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 email@example.com.