PHOTOS: West Seattle/South Park open house for HALA rezoning, other city programs

10:12 AM: We’re at Westside School (WSB sponsor) at 10404 34th SW in Arbor Heights, where the city’s second “open house” centered on the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning proposals has just begun. (Use this clickable/zoomable citywide map to see how your neighborhood would be affected.) Unlike the December open house in The Junction, there’s lots of room for lots of people at this one – it’s in the upstairs multipurpose room at the school – the staircase is right inside the main entrance from 34th.

In addition to HALA – with general information as well as a table for each of this area’s five Urban Villages (The Junction, Morgan Junction, Admiral, Westwood-Highland Park, South Park) …

… you’ll also find tables for SDOT, Metro, the upcoming May 25th Highland Park Find It/Fix It Walk, and Democracy Vouchers

… among other things. And the HALA HoloLens “what it would look like under the rezoning” view is indeed being offered.

We’re off to explore some more.

10:35 AM UPDATE: Along with the HoloLens, here’s some of what else is new at this event, if you’ve already been to meetings and discussions about HALA rezoning. For one, we haven’t seen these boards, attempting to put faces and names to the affordable-housing shortage:

Also, a new timeline – the next big touchstone in the process, the draft Environmental Impact Statement, was due out this month. This board says it’s not expected until June, which means a comment period ending in mid-July:

And on the individual Urban Villages’ tables, we’re seeing sheets pointing out projects involved in the city’s previous program for below-market-rate housing in some projects – that’s the Multi-Family Tax Exemption project, in which property tax isn’t charged on the residential portion of projects for 15 years if they agree to rent a certain percentage of units to people making a certain level of income:

That project is unrelated to HALA and has been in place for many years – most of the newer, larger developments in West Seattle are participants. Meantime, back at the “so what would things look like if the rezoning happens?” area in the corner, along with the HoloLens 3D view, there’s also a monitor running a slideshow showing the difference between, for example, development zoned to 40′ currently, and what it would become if HALA adds a floor, to 55′.

So if you come to this (or are here already), don’t miss that in the corner on the right side of the stage.

11:02 AM: Half over already. Here’s the current crowd – still lots of room:

We have to move on, so that’s our last look at this event. If you couldn’t be here and haven’t commented on HALA MHA yet, you can still do that via

4 Replies to "PHOTOS: West Seattle/South Park open house for HALA rezoning, other city programs"

  • Raye May 6, 2017 (3:10 pm)

    There’s something very disturbing about the rendering of the proposed taller buildings, which are shown in yellow. Words like “blocking the light” and “monolith” come to mind when I see these hulking buildings facing each other. 

  • Scarlett May 6, 2017 (5:19 pm)

     Not to mention the fact that none of the building renderings show any of the massive shadows created by these structures. Good luck getting someone here. 

  • Scarlett May 6, 2017 (5:22 pm)

     Not to mention the fact that the virtual renderings displayed failed to show any of the shadows cast by these monolithic buildings which are huge. How the city can say that this is representative  is the big fat lie.  The buildings will be crammed so close together you’ll be lucky if you get any reasonable sun at all. 

  • Jen May 10, 2017 (9:23 am)

    Many of the building examples are not built out to full density.  A blatant misrepresentation.  The pie chart of 20, 000 affordable units includes units created from our housing levy and other funds.  MHA creates only 6000.  

    They tried to make it seem like the affordable housing in South Park is somehow tied to HALA MHA as well-it is not.

    The other city staff/tables were great, but not tied into HALA, and I think that the city was using thier good programs to cast a better light on MHA.

    To hold this in a newer private school in a single family residential neighborhood in Arbor Heights was pretty insulting to us in South Park, which will have no SF left if this upzone goes thru, and a lot less trees.

    Most of the people who showed up were opposed to the Upzones.  The notes were mostly opposed to the Upzones.  

    The Door Hanger they used to advertise this didn’t explain what it really was.  That and inconvenient location were reasons why so few turned out, IMO.

    Thankyou to the city staff that put this together, but shame on HALA for misleading info.

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