2:07 PM: Click the “play” button and you’ll see the live video stream of this afternoon’s Seattle City Council meeting, which has just begun, with two items of particular note on the agenda: West Seattle Triangle rezoning (approved by the council’s Committee on the Built Environment three weeks ago) and the plastic-bag ban. We’ll add updates here if and when the public-comment period at the meeting’s start includes Triangle comments, as well as when the Triangle and bag-ban items come up.
2:22 PM: The public-comment period ended with no one stepping up to the podium to talk about Triangle rezoning, which is a few items away on the agenda. Most of the commenters talked about the plastic-bag ban, including, as seen in our framegrab above, the “Bagmonster Singers,” who serenaded councilmembers with a song to the tune of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
2:31 PM: And here’s the Triangle item, which is actually two items – rezoning/changing development standards, and recommending a parking study for the area. Councilmember Sally Clark opens by saying it all dates back to the closure of the Huling Brothers auto properties (briefly Gee Automotive after Huling) and concern over what would happen to the area with so much vacant land. She hands the microphone to Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who as she said has been closely involved in planning for the area’s future. He says RapidRide (scheduled to start in 2012) also was a spark to get the process going, beginning with an “urban-design framework.” He notes that it included a plan for The Triangle’s “streetscapes,” including the Fauntleroy Way “boulevard” concept (the new city budget includes planning money) and SW Snoqualmie as a “festival” street. And of course, it includes rezoning – “neighborhood commercial” that “encourages pedestrian-friendly development” for much of the heart of The Triangle, which he says will also strengthen the pedestrian connection between The Junction and The Triangle. The latter was not recommended for more height, he explains, so as not to put “more pressure” for sales/development of existing commercial properties – but the Fauntleroy/Alaska/Edmunds area includes more than 2 blocks that will be rezoned to 85 feet (20 feet higher than the current zoning).
2:40 PM: Council President Richard Conlin says “congratulations” and notes the importance of the legislation to West Seattle’s future, before Rasmussen reads the list of Triangle Advisory Committee members and also acknowledges DPD and Council staffers for their work. No comments from other councilmembers. The rezoning/development standards bill (read it here) passes unanimously 9-0, as does the recommendation for a parking study. No other councilmembers comment.
2:45 PM: Now Councilmember Mike O’Brien is explaining the plastic-bag ban. You can still use plastic bags for meat and produce in grocery stores, he notes. For this too, no councilmembers are commenting or asking questions, except for Council President Conlin, who thanks O’Brien, who in turn thanks “partners” for help with the bill (including WSB sponsors PCC Natural Markets and Metropolitan Market). The bill passes unanimously; there’s applause in council chambers.
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