FOLLOWUP: Why fight HALA upzoning? Four West Seattleites’ rationale

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“I just want to thank you.”

Midway through our coffeehouse conversation with four local neighborhood-group reps about why they’re part of a citywide challenge to the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda upzoning plan, a woman walked up to the table and addressed that to them.

She admitted she had been eavesdropping and “figured out what you were talking about.” She says she lives in the Junction area – which is where we were talking – and doesn’t want the upzoning to happen.

But, she added, “I don’t know what I can do to help.” The four offered suggestions immediately. Earl Lee of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition said, “We need every soldier we can get.”

Amanda Sawyer, who has led the Junction Neighborhood Organization for half a year, mentioned JuNO’s Land Use Committee will be talking about HALA and the appeal at a meeting tomorrow (6:30 pm Thursday, December 7th, Senior Center of West Seattle).

Equipped with ideas, the woman moved on. The four were heartened by that unsolicited feedback. What their groups had joined is not universally popular – some supporters of the proposed upzoning accuse opponents of being elitist, wealthy, interested only in keeping their theoretical white-picket-fence gates slammed shut to newcomers.

Not at all, these four insist. But before we go further, introductions and backstory.

(WSB photo at City Hall, as coalition reps announced appeal on November 27)

We spoke the day after the coalition of two-dozen-plus groups from around the city announced it was appealing the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the HALA component officially called Mandatory Housing Affordability, proposing upzoning that will expand development capacity in exchange for requiring those who build housing to either include a percentage as “affordable” units, or to pay into a fund that the city will use to bankroll development of “affordable” housing.

In addition, nine neighborhood groups from around the city filed their own appeals, including the Junction Neighborhood Organization (JuNO) and Morgan Community Association (MoCA).

Those groups offered representatives to talk with WSB about the West Seattle view of this fight, so we sat down with WWRHAH’s Lee, Sawyer and Carl Guess from JuNO, and Deb Barker from MoCA.

None of their groups had just jumped into HALA for the endgame. They all have been monitoring and participating along the way. Barker – a retired land-use planner for a city south of Seattle and former Design Review Board member – has even helped lead educational sessions for other groups to explain the process, like a pivotal one that drew standing-room-only turnout a year ago.

And a caveat – these four were not speaking for the coalition, only for themselves.

“We’re all here because we love our neighborhoods,” Guess said. “We’ve been trying to help our neighbors navigate a time of intense growth.” And by neighbors, they mean “renters, seniors, businesspeople, homeowners,” everyone.

The major beef with the city’s proposal, as Guess sees it: “It would have you believe that all neighborhoods are created equal and that’s not true. We all have different geographies, histories, cultural touchstones … The central failure of the FEIS is that it wants to skate over those differences … doesn’t want to look at its neighborhood impacts. When you peel back its shallow analysis, there’s not nearly enough affordable housing going into the neighborhoods themselves.”

That’s for two reasons – one, the relatively low number of units the city expects will be created, only triple digits per year. And two, it’s expected that developers/builders will generally opt to pay the fee instead, and that means money from a project in Neighborhood X has no guarantee of going toward affordable housing in that same neighborhood.

“We’re at risk for losing a lot more neighborhood economic diversity,” Guess laments.

So what specifically led these neighborhoods’ groups to get involved at this level, a formal challenge?

MoCA’s Barker explained that Morgan “saw the writing on the wall” because its then-board member Cindi Barker was on the original HALA advisory committee appointed by Mayor Murray, the committee that came up with more than 60 recommendations. “We knew our neighborhood plan was threatened,” particularly the part that called for protecting areas zoned for single-family homes. “And we have been vocal in saying, neighborhood planning is beyond Shelby’s” – a reference to the chaotically executed city open house one year ago at a Junction restaurant (that has since closed down).

img_0870(WSB photo, December 7, 2016)

“So MoCA has really taken steps to jump in and go outside the box, file a Comprehensive Plan Amendment request …. so our plan can’t just be run over and ignored. The neighborhood plan from the ’90s was a neighborhood effort” – Barker points out she hadn’t yet moved to the area by then – “and they negotiated it down to what mattered to the entire neighborhood. No one has told us that doesn’t matter (now) – except the city. We want that process again. We know change is coming but we want change that our neighborhood has a stake in, a voice in. We don’t want to lose our starter homes, our affordable housing, our low-income housing that someone would like to tear down.”

JuNO’s Sawyer speaks next, saying they could echo much of what Barker had just said on behalf of MoCA. “The unique thing (for The Junction) is that we (will) have light rail, and that will be for generations.” So they want more than neighborhood planning, they also want planning that takes the future light-rail line into consideration. Without that, this would be a “missed opportunity,” she says – one that could envision offices, park space, mixed-use properties surrounding a station. Referring to what Barker had described, Sawyer said that she and her husband have “the perfect example of a starter home,” which if torn down and replaced would have made way for $800,000 townhomes. They “would have ended up renting here (anyway) because we love the Farmers’ Market and Easy Street,” but she sees a need for “a planning process that identifies what makes a neighborhood a neighborhood – to get community buy-in, and plan for increasing livability, instead of just saying ‘it’s going to get worse’.”

While Lee lives in the Westwood area, he had been a longtime small-business owner in The Junction, so he has a view from multiple neighborhood perspectives. He saw multiple generations staying in the area – “I had my store long enough to see the parents, and then the kids become adults and come back into the business … (under) this type of plan, that is going to be nonexistent. The kids won’t be able to come back and live in the same community. Westwood and Highland Park are still among the areas that are still affordable – starter homes, diverse population … the way they’ve got (HALA) set up, that’s going to be totally eliminated.” As a retiree with a “limited income,” he also is concerned about rising property taxes pricing him and others out. “Once they get the developers in and start having their little wars between each other, we’re not going to be able to stay in our homes, and that’s what scares me.” He hopes to stay in his home another 20 years, but is worried he won’t be able to afford to. He has neighbors “who have been there for 30 years, 40 years” who he’s worried will be in the same straits. And he sees that as not just their loss but the community’s loss: “The quality of community is important.”

To the technical points, JuNO’s Guess says infrastructure is “near and dear to my heart.” While The Junction has been the fastest-growing urban village for a decade and will continue to be, it’s “still playing catchup on water and sewer and parks, all the investment we’ve been needing …The city made investments in South Lake Union – I don’t begrudge them, but we need the same kind of investments here.”

That’s an issue in Westwood-Highland Park, too, Lee adds. And to his point about quality of community, it often is the community that makes such investments happen, such as the Roxhill Park play-area overhaul early this decade. “It took the community to get Roxhill Park to where it is today; the Parks Department wasn’t stepping up … we had to start a coalition to get the park done.”

Having excited community members involved with projects should be heartening to city departments, Sawyer observed.

That led Barker to recall that city Office of Planning and Community Development – the HALA lead – staffers were observing the coalition’s appeal-announcement news conference a day earlier. She wondered whether they were considering the announcement more “like a punch in a gut” to their hard work, or “seeing something must be wrong if this many people are piping up” with concerns.

Might the challenge provide them a chance to step back? Sawyer wondered.

“The one thing that gets me is that, for a year and a half, going to these different meetings, and listening to all the input, seeing what’s been written on chalkboards … and I have yet to see any of that implemented in the final results,” Lee said. He recalled another recent process, changing Metro Route 120 to the RapidRide H Line, with community feedback seeming to have been disregarded.

“I think there’s a big difference between feeling you’re part of the solution, (as compared to) trying to flag down problems – there are some exciting ideas (on which) we would like to partner with the city,” said Guess, explaining that those involved with the appeal are “just against and not for (anything).”

And he said he’s seen this kind of process from another side, having worked with Seattle Public Schools during a boundary redraw, reading “5,000 e-mails” to search for “the best idea … I represented families at the table” during what he recalls as an inclusive process, which is what he believes can be possible with this. “It doesn’t have to be indefinite; it can be exciting.”

Barker says collaborating with other neighborhoods has been enjoyable in this process so far: “I think it really has brought the bigger community together.”

Sawyer also sees lots of potential for shaping West Seattle’s future, “especially when we talk about (growth) with transit, there are so many possibilities … (the city is) missing out on this opportunity.”

Guess sees it as a missed opportunity because the city didn’t bring “the general public” into the process until the plan “was well under way … so the anger I feel rises from the fact that people were kept in the dark and all of a sudden this was just dropped on them, it was like, take it or leave it.”

Lee observes that “if they work with the community peolpe from the start … this process would go a lot faster and easier.”

“It’s not about everybody getting exactly what they want,” Guess says, “it’s about being heard and getting the best ideas. When the process is so superficial …then you wind up joining appeals.”

To the contention that the city not bringing the public into the process soon enough, we note that the city has emphasized how many feedback opportunities it’s offered over the past few years. Why weren’t those enough?

Sawyer goes back a year, to the now-legendary open house at the Junction restaurant that was known at the time as Shelby’s (where the Great American Diner and Bar is now), on December 7, 2016. She learned about it from a flyer “welcoming me to my new neighborhood.” She went, and “waited in a line to filter through a restaurant, and we circulated around a table with maps (and) we didn’t know what they meant …it was so rowded … someone said, ‘You should get invoved in JuNO.’ I got (moved) out of the line, no information.” She did get involved with JuNO, and half a year later, found herself agreeing to become its new director. There was more participation in the HALA feedback process, but “none of the input was reflected in the ‘preferred alternative’ (that came out last month) …all of our comments from the draft EIS (were simply) ‘noted’… It’s disheartening to participate in a process which isn’t always the easiest … you take the time out of your life to try to be involved, and then you realize it was just checked off and noted.”

Lee says many of the meetings had already taken place before the community was “really informed.” He had attended several events “with a handful of people” that he recalls as presentations with very little time for Q&A, or perhaps “you had a question and you were told to wait until the end.” He considers the open houses, like the Shelby’s event (which folded multiple other city initiatives in with HALA), events where you were expected to “come in and applaud what (the city had) done … and they were surprised when all of a sudden the roof blew off.” He went around and knocked on doors on weekends to show them the city collateral he’d gathered and to explain to neighbors what was being proposed, “this is what they are trying to do, have you ever heard of it? People said ‘no’. … They had the opportunity to bring the community in but they didn’t let people know.”

Sawyer recalls that the language in the city communications seemed disingenuous, using the terms “affordability” and “livability” without mentioning anything about rezoning (as noted in one of our reports a year ago).

Guess and Sawyer mentioned the difficulty of using some of the feedback tools (such as the hala.consider.it site) and how the data could be skewed because, for example, he said, one advocacy group that “didn’t like where our neighborhood was going” in visible feedback “had people jump on that area,” regardless of whether they lived in the Junction or not, and the city had no way to sort that out. “What use was the data at that point?”

The city experimented with other means of feedback without much notice, he added, such as “announcing a Reddit session the same day” it was scheduled.

“And that was all going on at the same time the neighborhood district councils were being defunded,” Barker added.

Despite all that, the neighborhood groups went to some lengths to educate residents about what was being proposed and how to participate. “We as a neighborhood have done so much work to help the city get feedback that was informed and useful,” Sawyer noted. “We really tried to make the conversation meaningful.”

Like the appeal process now, that involved neighborhood collaboration, too; Deb Barker and Cindi Barker from Morgan worked with several other community groups to provide HALA primers, for example, explaining how to read the maps, among other things.

So, we asked, having read through the appeal documents, which of the points do they think might get traction?

For Morgan’s appeal, Barker suggested, the failure to mention Fauntleroy ferry traffic as an environmental impact – “something that affects 100,000 people trying to get (off the peninsula).”

“Each neighborhood is different, is the gist of it,” Sawyer underscores. “Each neighborhood has specific impacts that were glossed over and generalized. You really need to look at those things.”

Lee suggested the effects on small businesses have to be taken into account – including taxes.

“Whether the appeal is a success or not, it shows the new mayor and City Council that we’re serious about (concerns) and can organize, and that there are a lot of people who will stand up and (fight back),” Sawyer adds.

And if the appeal itself doesn’t succeed, Lee expects community members will find other ways to push back. “The momentum has just gotten started, so many people whose eyes have gotten opened.” He hopes to see the neighborhood collaborators keep their eyes on a “common goal – to make our community better.”

In the meantime, as of this writing, the appellants are waiting for a pre-hearing conference to be scheduled by the Hearing Examiner’s office. The coalition also has launched a fundraising drive to pay the lawyers they’ve hired; many, if not most, community groups, including the three West Seattle groups that have signed on so far, don’t charge dues or have other funding sources.

You can expect updates on the process at the groups’ meetings for some time to come. The JuNO Land Use Committee has its meeting tomorrow as mentioned above (Thursday night, December 7th, Senior Center, 4217 SW Oregon); MoCA’s quarterly meeting is coming up in mid-January; WWRHAH next meets in early February. Official information on the coalition appeal is on the website of Seattle Fair Growth, a party to the appeal.

As for what’s next with the city’s proposed “preferred alternative” separate from the appeal process, you can see the maps here, and/or use this interactive map to look at how any specific property would be affected. It is up to new Mayor Jenny Durkan to send legislation to the City Council that would codify any zoning changes, and the council would have the final say, with additional opportunities for public comment along the way. That process is expected to take so long that two events scheduled by the city in our area are still at least five months away – an open house on May 9th, and a public hearing on June 5th.

86 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Why fight HALA upzoning? Four West Seattleites' rationale"

  • matt December 7, 2017 (5:48 am)

    I massively respect the volunteers working on this, but this is no way to address the issues we have now: 

    From the JuNO Appeal: 

    “8. The FEIS fails to discuss the benefits and disadvantages of deferring the implementation of MHA until…after the ST3 train planning and implementation is complete.” 

    That is 2035, folks, at best. 

    Yes, why didn’t the City study ignoring the housing crisis or affordability for almost 20 years?  

    They did.  The ‘No Action’ alternative results is less new housing, less affordable housing and higher prices all around, leading to more economic displacement. 

    Is MHA perfect? No way, but its much better than ‘No Action.’ Tracy, I’m happy to talk to you in detail, if you’d like to give your readers a positive perspective on West Seattle’s future where we can grow and still maintain the character of the neighborhood we love. 

    • AmandaK December 7, 2017 (8:08 am)

      Matt – I just want to clarify something here.  You are saying that you are totally okay with the city moving forward with a plan (MHA) that will force elders, immigrants, artists, and middle class folks out of these neighborhoods to make room for rich people moving to Seattle now/in the future?  I can’t believe that’s what you want to see.

      If you really look at the MHA plan it is fatally flawed.  And you are right, 20 years ago, the City should have been implementing impact fees and working on urban growth that was resident centric vs developer centric.  They have a chance to fix that, instead, they further incentivize a developer land grab.  It’s madness.

      • John December 7, 2017 (9:02 am)

        AmandaK,

        Rather than (falsely)  tell us what Matt is saying, why don’t you explain what you would do to positively address the issues?

        • AmandaK December 7, 2017 (10:18 am)

          Oh John, how I’ve missed you telling me I don’t know what I am talking about.  No, I’m kidding, I really haven’t.  

          I’m just an observer, one who has been paying attention to what’s been happening for about 10 years.  I’m a big picture thinker, also a bookkeeper – so I know numbers.  What I see happening doesn’t make sense if the City really wants to make changes.  You can’t replace existing affordable housing in an area, with not affordable housing and say you are helping.  That’s just dumb.  And letting developers pay no property tax (MFTE) or pay 5% into a pot to build housing is asinine. I don’t have all the answers, I don’t get paid to find them – but I do know that this MHA plan is a land grab for the wealthy.  Not a solution to income inequality and affordable neighborhoods.

          • Anonymous Coward December 7, 2017 (11:23 am)

            “I don’t have all the answers, I don’t get paid to find them – but I do know that this MHA plan is a land grab for the wealthy. ”  If you can’t conceive of any alternatives, then how can you say that this is anything other than the least bad option selected from a large list of even worse options?  Or are you postulating that “doing nothing” is better than this?

          • AmandaK December 7, 2017 (11:46 am)

            Coward – I’m not sure what you mean by “do nothing”.  I have never, not once postulated for “do nothing”.  There are plenty of things that the City can do, should do, should have done years ago.  Stop the MFTE, instead of proposing 5%-7% for affordable housing- make it 30%, or no opting out. Affordable units must be built on site.   The city should be buying up these vacant houses, tearing them down and giving the land to land trusts (there are already programs in place for this! ), charge developer impact fees (like 80 other WA State cities), mandatory inclusionary zoning.  Other similar sized cities do things to help mitigate displacement and income inequality – we don’t need to reinvent the wheel.  We just need to take the wheels off the developer wagon that this City’s leadership have jumped on for the past 25 years.   

          • John December 7, 2017 (12:23 pm)

            I rarely comment here anymore, but your non sequitur, ” Oh John, how I’ve missed you telling me I don’t know what I am talking about.  No, I’m kidding, I really haven’t.” is just that. 

            Anyone who reads my comment understands that I am not challenging what you know.  Rather I am challenging the way you attack others’ opinions by making things up that are not true and were not written.

            Specifically in response to Matt, “You are saying that you are totally okay with the city moving forward with a plan (MHA) that will force elders, immigrants, artists, and middle class folks out…?”

            Such exemplifies both ethical and intellectual short comings on your part, rather than addressing the issues.

          • AmandaK December 7, 2017 (12:39 pm)

            John – lol  

          • John December 7, 2017 (1:10 pm)

            Amanda,

            Your reply simply confirms my points.

      • Peter December 7, 2017 (1:15 pm)

        “You are saying that you are totally okay with the city moving forward with a plan (MHA) that will force elders, immigrants, artists, and middle class folks out of these neighborhoods to make room for rich people moving to Seattle now/in the future?“

        Amanda, that is a nonsense scare tactic. In what way specifically would HALA do any of these thing? What you’re doing is assigning nefarious motives to the city and anyone who disagrees with you, and that is both intellectually and ethically bankrupt, in addition to being personally insulting and patently offensive. 

        • AmandaK December 7, 2017 (4:11 pm)

          Actually, I was asking Matt for clarification, and I will wait for him to reply.  But by throwing in the “is MHA perfect, no, but its much better than ‘No Action'” I am asking if he thinks it’s okay to throw residents out with this plan.  If you attended ANY of the various meetings, or even read what the MHA intends to do you might actually agree with me instead of calling me “bankrupt”, which is hilarious – hence the lol. Thanks for insulting me and my intelligence however, good move.  I am well versed in your techniques of trying to make me (and others) look bad in order to deflect from the issue.  The issue is not me, the issue is the City and the land giveaway they are trying to get passed.  You can argue with me based on facts, but since I actually presented some, and you attack my character instead, I think we are done here.  No?

          • Peter December 7, 2017 (6:24 pm)

            You ask Matt if he’s in favor of displacing the vulnerable, make way for the rich, etc., in order to force him to defend himself against accusations of ill intent. As an urbanist who favors urban and economic growth, I’ve faced the same false accusations many times. And now you’re trying to debase my point of view on the grounds of attending meetings, by which you’re attempting to delegitimize the opinions of all those who can’t. Gimme a break. Here are some facts: HALA doesn’t displace anyone, it doesn’t make anyone sell their property to build housing for the rich, there is no land giveaway to developers (who’s land specifically are you claiming is being given away?), and nothing in HALA requires replacing existing affordable housing. HALA will do nothing more than modestly increase the capacity to build housing in the city, which Seattle desperately needs. But the opponents keep acting like it’s some kind of malicious attack against them by the city. Thanks for ending your response with a trite, condescending dismissal. No, we are not done here, and I stand behind my previous comment. You cast shade on the character of those who disagree with you by implying they have nefarious motives such as wanting displacement and land givaways to developers, and that is offensive. I support housing construction to meet the city’s housing needs and a future of growth for Seattle, and we need HALA, as small a step as it is, in order to do that.  

    • WS Amanda December 7, 2017 (11:18 am)

      Matt, Planning for Sound Transit has already begun and is happening in 2018 – 2019.  By no means do we meant to delay any sort of growth or affordability solutions until 2035.  Our goal is create a neighborhood plan for the West Seattle Junction that acknowledges the plan for the light rail path and stations.  

      • Matt December 8, 2017 (9:10 pm)

        I agree with you that would be sensible, but the language in your appeal is very specific , “deferring the implementation of MHA until…after the ST3 train planning and implementation is complete..”  How else would you read  ST3 Implementation?  If that isn’t what you meant, maybe you can revise before the Hearing Examiner gets to it. 

  • Mark Schletty December 7, 2017 (7:42 am)

    How can I donate to the legal expense fund?

  • DH December 7, 2017 (7:43 am)

    Maybe I’m missing something but this still seems like older, white, homeowners not happy the city didn’t follow their ideas and that they can’t keep their suburban like living in the growing city. I’d like to hear from community members that support the upzoning including young, nonwhite, and renters. I encourage people that support density and upzoning single family areas to speak up too. Sometimes the loudest voices do not represent what most people want. 

    • AmandaK December 7, 2017 (8:09 am)

      Yes, you are making assumptions about the people pushing back.

      • DH December 7, 2017 (8:34 am)

        Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

        • WSB December 7, 2017 (9:22 am)

          Sorry, I failed to get a group photo before everyone ran off to the next thing on their list. Of the 4 people gathered for this conversation, two are described in the story as retirees. Some retire what I would call early so you can’t really make an age assumption there. The other two? Young adults. How young? I don’t ask for ID. Way younger than middle-aged, certainly. Also, since you mention race, one person of color.

          • DH December 7, 2017 (10:51 am)

            Thanks for the additional information. All homeowners?

          • WSB December 7, 2017 (11:00 am)

            Aside from what was mentioned in the story, don’t know.

        • Yuri Zhivago December 9, 2017 (11:06 am)

          So homeowners are the problem?  They bought something tangible in terms of lifestyle, views, vibe  and now you want to destroy it (because God only knows we needed 3-story boxes and a Domino’s in North Admiral) and you’re affronted that they’re not buying into HALA’s vision of taking wealth, property and lifestyle away and making it everyone’s, while the developers are the ones that profit?   I want to live in London – should I have them rezone everything so its affordable for me?

          • DH December 9, 2017 (9:57 pm)

            Yes, homeowners that support protectionist policies are part of the problem. I am a homeowner in WS that bought at the bottom of the market due to my life situation at that point in time. I was lucky and would be challenged paying today’s rents. As someone that was a renter in WS for about 15 years before I bought I am sympathetic, and support policies friendly, to renters and newcomers.  

  • +! December 7, 2017 (8:22 am)

    Yeah, why not an article on “Why HALA is a Good Compromise: X West Seattleites’ Rationale?” These community groups seem to have the attitude that they represent some suppressed voice of a silent majority while I imagine most of us agree with what the city is doing, based on past election results especially. 

    • CMY December 7, 2017 (9:06 am)

      I think it far more likely that many have no clue that the misnamed Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda was a deal with developers that will displace vulnerable people, marginalize low income communities, result in a net loss of affordable housing and decimate our neighborhood.

      It has has been intentionally sold as something it is not so that busy people won’t realize until the damage has been done.

      • Peter December 7, 2017 (1:35 pm)

        CMY, your claim that those of who support HALA “have no clue” is false and insulting. The displacement of the vulnerable  bogeyman is lame scare tactic unsupported by facts. The HALA opponents claim to represent the community, but then you dismiss anyone who disagrees with you as either clueless, malicious, or paid. You and these organizations represent only yourselves, not the rest of us, and your insults and scare tactics just weaken your claims. 

        • CMY December 8, 2017 (11:36 am)

          Numerous housing justice advocates disagree with you.  You might check out Seattle Displacement Coalition’s tireless advocacy for the low income and the homeless and their position on HALA MHA before you make such dismissive and unsupported accusations.  SDC is a member of the appeal.  You may also be interested to know that at a recent presentation on the Color of Law at the US District Court, the panel included a social housing justice advocate that specifically stated that MHA will further marginalize low income communities.  Of course, if what I am saying is false, the displacement analysis done by the City as required in the EIS would show that but . . . oh wait, they failed to do one.

  • Mark Schletty December 7, 2017 (8:54 am)

    DH— what you are missing is that HALA will, in reality, produce the exact opposite of what it purports to accomplish. The “ young, nonwhite, and renters” are amoung those who will be most adversely affected. HALA is targeted to dislocate these people in favor of gentrification. It is the city’s most affordable housing that will be lost to high rent replacement housing. I am going to lose some of my best friends to this dislocation, so I take it somewhat personally.

  • Ajwren December 7, 2017 (9:26 am)

    Thanks WSB for such an informative article. Thanks also to these volunteers for explaining their view of the issues surrounding HALA. I understand there are differing viewpoints from those expressed here. I invite the “Gen X’rs” to work within the community to get their points of view across. I suspect, though, they don’t have the time to volunteer due to the pressures of their jobs in order to earn enough to make that rent or mortgage. Jump into the issue and offer your views. 

    • CMT December 7, 2017 (10:06 am)

      AJWren – Just so you know, the JuNO Land Use Committee is comprised primarily of GenX and Millennials with full time jobs and families. 

      These people are sacrificing their time to educate our community and to give our community a voice because HALA-MHA will have terrible impacts on our existing residents and community and for those who would have liked to live here but will now be shut out.   I echo your call for people to get involved but please don’t assume that the people that are already working extremely hard for our community right now are retirees with time on their hands.

      • Ajwren December 7, 2017 (2:33 pm)

        That is great to know!  Thank you!  

  • Mike December 7, 2017 (9:34 am)

    I guess I don’t understand any of the generalized rationale.

    1) The process of inclusive planning is broken, and needs to be improved. That in no way is a valid criticism of the idea of densification in each urban neighborhood or village.

    2) Developers need to be held to a standard of building some – if not a lot – of affordable apartments/condos/townhomes. That is a failing of Murray et al, and can be easily addressed with political will. Nothing says that all new construction has to be unaffordable for the working class.

    3) The true threat to single family homes is not HALA – it is good old fashioned market price pressure. There’s too few houses with yards/garages/space for everyone who wants one. As long as people (especially those with money) keep moving here, there will be starter homes in Westwood selling for $800,000

  • Darryl E. December 7, 2017 (10:15 am)

    “Sometimes the loudest voices do not represent what most people want.”

    This seems pretty obvious at this point. We’ve had 4 city-wide council elections in the last 2 years, and the pro-growth, pro-HALA candidates (GonzalezX2, Burgess, Mosqueda) defeated the more anti-HALA anti-growth candidates (GrantX2, Bradburd, Murakami) by huge margins, receiving twice as many votes on average as the anti-growth politicians. That’s what the anti-housing movement is turning to the courts–they can’t win at the ballot box. A solid majority of Seattelites understands we need more housing, and we need to change our land use policies to encourage greater growth. The anti-HALA (really, anti-housing, anti-newcomer) crowd has lost the argument, so they’ve got to go obstructionist.        

    • Enough Already December 7, 2017 (1:04 pm)

      Thank you.

      I was in the “hate the development” camp at first, but learned about the issues, saw the numbers on what’s happening now and what’s being proposed, and I changed my mind.  What’s being proposed now really makes a lot of sense and I’m getting frustrated that so many people are so insistent on stopping the process my drawing it out as long as possible rather than proposing solid alternatives.

      Worse still is that nearly all the arguments I’ve heard against added development and MHA sound a whole lot like “I got mine, so screw whoever else wants to live here next”.  I don’t care if you’ve lived in West Seattle 3 months or 30 years, you were new here once too.  And if you were new here 30+ years ago, the folks back then were decrying how the death of .5 acre lots was going to ruin the city and it was better when there were only 400 people on the peninsula.

      West Seattle survived your arrival and the home that was built for you.  It will survive new people and the homes built for them too.

  • D Del Rio December 7, 2017 (10:15 am)

    Couldn’t the city zone some of SODO for housing? It seems to me that many of the industrial businesses are moving to the Kent Valley because of cheaper land costs, and I think this would take pressure off of our existing neighborhoods.  

  • Shockley December 7, 2017 (10:37 am)

    Well the PRO people make reasonable points, offer data and analysis and seem to be understanding and respectful of both points of view.

    The CON people put words in their opponents’ mouths, accuse them of being the wrong “color”, “age” and “class” and refuse to address the subject in anything other than scary buzzwords.

    Hmmmmmmmm….   

    • DH December 7, 2017 (5:15 pm)

      If you are talking about my comment I don’t “accuse” anyone of being the wrong anything. My intent was to point out their privilege. Race and class privilege often bias’ people’s views on topics and this is a topic where a persons current status is pertinent. If you don’t recognize race and class as giving status to some groups over others then we are too far apart to have a useful exchange in a comment section.  Also maybe the WSB will do a similar story speaking to people in WS that support density so the details on that side can get some airtime too. 

  • CMT December 7, 2017 (11:33 am)

    Gosh there seem to be a lot of new voices here today, never before heard from.   I don’t know if is happening here but well-funded developer groups are paying to try to obfuscate what HALA is really about.

    • WSB December 7, 2017 (11:48 am)

      New voices are certainly welcome – as with most places online, only a tiny percentage of the readership takes time to comment, and we’d always like to see more. We do watch carefully for bogusness, can’t guarantee we always catch it but I can say from the administrative view that what you might be considering “new” includes a few who have participated on other topics as well as a few who have not. – TR

      • CMT December 7, 2017 (12:59 pm)

        Agree that all community voices should be welcome (even those that don’t agree with my own viewpoint :)  )

        Having experienced a number of situations where special interest groups (outside of the impacted neighborhoods) have actively attempted to hijak and represent the community’s voice relating to MHA, I am wary. 

        • justadumbguy December 7, 2017 (2:16 pm)

          CMT, wary is a good choice of words here. There are many agendas around this issue and things aren’t always what they seem. It is the development without the supporting infrastructure that is the most troubling for me. (or the proposed development that doesn’t take into account the proposed infrastructure)  Well that, and the unintended consequences of the decisions being made that we likely won’t fully understand for 20 years. (and I don’t claim to be better able to see them than anyone else)

    • Mike December 7, 2017 (1:42 pm)

      Well, I AM new here, having moved in 1 yr ago. And I have probably only commented 6-7x in that year.

      Astroturfing may be real. However, so is my point of view. I promise I paid much, much more for my house than you. Even with the transient issues, loud construction and traffic everywhere you look in West Seattle – we are happy to be here. We also begrudge no one else’s right to stay or come here

    • Peter December 7, 2017 (1:54 pm)

      CMT, your implication of that those of us who support HALA are paid for our support untrue, and and I find it personally offensive. This is exactly why I can’t trust groups like JuNO, MoCA, and WRAHCC: you appoint yourselves as representing the community, then dishonestly represent anyone who disagrees with you as either ignorant or a paid schill. The more comments like yours I see, and this blog is full of them, the more I oppose these self-proclaimed “neighborhood” organization. 

      • CMT December 7, 2017 (4:04 pm)

        I specifically stated I didn’t know that to be the case here and yes, I have definitely seen many of your prior posts.   Differing community opinions – great.  Inaccurate info and inflammatory rhetoric by those outside of the impacted community with a financial interest in ensuring that the reality of MHA remain unknown by those whom it will impact – not great.  It happens.

  • BlarpUM December 7, 2017 (1:51 pm)

    I own a home in the West Seattle Junction. My wife and I purchased there because we like the character of the neighborhood and its proximity to downtown.

    You can bet your ass I’m going to fight tooth and nail to keep our community how we like it. I don’t want it to be cheap and easy for tens of thousands of additional people to move here when I think there’s already plenty of people around, thank you very much.

    By all means, feel free to advocate for your positions as well. However understand that we’re already here, and we have the advantage. You need to realize that imposing your outsider opinions on what West Seattle should look like will be met with resistance. Game on, bro.

    • Micah December 8, 2017 (10:14 am)

      I can’t tell if this is satire. If so, brilliant. If not, HOF unintentional comedy.

  • TreeHouse December 7, 2017 (2:01 pm)

    Voters outrightly rejected anti-HALA candidates such as Pat Murakami by a land slide. The city needs to start acting on what the actual voters want, not what these neighborhood councils want. And yes, I own a single family home.

    • CMT December 7, 2017 (4:13 pm)

      I highly doubt 95% of voters know what HALA actually will do (if they have heard of HALA at all) and that’s the way the City and developers want it.  For crying out loud, it is called Housing Affordability and Livability – who wouldn’t want those things?  MHA will accomplish the exact opposite.  

      If it was accurately titled Displacement Anti Livability and Marginalization (DALM) I bet it wouldn’t be so under the radar.

      • TreeHouse December 7, 2017 (4:37 pm)

        CMT, so all the voters must be uninformed because they don’t agree with your point of view? That’s as funny defense.

        You are completely wrong. I am one of the few people in my group of millennial friends fortunate enough to own a piece of property. HALA is a big deal to millennials who were brought up with owning property as the American dream.  This self-centered I got mine mentality is great for the existing homeowners but not the majority of Seattle. Anti-HALA candidates lost by SIGNIFICANT margins for a reason, not because voters are dumb and uninformed. 

        • CMT December 7, 2017 (4:59 pm)

          It’s great that you are passionate but please don’t mischaracterize my comments.  The fact that you characterize it as an “I got mine” mentality is bizarre when a substantial amount of the concerns are about the displacement that will result.  It’s also great that the people you know are aware of HALA but I can tell you that vast numbers of people that will be directly affected do not.  And I certainly  don’t think they are dumb.  That was your mischaracterization of my comment.  I do think HALA MHA has been a sales pitch of half truths.

  • Denis December 7, 2017 (3:50 pm)

    Send you contributions to JuNO, the Junction Neighborhood Organization to contribute to the city wide HALA appeal legal defense fund.  You can find them on Facebook easy.  

    They can have one of their volunteers come pick up your donation. 

    • CMT December 7, 2017 (4:06 pm)

      You donate to the Coalition appeal at the Seattle Fair Growth website.  

  • Joe Szilagyi December 7, 2017 (3:51 pm)

    As a co-founder of one these signatory groups, I made a point – sometimes to the extreme annoyance of certain associates – that the groups if they failed to do real or even cursory legitimate outreach to their ‘membership’ to see what they wanted were not themselves legitimate in anything they did.

    In other words, if WWRHAH wanted to send the city a trivial letter (“Can we get a stop sign at this intersection?”) that was no big deal. Just do it, someone in the WWRHAH area asked for it. But if someone asked for something big… like a road diet, or JOINING A LAWSUIT (!!!) you should at a bare minimum do things like polling on Nextdoor, at Westwood Village, on Facebook, on Reddit, on Twitter. 

    I will admit I haven’t been to a WWRHAH meeting in quite some time. I’ve been busy with work, life and family. Some old people and some new people have been successfully running the group. But I’m active on every single social media system that ties into WWRHAH’s area, between Nextdoor and Facebook (the WWRHAH official group, the District 1 group, etc.). 

    Before I found out WWRHAH, who “speaks for me,” joined this lawsuit, I heard exactly this much information about WWRHAH joining the lawsuit:

    Nothing. Not one single, solitary thing.

    I question whether any of these groups on this specific matter have any standing to speak for their areas, or if they’re just tiny groups of people. When I wrote some of the original WWRHAH letters to government officials, or West Seattle Transportation Coalition letters, I made a pedantic and annoying point of seeing if people wanted us to Do The Thing. 

    I have seen zero evidence that even a majority of a reasonably semi-random sample of WWRHAH residents want WWRHAH to Do The Thing here. I can’t speak to other groups.

    I question whether WWRHAH is authorized to pursue this topic on our behalf.

    • WSB December 7, 2017 (4:01 pm)

      Point of clarification. This is not a “lawsuit.” What the coalition and nine individual groups – not including WWRHAH FWIW – have done is appealed the FEIS to the city Hearing Examiner. The HE’s ruling is the final word on behalf of the city, and if someone wants to challenge it from there, they would have to go to (Superior) court. But an appeal to the HE is not in itself a lawsuit. It’s the same process you would follow if for example SDCI cited you for shrubbery growing over your sidewalk. You can find out more on the HE website. As explained there: “The Office of Hearing Examiner is a separate and independent office of the City created by the Seattle Municipal Code. The Office is charged with conducting fair and impartial administrative hearings, when authorized by the Code, to review the actions of various City departments. The Hearing Examiner’s decision in a case is usually the City’s final decision.” – TR (who has covered many a hearing in the HE’s chambers, 40th floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower, open to the public – hearing schedule is on the HE website too)

      • Joe Szilagyi December 7, 2017 (4:17 pm)

        Thanks for the clarification, Tracy. I’m really curious to know how many ‘warm bodies’ are actually supportive of the agendas of each of these signatory groups, and how much actual real honest to God outreach to their neighborhoods each of these groups and their boards did before launching into this odd alliance. 

        • DH December 7, 2017 (5:00 pm)

          @Joe. Thanks for that point of view. I totally agree. While I spend a lot of time in the Roxhill-Westwood area I live in area Highland Park represents. I’m glad to see the neighborhood groups for Admiral, North Delridge and Highland Park did not join this effort. I voted for the city council members that support my views as did many others. While I appreciate the civic engagement of the neighborhood groups I hope they see this and other feedback as a sign that they need broader input to “represent” the many voices present. 

    • AmandaK December 7, 2017 (5:45 pm)

      Joe, I know for a fact you are on the WWRHAH email list. And multiple emails about meetings and workshops were sent out. It’s really disingenuous for you to say that you’ve heard nothing about what WWRHAH positions are in the, what 3 intervening years since you left?

      • Joe Szilagyi December 8, 2017 (9:27 am)

        I never saw a single bit of outreach asking people — not just existing attendees — whether or not WWRHAH should get on board with this position or “SCALE” group. 

        This is the same disagreement we had about WSTC affairs. If there’s no broad community support for a given position, beyond the board and regular attendees, the group like WSTC or WWRHAH is out of order and has no place speaking for their neighbors. On that topic, they wouldn’t be any sort of representative group. They’re just a bunch of random people saying they’re speaking, with no undue authority on the matter earned or entitled.

        It would be like me and three random people declaring ourselves People For Skyscrapers In The Junction (PFSITJ). We can send a letter to City Council, but we’re still just three irrelevant shmucks who like tall buildings. We don’t speak for anyone. 

  • CMT December 7, 2017 (4:36 pm)

    Joe – I can’t speak to Westwood but I can tell you that JuNO did a complete analysis of every shred of available neighborhood feedback provided to the City through the City’s identified outreach events, the City’s comment website (consider.it) and every email sent to the City HALA email address by any self-identified Junction resident.   The analysis is public record as part of JuNO’s comments to the EIS.  The analysis was done through obtaining transcripts of events and through public records requests seeking all of the data in the City’s possession.   Both the Coalition appeal and the JuNO appeal represent the overwhelming views expressed by the West Seattle Junction neighborhood.  The EIS failed to provide analyses and/or reasonable discussion of mitigation with respect to almost every concern raised by the WS Junction neighborhood that an EIS is required to address.

    • Joe Szilagyi December 7, 2017 (4:46 pm)

      Both the Coalition appeal and the JuNO appeal represent the overwhelming views expressed by the West Seattle Junction neighborhood.  

      Thanks CMT. Can I ask how much break out you did from all that city data to isolate people who actually live IN the Junction/JuNO area?

      How is that breakout between homeowners vs renters, and the support levels of HALA and what you’re doing between homeowners and renters?

      What were the raw head counts between homeowners and renters?

    • TreeHouse December 7, 2017 (4:51 pm)

      CMT, can you provide what percentage of the neighborhood feedback was from renters vs. homeowners?

      Can you also provide what percentage of people in the Junction voted for anti-HALA candidate Pat Murakami vs Lorena Gonzales? I feel the election results would be a demonstrably accurate representation of the people’s views. I would try to pull this info up but I’m on my phone.

      • AmandaK December 7, 2017 (5:08 pm)

        Treehouse that’s actually up to you to prove as you cite that as the city’s overwhelming support of HALA/MHA.

        • Mark December 7, 2017 (5:32 pm)

          Amandak – The voting public is the evidence.  The majority have voted and stated their opinion.  This small groups claim to have “membership” but have no evidence to show for this. How can you compare a city wide vote result to a group with no data?

          • Yuri Zhivago December 9, 2017 (11:15 am)

            With voting turnouts as low as they have been – how can you assert this is a “majority”?  Yes, shame on those who don’t vote, but that doesn’t preclude them from having an opinion either.

    • JVP December 7, 2017 (10:35 pm)

      Our household shares the concerns of some others here that JuNO and others don’t represent the views of their residents.  I’m pro-HALA and MHA.  I’d actually  prefer to see higher density zoning expand by a few blocks in all directions.  We also like the idea of allowing duplexes or granny flats everywhere. We simply need more housing stock or our property tax bill is going to get even more insane.

      Sincerely, middle aged couple with a nice single-family home right on the boundary of the Junction urban village. 

      • Yuri Zhivago December 9, 2017 (11:17 am)

        So, either you’re hoping to sell the property at a nice profit, or you’re going to look like the house in “UP”.  Enjoy the sunlight.  

    • matt December 12, 2017 (9:56 am)

      After the Jan 26th Design workshop I wrote a first person account of our table’s feedback and sent it to the city and put it in the comments of the article WSB wrote.  It was even handed, included ideas that I don’t agree with it, but the point was to gather opinions not reach consensus. 

      Imagine my surprise when reading JuNO’s Draft EIS comments that 1) it singles me out personally to minimize my contribution and 2) wrote their own summary, and 3) felt they had to include three of my tweets as an stand alone Exhibit.  That’s just weird and personal, but whatever.  

      The irony is that I wrote down my account because I was worried that voices like mine are being ignored by JuNO, and lo and behold, it goes out of its way to say ‘this resident’s opinion should be ignored.’  Thanks, y’all. 

  • CMT December 7, 2017 (5:04 pm)

    Joe – It is in the analysis and exhibits.  I think any assumption that HALA was the deciding factor in Citywide elections given the number of issues on the table would be very difficult to establish.

    • Mark December 7, 2017 (5:33 pm)

      CMT-Not when you have candidates literally running on Pro and Anti HALA. It is pretty clear and evident.  

  • AmandaK December 7, 2017 (5:07 pm)

    For all the Pro MHA / HALA folks.  Can you point to some data, or economics that prove that this plan will actually work?  Or is it just easier to insult, name call and badger the people volunteering to do the work to hold the City accountable?

    • Joe Szilagyi December 7, 2017 (5:23 pm)

      The rudeness on both sides isn’t good. The only thing that definitively doesn’t work and will drive up rental costs especially is rent control. Do that and we’re San Francisco. 

      Nothing will bring costs and home values back down, ever. The only thing that can be done is slowing their runaway spiral and the only solution that has ever worked for that, and it’s simple supply and demand, is to add more supply to meet demand. 

      I recently saw a very run down home in Highland Park sell for half a million dollars that needs a ton of work. Condos in oddball off the beaten path neighborhoods that are 1 BR or studios with 700 sq ft going for $400K. That’s crazy. 

      We are in desperate need of more stock. Nothing can lawfully be done to stop people moving here. The answer is expand stocks or live with soaring home values (and the associated tax burden rising for those on fixed incomes or poor) or soaring rents (for those who can’t afford to buy). Every unit not built is someone displaced… and remember, no one is forced to sell their home if a neighborhood upzones.

      • AmandaK December 7, 2017 (5:33 pm)

        Agreed about housing. But how specifically does the MHA / HALA solve the problem of affordability and livability?

        • Joe Szilagyi December 7, 2017 (6:16 pm)

          Nothing will sadly, beyond doing whatever it takes to get enough units/bedrooms on the market to allow for absorbing the people who are moving here. Change the laws so every condo complex can’t sue builders willy nilly. Do whatever it takes to make multi-tenant rentals with roommates far, far more common! Four bedrooms in this house? That could be four roommates. ADUs/DADUs far as the eye can see. Every arterial and adjacent block should be urban village height zoning. Erase 100% of height limits downtown; touch the sky from Queen Anne to the stadiums.

          The Seattle of the 1980s and earlier? Dead. 90s? Dead. 00s? Dead. 2016? Dead. We can’t raise the dead, and it’s pointless to prop up the corpse like Weekend at Bernie’s.

          HALA isn’t perfect, but anything that adds capacity IS helping. Everything I wrote about is what ‘my’ HALA would be. 

          The most important thing is declare that single family home zones are no longer sacred, and that means sacrificing a number of them. Every single arterial should be ground floor commercial with 7 to 10 floors of residential above them.  Let’s buy a few decades of potentially stabilized prices if possible, rather than fighting anything else, which will guarantee prices keep rising. 

          Until my house’s value and yours and everyone else’s doesn’t stop rising wildly like a rocket, everything is fundamentally broken in our approach, with the very big caveat, again, that we can not legally stop people moving here in any way, shape or form. Any solution has to deal with and accept the fact that people will keep moving here by the truck load.

  • Joe Szilagyi December 7, 2017 (5:19 pm)

    CMT, where I’m going with this — how many living people did JuNo get feedback from that live IN the Junction area, that said, “You guys should join this effort and fight HALA”?

    How many of your neighbors said no? Did JuNo survey? Poll? 

    Of respondents that said yes, what percentage are homeowners?

    Of respondents that said no, what percentage are renters?

    I’m not talking citywide anything – I’m asking about the mandate for groups like JuNo or WWRHAH to take these honestly controversial and hotly debated positions. 

  • zark00 December 7, 2017 (5:27 pm)

    Doesn’t the anti HALA stuff sound a lot like the thinking that lead to Seattle voting down light rail multiple times in the past – now we’ll likely have colonized mars before WSea sees a train.

  • justadumbguy December 7, 2017 (6:43 pm)

    Interesting article justducky. Thanks for posting it. I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. I’m not convinced I agree with the author’s conclusion but there certainly is food for thought, 

    • Justducky December 7, 2017 (10:56 pm)

      You’re welcome. I do agree we need to build housing for the growing population, but I disagree that we should allow builders to pay a fee to not include affordable housing in their projects. The current fee is much too low, it’s like putting a tiny band-aid on a gushing artery.

      Also, something I find interesting, a friend broke her lease and moved out of state in January, lived in a newly built apartment in LQA paying $2300/month. Decided to move back to Seattle last month, and was able to move back to the exact same apartment at a lower rate. She won’t tell me how much lower, but just the fact that she broke her lease and was able to move back to the same apartment in less than a year tells me her building must be having a hard time keeping the building full. 

  • KM December 7, 2017 (7:50 pm)

    I’ll always remain uncomfortable with neighborhood groups. While neighborhood organizations are open to everyone, and are no doubt run by people who give a hoot about their community, they’re about as accessible and as inviting as a presidential caucus. It’s great for those that feel comfortable going, speaking out, can attend because they work a 9-5, 40-ish hour a week job, have child care, no mobility issues, etc. Many cannot accommodate the meetings, others do not want to because they are uncomfortable doing so for several reasons. I’ve attended meetings in the past, and  now fall into the latter category of non-attenders. I’ve also seen video footage of these meetings, read some of the neighborhood group leadership comments to other neighbors on this blog (see above) and in other publications. Taking from the comments seen here, I’m allegedly an uniformed voter, I name call and insult those who disagree with me, want immigrants gone, etc. Why on earth would I want to attend a meeting with people who speak to their neighbors like this?

  • TJ December 7, 2017 (8:42 pm)

    The city needs to stay out of the building housing business. It needs to stay out of mandating that someone else pay for “cheaper” housing for people who can’t afford to live somewhere because they want to yet can’t afford it. The city needs to stop trying to attract all arrivals to live in the city limits thru developer give aways. The city needs to answer to why the original urban village design in the 90’s has current zoning able to handle that projected growth by itself without destroying neighborhoods thru rezoning. The city needs to admit they are part of a contigent of cities adhering to UN Agenda. Not many people realize they are. Joe, your crazy rezoning ideas fit right in with it

  • logic December 8, 2017 (2:16 am)

    Wow. How oblivious can people be to believe that upzoning (adding more units) results in fewer people (only rich people) from being able to live somewhere? Do you people not logic?  Upzoning means more people being able to live here. Period. I get the traffic complains etc, but everytime someone says something about it raising prices etc, it bothers me to no end, because even the most basic grasp of logic would show that makes no sense. Right now we’re trying to fit 800K people in 700K units, but certainly if we had 1Million units we would only be able to fit 500k people :facepalm:

  • flimflam December 8, 2017 (8:32 am)

    HALA is another edition of the progressive “push stuff into neighborhoods that don’t want it” form of governing. getting pretty old.

    • Yuri Zhivago December 9, 2017 (11:20 am)

      That is the city motto underneath the “Welcome to Seattle” sign.  I think it is also odd that they don’t see this for what it is – a transportation problem.  In addition to the overall quality of life, none of these issues really address the fact that light rail doesn’t come until 2035.  So, for the next 20 years, where does all this development ride?  In their cars?  We see how it works in Capitol Hill with no additional parking.  The streets around California Blvd are already loaded and no room.  

      • WSB December 9, 2017 (11:31 am)

        West Seattle light rail is 2030. Ballard, 2035.

  • JCK December 12, 2017 (6:55 am)

    Thank you Joe and Treehouse for asking some good questions that I believe have gone unanswered. I feel like this ‘appeal’ is just dragging the inevitable out.  No the city did not give neighborhoods a lot of notice (or any) when they initially started planning HALA. However, there have been so many community meetings over the past year, year and half, that if people don’t know about it perhaps they are living under a rock. I’ve lived in a sf home here for almost 20 years that will sure to be rezoned. Times change. People are moving in. I know a couple of people heading this appeal  have sf homes that may be rezoned and haven’t lived in their homes for very long, so it makes it harder to accept. There’s no perfect solution but I guarantee you this will go through if the city wants it to. I am not a neighborhood group person and dislike the fact that a group seems to think they have the majority of West Seattle on their side. Not true.  I don’t even comment on this anymore as I’m usually ‘jumped on’ by a couple of people who I know are a big part of the ‘anti-hala’, so basically if you don’t agree with what the neighborhood group is going forth with, don’t comment.

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