Tomorrow, the West Seattle Bridge closure will factor into a discussion at the City Council’s Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee: The issue: Should the city’s Comprehensive Plan be amended to consider the potential effects of a long-term closure? The plan can only be amended once a year, and tomorrow’s committee meeting takes up potential amendments that can’t advance without councilmembers voting to “docket” them. Amendments can be proposed by anyone inside or outside city government; the amendment that would take the bridge closure’s potential effects into consideration is proposed by Deb Barker, a community advocate whose current roles include membership on the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force. Almost since the start of the closure, she has advocated for the city to look at its effects beyond the basic matter of bridgelessness, and ways to mitigate them. The council staff report says that staffers recommend docketing it, though the Seattle Planning Commission and Office of Planning and Community Development do not. From the staff report:
Amendment with mixed recommendations
Amendment 2 would amend the Transportation Element and FLUM to address the effects of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge emergency closure. The proposal lists a wide range of changes related to the closure. Many of these proposals are regulatory in nature and would not affect the Comprehensive Plan. However, Central Staff recommend moving Amendment 2 forward because the Comprehensive Plan may need policy modifications to address the major, unexpected and potentially long-term impact to mobility in Seattle caused by the bridge closure. Considering whether changes to the Comprehensive Plan are merited due to this significant impact to the City’s infrastructure is prudent.
SPC and OPCD disagree. They conclude that the proposal would be better addressed through the budgetary and programmatic processes currently being coordinated by the Seattle Department of Transportation.
Tomorrow’s meeting also includes a public hearing and vote on two West Seattle amendments – a proposal to change the West Seattle Hub Urban Village boundaries to include Providence Mount St. Vincent, and additions to the Delridge Neighborhood Plan. The committee meets at 9:30 am tomorrow (Wednesday); the agenda explains how to watch and how to comment.