development has extended the public comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for three possible zoning changes needed to implement Mandatory Housing Affordability.

Those changes would apply to urban villages and other commercial and multifamily residential zones across the city.

The new deadline is Aug. 7.

You can provide feedback on the environmental study using this online form or by e-mailing MHA.EIS@Seattle.gov.

“Due to a high volume of requests, both online and at a recent public hearing, we are extending the written comment period on this environmental study an additional 15 days,” said OPCD Director Sam Assefa. “While there is broad agreement on the need for more affordable housing across Seattle, these documents are lengthy and complex, and we want to honor these requests for more time for public review.”

MHA helps ensure that as Seattle grows, development supports affordable housing for low-income families and individuals by either building rent-restricted homes on-site or making a payment to the Seattle Office of Housing fund for affordable housing. To implement MHA, the City would grant additional development capacity to allow for construction of more market-rate housing and commercial space.

The City Council has already enacted MHA in Downtown, South Lake Union, and the University District. This study evaluates implementing MHA in 27 other urban villages throughout the city.

MHA was a key recommendation of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Advisory Committee.

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Reminder: Department of Neighborhoods discussion of housing affordability and proposed zoning changes is Saturday at Bitter Lake Community Center

December 2nd, 2016 by Doree

Just a reminder that Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is hosting a series of what it calls “conversations on affordable housing” throughout the city, including from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) at the Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N. The DON is asking for residents’ feedback on proposed zoning changes to create more affordable housing in all neighborhoods.

See the Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda website for maps that show draft neighborhood zoning changes. The neighborhood maps that will be highlighted at the Dec. 3 meeting are:

  • Aurora-Licton Springs
  • Ballard
  • Bitter Lake
  • Crown Hill
  • Greenwood/Phinney
  • NE 130th

Representatives from other city departments will be at the meeting to discuss residents’ thoughts and concerns about: Parks and Recreation – development plan; Department of Transportation – Metro Rapid Ride; Transportation and Construction and Inspections – parking reform; Office of Sustainability and the Environment; Ethics & Elections – democracy vouchers; Human Services Division – fair housing.

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Phinney Ridge Community Council meets Tuesday to discuss development, land use policy, homeless encampments, waste water

November 30th, 2016 by Doree

The Phinney Ridge Community Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N.

On the agenda:

  • Guest speaker Dana West, Planner for King County Waste Water Treatment Division
  • Project reports/permit updates for proposed developments at 6726 Greenwood Ave. N. and 7009 Greenwood Ave. N.
  • Land use policy reports on: Seattle Backyard Cottages legislation; Seattle Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda updates on Environmental Impact Statements for proposed height increases; Greenwood Phinney Urban Village Map for height/density upzones; discussion of site criteria for city’s Homeless Encampment proposed locations

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Department of Neighborhoods hosting conversations on affordable housing

November 17th, 2016 by Doree

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is hosting a series of what it calls “conversations on affordable housing” throughout the city. The DON wants residents’ feedback on proposed zoning changes to create more affordable housing in all neighborhoods.

The first conversation is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N.

See the Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda website for maps that show draft neighborhood zoning changes. The neighborhood maps that will be highlighted at the Dec. 3 meeting are:

  • Aurora-Licton Springs
  • Ballard
  • Bitter Lake
  • Crown Hill
  • Greenwood/Phinney
  • NE 130th

Representatives from other city departments will be at the meeting to discuss residents’ thoughts and concerns about: Parks and Recreation – development plan; Department of Transportation – Metro Rapid Ride; Transportation and Construction and Inspections – parking reform; Office of Sustainability and the Environment; Ethics & Elections – democracy vouchers; Human Services Division – fair housing.

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Greenwood Community Council meeting tonight: ‘Weigh In on the Biggest Citywide Land Use Change in Decades’

November 15th, 2016 by Doree

The Greenwood Community Council meets at 7 p.m. tonight (Tuesday) at Razzi’s Pizzeria, 8523 Greenwood Ave. N., in the downstairs meeting room. On the agenda is the city’s plan to enact zoning changes that will affect housing throughout the city.

Seattle is preparing to make city-wide changes to zoning that will change the allowable height of all multi-family buildings by one story, change single family zoning within designated “urban villages” into a new zoning category, and alter what massing and designs are allowed in specific zones, among other things. Added height is part of a “grand bargain” with developers in return for dedicating roughly 6% of new housing to affordable units, and the other changes are aimed at increasing Seattle’s density to increase walking and transit use.

On Tuesday the Greenwood Community Council meeting will help understand what is proposed, provide time for community discussion on the issues. Join us in a special location – downstairs at Razzi’s – for pizza and a slightly extended meeting to digest some complicated material (and I’m not talking about the pizza.) At the end of the meeting we will ask whether GCC should weigh in on the proposed changes and how.

Please join us! If you’re able to contribute for pizza, that will be appreciated.

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Phinney Ridge Community Council meets Tuesday to discuss development projects, parking strategies, city development policies

September 2nd, 2016 by Doree

The Phinney Ridge Community Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N.

The bulk of the meeting will be devoted to discussing neighborhood development projects, including Phinney Flats, at 6726 Greenwood Ave. N., which will have 55 small studio apartments, two live/work units, ground-floor retail, and no parking; and a six-story apartment building at 7009 Greenwood Ave. N., which is asking for a rezone to significantly raise height limits from 40 feet to 65 feet.

PRCC also will discuss the city’s proposed Backyard Cottage legislation and Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda, and talk about a draft survey of neighborhood parking strategies.

PRCC President Alice Poggi attached this note to the meeting’s agenda:

Dear Neighbors,

At our Tuesday meeting will have updates on the proposed projects along The Ridge and the policies being proposed by the City that will change the “sense of place” in neighborhoods throughout the City.

Many of you attended recent public meetings on two major projects in our neighborhood. Phinney Flats is proposed at 68th and Greenwood with 57  small, studio apartments and no parking. The other is nearby at 70th and Greenwood. The developers have asked for permission to build 65 feet high in a zone that currently allows 40 feet. The status of both of these projects will be explained as well as next steps.

In addition, the City is proposing several new policies that would change how new developments interface with single family homes. It is important that we all are informed so that we can effectively influence the changes. The Mandatory Housing and Affordability (MHA) policy of “The Grand Bargain” which is prominent in the news, would allow an increase in height of new developments. On Phinney Ridge that would mean increasing allowable heights from 40 feet with a 4-foot bonus, to 55 feet with the same bonus. Another piece of legislation is about Backyard Cottages which are currently allowed and regulated. The new proposal melts away the regulations that keep them at “cottage” size and it could allow increased height, no parking, and structures in other places on a lot besides the backyard. This essentially dissolves the concept of single family lots.

These projects and policies are controversial and I believe it is important that we as residents understand the implications and participate in the feedback to the City Council as they review these options.

For more info, visit phinneyridgecc.org

Sincerely,

Alice Poggi, PRCC President

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Phinney Ridge Community Council meets tonight to discuss development in the neighborhood and citywide

July 5th, 2016 by Doree

The Phinney Ridge Community Council meets at 7 p.m. tonight (Tuesday) at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., to discuss development and Seattle’s Housing Livability and Affordability Agenda (HALA).

PRCC is hosting Mary Holscher, a member of Seattle’s Housing Livability and Affordability Agenda (HALA) Focus Group. She will help us understand how the Mayor’s proposal will affect the city―specifically Phinney Ridge―and pass on input received to the focus group. Our speaker is a follow-up from our annual May meeting & election when we heard various perspectives on aspects of HALA.

The council also will receive development and permit updates on projects at 7009 Greenwood Ave. N. and 6726 Greenwood Ave. N., backyard cottage legislation, Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan 2035, and neighborhood parking strategies.

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Housing affordability discussion at Naked City on Monday

June 24th, 2016 by Doree

Seattle for Everyone and Bellwether Housing are sponsoring a discussion about housing affordability from 7-8:30 p.m. Monday at Naked City Brewery & Taphouse, 8564 Greenwood Ave. N. It’s called “Drink Up for Letting Seattle Grow Up for All People: A panel discussion on the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda.”

Seattle is growing twice as fast as projected and yet building less than half the housing it needs for the new growth. That’s why an unprecedented coalition forged a partnership in support of Mayor Ed Murray’s Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA) last fall. With the policy recommendations now before the Seattle City Council, we have a tremendous opportunity to create an affordable, inclusive city over the next decade.

The city’s Office of Planning & Community Development will provide a ten-minute presentation providing an overview of the Mayor’s housing affordability agenda, and then Erica Barnett (http://thecisforcrank.com/) will moderate an all-star panel with Q&A, including:

  • Hyeok Kim, Seattle’s Deputy Mayor
  • Alan Durning, Sightline Institute’s Executive Director
  • Susan Boyd, Bellwether Housing’s Director of Real Estate Development

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