AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: 2-location city ‘open house’ at Youngstown & Shelby’s, to talk HALA rezoning, parking policy, parks’ future, Fauntleroy Boulevard, more

5:59 PM: We have crews at both locations of the city “open house” we’ve been talking about for weeks (our final “guide” to it is here) – first crew at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW) [photo below], second crew at Shelby’s Ice Creamery and Bistro (4752 California SW).

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Here’s what you can expect:

-Most of the easels with information and space for feedback are devoted to the HALA rezoning – upzoning “urban villages, and commercial/multifamily property everywhere, to give developers/builders added capacity in exchange for requiring them to build part of their projects as “affordable housing” or pay a certain percentage into a city fund for it to be built somewhere else.

-You’ll also find the maps – two sets showing current zoning (the multicolor maps) and proposed upzoning (these maps are mostly green) on tables.

-At the SDOT/SDCI station, there’s an easel with information about the potential parking-policy changes, and lots of informational sheets about other projects/initiatives – Fauntleroy Boulevard (as previewed), Residential Parking Zone policy changes, West Seattle Greenway (the next “greenway” in our area, with the route yet to be finalized), RapidRide expansion (Delridge, in a few years). Also you can learn about the Department of Construction and Inspections and how you might interact with it even if you’re not a builder (they handle noise complaints, for example).

Lots of conversation under way here in the Youngstown Theater. And a big table with snacks. This is on at both locations until 7:30 pm.

6:04 PM: First report from our crew at Shelby’s – it’s swamped.

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(It was originally the only location for this event, though community advocates had warned the city that more room would be needed.) At both locations, you can write your feedback on the HALA rezoning proposals (which also is being accepted via e-mail at halainfo@seattle.gov and the special site hala.consider.it).

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At Youngstown, we’ve seen some early feedback too.

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More to come. Again, the city promised that what’s available to ask about and comment on is identical at both locations.

6:25 PM: Just talked to Andra Kranzler from Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office, who is at Youngstown to see how it’s going. Steady stream here, and a continued crowd at Shelby’s in The Junction:

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6:54 PM: The buzz of conversation goes on here at Youngstown – and more feedback has appeared on easels:

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We listened in as some attendees talked about the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village map. Some wondered how the future potential annexation of White Center might play into decisions made now.

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While SDOT had said the Fauntleroy Boulevard project – recently “re-initiated” – would be featured, we found only an info-sheet. No model, map, or other detailed display.

At Shelby’s, the rezoning maps were on display in booths – like the one where we found Eric Iwamoto, co-chair of the Southwest District Council (which had to cancel its meeting, when the city decided to schedule this on the same night):

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We’re headed back over there to see how this wraps up.

7:34 PM: We’ve asked city reps for an attendance count here at Shelby’s – where in the early going it was jampacked, and dozens are still here now.

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City reps say they won’t be able to put the count together until tomorrow. Meantime, though the official end time has passed, conversations and comments continue:

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7:45 PM: We’re in the Parks/Greenways room at Shelby’s. One line item notes that a 34th SW greenway will connect people to Walt Hundley Playfield in 2017, with “bike ramps/bike racks (to) conect to existing paths and High Point Community Center.” Looks like this is close to a wrap, so we’re leaving and will be following up tomorrow.

128 Replies to "AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: 2-location city 'open house' at Youngstown & Shelby's, to talk HALA rezoning, parking policy, parks' future, Fauntleroy Boulevard, more"

  • John December 7, 2016 (6:21 pm)

    Just returned from Shelby’s. To many people crammed into to small a space. Difficult to hear what folks were saying. Great way to discourage community involement.

  • Scarlett ReesJones December 7, 2016 (7:16 pm)

     Shelby’s event was a nightmare.  At least 350 or more people were there and more were coming down the street.  It appears  attendance was  easily in violation of city fire occupancy  codes.  You can’t see anything, you can hear anything and you really can’t talk to the city reps due to the packed crowds and poor selection of venue.  

    If you are like me, and visit farmer’s markets rarely, and don’t read the blog much, you will only have heard about this 10 month project in the last two weeks.  City outreach has been abysmal.  The city should have mailed every effected resident in the expanded and up-zoned areas about this scheme 10 months ago when it started.  We need more time to review and digest the details.  We, the residents of WS have great ideas about density and HALA and need to have those ideas heard and not just dismissed.  We can’t be heard if we don’t have significant and comprehensive advance notice of these plans  in order to intelligently respond with ideas.  We need  multiple large public forums to ask questions. Many neighbors or local business organizations,  and not just 5 people in a focus group, need to involved as was done when Urban Villages were created.    

    The Junction Neighborhood Association (JUNO) members also have some great ideas that are very different from the City’s– with similar goals.  

    Juno would like to request a 6-12 month delay in the comment process and much more neighborhood involvement that is currently allowed.   Anyone who agrees, please contact JUNO to voice your support at  https://www.facebook.com/wsjuno.org/.   or come to the future Juno meetings.  Talk to your neighbors and tell then what is happening.  I just met two neighbors today who had no idea this process was underway.

    Affordable housing cannot be addressed through this scheme.  The City only really expects 27 affordable homes per urban village.  Had the City required 1 affordable unit per each 20 unit apartments, then Whole Foods would already have at least 20 such units.  These units would be all over the city and not just in Rainier Valley. 

    The current scheme just makes developers richer and neighborhoods unlivable.  We will get nothing but apartments with rents of $2K a month and more $500,000 Town homes. 

    And the big scare is that once up-zoneing  is done, your County property tax assessment for the land value portion of your taxes will escalate astronomically to reflect the higher zoning.  Then the fixed income seniors and others who can barely afford to live here now will be driven out and we may get 27 affordable homes or apartments and likely not even in our neighborhood.

    Hala is badly designed, poorly thought out,  won’t do what I voted for and I resent it. 

    Please write HALA and Ed Murray and city council to insist on more time for review, a website that is easy to use and leave comments, multiple public meetings in large venues that allow for lengthy sessions for questions and answers, the production of data about currently zoned area that the are not yet, or under utilized, the failure of the city to consider the future Sound Transit train stations and the impact on housing and neighborhoods, the lack of street width for two way traffic and fully parked cars on both side of the street, the lack of  all utilities (water, sewer, gas, electricity) to accommodate the growth, the lack of rush hour transportation right now (C line is packed until 10:30 AM), the utter insanity of half a million dollar town homes with zero or one parking place, …. you get the idea!!!!!

     

    • Garfield December 7, 2016 (10:07 pm)

      So many lies in so many sentences. It’s like watching a Trump speech. 

      • Cmt December 7, 2016 (10:48 pm)

        What lies?

      • John December 8, 2016 (7:50 am)

        Again….what lies?  I agree with everything Scartlet has said.  

      • WS Guy December 8, 2016 (6:12 pm)

        Scarlett is right on point.  I don’t know what lies you’re imagining.

    • Jennifer December 8, 2016 (12:53 am)

      Every word you just said is exactly what my neighbors and I were just discussing.  None of us were notified or had a chance to offer input.  We LIVE here and have GREAT IDEAS about how to add housing without ruining our community.  We must have a chance to fix or add to these “draft plans”.

      Several of my neighbors just found out tonite, from me, about HALA, and proposed zoning changes.  HALA materials say they’ve had input, but we’ve totally been left in the dark.  WHY?

      The meeting tonite was a disaster.  None of my questions were answered, and I was treated like even asking them was selfish.

      I am low income, I work in Seattle.  These plans will drive me out of my own home and neighborhood, and I too will have to drive in from somewhere else. (I work as a delivery driver at the port of Seattle using my own vehicle)  My partner is a bartender in the Intl. District. Right now he rides his bike to work. 

      We did the right thing by buying close to our work, but these plans will push us out.

      This is a free for all for developers.  It doesn’t serve us working poor or provide adequate affordable homes.  (Not people storage, actual Homes.)  It’s certainly not a “Livable” plan, with no requirements for green space around/with new Lowrise zoning.

      These plans need to be examined very closely, so people like us aren’t forced out of our already existing affordable housing and communities.

      WE CAN DO MUCH BETTER THAN THIS.

  • Delridge Resident December 7, 2016 (7:24 pm)

    Shelby’s was packed, not a good venue though the restaurant staff were very nice and accommodating. 

    It was hard to get questions answered, due to crowds and noise. It seemed more like a forum to collect notes and email addresses than get information and clarifications.

    Lesson learned tonight: write the city council and mayor, not HALA. Write to every single councilmember. It seems like final decisions are in February. I will be watching WSB for updates on future meetings and hope to attend them all.

    Make your voice heard. Tell your neighbors, and contact the city.

  • Jeannie December 7, 2016 (7:26 pm)

    Good grief. If the city of Seattle can’t even plan a public meeting properly, how can we expect them to plan HALA?

  • Eric Iwamoto December 7, 2016 (7:59 pm)

    Well. That was an exercise in futility…   I felt sorry for Shelby’s and their regular customers.  The city should refund the money for disturbing their meals.

    .

    I agree that this was a good way of discouraging public involvement. I am going to say that for a city trying to increase it’s diversity outreach, they didn’t do very well as far as attracting participants or doing outreach.  I sat by the Roxhill/Westwood/Highland Park map with another minority constituent waiting for a city rep to come by (the both of us were probably the most racially diverse section of Shelby’s at the time.)   Did any city official come to ask us if we had questions about one of the more diverse neighborhood villages in West Seattle?  Nope.  After waiting 20 minutes or more of my time for “outreach” I decided that eating dinner would be more productive.  Not even an easel and paper to write comments on.  

    .

    I think the city reps you interviewed at 7:34 PM had it spot on.  They won’t be able to put this meeting together until tomorrow because it surely wasn’t together tonight. 

    • bolo December 7, 2016 (8:36 pm)

      Agree on the three diversity aspects you mention. Add to that they did not have any red dots available (to place on the map to indicate areas for less density), only rolls and rolls of green ones (to indicate areas for more density).

  • bolo December 7, 2016 (8:08 pm)

    Quick synopsis of my impressions with two of the presenters at Shelby’s, which BTW was seriously overcrowded:

    “Robert” (no last name on his nametag sticker) at the main HALA display: Friendly and relaxed when participants seemed agreeable to HALA program, but consistently assumed an uncomfortable-looking posture (arms tightly, I mean tightly crossed across chest, shoulders hunched over, eyes squinting) when “challenged” with comments from more critical participants. That body language was too easy to read: He didn’t want to accept the contra-HALA suggestions. That made me wonder how much the city is really going to take into account the critical viewpoints of our civic participants.

    Dan Anderson at the SDOT display: Explained something very interesting to me, as a bike commuter to/from West Seattle since 1991. Sharrows are going away on the main arterials because they are working on bike routes on non-arterials. Never made sense to me to have bicyclists on the arterials only to have to breathe the vehicle exhaust and fight for space with heavy vehicle traffic. The painted sharrows get worn away pretty fast anyway. The new routes will get speed bumps to slow the vehicle traffic on them.

    • Captain pragmatic December 7, 2016 (9:01 pm)

      Bolo- in fairness they went into a knowingly hostile environment. Right or wrong, they took a lashing tonight. I respect their gumption to show up. And a typical human’s body language will show when they are uncomfortable. Even if all their ideas suck they’re still people and probably had a hard night. With all due respect I don’t think that’s some kind of poker tell: flash back to election talks to thanksgiving!

      • DH December 7, 2016 (9:27 pm)

        I agree that body language was more likely a sign of discomfort than close mindedness but who knows. I think it is unfortunate that the Shelby location/size didn’t work. I’m sorry but until you have tried to plan for something like this you don’t realize how hard it is to know how many people will show up and plan accordingly and not waste tax payer money in the process. I’ve planned for 20 and got 100. I’ve planned for 20 and gotten 4. People, there is a point where its your responsibility to stay civically engaged. Do you really want your tax dollars being used to spoon feed people information (mailers) for everything? If so, be prepared for more taxes (and whine about it).

        • Cmt December 7, 2016 (10:39 pm)

          The City was advised 4 weeks ago that the venue would be insufficient.  And possibly the City did not think that a large number of people would show up to talk about a huge neighborhood rezone because its mailer/invite didn’t provide any notice designed to inform people that a rezone was one of the topics.  Nobody I spoke to at Shelby’s learned of the rezone or the Shelbys event from the City or its mailer.

          • Jennifer December 8, 2016 (1:15 am)

            None of my neighbors I spoke with knew that thier properties were slated to be up zoned TWICE.   Yes, they should be notified appropriately and in time to be part of the process.   They live here, they have great ideas, and they know best what works for thier neighborhood.

      • bolo December 7, 2016 (9:49 pm)

        Non-hostile environment. I did not perceive any hostility there, did you? Hostile to me would have involved yelling, screaming, threats, etc. Not even any raised voices to be heard there, captain!

        • Captin December 8, 2016 (6:29 am)

          I mean the overall sentiment of the people there feeling strongly against what they were there to present. I didn’t see yelling but I did see some elevated voices and some body language from citizens that showed they were definitely not happy. I’m just saying I would’ve felt uncomfortable if I was a city person there and sometimes when we get emotional about something we lose sight of basic things like that.

  • Adam December 7, 2016 (8:20 pm)

    Refreshing to have a different format. Probably the reason so many people attended. Definitely better than sitting in a community center gym in uncomfortable chairs – I get bored out of my mind at those meetings, and it’s intimidating for me to speak in front of a group of people because of stage fright.

  • BJG December 7, 2016 (8:31 pm)

    Poor Shelby. We ganged up on him and his diners tonight.  Somehow I thought the City would rent the place and compensate him for the closure. What a mess the whole affair was. Other than signing up and getting a fistful of handouts, our time was entirely wasted. We never got within 20 ft of the displays and could not hear a word of the explanations, if that was even happening.  Mission was not accomplished tonight! Next time they should put some thought into their process. This is vitally important to our community. The City needs to get serious. We certainly are.

    • bolo December 7, 2016 (9:09 pm)

      At least this event introduced a lot of prospective new customers to Shelby’s. This was the first time I had been in there and found the place very appealing. Now planning to have some parties there for the grandkids… that is, if I can still afford to live in WS by then…

    • Captain pragmatic December 7, 2016 (9:19 pm)

      Agreed. I was shocked the whole venue wasn’t reserved!

  • Kimbee2 December 7, 2016 (8:44 pm)

    The City cannot tick the box that they’ve now heard from the West Seattle residents. Their outreach was poor, as was organization of the venues. 

  • Captain pragmatic December 7, 2016 (8:53 pm)

    Bad choice of venue? Absolutely. Poor public outreach? Yep, pretty much. I don’t like the lack of parking and some other stuff. Basing boundaries on data with an unknown like light rail location is silly. That being said: The mayor and the HALA committee released their findings in the middle of 2015. I don’t understand how people didn’t know about what was going on. It was in the times, on the blog, etc. google will show that. Did people just have their head in the sand this whole time? Change in a city is terribly complicated. Public planners right or wrong will always make people mad. It must be a super tough job, no thanks. 

    Tonight I heard a lot of (paraphrasing) “you shouldn’t do this here to me, you should do it there to them” not always with data to back it up. Is that not equivalent to what the city is “doing”? (Not saying this plan is right just talking about principle and the foundation of an argument).The mayor and Hala committee tried that in their initial set of suggestions: make it equitable throughout the city by allowing multi-family everywhere. That went over like a lead balloon.

    Again, not a fan of many of the things happening in our city. I do think though that this dialogue is healthy and will hopefully help us to collectively reach a good outcome (which still p.o.’s lots of people surely). 

    I do like having this conversation and having a possibility of being pro-active instead of reactive on any issue. I wish those before us would have taken that course. Hopefully as a community we can come together for the good of us all now and in the future and keep this city a great place to live; change included. 

    • Cmt December 7, 2016 (10:19 pm)

      If by “it'” you mean I did not know the City was planning to rezone my SF street to LR2 with the goal of ultimately eliminating all houses and replacing them with 40′ apartments and townhouses, yeah, I didn’t know until October 24 from a WS Blog article.  It’s also not clear from the Seattle 2035 comprehensive plan that is 537 pages long with no table of contents.

      I read the WS Blog frequently and get my local news from KUOW in my car when I can.   With all due respect, people have limited time and my last 6 months of news input  was largely absorbed by the (then) upcoming election.  Yes, people have a responsibility to keep reasonably informed but I think a huge proposed rezoning is something that the City has a responsibility to communicate directly and clearly to the affected residents unless they intend to drop the pretense of outreach altogether.  Neighborhood organizations were also not aware.

      Affected residents have not had an opportunity to formulate alternative proposals because they are just now hearing about the rezoning, and not from the City.

      • Jennifer December 8, 2016 (1:25 am)

        Thankyou, that is absolutely the case in SouthPark.  No outreach at all.  These changes are happening in Specific areas, and it would’ve been very simple to notify residents and property owners with a proper letter, complete with contact info.

        Epic Fail on the public outreach.  Why?

      • Captin December 8, 2016 (6:34 am)

        I agree. They totally failed on that; intentionally or not. There should have been more outreach. I do think also though that it does make sense to have some sort of proposal to start the discourse instead of a nebulous “we might do stuff here maybe”. The maps and explanations help us understand their intent. Bottom line though they should’ve release that stuff sooner and made it more available

        • Cmt December 8, 2016 (7:27 am)

          Agreed that alternative proposals should be offered but that requires people being legitimately notified of the original proposal in time to actually formulate those proposals.

    • Kittyno December 8, 2016 (6:05 am)

      If you live in an affected area, you should receive a mailed notification.  Relying on a neighborhood funded website to distribute taxpayer news is not good outreach by the city.  HALA never sent emails to individuals affected or mailers.  That is tragic and I think an intentional oversight.

  • alex December 7, 2016 (9:07 pm)

    HALA is a disaster, as currently conceived.  It’s a boon to developers, and too much for community residents.  This is our neighborhood.  Our home.  This is where I raise my family. I do not wish to live in a neighborhood that is full of large buildings full of market rate apartments full of 20-somethings, and no affordable housing.  SLOW IT DOWN.  Allow for meaningful feedback & community input.  OUR VOICES MATTER.

    • CS December 7, 2016 (10:03 pm)

      Ditto your  thoughts Alex. It is all about the developers. How can the city justify more density when we can’t move to/from work our current gridlock of newcomers each day?

      • Steve December 8, 2016 (5:25 am)

        The clowncil and mayor do not care!  I wonder when madrona will be upzoned?

        • Jort Sandwich December 8, 2016 (1:14 pm)

          Maybe they don’t care to hear the opinions of people who refer to them as “clowncil.”

          • 56bricks December 8, 2016 (2:19 pm)

            Well earned.

  • WS Guy December 7, 2016 (9:14 pm)

    The choice of venue just shows how little the city understands WS.  The number of people outstripped the back corner of Shelby’s by 5x.  We have many better spaces for this type of event.

    By 7:30 the city members looked beleaguered and exhausted.  They had a long night.  I hope they come away with a recognition that the outreach program has to be much better, and that the plan itself needs a lot of work.

    Scarlett (above) is right on.  Great post.

  • Ah Clem December 7, 2016 (9:30 pm)

    My impressions from the open house is that the HALA folks were doing this to check off their outreach efforts.  They honestly don’t care that their plans will move out existing moderate income homeowners and replace them with transient higher income techies.  The false mantra of affordable housing is a convenient excuse to work the will of their developer masters.

    • Jennifer December 8, 2016 (1:51 am)

      Even if thier hearts are in the right place, the plan for my neighborhood benefits developers only.  I am low income, I will be displaced but still need to work in seattle, therefore need another place I can afford.

      My already existing affordable housing will be replaced with only 70% of an affordable housing unit. Hmmm…

  • robert December 7, 2016 (9:31 pm)

     we elected these people into office what did you think was going to happen. This is what the people of seattle want. This is the same party that has been running things for awhile. Maybe we should think a little bit before we vote. But if they are a democrat they got our vote . The bottom line is you get what you deserve, you voted for them

    • Cmt December 7, 2016 (10:43 pm)

      The people of Seattle want specific streets rezoned?  No.  People want affordable housing and people want a well thought out and fair plan for increasing density.  Those are worthy goals.  That doesn’t make this proposal fair or appropriate.

      • DH December 8, 2016 (6:23 am)

        What is “fair” depends on your point of view. What is fair to you may be unfair to me. 

        • Cmt December 8, 2016 (7:21 am)

          I’m not sure what that means in the context of my comment DH.  My point was that although Seattle voters may have voted for certain individuals that they thought would work toward affordable housing and rationale density planning, that doesn’t mean every proposal by those individuals is appropriate to realize those goals.  The same voters still have (or should have) the ability to challenge the proposals they see as ineffective or grossly unfair. 

          • Captain December 8, 2016 (8:33 am)

            I did witness people saying “why are you upzoning my street? You should upzone that street”. Maybe the people on that street wouldn’t like it either. I think that’s where the “fair” thing comes in. If you don’t like it it’s not fair,if you do you’re stoked. Maybe some people are upset they aren’t getting upzoned. I bet all of those feelings are out there.

          • Cmt December 8, 2016 (9:19 am)

             I understand that different people may have different ideas of what is fair.  My point was that the DH’s comment about subjectivity was not really responsive to my point. And I doubt you will find very many people that intentionally bought into a neighborhood zoned single-family that will be “stoked” about having their property rezoned.

  • Kadoo December 7, 2016 (9:35 pm)

    Please let the mayor and city council know how you feel. The city has been horrible about communicating on many issues. I don’t think they want to hear from any of us and that’s why you should write or call them. 

  • robert December 7, 2016 (9:39 pm)

     where is lisa when we need her

    • WSB December 7, 2016 (10:33 pm)

      CM Herbold had at least one assistant at each venue – I mentioned speaking with Andra; Patrick spoke with Alex Clardy at Shelby’s. The CM herself is apparently out of town. -TR

    • Steve December 8, 2016 (5:27 am)

      Too busy changing rental ordinances!

  • House of Pug December 7, 2016 (10:45 pm)

    Echo everything said about the venue, bad communications, poor planning and fast-track process. Three additional points.

    First, I talked to three city officials and tried to stress these points: we generally support density, transit, and affordable housing; this plan doesn’t accomplish what it wants: instead we get lots of market-rate housing, few affordable units, and a degradation of livability (“L” is the forgotten letter in HALA); and we need real neighborhood engagement, just like they did with the Move Seattle Levy, which is why we should take a six-month pause.

    Second, I saw pretty most of the City team at Elliot Bay Brewing. Walked over and thanked them sincerely for coming and shook the hand of Robert with whom I had a spirited discussion.

    Third, if your discretionary budget allows, go get a burger and a shake at Shelby’s sometime and tell them it’s a way of saying thanks for hosting. I don’t have a stake in the company but it seems the neighborly thing to do.

  • H December 7, 2016 (11:06 pm)

    Well that was rather crazy! I couldn’t even find the Westwood Urban Village map at Shelbys – it was simply too packed. I like a more engaging meeting but the quarters were too too close. I did attend both the volunteer community meeting and the 2nd meeting at SW Library and was glad I had as it’s simply too much information to communicate at an open venue like tonights. I will be voicing my feedback (“what do you want in your community) to the city online. I kinda like the idea of a gondola going from Delridge to Westwood but that may be too much wishful thinking. I did hear that feedback can be in the form of sketches for those of us that can visualize what we would like in our community in conjunction with the urban changes.

    The main things I’d like to share are that the city maps don’t account for the topography grade of WS so a building increasing in height may appear even bigger if it’s on a hill; part of the changes include a change to current zoning definitions (i.e. current LR3  is different from newly defined LR3, yet the proposed Urban Village changes are a third change to that zoning). Lots of info. And, when encouraged to inform my fellow Westwood neighbors, I was a bit dismayed to learn the city wasn’t sure how to inform my neighborhood – they incorrectly think it’s a predominately non-English speaking area… that is absolutely inaccurate.

  • Jennifer December 8, 2016 (1:58 am)

    I tried to discuss my concerns about the livability of this kind of over development, specifically the loss of trees and green space in South Park, which is surrounded by industry, freeways, and yes, a garbage dump too.

    I was told. “So YOU like trees.  Thats just YOU.”

    So much for livability.

    • Kimbee December 8, 2016 (12:16 pm)

      WOW,  what a defensive and rude response given to you. Please write to Herbold and the Mayor your feedback. Don’t give up! 

  • Lola December 8, 2016 (2:57 am)

    I have lived in WS for almost 30 years. Parking near the main junction has always been a problem. Packed in the neighborhoods. Now, with no parking for the “cube ” apartments, it is so bad, I really feel sorry for the houses in the area. If they have guests over, there is no parking for them, because of no parking for the “cubes” who all have cars! There are no Park & Rides on the peninsula. Huling  Bros. property would have been a good start.  I do feel that crime will go up bc of the density. I don’t like walking Calif. as it is, at night. I am fixed income and can barely afford my property taxes as it is. The city/county/state just keep asking for more. Soon, I will be one of the homeless, living on the street, and, then, if there are more people like me, where will the gov’t get the money?

     

     

     

    • Rick Cook December 8, 2016 (7:52 am)

      Well, the park and rides are at Target in Westwood and neighborhoods with any other busline that goes downtown.  Let the homeowners and neighbors with huge investments in their homes deal with it. The new Seattle way.   P.S. While you’re at it give the developers more free passes. 47 years and getting short.

  • Jeannie December 8, 2016 (3:00 am)

    Yes, we like trees and green space!

    And, Scarlett, thank you for articulating the concerns that so many of us share. I just wrote to our mayor and to Lisa Herbold. Unfortunately, I don”t think there’s one single email address for the entire city council. 

  • Ken December 8, 2016 (7:20 am)

    If the city wants to socialize the cost of housing in the city then they should socialize the potential downside market risk to the property owners impacted by this plan.  For those being rezoned from say SF to LR2 or LR3 you may well do just fine if you sell your property.  For those being rezoned from SF to RSL however the picture is not that rosy.  To meet the footprint requirements of redeveloping the SF lot into what would be 3 units in my case , 6,250 square foot lot, the existing structure would essentially have to be razed.  Your property is not that attractive to a developer that can only construct 3 units after the cost of razing your home and you are now toxic to a potential single family home buyer.  When I pressed this scenario on one of the city representatives, who appeared to be about 27 years old, he scoffed at the suggestion that my property value would decline.  If that represents the city’s position, then why not offer us a fair market value purchase at current zoning schemes and then the city can assume the market side risk.  

    • Fairmount Springs Mom December 8, 2016 (8:46 am)

      I agree with this.  I talked to several HALA representatives and apparently the City can’t and won’t offer data to property owners to show that their properties will hold their value once they are changed from SF to multi-family.  Also, a representative from the Mayor’s office agreed with me that property owners who are being rezoned are disproportionately being burdened with the HALA program–even said we will “suffer” more.  

      I appreciate Shelby’s for hosting, but that was a joke–the “open house” might as well have been hosted in a broom closet.  

       

      • Erithan December 8, 2016 (11:06 am)

        Maybe they wanted people to feel the awesome of what passes for living space anymore! (Apodments and general tiny apartments)…no time for jokes though, everything I think has been said, here’s hoping the city hears its neighborhoods….finally..

    • A December 8, 2016 (8:50 am)

      It’s not just the properties that are rezoned that are affected. My property will not be rezoned but the property behind me will. I could have 40′ towers with minimal setbacks looming over my-for now- private backyard. I don’t imagine that will help values either.

      • BJG December 8, 2016 (9:38 am)

        Exactly that. We woke up one day to find that we had a dozen units with large balconies in a high-rise apartment looming over our little neighborhood, our back yards,  our bathroom windows, our every move it seems.  Degradation of the properties and the “livability” of West Seattle are everyone’s concerns near an Urban Village.  We still count, and every month there are dozens more in the community who wind up in the same boat. It is personal now.

        • Jort Sandwich December 8, 2016 (1:12 pm)

          Cool, that sucks. Can you tell me where else you think the growing population of Seattle should live? 

          Did you know there were single family homes at 3rd and Pike once, too?

          Things change. We have to manage it smartly, but it’s not an option to not manage it at all. 

          People need places to live. This is a step toward doing that. I’ve yet to hear a plausible alternative, other then the “Glass Dome Over the Entire City So Nobody Can Enter Policy.”

          • Chuck December 8, 2016 (3:50 pm)

            Reading through all your pointed responses, Jort, makes me think you might be a developer most likely to profit from all the rezoning. Yes? If not, you certainly embody their spirit. Not everyone in west Seattle likes the feeling of living stacked on top of each other. More power to you if you do. I guess.

          • WS Guy December 8, 2016 (6:17 pm)

            Do you even live here, Jort?  You come off as a pro-density shill that drops by the blog to call everyone who has a concern a NIMBY.  As if none of the concerns here are valid. 

          • KM December 8, 2016 (7:11 pm)

            Jort Sandwich, I appreciate your input, and your fantastic screen name. I live here (middle-class homeowner, car-owner, and not involved in the industry or a city employee, or even a fan of our current city government). Part of the reason I didn’t go to the in-person meetings is because I have discovered a lot of hostility toward anyone who supports some or all aspects of HALA. I wrote to the HALA feedback email and let them know I support the general plan, but wouldn’t be attending any of the public sessions due to the anger around the issue.

            If anyone is looking for a more straightforward and less hostile way to provide feedback, positive or negative (I provided both since I have some issues with the impact fees), I suggest a respectful email. I have reached out 3-4 times already as the proposal has taken shape over the past year+, and often received a thoughtful response back, even to my negative feedback.

      • 56bricks December 8, 2016 (2:23 pm)

        Happened at my old house in Sunrise Heights. Fortunately I had sold it before the monolith was constructed, destroying any backyard privacy and obliterating sunlight. Unfortunately, one of my clients purchased it from the folks I sold it to just before rezoning.

    • Chuck December 8, 2016 (12:35 pm)

      Ken, thank you for your post. I am on Graham off of California, and at the southern most end of the proposed SF to RSL rezoning in Morgan. The houses across the street (same vintage, etc) have zero rezoning planned. Just so stinkin’ arbitrary. But yeah, my house is right int he middle of the lot, though I suppose I could build a small cottage on my back lawn. But why on earth would I want to do that? No, to make the property fit for even two properties, my 100 year old house would have to be razed. And, I sit between two other houses, so that’s no easy proposition to begin with. Better that all three of our homes undergo a tear-down and rebuild at once. Not gonna happen, unless some deep-pocket developer wants to come by and put down enough cash to make us all think about moving on. Not  a likely scenario, so I guess this means I will just be taxed “exponentially” for a building scenario that has no basis in reality. The city “wins” by getting more coin out of me for nothing, all while they get to sell their snake oil that they’re making this place more liveable for all.

      I’d like to thank all my neighbors who subjected themselves to the in-person madness last night. I didn’t even try. I feel that no matter what I do, the city will do exactly what they WANT to do. The moment I first saw these “proposed” maps, it was a done deal. I hope to be proven wrong, but…

      Vote out the Mayor and the entire worthless council. That’s all I feel we can do.

      Sign me, Helpless in Seattle.

    • Morgan Junction Dad December 8, 2016 (3:57 pm)

      Though you may have a fair point, I’m not sure that your agism is relevant and it distracts from any broader comment you’re trying to make. Take that nonsense elsewhere. 

    • WS Guy December 8, 2016 (9:06 pm)

      My back of the envelope is that it takes LR2 to get a land value of $700k on a 5000 sq ft lot.  LR3 gets you to $900k.  RSL and LR1 are pretty bad, about $600k.  That’s enough to pick off about 25% of the lots in those neighborhoods, as the remainder have homes that are more valuable.   So those areas will have a handful of teardowns and apartment building conversions intermingled with the SF homes.  It will be a long transition and decline for those homeowners.  

      RSL and LR1-2 are really bad ways to create density.  They don’t – they just ruin neighborhoods. 

  • Elle Nell December 8, 2016 (7:53 am)

    TOTAL f-ing joke! IF you want change people you are going to have to march into the mayors office, DAILY!! These patronizing meeting mean NOTHING… Make your voices heard Murray- make him regulate these builders properly!! 

    Seattle is a lost cause, I sooooo hate to say it…☹️

  • 98126res December 8, 2016 (9:43 am)

    I really don’t understand well the developer side of this, and I suspect there’s plenty to learn and understand about their role and influence and power with the City, how it occurs in our community, and in and around urban villages.   Is there anything to slow them down?   Is the City trying to shape how this inevitable development happens in Seattle –  as someone with the City explained to me last night?   Thanks for any insights.

  • Jort Sandwich December 8, 2016 (10:05 am)

    This comment thread is a glorious example of the “Seattle Process” in action. I truly believe that historians should bookmark this thread and return to it in future years for an excellent case study in “seeking consensus through exhaustion.”

  • John December 8, 2016 (10:12 am)

    Amid the wall of complaints, I have yet to read positive ideas or solutions. 

    West Seattle and Seattle do already have paralyzing issues with transportation, specifically the single occupancy vehicle culture we embrace without reason.

    We seem to agree we already have too many cars for our streets: too many cars for the roads to function efficiently , too many cars for available street parking. 

    People complaining about streets being too narrow, offer no solution as there is no palatable one.  The street grid of Seattle is fully built, no one wants to condemn large swaths of housing to widen streets or engineer new ones.  The  only solution is less vehicles, more mass transit and the widening array of alternative modes.

    To capitalize on mass transit and enjoy its benefits, we must have sufficient density close to the transit. 

    We also can agree that not every one requires one or more cars.  More people are now choosing to live where car ownership is not necessary.   The SEATTLE TIMES story mentions the cost of  parking and used the example of the Morgan Junction developer who can’t rent his parking spaces out for $75 per month.  Studies show that parking in parking garages is underutilized.

    Requiring parking wil do no good because the streets are already at capacity. But required parking absolutely does raise the cost of housing.

    Those claiming that Seattle offers no proof value stability or willingness to buy them out are repeating false and irrational talking points.

    King County Assessor’s data available online proves that claims of property values declining due to development are false.  Any one wishing to sell there established  property minus the value of their house, would be swarmed by home buyers, flippers or people seeking rental income.   The fact that the city has no function to buy such homes is not indicative of any loss of value.

    I would love to hear people discussing the issues with the intent of finding solutions.

    Just complaining about the way it is now and how much worse you think it will become for you will get us nowhere.

    • Captain December 8, 2016 (11:03 am)

      I agree John. We need solutions. The argument about existing capacity being enough is a little misleading as well. I’m sure some parcels in the Junction are under their maximum development potential but who’s going to bulldoze a 30 unit building to make a 40 unit building? Or an 8 unit to make a 12 unit, etc. I just can’t see how that would work. It’s understandable that people are emotional about this but there are tons of people moving here and I’m assuming having babies after that. This place is not going to stop growing. It is bad now but it’s going to be WAY worse if nothing is done to nip this problem in the bud.

    • Fairmount Springs Mom December 8, 2016 (11:06 am)

      The first thing I heard last night at the open house, when I finally got to the front of the line, was a representative from the Mayor’s office assuring 2 men, “94% of single-family zoned property will not be rezoned.” (his words, not mine).  If this is such a great program, why is the City pressing this point?

      • Jort Sandwich December 8, 2016 (11:47 am)

        Probably because HALA represents a compromise. Our government knows that the city needs more places for people to live, and that we need to accommodate growth in a smart way (centralized in urban villages). 

        Yet, at the same time, 94% of the city is still zoned for single-family housing! This is exceptionally high for almost any major urban city! 

        The people have to go somewhere — where do people think they’re going to go?!

        • WS Guy December 8, 2016 (9:27 pm)

          I have a suggestion, Jort.  Let’s rezone 100% of the city to NC85.  Then we’ll have plenty of density and places for people to live!

          Does that sound smart?  Of course not.  There would be unplanned and unpredictable outcomes all across the city, and hundreds of years of unused growth potential.

          And that’s the point.  This conversation is about planning growth, making it systematic, sensitive, and sensible.  The WS urban villages already have a lot of zoning headroom already, on top of the 1,000 new housing units coming online in the next 6 months.  Adding more upzone area will not add more density.  It will only make it random over a much broader area.

          HALA endeavors to solve an affordability problem but won’t, and infrastructure upgrades aren’t addressed in the developer fee structure.  

          I have some ideas about how to plan for an acceleration of density in West Seattle – if it’s needed – but have not had the opportunity to engage the city and the community to see whether they would be welcome alternatives.  That’s the shame in all of this.

      • Ron Swanson December 8, 2016 (12:09 pm)

        Because Danny Westneat summoned a mob of villagers with torches and pitchforks at the mere mention of the option of allowing duplexes and triplexes in SFH zoned areas?

        That’s why I’m a little mystified by the sudden outrage here with all the denunciations of how little we’ve heard about it… there was already a major controversy over this plan extensively covered in the media!

        • Captain December 8, 2016 (12:42 pm)

          Exactly. I didn’t see you referenced that. I just put a link to that op ed below

    • CMT December 8, 2016 (11:22 am)

       It needs to be acknowledged that many people are just now learning of this proposal to significantly change the character of their property.  Digesting that is the first stage.  Coming up with alternative proposals comes after, when people have had a chance to get organized. 

      The blame for people still being in the first stage lies squarely with the City.  Absent the West Seattle Blog’s coverage, the first stage would not have been realized until it was a done deal.

      • Jort Sandwich December 8, 2016 (12:21 pm)

        If by “just now” do you mean January 2016, when the city shows scheduled meetings: http://www.seattle.gov/hala/calendar#/?i=2.

        One of those was in West Seattle in March.

        This has been in the news for more than 2 years — it’s not like the mayor suddenly dropped in and said, “SURPRISE! We’re going to tackle housing affordability and availability and here’s one week’s notice!”

        • WSB December 8, 2016 (12:37 pm)

          That was not a meeting. It was a table at the resource fair at the Gathering of Neighbors. (The calendar mentions “West Seattle VIEWS,” which is a group of community advocates who have put on the GoN and Delridge Day for the past few years.)

          http://westseattleblog.com/2016/03/happening-now-2016-gathering-of-neighbors/

          And yes, HALA itself has been a “thing” for a while.
          The draft rezoning maps went public in late October, unannounced.
          I contacted a mayoral spokesperson to ask when there would be a wide, specific announcement – here’s what’s being proposed to work toward MHA. The reply: It was mentioned in a recent mayoral news release that the maps were going to be out.

          That news release, from October 17, catchily titled “Mayor, Council propose implementation changes to Mandatory Housing Affordability program”:

          http://murray.seattle.gov/mayor-council-propose-implementation-changes-mandatory-housing-affordability-program/

          Paragraph 19, “In the coming days, OPCD will release draft zoning maps for all areas where MHA will apply …”

          There was nothing stopping them from issuing a wide announcement days later when those maps were out, with the headline, hey! see what’s being proposed in your neighborhood! (The spokesperson told me they might do something later, “after the election.”)

          • CMT December 8, 2016 (1:08 pm)

            Thank you for that clarification WSB.  Jort Sandwich – A massive re-zone has not been “in the news” for 2 years, nor should affected residents have to slog through the double-speak of HALA and its banner of “Housing Affordability and Livability” in order to figure out that the City plans to decimate their single family neighborhoods in favor of developers, with no affordable housing in sight.

          • Captain December 8, 2016 (2:59 pm)

            The way I noticed it was by looking at the citywide map that was released with the HALA stuff. It wouldn’t be easy to find inths report for sure 

        • Captain December 8, 2016 (12:40 pm)

          Right. The city did not do enough outreach but it’s been out there. This article created a total s storm when it came out. One of the major recommendations was to allow duplexes and triplexes in sf zones in the entire city and people went nuts! 

          http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/get-rid-of-single-family-zoning-in-seattle-housing-task-force-says-in-draft-report/

          • CMT December 8, 2016 (1:21 pm)

            But that article illustrates one big problem.  That article is speaking about an even-handed citywide change to zoning to accommodate increased density.  What is actually being proposed and what people are just now finding out about is that City is targeting just a few neighborhoods to absorb a disproportionate amount if the increasing population. 

          • Ron Swanson December 8, 2016 (1:46 pm)

            I agree!  The growth is coming; it can be spread equitably through the city with minor changes, or we can freeze the vast majority of the city’s single family zones in amber and leave the urban villages to grow massively to accommodate it.  The incredibly angry response to the former means we get the latter.  The die is already cast.

          • Captain December 8, 2016 (1:49 pm)

            Which was probably a more equitable way to do it for housing. The whole city did what the junction is doing now and totally flipped out. It seems to me that no one wants it near them. (Insert acronym here maybe?). My neighbor can already see in my backyard. I don’t really like it but I live in the city. The citywide thing probably wouldn’t dovetail with transit as well but it would spread the growth out which seems “fair” to me.

          • CMT December 8, 2016 (2:30 pm)

            So then, since the City was unable to impose the rezone in an even-handed way because of the blowback, it’s OK to stick it all in a few neighborhoods that the City views will not have enough horsepower to fight back?  That is what should West Seattle residents need to be made aware of.

        • 56bricks December 8, 2016 (2:27 pm)

          Your middle name has got to be “spin”.

          • Cmt December 8, 2016 (5:35 pm)

            56bricks – did you mean I am spinning something? 

    • Jort Sandwich December 8, 2016 (11:52 am)

      John, perhaps you are forgetting the ultimate solution to road capacity problems.

      As the city grows and adds residents, and each resident needs to have his or her own vehicle for transportation in the city, and our road system is already at full capacity and would require additional roads to handle the growth, there is a simple and easy solution!

      1) Make sure everybody has their own parking space where their car can sit idle for almost 95% of its existence, taking up space that could not ever be used in any other way for housing, commerce, etc.

      2) Build a exact, duplicate, elevated street network directly above the current network. This will allow us to DOUBLE our road capacity and handle even more cars (that is, until this network also fills up someday, in which case will build a TRIPLICATE street network directly above the duplicate one!)

      Why is this so hard to understand? People are coming. This city literally can not accommodate each and every one of them having a vehicle. It can barely accommodate what we have right now. 

      I hear a lot of complaining — but almost no solutions, other than, “I don’t like changes and I don’t like growth so put a giant glass dome over Seattle and sterilize the population so that nobody else moves in.”

      • Captain December 8, 2016 (1:23 pm)

        I have a friend that’s lived in New York for about 20 years. She hasn’t owned a car for about 17 of them. Places that are super dense have lots of residents with no cars. One giant difference is they have real mass transit.

    • DB December 8, 2016 (12:42 pm)

      John — I’ve heard the claim from multiple sources that property values will, of course hold or increase, and only seen anecdata cited.  Not sure that the king county assessor data proves anything, but I’d love to see someone (the city, actually) attempt to make the case. 

    • Fairmount Springs Mom December 8, 2016 (9:03 pm)

      I think your tone in calling people’s opinions “irrational” is disrespectful.  This HALA plan for affordable housing has not been tried before in other cities. ( I know this because I talked to a senior planner from HALA in November and he told me directly that this affordable housing plan, HALA, has never been tried before in other cities–Seattle is the first).  Because this plan targets a small percentage of SF property owners, it is not irrational to ask the City what evidence they have that our property values will hold with this plan.  It is not irrational to protect my family’s financial future.

      • Captain December 9, 2016 (8:19 am)

        Maybe not HALA itself but I was told that MHA has already been put in place in some cities in the area for some time now.

  • Mark Schletty December 8, 2016 (10:52 am)

    HALA is a disaster. It produced, at the Mayor’s direction, a Grand Screwing of our neighborhoods. It is a total give away to developers, who used the process to bamboozle and co-opt the affordable housing advocates. They, the affordabiliy advocates, decided to dance with the devil to get a grossly inadequate, shameful amount of affordable housing, and were willing to throw our neighborhoods and livability under the bus to get it. There should, and could, been many more affordable units negotiated, and they should have been at a level affordable to people making minimum wage.I’m glad so many have recognized that the city’s dog and pony shows are a charade. They are not intended to get feedback, the city’s leadership and staff don’t care what you think. 

    The few affordable units the city gets will not be where the giant buildings are built, they will mostly come from the fee option, and be placed elsewhere. That will provide no housing for the lower paid people who will work in the ground floor small businesses often included  in the large residential buildings, thus creating even more traffic congestion as those people will have to live elsewhere and commute.

    As a past long time community organizer and lobbyist for neighborhood organizations in other cities, i would not normally advocate this, because in most places it might be counterproductive. But in Seattle, where it is clear the the city just doesn’t care what the citizens think on many issues,  i think it is necessary to take actions that will simply make our elected officials miserable. Both at work and in their personal lives. Without outright forcing our officials to pay attention, they won’t.  Lobby them every where they are, including at home. Without somewhat drastic action our city will be lost.

    • Captain December 8, 2016 (11:14 am)

      I’m with you on the fee thing. A fee paid in a specific urban village should be tied to affordable housing in that village. I don’t understand the mechanics of that or how complicated that would be. It does seem though that that would reduce displacement and congestion as you have mentioned.

  • Millie December 8, 2016 (11:20 am)

    Well done Scarlett!  I concur wholeheartedly with your comments. Now is the time for West Seattle residents to start emailing  weekly, if not daily,  the City Council and Mayor how we feel about their total disregard for citizen’s input/comments as to affordability/livability and community on the West Seattle Peninsula.    

    So many well-thought-out, articulate comments re. these issues.  Thank you!

  • wetone December 8, 2016 (11:36 am)

       All one has to do is look into the original HALA  board Mayor Patchwork,  Dow Constantine and city council put together. You can see the real intentions and direction of Seattle’s future. Has little to do with affordable housing, but does have a lot to do with making money for those businesses that HALA’s board members are involved with. The city allows new builds to pay fees instead of actually building affordable unit’s, change height restrictions, build with little or no parking saying new residents don’t have cars. Drive around a few block area of new builds, pretty easy to see real truth. How is driving around WS or your commute times going. Transit can’t handle loads today during commute times along with nothing being done to IMPROVE ingress/egress through out area. Just wait for T5 build and 99 tunnel if you think traffic’s bad now :0 Most people live or work in areas not served by transit or have family requirements that require a vehicle. I don’t expect things to change until most current gov. is voted out of office. It’s the only option people have as Mayor Patchwork shows little concern for most all people living in Seattle or just totally incompetent as once again this open house demonstrated. Just expect higher taxes, crime, levy’s to fix transportation issues as the last billion dollar levy will be spent before few permanent fixes are implemented……

    • Jort Sandwich December 8, 2016 (1:16 pm)

      Hi wetone: what do you think could be done to “improve ingress/egress from the peninsula”?

      Let’s assume that expanding roads isn’t an option, since that would require giving up either commercial space or homes to continued road development, both of which we can not afford to lose.

      Seriously: what is your plan for this?

      • wetone December 8, 2016 (6:33 pm)

        JS,   One of the first things to do is to spread all new builds evenly through out all areas of Seattle, not just a few areas that have limited access.  2nd, would be getting more capacity on I5 and 405 by double decking to handle cars only on raised level. Keeping anything larger on ground level and that would include special bus only lanes for practicality and cost, no rails. Until the interstates start moving all traffic in city will continually get worse and back up into areas like WS. Should of moved the Convention Center to waterfront and had 99 going through it, therefore opening I5 up to improve. Instead there going to add to CC and city’s discussing capping I5 through downtown area….  tax dollars at work. Last couple Washington governor’s and Seattle’s mayors have done very little to help traffic and with T5 build up it will increase large truck and train traffic on WS corridor, SODO area and I5. Why would anyone with common sense want to put a terminal such as T5 in WS with such horrible access and cost involved ? because Port has the tax payers paying for it along with job security for many having ties in high places, just like Sound Transit.  Add 99 toll tunnel coming soon pushing more traffic onto surface streets or I5 as many can’t afford user cost to budget. What can be done I really don’t know,  myself and many friends born and raised in WS being blue collar close to retirement are starting to sell and move from area as we can’t afford to retire unless we give up hobbies/lifestyle and that’s not happening. I’m not a big city person hate the filth we see driving to work, crime and drug issues getting worse, traffic sucks and see nothing changing except longer travel times and I could go on…..  At least Mayor Murray and his HALA  group will get want they all wanted with a few more properties on the market…….  ;)       Vote for change     

    • Jort Sandwich December 8, 2016 (1:18 pm)

      Also, when you say that “most people live or work in areas not served by transit,” I mean, you know that’s totally, objectively, absolutely false, right?

      • Carole A Allen December 8, 2016 (3:11 pm)

        How about transit that actually gets them where they need to go?  if you live in West Seattle and work on the eastside, or in Kent or Renton, or Lynnwood, busses don’t  work efficiently.  we can’t all work downtown.  In the years I worked for just one employer my job site was changed three times.  was I supposed  to sell my home and relocate each time?  I did use the bus when assigned to downtown. otherwise it was faster to drive.  from my home it takes three busses, or two busses plus light rail to get to UW, Ballard, Capitol Hill, Pill Hill, etc, and those are close in.

  • Ron Swanson December 8, 2016 (12:13 pm)

    One of the most important thing people can do now is to push for transportation improvements ASAP.  The ST3 package contains money to improve rapid ride as an interim measure before light rail arrives.  What are the city and county planning to ask ST to do with it?

    And will the city follow through on making light rail a permitted use like so many other jurisdictions are to speed up the arrival of light rail?  Or will we get bogged down with endless Seattle process?

    • Jort Sandwich December 8, 2016 (1:09 pm)

      Ron: considering that the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, which ostensibly should be fully supportive of street and road improvements to facilitate better alternative transportation for the peninsula, instead decided to comment on the Fauntlery Blvd. Project with requests for additional parking and legacy (and dangerous) turn-lane protections, using fantastical math that implied a reconfiguration would cause a traffic backup beyond the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock …

      Something tells me that every single person who lives within 15 miles of the proposed line will have something special in their special snowflake list of requests that absolutely must be heard and respected before we can even begin talking about construction.  

      I assure you that citizens will sooner die than give anything up in order to save a protected left turn lane or a precious parking spot directly in front of their home.

      So, yes. There will be an endless, stupid, pointless Seattle Process for every single centimeter of construction of the light rail line. Because of everybody’s special, oh-so-special snowflake feelings.

      • SMH December 8, 2016 (3:43 pm)

        You need to take it down a notch.

  • plf December 8, 2016 (1:16 pm)

    I just spoke with Travis at the mayors office explaining the circumstances and the lack of appropriate venue

    He suggested I also email him which I did

    Might I suggest an a bolus of emails

    travis.youstsey@seattle.gov 

    • John December 8, 2016 (3:32 pm)

      @PLF….that email he gave you is wrong.  My email shot back.

  • Jeannie December 8, 2016 (2:46 pm)

    I just emailed the city council. And I suggested they read the comments on the Blog. 

    Don’t mess with West Seattle!

  • MsD December 8, 2016 (4:13 pm)

    Is there any City department (or other group) that tracks the quantity of affordable housing units lost to demolition and redevelopment versus the number of new affordable housing units built with developer fees in the last 5 years?   It would also be interesting to see where (geographically) the demo’d units are and where the new units are.

  • JD December 8, 2016 (5:34 pm)

    Jort, I commute to Renton. That takes about a 25-30min drive, or a 90-95min bus trip.

    It’s unreasonable to expect someone to spend 3 hours a day taking the bus vs 1 hour by car. Many WS residents are in a similar situation.  

  • JRR December 8, 2016 (5:38 pm)

    I’m excited my neighborhood, near white center, is going to have more housing to bring more neighbors to all the wonderful, scrappy, family owned businesses. and maybe faster transit! 

  • CeeBee December 8, 2016 (5:45 pm)

    Pretty interesting, Travis must be a new guy, his email address is not loaded correctly on the staff directory.  Here’s what it shows, (notice just one “s”) and I assume add the @seattle.gov. 

    travis.youtsey

     

  • Pete December 8, 2016 (8:37 pm)

    After having read through this comment thread something comes to mind that has not been mentioned much. It is called HALA. And the last part is livability.. but where is this part in their plans?  Where are the infrastructure improvements? If we are truly going to do density right we have to upgrade and build out the infrastructure to accommodate the growth or we will all be screwed in a few years. I am not talking about transportation or transit. I am talking about upgrades to the power grid, handling rain runoff, the strain put on our sewer system and more trucks on our streets to haul off our garbage to mention a few. I agree we need more density but at what price?

    • Captin December 8, 2016 (9:21 pm)

      That’s the crux of the problem. Almost everyone on here is drastically oversimplifying this dilemma and taking any idea of change personal. As if the city singled them out and said “let’s get ’em!” This is a terribly complex issue and people in the city are not being given any consideration for that. I’m not saying that it couldn’t be done better but there’s black and white and then the real world. There are people that work in the private sector saying “this wouldn’t fly where I work!” But they work somewhere where every stakeholder has the same goal: make money. In a civic issue like this there must be 1,000’s of stakeholders; many at opposition with one another. My house, my company, my favorite tree, love cars, love bikes, hate trees, etc. It is impossible to do anything in a city without getting a certain group mad at you. It cannot be easy. I just don’t see how these people are out to get us. As someone stated above there used to be single family homes at 3rd and Pike. If you go downtown between Elliott and Western around Vine St. there are still a few little houses there. When they were built West Seattle was probably the equivalent of Marysville now. Change happens, let’s manage it well. The conversation is started let’s get to work!

    • bolo December 9, 2016 (11:44 am)

      They already upgraded rain runoff via swales ect. in upper Fauntleroy, and augmented capacity for Barton and Murray catchbasins. Plans to modernize power grid by undergrounding along Fauntleroy Way east of the Junction. So it’s not all being totally ignored.

  • T-REX December 8, 2016 (11:38 pm)

    Asking for ideas: How about up zoning anything within 3 blocks of a bus stop city wide? How about building in where the light rail stop might be? How about expanding around the center of the Alaska Junction instead of just to the South? How about starting new Urban Villages in communities that don’t have them? How about only triggering the village expansion once the current urban village is 90% build up? (the current proposal is creating a pocket of “sprawl” with the city instead of actually adding density) How about requiring 24 hour medical service be accessible before densifying West Seattle anymore?  West Seattle is bigger than the town I went to college in by about 20K people and we had 3 hospitals. 

    The communication has been horrible on this. If you want community feed back and support you have to provide adequate time for us to give it to you. This is reminiscent of the beginning of a Hichhicker’s Guide. I felt tolerated but ignored at the meeting and frustrated. 

  • Onlooker December 9, 2016 (5:27 am)

    Ultimately, people, you will have no one to blame but yourselves when this idiocy is approved.

    You live in Seattle’s largest neighborhood, and only when the others – any of them – catch up in terms of population, should something moronic like HALA be considered for Westwood or The Junction.

    If those of you who live in the affected zones don’t (care) about something so poorly conceived effectively dominating your lives in several years, then those of us who live outside of the directly-affected zones have zero sympathy for you, or for your vehicles when the nearest parking is at least a mile away (in neighborhoods which, by then, will require ‘resident’ stickers to park in them).

    No one else will help you until such time as when you’ll do something for yourselves.

    • Cmt December 9, 2016 (6:44 am)

      I agree that affected residents must get involved and cannot rely on someone else to save the day. However,, a lot of us have no experience in dealing with this and are not sure of an effective way to proceed.  Did you have any useful suggestions?

      • AmandaKH December 9, 2016 (10:12 am)

        Hi CMT.  Over here in the Westwood/Highland Park Urban Village, we are asking folks to email HALA with their story.   

        https://wwrhah.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/hala-tell-your-story/

        • CMT December 9, 2016 (11:17 am)

          Thanks Amanda!   I will definitely do that but from my individual experience thus far, HALA is simply giving lip service to soliciting feedback and will continue its relentless march forward regardless of what anyone ways.  In their view, this is happening.  I think we need to all contact city councilmembers as well.

  • Double Dub Resident December 9, 2016 (7:30 am)

    Is it possible to create a petition for this? 

  • CMT December 9, 2016 (9:39 am)

     I know that West Seattle JuNO (Junction Neighborhood Organization) is actively looking for people to get involved and to coordinate an effective response/outreach.  Please contact them at wsjuno@yahoo.com.  I think a coordinated response is the only hope. 

    • Jort Sandwich December 9, 2016 (9:51 am)

      I live in the Junction and I support the HALA rezoning recommendations. It sounds like the “neighborhood organization” has already made up its mind about whether it’s going to support or oppose these measures. Is there a place for my voice, or has the decision already been made?

      • CMT December 9, 2016 (10:57 am)

        Well lucky for you, Jort Sandwich, the City has set this up so momentum is on your side.  This is not necessarily responsive to this particular comment of yours but from all of your comments, I’m going to guess that you didn’t save your money and intentionally buy into a single family neighborhood that you could afford (with a neighborhood plan that prioritized keeping it zoned single family), with the dream of raising your kids there, with other families, with yards, and barbecues, and borrowing a cup of sugar from your neighbor.  I’m going to guess that you didn’t plan and dream and save your money for the big changes you made to your house that made you so proud.  You probably didn’t expect to live in that same kind of neighborhood until you retired.  And now, you are clearly not looking at your street every day with a sense of dread that all of it is going to go away and everything you planned and dreamed of is worthless to the City for a plan that likely won’t even accomplish its stated goals.  So please, spare those of us that did do those things and feel heartbroken, uncertain, helpless, frustrated and sad from your biting sarcasm.  One would think you would be equally happy if we can come up with a better alternative for the density you clearly so desire, unless you just take joy in other people’s sadness.

        • Double Dub Resident December 10, 2016 (3:36 am)

          CMT, I’m 100% behind you.  I don’t understand how people want over population,  over condensing, with inevitable higher crime rates and most likely an under representation of police presence and then spout the platitude that this is “progress” 

          • CMT December 10, 2016 (12:15 pm)

            Thanks DD – I really appreciate that – I hope everyone that agrees will get try to get involved by, for example, contacting wsjuno@yahoo.com to see what to do or going to the FB page; emailing the City Council, etc.  I agree with Onlooker above that those of that are affected better speak up now.

  • wetone December 9, 2016 (10:59 am)

     HALA rezoning recommendations will be the end of all single family zoning in Seattle, as today’s single family lots will be able to have 3 units and be none owner occupied. Investors and builders  will love it…… and city doesn’t mind to much either with all the fees and increased taxes they will be collecting. To bad city has shown little concern and no planning on how all new residents will ingress/egress areas they live in……… along with people that bought homes in single family zones thinking it meant something……..   

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