HALA UPZONING: 3 West Seattle groups in citywide coalition challenging proposed plan

Two weeks after the city went public with its “preferred alternative” for HALA upzoning, as part of the final Environmental Impact Statement, a new citywide coalition has announced it will file an appeal. The community councils from three of West Seattle’s four “urban villages” are among the groups comprising the coalition: the Morgan Community Association, the Junction Neighborhood Organization, and Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition. From today’s announcement of the new coalition and appeal plan:

… The coalition is called Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity.

Jon Lisbin, small business owner and president of Seattle Fair Growth, said, “We are worried about affordability and displacement. Our neighborhoods are so different that one-size-fits-all upzones don’t work well for residents or small businesses. The Final EIS completely neglects the differences between neighborhoods that are ripe for multifamily development such as Lake City and Northgate, and other racially diverse neighborhoods, such as South Park and Beacon Hill, that are mainly of older single-family homes owned or rented by lower-income families. The city is leaving low- and middle-income families with no place to go.”

Said David Ward, a Ravenna renter and president of the coalition, “It will make Seattle far more unaffordable and also make it more difficult to live here due to more traffic, not enough schools, more pollution, fewer trees, and a loss of the diversity of residents we currently have.”

“I’m worried about moving out from my parents’ home because I know it’ll be hard to find an apartment I can afford,” said Beacon Hill Council Member and UW student Cacima Lee. “And the idea of buying a home in Seattle is almost a joke.”

“Instead of invalidating all neighborhood plans, the city needs to support and celebrate differences while maintaining intact communities,” Christy Tobin-Presser of the West Seattle Junction Neighborhood Coalition added. “These upzones are not needed to accommodate the growth that’s planned. The city already has the more than twice the capacity in multi-family zoning to accommodate all the growth that’s coming, so who’s driving this land-grab?”

Wallingford resident Susanna Lin states: “We have a school capacity crisis and the City is planning upzones without coordinating with the School District on a plan to build more schools. In addition, trees are disappearing at an alarming rate. What kind of future is this for our children?”

The Grand Bargain, or Mandatory Housing Affordability-Residential (MHA-R), is a one-size-fits-all proposal by former Mayor Ed Murray and City planners that would give developers increased height limits and profitability in exchange for either building affordable units in their projects or contributing a fee in lieu of including them. In fact, according to the City, most developers have said they will decline to include rent-restricted units in their projects. They prefer to pay the fee.

According to Lake City homeowner and affordable housing advocate Sarajane Siegfriedt, the
City Office of Housing then leverages the fees 3:1 mostly with federal, state and city tax funds to
build low-income housing in other parts of Seattle. Most of the required affordable housing will
be built in locations with cheap land, not in the neighborhoods where builders maximize profits
by replacing older houses with costly new market-rate housing. Then there’s the delay. It takes
four or so years for a nonprofit to receive City and state grants, assemble the rest of the funding,
and construct a building, assuming they already have the land.”

“We share the City’s goal of affordable housing for those earning less than 60% of Area Median Income, but it is simply not achieved by these upzones,” Siegfriedt said. “That’s why we are filing an appeal. The real impacts that destroy and gentrify our low- and moderate-income neighborhoods are loss of affordability, community and livability.” …

The new coalition plans a media briefing/Q&A event downtown next Monday, which is when they also say they’ll file the appeal. Read today’s full announcement here (it includes the list of 24 participating groups).

P.S. If you haven’t already checked on what’s proposed for your neighborhood (or anywhere else that interests you) in the HALA MHA “preferred alternative” – you can use the city’s interactive map to look up specific locations. Before anything becomes final, the City Council has to consider forthcoming legislation, isn’t expected to come to a vote before next summer.

57 Replies to "HALA UPZONING: 3 West Seattle groups in citywide coalition challenging proposed plan"

  • Sandy Adams November 24, 2017 (1:14 pm)

    This  is SO IMPORTANT!  I hope everyone reads it closely and does whatever they can to support this effort…

  • Mark Schletty November 24, 2017 (1:28 pm)

    Yeeaaaa!!  It’s about time our neighborhoods started working together to stop this horrible program. It will accomplish the exact opposite of what it claims. It will eliminate far more affordable housing than it will ever produce, increase gentrification and dislocation of our lower income neighbors, increase traffic congestion, eliminate vast amounts of greenspace, kill many small businesses and provide obscene developer profits. This program is a total sell out of the livability of our city for the benefit of developers ( major political money contributers). 

    • Jonathon Dough November 26, 2017 (10:27 am)

      Mark – Can you expand on your claims.  I simply cannot get much from these anti-HALA comments with bold claims and no substace.   How does the zoning kill small businesses?  I am also concerned about gentrification, how do you recommend this is prevented?  

      As someone pointed out below, about 250 new citizens come to Seattle each week.  Is the solution more aggressive zoning in concentration around the Triangle?

  • Peter November 24, 2017 (2:07 pm)

    The one and only way to mitigate the cost of housing is to build more housing.  Otherwise, there will only be ever increasing pressure on the prices of existing housing. If we want to preserve affordable neighborhoods, then we need to build more housing in all areas to mitigate market forces that will otherwise continue to drive prices higher. If we don’t increase housing supply, then more and more people are going to have to compete for the already insufficient supply of existing housing, and thus raise prices. Areas like South Park and Beacon Hill (since they’re specifically cited by this group) will get more expensive along with the rest of the city if housing development isn’t increased. “The city is leaving low- and middle-income families with no place to go.” That is exactly the problem HALA is addressing. We’re still suffering the effects of decades of overly restrictive zoning and land use laws that suppressed housing development, and recent laws restricting small apartments specifically targeted low income renters, resulting in even fewer housing options. That needs to be reversed, but HALA is only a tiny step in the right direction. The only real problem with HALA is it is too limited in scope to provide the increase in housing that we need. Despite it’s limitations, I support HALA for the modest improvement compared to current conditions. Please write to city council to let them know you support HALA.

    • Erithan November 24, 2017 (2:29 pm)

      I don’t understand how hala is helpful for the issues we face, by the looks of it they mean to have housing that runs around 1k per month. That is not affordable to anyone on ssi/ssdi(senior, disabled) ssi offers around(estimates) 600-700 total for the month, if you try and work they deduct so you can’t save.


      And while ssdi may give you a little over 1k a month, and allow you to earn a tiny amount more working without a loss, if your only getting those amounts you’d be spending either about 100% a month on Hala’s “affordable” housing or nearly 100% of monthly income.


      If I’m missing something I’m always happy to learn, but from where I am and what I know, hala will do more harm then good.

  • Sandy Adams November 24, 2017 (2:21 pm)

    Peter:  I respectfully disagree.  HALA completely ignores the differences in neighborhoods and tries to make them fit into a one size fits all scenario.  The Morgan Neighborhood Plan, for example, was carefully put together to reflect how growth should take place and still fit into the neighborhood.  It needs to be updated, but not completely overridden and ignored as HALA proposes. This is no doubt true in other neighborhoods as well.  The public input to HALA has been a joke, with no real attempt to account for the needs of the various communities. ty.  I would urge everyone to look carefully at the comments made by the  numerous neighborhood groups listed in the appeal.

    • Captin November 25, 2017 (7:48 pm)

      If we allow every single neighborhood to dictate every single part of the process we will still be having this same conversation 40 years from now and we will be San Francisco sooner than later. The conversation is about 6% of the total area of the city. I understand that change is not always easy but the rhetoric is so negative. What do we do? Manhattan was farm land 100 years ago. IMHO we have a responsibility to plan for the future: like it or not. I wish those before us would have….

  • Matt November 24, 2017 (2:33 pm)

    Here’s the core issue: Stopping efforts to create more new housing will not somehow make housing less expensive.  Stopping new housing guarantees housing costs are going to rise and will displace low income residents.  

    So why aren’t we getting more? 

    1) Because any project, especially low income housing, gets ground down by neighbors in SEPA, Design Review. Sarajane is making argument that predatory delay somehow helps people waiting for lower cost housing?

    2) The math is simple: for every small development under 20 units, the fee is smaller than the cost of an Affordable unit, and most development in Seattle is smaller than that.  

    So unless this coalition can point to where, in the Junction for example, they’d fully support low income housing, with no SEPA /Design Review delays, at a SCALE that would have a positive impact for Cacima Lee, the young woman looking to strike out on her own, to me, this effort rings completely hollow. 

    • WS Guy November 24, 2017 (5:44 pm)

      Generally, please see my comment below related to creating another SLU-like housing and jobs center.

      Regarding the Junction.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to add 2-4 stories in The Triangle, rather than raze 20 blocks of family housing in the area and also destroy our small businesses along California Ave?

      • Matt November 24, 2017 (10:41 pm)

        The solution Is always that housing go somewhere ELSE like Pioneer Square as you suggest, but you might accept 2 STORY buildings in the heart of West Seattle. 

        Are you serious? I can’t tell. 

        BTW lots of families live in apartments and townhouses. 

         

        • WS Guy November 24, 2017 (11:55 pm)

          2-4 additional stories in the Triangle raises the height limit from 65 feet to something higher.  High rises rather than block-long bread loaf buildings there.  Extra space for the families that want to live two blocks from a light rail station someday.

          Why not use some of that space for workspace while we’re at it? Jobs in West Seattle – what a novel concept. It’s as if there could be alternatives to commuting downtown.

          • Anonymous Coward November 25, 2017 (5:59 am)

            I’m sure all those future families are really excited about the prospect of a slightly less expensive two bedroom rental in which to raise their 2.3 kids…

        • CMT November 25, 2017 (8:57 am)

          Matt – nobody is suggesting families do not live in apartments and townhouses.  They don’t usually comfortably do so in studio and one bedroom apartments which is what will replace existing family-sized homes; Developers are not required to build 2 -3 bedroom apartments and it is not lucrative for them to do so – therefore they will not. 

          • Matt November 25, 2017 (1:38 pm)

            Then you should be supporting townhouses:  they’re usually 3 bedrooms, perfect for families with 1 or 2 kids. They are today’s  starter houses. More low rise zoned land like in the MHA program would create those opportunities for families to enjoy the proximity to the Junction without having to pay detached house prices.  

        • CMT November 25, 2017 (3:24 pm)

          Matt: 

          You make no secret of the fact that you are very pro-development.  I am not anti-development but you have likely read my comments often enough to know that I am against displacement of existing residents through upzoning areas that already contain existing affordable housing right now (almost 25% of SF homes in areas to be upzoned in WSJ are rentals). 

          I am not anti-density but I am against replacing these existing affordable family-sized houses with unaffordable market rate housing, be it townhomes (which you characterize as today’s starter houses, albeit for the financially blessed) or otherwise.   My view might be different if there wasn’t already sufficient capacity within the WS Junction under existing zoning to accommodate projected density.

          I am vehemently against the marginalization of low-income populations through the HALA-MHA pay in lieu fees that will guarantee that the low income will not be in our neighborhoods but in cheap housing built on cheap land somewhere else.  I am equally against the way HALA-MHA has been “marketed” by the City in such an intentionally misleading way.

          • Joe November 25, 2017 (11:43 pm)

            Seattle gains 250 new citizens every week.  

            Developers , not the tooth fairy (or you) build housing.

            Please explain how limiting the supply of new housing in a growing city lowers  the price of housing.

          • Jonathon Dough November 26, 2017 (10:31 am)

            CMT – How would you change the current proposal to ensure low-income housing is equally disdtributed? What is the counterproposal?

    • DH November 25, 2017 (1:35 am)

      Totally Agree. The problem is you are assuming logic will work. This is a NIMBY situation in the guise of caring about affordable housing. Somehow if we don’t build it the people won’t come and cause all that horrible density but they also can’t (and shouldn’t) go to the suburbs either because of the GMA. I’d also like to hear how not building housing will lower prices or where the low income housing in West Seattle should be built. 

      • CMT November 25, 2017 (8:51 am)

        Yes, no doubt Seattle Displacement Coalition (one of the members of the Coalition per the link) is really into a NIMBY effort.  (Sarcasm).

        The flat misrepresentations of the City with respect to Mayor Murray’s HALA-MHA developer giveaway cannot be dismissed so easily.  MHA will displace vulnerable people and will further marginalize low income individuals.  Nobody should want that.

        It is a horrible plan.

        • DH November 25, 2017 (11:30 am)

          How should we increase density and not displace vulnerable people then? What is the alternative plan? 

          • CMT November 25, 2017 (12:46 pm)

            If you research the issue, you will learn that there is already existing capacity within existing zoning to accommodate the projected density.  

            Beyond that, the City should be mindful about where increased density is placed within and outside of urban villages instead of  just slathering an upzone across the entire area because that’s where developers are salivating to build.  

            The City was required to come up with two alternatives to increase access to affordable housing and accommodate density.  Instead they simply presented two versions of the same alternative.  

            By collaborating with neighborhoods and actually listening to the feedback of people who care, the City could have come up with a real alternative to accomplish goals of increasing density and affordability.  It has chosen not to, instead mischaracterizing this developer sell- out as “Housing Affordability and Livability” when it is the exact opposite.  

            Not surprising that people are calling them on it.  Not surprising that developer funded groups will pull every trick in the book – crying NIMBY-ism, classism, racism – to try to hide the fact that the emperor has no clothes.

          • DH November 25, 2017 (3:06 pm)

            And if you researched the issue you’d know that we are already exceeding the projected density needs and that existing capacity is not sufficient. I have no love for developers but the protectionism in this opposition bothers me more. Also I don’t think your average citizen has the best information to decide how neighborhoods should be developed anymore than I’d trust a passenger on a plane to fly it. Input yes, decide no. 

          • CMT November 25, 2017 (5:07 pm)

            And DH  please define “protectionism.”  The City is selling its land giveaway to developers as a means to provide for low income individuals to be able to live in these so called high opportunity neighborhoods knowing full well that will not be the case. Meanwhile, the neighborhoods will be stuck with displacement, poorly planned density, less diversity and no supporting infrastructure.  If objecting to that craptastic plan is protectionism in your book, sign me up.

      • CMT November 25, 2017 (4:58 pm)

        I have the facts, thanks.

        • DH November 25, 2017 (7:29 pm)

          Alternative facts. You seem to have a closed mind so I’m bowing out. 

          • CMT November 26, 2017 (1:20 pm)

            Nice.  I don’t have a closed mind but I have extensively studied the issue.  Bowing out as well.

          • Derek November 26, 2017 (9:36 pm)

            There is actually a strong argument against the trope that existing zoning has the capacity to absorb incoming residents:

            ...key reasons Seattle’s zoned capacity estimate is misleading and does not justify halting upzones:


            The assessment overestimates zoned capacity. It ignores many real-world obstacles to housing development.

            Most of Seattle’s zoned capacity is in dense commercial areas, which are less family-friendly and more likely to expose residents to air pollution and automobile hazards.

            Seattle’s zoned capacity is shrinking as construction booms. The best building sites are already gone, and others are going fast. The faster a city grows, the sooner it makes sense to upzone and keep plenty of buildable sites available.

            Delaying upzones has the paradoxical effect of reducing future zoned capacity. Every building erected to four stories rather than eight, because zoning is too restrictive, represents four floors of potential homes denied to the city for as much as a century.

            Seattle’s population is growing much faster than projected.

  • Bradley November 24, 2017 (2:49 pm)

    The current HALA plan(s) completely ignores the continual destruction of greenspace in the city. Every time there is a home tear-down for an upzone, trees go with it. West Seattle’s Arbor Heights is losing trees at one of the fastest rates in the City.

  • TJ November 24, 2017 (3:45 pm)

    The city is selling out longtime residents. Tax breaks and not making developers adequately pay for added infrastructure just get passed on to us. There seems to be a strange belief in city government that Seattle needs to absorb as much population growth as possible in this region. And all of this talk of “low income & poor residents”? Sorry, but governments role was never intended to provide housing for people. People don’t have a right to live where they want if they can’t afford it. And all of these seem to be apartments. Where are the condos that allow people to gain equity in their payments? The cheapest way to more affordable housing is to stop the give aways and make it more desirable for developers to build outside of the city where the units will be cheap.

    • Anonymous Coward November 25, 2017 (6:03 am)

       There seems to be a strange belief in city government that Seattle needs to absorb as much population growth as possible in this region.”. Are you calling the growth management act a “strange belief”?

    • redblack November 26, 2017 (6:52 am)

      “Sorry, but governments role was never intended to provide housing for people. “


      no, but government’s role IS to protect the population from predatory and exploitative business practicees. it’s time to tax developers to the pain point.


      the rest of us are already there.

  • lookingforlogic November 24, 2017 (4:16 pm)

    Losses in real estate development taxes can be used for 18 years so building big and costly then a downturn makes for a nice deferment on taxes while accruing equity for 18 years.  So basically building for a giant loss is profitable, that’s how trump didn’t pay taxes for decades.  If the buildings are leased easily for a reasonable cost then that isn’t a loss.

  • KM November 24, 2017 (4:42 pm)

    Ugh. Not surprised they pulled this together, based on my discussion with some at JuNo, but disappointed nonetheless.

  • Jeannie November 24, 2017 (5:08 pm)

    Is there anything we, as individuals, can do to stop this ill-conceived plan? The City gov’t. is clueless. HALAtosis leaves a bad taste in my mouth! 

  • TJ November 24, 2017 (5:19 pm)

    The city plans on ramming this down our throats, but we can fight this until the bitter end. No matter what happens, HALA needs to go away from discussion. Meaning, this is the end of rezoning discussion lets say for 20 years. But be warned…the politicians really hate single family zoning and will want to rezone further into neighborhoods before that. Housing market dynamics shouldn’t have government interference in it mandating that anybody pay to subsidize someone else to live somewhere. Sorry

  • dsa November 24, 2017 (5:26 pm)

    It should be an easy win to get the FEIS tossed out on procedural process.  The city said they would only accept certain type comments to the DEIS, thus ignoring public sentiment and enabling the direction they wanted to go.

  • WS Guy November 24, 2017 (5:32 pm)

    The City invested in infrastructure and amenities in South Lake Union.  It totally vitalized that area, invited private investment, and grew it from 800 to 4,500 housing units.  And lots of jobs.  The City could easily repeat that in another disused area — maybe SODO?  And better yet, this time do it with impact fees that allow the City to fund affordable housing throughout the city and repay some of its investment.  Why was an alternative like this never even on the table?

    Instead, the City has proposed to dump tons of new development into areas where people will be forced out of their homes, infrastructure is already strained, and neighborhoods and tree canopy will be destroyed – with no investment at all!

    There are literally 1,500 more units in the permitting pipeline just for the WS Junction alone.  And there is still plenty of capacity for development in these neighborhoods.  No need to add more.  Or if so, at least let the neighborhoods themselves help identify where it should go.  This HALA plan sucks and I hope this coalition can turn it around.

    • Jon Wright November 25, 2017 (5:53 am)

      “Let the neighborhoods themselves help identify where development should go?” I can tell you exactly where they think it should go: somewhere else!

      • CMT November 25, 2017 (8:54 am)

        Of course, a lot of people are struggling to adjust to the increasing density of Seattle.  However, I think most accept that it is inevitable.  Neighborhoods should have a say in how that density is placed within its boundaries.  That is the basis on which “urban villages” were formed – a community accepting density and having a say in what that would look like.   

  • Elizabeth November 25, 2017 (7:52 am)

     I have to say almost without exception that the bulk of the people in these community organizations particularly the older neighborhood organizations were not inclusive in their respective  communities. They typically excluded the public from participation, their boards were strong and self-perpetuating, they got many privileges and power bases from the city at the time, and so in a lot of ways they created the situation that they now are complaining about when they’ve been disenfranchised under the Murray administration. I don’t know so much That they have a grand concern for their neighborhoods except for how it affects them and I’m going to say it’s back to their boards and those people having lost their power and Privilege, don’t like it.

    I don’t think that they’re necessarily protecting the rest of us.  Several of the groups and in particular the Magnolia Community Council, they actually sent a letter to the city telling it that they approved of the HALA and MHA changes that we’re going to come to Magnolia. Interesting to see after blowback from certain members of the community about that letter  they’re now over here with this group.  Most if not all of these neighborhood groups should’ve been fighting the cities from the get-go instead of now coming after the fact. The city has extensive resources and in the end the community groups will not be able to overcome on this.

    SEPA is a procedural driven process.   It isn’t that they have to study all the alternatives, it isn’t that they had to include every alternative, it isn’t that they had to study every alternative in depth, and in the process now many of the laws are written including Seattle’s so that they say by default that if the city has some provision in its municipal code that can offset potential impacts of development then it’s presume that there is no need to either mitigate or offset an impact.

     It’s pretty tough to kill off a SEPA  review of the magnitude that the city has done. And after the tunnel EIS  situation, the city is quite adept now at promoting and producing Comprehensive EISs at this point. Which brings us to the next level which is Bricklin is not a great lawyer.   Have absolute direct experience with his tactics which is churning fees. Almost 10 years ago he spent $29,000 for a little more than just filing a complaint asking for discovery and not even a motion after that. Can imagine it’s quite pricey even if his neighborhood friendly prices.

    His business is in large part based on circulating among well-heeled groups like this and promising them to go out and fight for what he tells them are deficiencies in EISs, but if you look at the record he does not have an extensive record of wins. Typically these groups pour a lot of money and time into these SEPA challenges  only to lose in the end.  Think I-405 Bridge Project, a Bricklin case in point.  In the bargain to he has conflicts of interest often times that are not disclosed we have one of them in our neighborhood that he’s involved in. Representing one group, while representing another and not really disclosing what the agenda is of the group he originally represents is, something not in favor of what the other group he’s representing wants.

    People should think before they put money into this outside of those organizations because some of those organizations have their own money. Given that SEPA is procedural and that it is difficult to set one aside then let some of them spend their money on it. 



  • Scarlett November 25, 2017 (8:23 am)

     The Ed Murray HALA  agenda was a failure from the get go.  I voted for Murray but had no idea that he was intending on steam rolling over the city in the guise of affordable housing simply to line the pockets of developers who are already making massive profits on the building boom in Seattle.  

    The neighborhoods were ready and willing to work with the city to increased density and affordability but Ed completely ignored them to establish his own agenda with the developer elite.  No wonder the neighborhoods are pushing back. The liberal  majority  in Seattle are more than willing to work to improve housing in the city, but it has to be done cooperatively and not by steamroller.  

    The city thought they could push this through by simply calling everybody a racist who didn’t like their agenda.  

  • AmandaK November 25, 2017 (9:23 am)

    The logic of developer impact fees to assist in infrastructure has long been shot down based on the idea that “then the won’t build here” (said as whiney as possible).  The result of this kowtowing to developers has left us with  huge revenue losses.  It has also produced the MFTE program that lets developers opt out of paying property taxes for 12 years in exchange for reduced income units.   This “do good” program hasn’t even scratched the surface of handling the needs of a city that has grown it’s income inequality as fast as the apartment units can go up.  What is really happening here, is developers (not the city) buy up inexpensive land, or older buildings with affordable units in them, build something that, while more dense, is now 50-100 times more expensive and the only folks who can live there, are the new wealthy ones displacing the ones who lived there before.  When they buy up housing stock and build apartments, they take away an opportunity for someone to invest in something. Since they no longer build condos because they don’t generate enough profit, there is no wealth being created for residents, just for developers and building owners.  

    It’s no way to run a city.  It’s no way to solve income inequality that has caused a massive housing crisis, that has led to a massive homelessness crisis.   I participated in at least 3 HALA related meetings the City put on, and commented on the percentage of affordable units that developers could get away with (if they didn’t opt out) for the new MHA plan.  If developers were allowed to come into an area that let’s say has 50% affordable units compared to city averages, they only have to put 5%-7% units back.  That’s not building affordable housing folks.   That’s a land grab.

    Livability never came up in the 3 meetings I went to.  When I asked about that, they said “oh, we will talk about that later” –  as if affordability and livability were somehow mutually exclusive.  Schools, fire stations, police stations, parks and green infrastructure are CRITICAL to growing neighborhoods.  There has to be concurrency,  and it’s actually part of the law Growth Management Act Concurrency.  So if we are talking the legality of a lawsuit to stop HALA, well, there you go.

    Someone mentioned South Lake Union.  When I worked down there about 13 years ago, there were a lot of poor folks living there.  Older buildings, churches,  pea patches, and food banks tucked in between the older industrial warehouses.  Do you think those folks live there anymore?  Do you think anyone in SLU cares about that?  Or even knows the history of the area?

    I for one am glad to see a broad coalition of neighborhoods taking this extreme measure.  The city has made sure to silence it’s critics and only fill it’s PR rooms with head nodders.  Seattle, you can’t ignore the problem, or stick a band-aid on it, or plug your ears and hope everything will be okay.   

     

  • TJ November 25, 2017 (9:27 am)

    The growth management act is dumb, but that is seperate from what I was talking about AC. Seattle is trying to attract as much growth as possible over surrounding cities. Getting denser isn’t going to make life better here. I really don’t want to live in the Bronx or Brooklyn. Drive thru White Center and south to Burien; Ambaum and 1st Avenue look the same as they did 30 years ago, no box growth there. Government needs to stay out of the business of housing, but they have the UN Agenda 21 playbook in hand it looks like.

  • Michelle November 25, 2017 (9:29 am)

    Thank-You, for working together to fight these terrible ideas and destroying our lovely single family neighborhoods and our quality of life in our beautiful West Seattle.

    So many of us go to work everyday and work hard.  We pay so much in taxes.  We  deserve to be able to have a voice in how the City wants to change our neighborhoods!!!

    Thank-You 

  • WSB November 25, 2017 (10:36 am)

    Reminder that while we do not require logins for commenters, we do require that once you choose an identity in a discussion, you stick to it. We’ve had at least one person try to post as two different people. Thank you.

    • CMT November 25, 2017 (10:41 am)

      Thanks for helping to try to keep the conversation honest WSB!!

    • Mark Schletty November 25, 2017 (11:52 am)

      Personally I think that someone trying to comment under different identities should be identified. The rest of us deserve to know who is trying to make us think that their opinions are coming from multiple different people, and maybe should therefore carry additional weight. I always use my real name and stand by my opinions.  Other commentators, even if commenting anonymously, should at least be honest enough to not try to fool us into thinking they are more than one person.

  • Matt November 25, 2017 (1:48 pm)

    I think that is it sadly fitting that anti -development folks are going to sue to stop the upzones and if they fail, the for profit developers are going to sue to stop the fees.  Neither group likes MHA. 

    • CMT November 25, 2017 (3:26 pm)

      I think it is sad that the pro-development developers refer to anyone asking for a better plan as “anti-development.”  It is getting old.

      • KM November 25, 2017 (4:30 pm)

        I’ve been called pro-developer and a sellout for supporting HALA. That is also getting old.

        • Mark Schletty November 25, 2017 (5:53 pm)

          Supporters of HALA are not necessarily “pro-developer”or “sell outs”. But it has been my observation that most commenters who continually use “anti-development” and “nimby” accusations against those who oppose HALA  are part of the development industry. Those are terms frequently used by Roger Valdez and the developer supported lobby business Smart Growth Seattle. They are standard operating language adopted by the development industry, and are, in general but not always, a tip -off to the commenter’s agenda.

          • DH November 25, 2017 (7:43 pm)

            I’d like to add to your observation. I used NIMBY above and have worked in nonprofit human services jobs my entire adult life.I don’t know any developers.  

    • CMT November 25, 2017 (5:00 pm)

      I agree that goes both ways.  

  • Oldguy November 25, 2017 (3:43 pm)

    Have to add my voice that giving developers a blank check ONLY benefit’s them. The rest of us are left holding the bag. A note for those here crying for job’s. Reality check:100 years ago when WS was mostly tree’s. No big businesses came. 32 years ago when the high bridge opened it was easy sailing in and out of WS. No big businesses came. Hint:they didn’t want to come here.  Where would they go now?  I’ve got a GREAT solution. NO new building in WS until the light rail opens.

  • Orwell November 26, 2017 (12:25 pm)

    The developer option to pay a fee instead of providing low cost housing onsite, with those fees paid going into the “general fund” yet “earmarked” for some as yet unformed virtue project is concerning.

    1.  Will these fees go to new housing at all?  Will there be an accounting of use of these fees?

    2.  When  will this deferred affordable housing be built, if any? Developers pay at end so how many years until $$ results in affordable housing?

    3.  Where will this deferred affordable housing be built? 

    4.  If all fees do not go to building new housing but to City Council Virtue Projects, will it be accounted exactly?

    5.  Am I in error, but this all seems unlikely to help Citizens but is a HUGE boon to Developers at the cost of quality of life.

    6.  Why is the entire Magnolia peninsula still exempt

     (BTW, in San Clemente California developers required for new schools if population increased enough , a freeway on-ramp…essentially a developer must help pay for the impact of huge population increases. Period.  If suddenly 3 single family homes housing 10 people changes to a building housing 200…there is a cost and community impact and so far developers pay ZERO.  Why? 

  • May November 27, 2017 (11:27 am)

    These are a bunch of NIMBYs using anti-displacement language to go against the very communities they claim to support.  It’s just folks who live in single family homes that don’t want to have to share their neighborhoods.  Don’t be fooled by the wording or the endorsements.  These people only want to keep the status quo.  They only care about keeping their own rich neighborhoods as they are.

    #SUPPORTHALA

    • WSB November 27, 2017 (11:37 am)

      I don’t know about the non-West Seattle neighborhoods involved but the West Seattle ones who are party to this are not rich neighborhoods. (Except in the sense that as residents of the United States of America, we are all “rich” in comparison to much of the rest of the world.) Particularly the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village. And if you’re keeping track, arguably the “richest” of West Seattle’s four urban villages, Admiral, is not listed as part of the coalition.

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