The Southwest District Council is asking the city for an extra half-year to deal with the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) rezoning plans.
That’s part of what happened when the SWDC met Tuesday night – postponed from last week, when the city scheduled its rezoning-and-more “open house” (WSB coverage here) on the district council’s longstanding regular meeting night.
Here’s the text of the resolution passed by SWDC members:
The Southwest District Council requests a six-month extension to the HALA proposal, prior to the (Environmental Impact Statement) submittal, to accommodate necessary outreach, assimilation, and planning so that alternative draft zoning proposals can be developed, and in order to have design charrettes take place for the following urban villages: West Seattle Junction, Admiral Junction, and Morgan Junction.
As we’ve been reporting since October, four West Seattle “urban villages” are among the areas of the city where upzoning is planned as part of what the mayor calls Mandatory Housing Affordability – giving builders/developers additional capacity, while requiring them to build a percentage of their projects as “affordable” units, or else pay into a fund that will pay for it to be built somewhere else in the city.
One of those UVs, Westwood-Highland Park, has already had a “design charrette” organized by the city to talk about and look at specifics of its plan, but the city is currently not planning similar events for the three UVs mentioned in the SWDC resolution. And the overall concern is that most current residents potentially affected by this still don’t know about it, as there’s been no direct, clear messaging from the city about the proposed zoning changes.
Also at Tuesday’s SWDC meeting, three items that you might call operational.
One was a continuation of discussion about the group’s path forward despite the mayor’s initiative to cut longstanding official city ties with SWDC and other neighborhood district councils. Two citywide events are coming up in the next month or so – the City Neighborhood Council plans a social event with discussion of “volunteer resilience” among other things next Sunday, and then in mid-January, a workshop talking about the councils’ future, following up on the one hosted by the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council at Highland Park Improvement Club last summer shortly after the mayor’s announcement.
Elections were held Tuesday night; David Whiting and Eric Iwamoto will continue as SWDC co-chairs, and Vicki Schmitz Block will continue as secretary. Whiting also will serve as the SWDC’s interim rep on the CNC.
And bylaws were discussed, with a focus on changing rules regarding membership, to make them more open and flexible, to clarify the SWDC’s mission, and to remove language that is now obsolete. A committee will work on this; its members include the co-chairs plus Tamsen Spengler, Jim Guenther, and Phillip Tavel.
SWDC will continue meeting at the Senior Center/Sisson Building through 2017, and has booked first Wednesdays at 6:30 pm, the regular meeting times/dates.
(Thanks to Cindi Barker, who represents the West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs on SWDC, for toplines from the meeting.)