6:15 PM: Two issues related to the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) are being presented for your comments at an open-house-style meeting under way until 7:30 pm at High Point Community Center (6920 34th SW). We’ve already counted more than 60 people in the main room, checking out the easels set up for proposed changes to the city’s Comprehensive Plan – here’s our preview on that issue – and for potential rule changes regarding Accessory Dwelling Units (“backyard cottages” being the best-known type) – here’s our preview on that. We checked and they’re still planning on a presentation at 6:30 on a screen at the front of the room, although otherwise this is NOT a sit-and-listen type meeting.
6:25 PM: On the “comprehensive plan amendment” side, the Q&A/comment stations deal with specific urban villages where, as noted in our preview, the city is seeking to eliminate neighborhood-plan-related language that seeks to “protect” or “preserve” single-family zoning, which HALA’s Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning would be removing from urban villages. Three West Seattle urban villages are potentially affected here – Morgan Junction, West Seattle Junction, and Westwood-Highland Park.
You’ll have opportunities to comment online – we’ll add those when the meeting’s over – but while here, you are also offered the chance to write yours on paper; one attendee from Morgan Junction showed us his. He’s worried about ongoing displacement of low-income renters in the older housing stock that already is being torn down and replaced by new for-sale residences.
6:50 PM: The presentation is over – about 10 minutes on the comprehensive plan component, five on the accessory-dwelling-unit component. (
We recorded it all on video and will add to this report when we have it uploaded and processed later at HQ. Full unedited video below:)
Both were basically primers; there was no Q&A, and the only bit of impromptu feedback came when, in the comp-plan section, city senior planner Geoff Wentlandt (opening by thanking people for turning out for “complex and wonky” topics) said amendments were needed because neighborhood plans shouldn’t be inconsistent with overarching city policy.
“Why not?” someone called out. No reply. Meantime, in one possible sign that the turnout exceeded expectations, the sparkling water bottles are all empty already. The sandwiches, however (chicken and tofu, described as “from a banh mi place on Delridge”), are still abundantly available.
7:08 PM: Still about 30 people talking in small groups, but the crowd definitely thinned after the presentation.
8:10 PM: Back at HQ. Had some signal trouble toward the end, so catching up on images now. First and most importantly, here’s how you can comment on both these issues, regardless of whether you were able to get to tonight’s meeting:
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AMENDMENTS: Choose your urban village and comment via this site, by December 8th.
ADU/DADU ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT SCOPING: This phase of comments closes on November 1st; there’s an online comment form linked on the right side of this page (scroll down the left side for the full timeline).