REZONING: City adds 2nd location for next Wednesday’s ‘open house.’ Plus: What else you’ll be asked to comment on

11:37 AM: When 135+ people showed up for Tuesday night’s unofficial community-organized workshop about proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning (WSB coverage here), that raised capacity concerns about next Wednesday’s official city open house – concerns that community leaders voiced to the city weeks ago, after getting early word that the 5:30-7:30 pm event on December 7th was booked for Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery (4752 California SW) in The Junction rather than a large meeting venue.


Now, to try to add room for a prospective sizable turnout, the city has just confirmed via Twitter what commenter Kay posted last night – it’s booked space across the street at Uptown Espresso (California/Edmunds) too, so this is now a two-location open house. The marquee topic is your chance to comment on and ask questions about the draft rezoning maps for West Seattle and South Park, but the city also is offering “casual conversation” on other topics (we hope to get the full list soon) This is a drop-in event, so go whenever you can on Wednesday, to either site, between 5:30 and 7:30 pm (and be sure to sign in, because that’s where the city gets the official count).

ADDED 12:49 PM: The open house has long been billed as including “other topics” but no list has been made public yet. However, we now know another long-term city plan will be among those topics you’ll be invited to comment on next Wednesday – Seattle Parks‘ “2017 Development Plan, Gap Analysis and Long-Term Acquisition strategies for open space.” We missed the reference to the December 7th open house (and others around the city) when this news release arrived yesterday. You can read more about this here – if there are parks/future parks/possible future parks in your neighborhood, you’ll want to weigh in on this too.

ADDED 3:58 PM: And we’re continuing to get more information about what other city programs/services will be featured at the open house. This is the official lineup, but we’re still seeking specifics. (The first one, of course, involves the rezoning we’ve been reporting on.):

Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda: DRAFT Neighborhood proposals to create more affordable housing. See a city-wide map HERE.

Parks and Recreation: Come and learn about using walkability and other transportation metrics to map how new parks and green spaces will be chosen in the future.

SDOT: Learn about how Move Seattle is shaping transportation projects and programs in your neighborhood. Learn more about Rapid Ride, what it is and what to expect. Also, shape your Greenway by telling us where you want to see new connections and safer crossings for people walking and biking.

SDCI/SDOT: Parking Reform are in the works. Learn more about flexibility and sharing off-street parking, on-street parking, carshare and bicycle travel choices and frequent transit service.

We’ve also heard directly from SDOT that the re-activated Fauntleroy Boulevard project – funded in the mayor’s new budget – will be part of what it’s showcasing. Still checking for more specifics!

33 Replies to "REZONING: City adds 2nd location for next Wednesday's 'open house.' Plus: What else you'll be asked to comment on"

  • Sandy Adams December 1, 2016 (11:56 am)

    This would be funny if it wasn’t so sad!  Uptown probably seats 20 or so people, and if you consider space for exhibits it is much less.  Does the City just want to be sure all the West Seattle voices will not be heard?  And, are they going to double the staff and double the exhibits?  Better planning for a bigger venue would have solved this!

    • WSB December 1, 2016 (12:41 pm)

      I believe what they’re saying here is that they will duplicate the exhibits but I’m checking. Meantime, the concerns about the venue were raised at least four weeks ago, I can tell you for a fact. And this appears to be directly related to the mayoral initiative that cut ties with the neighborhood district councils, the attempt to do “outreach” and “engagement” differently – if you read the Department of Neighborhood’s blog post linked above, talking about the meetings, they say they were trying to emulate City Scoop, which is where they offered free ice cream during the car-free-day events in the summer (including September 25 on Alki) if people would come in and answer a survey. That’s great for a weekend event where you want to casually talk to people one on one. Where you’re trying to get comments and Q&A on a huge city initiative that will affect residents, new and old, for years to come? Not so much. The goal here is an important one, the creation of thousands of units of affordable housing, and the more openly they can make their case and answer people’s questions efficiently (many have the same questions so one answer serves many if it’s in a group setting), the better, IMO, not bury it in a “casual conversation” open house. Anyway, venue concerns aside, it’s important for people to show up, to voice support, concern, whatever – TR

    • CMT December 1, 2016 (1:20 pm)

      I still can’t believe the City is trying to pass this off as a legitimate process.  I keep telling myself to calm down and accept it and then something else happens and I am shocked and incensed all over again.

  • AmandaKH December 1, 2016 (1:25 pm)

    What the City should do is hold multiple meetings in multiple venues within each Urban Village affected.   This effort at outreach flies in the Mayor’s executive order last July of ordering departments to be more inclusive, “meet people where they are”.   So which is it Mayor Murray?  Do you want to hear from more people on these enormous and important changes, or do you want to limit that feedback?

    • Pete December 1, 2016 (9:01 pm)

      This should be assigned to his “engagement commission”  to make sure we get all 17 points of view. 

  • Monica December 1, 2016 (1:25 pm)

    If we want to be heard we need to get Dori Monson involved!!  The Mayor doesn’t like us to be heard.  We need a voice before our community is destroyed.

    • WSB December 1, 2016 (1:54 pm)

      Contact whatever broadcast personality you want, but the *really important thing* right now to exercise the voice you DO have is to show up next Wednesday. The 135+-person turnout back on Tuesday was clearly noticed – and that was an unofficial, not-organized-by-the-city event. Showing up and signing in shows you’re paying attention. So do the other official ways to comment – and right now… TR

  • Jeannie December 1, 2016 (2:12 pm)

    Since, as others have noted, the survey is horribly designed and not user-friendly, I opted to use the email that the WSB helpfully provided. I hope we bombard them with our emails!

  • gina December 1, 2016 (2:20 pm)

    Booking the high school and/or middle school auditoriums would have been ideal. Or the community centers, complete with parking.

    Just in case any future city planners don’t know what is out there for meeting space. 

  • tuesdayjane December 1, 2016 (3:09 pm)

    When people who treat individual  property ownership rights as lesser than whatever they deem “the greater good” are consistently voted in, don’t be surprised when they only pretend to care what you think about your own property and community. They’ll pretend to listen, but knowing that they clearly” know better” than you about your life and community, they’ll do what they want. There are a lot of things that sound great on the surface, but when the reality hits it looks much, much different. But no one likes to talk about that.

    • Junction dood December 1, 2016 (7:11 pm)

      This is a city that is growing. What are we supposed to do? I have a friend that has lived in New York for 15 years, all of which with no car. Big contrast: New York has real transit. We do not, which sucks. However, inaction is not an option. That’s why we are where we are……not being pro-active. This is not rural Indiana and will never be. The secret is out. People are moving here. BTW the last time the Seattle comprehensive plan had a major update I was a high school senior and there was no internet! Things have changed just a teeny tiny bit since this whole internet and jobs thing hit Seattle. We can stick our heads in the sand or decide to not hose future generations #forwardthrust

      • Fairmount Springs Mom December 1, 2016 (8:33 pm)

        You’re right.  Change and growth do happen.  But this program puts all of the burden for “affordable housing” on 5-6% of SF property owners, whose property the City plans to change to multi-family.  Over 94% of SF property will not be rezoned, with no imposition for affordable housing on 94% of property owners.  To the 5-6% that are being rezoned, the City is offering no data these properties will hold their value with this new affordable housing program, that has not been tried before in other cities. The City is offering no assistance or reimbursement if property values do not hold or if people cannot sell.  And the City has not even bothered to notify the 5-6% that their properties are being rezoned (a colorful mailer inviting people to a general open house about HALA is insulting).  And check out where the City is rezoning–or better yet, where it’s not.  Check out the Seattle 2035 plan and notice the lack of urban villages in Magnolia, Madison Park, Montlake, Laurelhurst, Madrona, and the lack of expansion on Upper Queen Anne.  This whole HALA plan reeks of inequality and discrimination.

      • TuesdayJane December 1, 2016 (10:16 pm)

        People have been making their own decisions about where they can afford to live since the beginning of time. Just because you *want* to live close to wherever it is doesn’t mean you always get to. That’s life. Would I prefer to live somewhere nicer or less expensive than I do? Yes. Less rain? Yes. More of everything I want? Yes. Less of everything I don’t? Yes.  But that’s not how life works. I am not entitled to it. It’s weird when people feel like they are. I live where I do because of the logistics of life. That’s pretty much everyone’s burden in life. Making choices because you can’t have everything.  It’s concerning when elected officials take it upon themselves to take away rights from one group who paid for those rights to “give” randomly to another future not yet existent group. It’s all fun and games and philosophy and “what else are we going to do” until someone is devaluing your home just because they can. 

  • kg December 1, 2016 (6:38 pm)

    The VFW, in the triangle, holds what 200 people?

    The American Legion, also in the triangle, holds 150.

    The Senior Center holds how many?

    Why aren’t these venues being utilized?

  • Melissa December 1, 2016 (7:24 pm)

    Turn your anger into power by talking to your neighbors and all of you showing up.

  • Junction dood December 1, 2016 (8:51 pm)

    Has anyone who is angry on here ever lived in an apartment? I wonder if planning, growth and zoning changes had anything to do with you having a place to live where you could save while you worked to become a homeowner….

  • natinstl December 1, 2016 (9:30 pm)

    I grew up in NY. I wish people would stop comparing Seattle to it. People who live in NY want to live in an urban area and we will never have that density. Infrastructure for subways was in place 100 years ago. People live in Seattle for all the surrounding places and things you can do. If you want to hike, camp, boat, ski etc.. you are going to haverify a car.

    • TuesdayJane December 1, 2016 (10:03 pm)

      Exactly. Furthermore, we all know how super affordable rent is in NYC! Lol. All cities are different. Seattle is unique. We are very fortunate to live here. If people want to live in NYC so badly, they definitely should! :) 

      • Junction dood December 1, 2016 (11:05 pm)

        Seattle is subject to the same economic forces and math as any other municipality. But we are in a period of unprecedented growth. I don’t think Amazon and Facebook are going to just leave. I’m not saying every dollar is put to its best use blah blah blah. There are things I don’t like about this growth too. However,  Omak, NY city, math is math. It doesn’t matter how many streams or trails are nearby, or how “cool” Western Washington is. That’s a given and that’s our “problem”. This area is awesome AND ripe with talent AND cheaper than Silicon Valley. Maybe if we do nothing it’ll start to really suck and everyone will leave! Wait, that was tried….didn’t work. Seriously though, this conversation is about a city’s (OUR city’s) master plan to attempt to accommodate growth over a period of 20 + years. Everything else is just noise. Pro or con. This city is growing like it or not. We can either work together to try and get it right or screw it up for ourselves and our kids and grandkids like in the past. Should we fight change for another 40 years and see what happens or should we try and plan for the future in a smart and collaborative way? I’ll bet $1 Seattle will have a lot more people in 40 years. I’m a pleaser and prefer to collaborate. I understand the emotions and everything but to me this is a legacy thing. HALA or not it’s up to our city government and we citizens to not leave a pile of crap for the next generation. I am in no way endorsing anything I’m just saying that this is an emotional subject but we shouldn’t fight about it. We should come together to craft a good plan and pass the torch to the next generation and hope they do the same. :-)

  • Aaron December 2, 2016 (7:13 am)

    This sets it for me. I will vote for whoever runs against this dictator of a mayor in the next election. This guy and his cronies must go.

    I was already talked at by one of his representatives at the Highland park meeting, and they are going to do whatever they want to people in this city. More regressive taxes and fees. Another half baked plan that will negatively affect every person except those at the top income levels. The good new is that the city will provide a lot in a superfund site for me to camp after I loose my home due to the massive increase in taxes. This is a land and money grab plain and simple.

  • Neighbor December 2, 2016 (4:19 pm)

    I really hope Junction Dood finds a nice neighborhood he wants to live in and set down roots, build community, get to know neighbors, have a small sun-lit garden, etc… only to have a small group of urbanists come in, use questionable growth projections paid for by developers who will make a killing off the upzone, change the rules under which he bought (signed a contract with the city under a very clearly outlined zoning schema), and totally ruin his neighborhood, because maybe then he will have the ability to empathize with the 5-6% of residents shouldering this HALA handout to developers. Why is it so hard to comprehend that many of us did live in apartments, in undesirable neighborhoods while we saved up money to buy a home. Then we bought in a nice single family neighborhood with plans to stay. Until Comrades Kshama and Eddie came along and proposed rule changes to effectively DESTROY the nice neighborhood for a few hypothetical future residents, in the name of affordability, and without considering the existing zoning that will allow for 120,000 additional residential units, not to mention the underutilized industrial zones that could be rezoned without telling 5-6% of settle residents they are no longer part of the plan for seattle and should move on so their land can be redeveloped, because some urbanist dot org newcomer has a different vision for their land.

    • CMT December 2, 2016 (9:24 pm)

      You just articulated exactly how I feel.

  • Junction dood December 2, 2016 (9:20 pm)

    Wow. Thanks for the ill wishes even though I’m ok with the scenario.  I’m just trying to be pragmatic! I bought a house 2 blocks from the junction knowing EXACTLY what I was getting into. There are town houses around me, etc. Otherwise I would have bought 5 acres in DuvalI knowing EXACTLY what I was getting into. I wanted to be close to the action, cool people, restaurants, shops, and have a short commute to work.  I didn’t make a contract with the city; zoning is not static or guaranteed.  I made a sales transaction with a property owner during a snapshot in time knowing things could change in the future. I don’t like the road diet, I don’t like the idea of homeless people camping at my kid’s school playground, I don’t like tons of bike lanes with cyclists acting elite not using them. I’m not an “urbanist”, I’m a realist, hence I always keep a little in the tank to consider the possibility for change and that I might not get my way. I have 675,000 neighbors and counting.  I grew up in the boonies but love this city and have no desire to go back. There are more people living here than in 1995 and less than will be in 2035 that’s just the way it is. I’m not picking sides, that’s just what’s happening. Companies forecast growth and adjust accordingly. What should cities do? Ignore it? Again, not endorsing HALA, just acknowledging the necessity of planning and the difficulty of doing so when it is a public issue. I don’t do that but I can appreciate how tough it must be.

    The issue is planning for the future. This plan might suck, I don’t know for sure. So what’s supposed to be happening? Healthy dialogue and planning for the future. Not infighting between neighbors. We all want a great city right? We’re not all going to love all things here. After all we aren’t in mini mansions on 5 acres where we can’t even see our neighbor’s house 40 miles from town. Which by the way destroy WAY more trees than urban infill. And burn way more fuel driving to Seattle to get to work. This city will be here long after we are all dead and gone. We should be able to have healthy dialogue and meet in the middle somehow and leave a good legacy for future generations. I mean this to be an olive branch and not antagonistic. I love West Seattle and I want it to stay awesome. I just think it’s unrealistic to think we can just push pause and have it stay the same forever. It can change and still be awesome I hope!

    • CMT December 3, 2016 (4:50 pm)

      No ill wishes for you Junction Dood and it’s great that you are optimistic about the changes.  We, however, bought our 100 year old house 13 years ago near the junction thinking it was the perfect place to set down roots and start a family, a place to get to know our neighbors, chat over the back fence, BBQ together, see the neighborhood kids playing in their yards.  Because it was zoned single family residential we felt comfortable investing a lot of money making it everything we wanted it to be, and staying true to the period of the house, knowing that we would ultimately recoup that investment when we sell.  I cannot tell you how sick and disheartened I feel knowing that our plans and dreams are totally dispensable, and for something that is not even being done honestly and in good faith.

    • Fauntleroyfairy December 3, 2016 (5:17 pm)

      Face it Junction Dood, none of us will ever agree with you.  You are on your own.

  • Fauntleroyfairy December 3, 2016 (5:20 pm)

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again, everything that was charming and livable about West Seattle is going, going, going…………

  • b December 4, 2016 (6:21 am)

    Longtime WS resident here.  I agree w/junction dood, pragmatist that he is. Change is not just upon us, but insinuating itself into all of West Seattle. We must control how we change. People are coming here in droves, because there is work here. Here is a key reason WS is so desirable: We are close to downtown and S Lake Union. I work near Safeco Field. From WS, it takes me about 15 minutes on an average day (afternoon) to get to work. A co-worker has to endure  the agony of 1 to1 1/2 hrs to travel the 8 miles from Ballard to the waterfront. Other than living downtown and SODO, we are one of the best options. We were discovered relatively lately in the real estate boom, after all the trendier neighborhoods (NOT “urban villages”) priced most of us out of the market. We were one of the last affordable neighborhoods. We have to show up to these meetings, stay on top of what the city government is doing and trying to do. Get involved. The world is run by people who show up.

  • b December 4, 2016 (6:48 am)

    Junction dood, I’m a renter. Should’ve bought years ago. But property owner is passing the increasing costs on to me, to be sure.

    • Rob December 4, 2016 (9:19 pm)

      Dear renter,

      The HALA reforms will allow more units so you will continue to have a place to live in West Seattle.  We need to provide places for our children to live and not be an exclusive club of wealthy Single Family owners only.  “I got mine keep the others out”

    • Rob December 4, 2016 (9:27 pm)

      I live in the Morgan Junction Residential Village and my property will be upzoned.  I will be glad to sell and make a profit.   Plan to move to theWS  junction and eventual walk to light rail.  This is a much better future for Seattle and West Seattle as well.  Those complaining about up zoning always knew or should have known they were in the designated “village” that were specifically set up to accomodate growth. This was not a secret.  However they will none-the-less profit financially from the upzone.   Stop complaining.

      • T-REX December 5, 2016 (7:01 am)

        The point is we were NOT in the urban village until they CHANGED the boundary.  And no, I don’t think that any developer, who will undoubtably want to tear down my house to build apartments, cares about the $300 K I’ve invested in upgrades to my house and property.

        If upzoning is such a good thing and the crisis really so dire, I hold that any property within 3 blocks of a bus stop should be on the table.

  • Stunned Onlooker December 5, 2016 (9:00 am)

    IF those of you who live anywhere near to one of these “Urban Villages” are fool enough to endorse it and allow them to be created, then, hey, I’m OK with it too.

    But I just can’t logically understand whyyyyyyyyyyyy you would be so collectively foolish.

    It doesn’t affect me in terms of geography, yet I live somewhere in the middle of West Seattle, but what in the heck are you guys thinking?

    Much like Hillary C., if you don’t ever stand up for yourselves, who will stand up for you?

  • Millie December 5, 2016 (9:58 am)

    It’s not a question of whether you are a “renter” or “own” a single-family home – it is a question of “community” and “livability”.  The infrastructure (roads/public utilities/sidewalks, and, yes, even transit) are not in place to support the increased number of residents in such concentrated areas included in these grandiose plans from the City of Seattle. There appears to be a “real disconnect” between the City departments and their work programs/goals.  Ultimately, everyone ends up paying the price (taxes, increased rent, lack of parking, etc., etc.).   What I object to  is the City’s “dictating” to residents what will be done rather than listening to the City’s residents/taxpayers.  For example: we keep hearing about affordable rent/homes – yet almost every new construction project starts in the mid-$400,000s and rents for studios begin $1,000+.  Do they really believe adding more new construction will bring the costs down and increase access to new buyers?  If my memory is any good we get a chance for change come November, 2017 – new mayor????? 

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