Will the City Council approve property owners’ request to “upzone” the block of California SW between Hanford and Hinds (city map at left)? The next step in the three-years-so-far process is a City Council committee hearing and possible vote tomorrow. In fall 2007 (1st report here), area property owners Mike Gain and Roger Cayce filed a request to change the zoning from NC1-30 to NC2-40, enabling taller buildings with larger commercial spaces – there has not been a specific development proposed for the area so far. Neighbors mobilized opposition, and a contentious public meeting ensued on November 30, 2007 (story here).
2+ years later, the city Department of Planning and Development finally issued its recommendation this past June, supporting approval of the change (WSB coverage here); area residents subsequently challenged the accompanying “determination of (environmental) nonsignificance.” Two months ago, city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner ruled against that challenge (WSB coverage here), and recommended council approval of the zoning change. That in turn was appealed by dozens of area residents; the City Council now will decide the fate of their appeal as well as the proposal itself. All this sets the stage for a hearing tomorrow before the City Council Committee on the Built Environment, 9:30 am at City Hall (here’s the agenda, and here’s the council staff’s memo summarizing the proposal and its status; if you can’t be at City Hall, it should be live online at seattlechannel.org and on cable channel 21). According to the council’s briefing memo, this committee will have to meet at least once more on this matter, before the full council can take a final vote, and all that has to be done before the end of the year.