(3266 Avalon Way microhousing project, photographed today)
Neighborhood activists face off against the city Department of Planning and Development tomorrow before the city Hearing Examiner, in their challenge of a ruling related to the proposed city rules about “microhousing.”
As reported here two months ago, the challenge is to the department’s “determination of non-significance” – a ruling that the proposed rules do not need a separate environmental-impact review. More than 50 documents are already in the case’s online file; among them is deputy Hearing Examiner Ann Watanabe‘s dismissal of parts of the appeal. The challenge is led by an advocate from elsewhere in the city, but as noted in November, the 10 groups supporting the appeal include two West Seattle groups, Morgan Community Association and SeattleNERD (Neighbors Encouraging Reasonable Development). The hearing examiner usually issues a ruling within two weeks of a hearing.
The city mentions the appeal in a DPD-website update about the microhousing rules, published last Thursday, saying, “This process must be complete before we can begin discussing the new rules for micro-housing with City Council. But as soon as it is completed, we will work with the Council to begin briefings.” The DPD update projects the rules could be adopted by March. They would not affect projects already on the drawing board or under construction, which in West Seattle number at least three, 3266 Avalon Way SW (under construction), 5949 California SW (for which permits are issued but construction has not yet begun), and 3050 Avalon Way (proposed but no recent activity), in addition to built-and-now-leasing Footprint Delridge.
Tomorrow’s hearing, open to the public, is scheduled to start at 9 am on the 40th floor of the city Municipal Tower downtown.