While a vote is months away, the City Council is continuing its series of meetings about the legislation that could eventually upzone much of the city for the Mandatory Housing Affordability component of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA). The Seattle Channel video above is from Monday, when councilmembers met for the second time (agenda here) as the Select Committee that will decide the plan’s fate.
They were briefed by city staffers, first on what was described as “how the proposal got shaped,” then on specific highlights for Council District 4 in North Seattle, where a public hearing was scheduled hours later. They also took public comment before the meeting ended.
Councilmembers asked questions along the way, on topics from tree protection to encouragement of “flats.” Our area’s City Councilmember Lisa Herbold asked about one of her key ongoing concerns, displacement, saying she’d learned of a development (not in this area) that would replace 66 affordable units and only require the developer to pay for the equivalent of 18 units. (Staffers said they could talk with her about it after the meeting.) She also asked whether the presentation points represented changes since the first round of upzoning proposals; staffers said the legislation, which is what the committee is reviewing, is “the first time we’re laying out all of the detail.” She also asked if some components address geographic specifics; staffers offered an example from Rainier Beach.
The public-comment period at the end of the meeting included two speakers from West Seattle, Cindi Barker from Morgan Junction (who was a member of the original HALA advisory group a few years back) and Christy Tobin-Presser from The Junction. Barker told the council that they’re “not asking for enough in exchange for” the potential upzoning – the MHA fees, she said, should be higher, for example.