The HALA proposal to increase housing density in Seattle could create dramatic change in Fremont, especially that part of Fremont east of Aurora Avenue and west of Stone Way N. Local meetings to explain the changes:
- Wednesday,January 20th, 2016–Wallingford Urban Village Zoning Changes: Informational Meeting“Urban Village, Seattle 2035 and HALA Informational Meeting, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, in the Chapel on the 4th floor. [See a summary of the changes proposed, below.]
- Monday, January 25, 2016–Fremont Neighborhood Council 7-8:30 p.m. Location: Doric Temple #92, 619 N. 36th St. (around the corner from Hotel Hotel). Geoffrey Wentlandt and possibly others from the City’s new planning department (formerly part of DPD) will make a presentation and ask questions.
Proposed zoning changes will impact people living in Wallingford’s urban village [sic], contained in the black boundary
The Wallingford Community Council wants you to know of major changes proposed in our neighborhood. Mayor Ed Murray will soon finalize recommendations to the Seattle City Council to revise the basic planning laws that govern what can be built on your and your neighbors’ property.
Mayor Murray has teamed up with developers and with advocacy organizations that promote housing density and want to change the way we live, all without a single public visit to neighborhoods like Wallingford that will be impacted. Their first step is changing the City’s Comprehensive Plan through the Seattle 2035 process, followed by zoning changes recommended in the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) plan.
Proposed “Seattle 2035” changes to the Comprehensive Plan would:
- Eliminate requirements to include residents’ input in changes to neighborhood zoning and other aspects of the Comprehensive Plan
- Make it much easier to rezone any property in or near the Urban Village from single-family to multi-family
- Eliminate specific zoning types within the Urban Village from the future land use map
- Again permit “skinny houses” and houses built on sub-standard lots
- Remove protections for trees and goals for more trees
- Permit more development on steep slopes and in environmentally sensitive areas
- Eliminate parking requirements for apartment complexes while still allowing all residents to own cars and get RPZ permits
Mayor Murray’s “Grand Bargain” within the HALA panel of developers and advocacy organizations would:
- Change all single-family zoning within Urban Villages to multi-family zoning
- Change multi-family zoning to favor apartments and condos over town homes
- Greatly increase the allowed heights and size in multi-family zones (from 3 to 4 or 5 stories) and in commercial zones (from 4 to 5 or 6 stories)
- Push out locally-owned small businesses that cannot afford the higher rents in new mid-rise mixed-use buildings
- Accelerate demolition of existing affordable housing by creating new incentives for developers and raising taxes on properties that are not redeveloped
- Replace affordable housing with top-dollar houses and apartments, with only 5 to 7% of new units reserved as affordable
- Create new legal loopholes for developers
- Make these changes despite City studies confirming that existing zoning is adequate for predicted future population growth
FNC’s Land Use Chair Toby Thaler explains further:
As the article indicates, the proposals moving through Council could change zoning in Seattle’s residential neighborhoods in a way not seen for many decades. Past changes have focused on multi-family and neighborhood/commercial zones. These new proposals WILL up zone vast swaths of single family zones if they are adopted without changes. [Proposed zoning changes to be discussed at the Fremont Neighborhood Council meeting January 25–see listing above.]…
I encourage people to attend as many of these meetings as possible and to contact your new district council representatives with your opinion. East of Aurora is in District 4, Rob Johnson, and he is the chair of the Council’s land use committee. West of Aurora is in District 6, Mike O’Brien, past chair and now vice-chair.