Announcements: Development, Zoning, Public Meetings, Etc.

Recent Announcements

  • Cancelled Due To Weather: Tuesday February 5th Meeting Due to our bout with wintery weather, it is in the best interest of everyone to not be out and about in the cold and ice.  So the Community Council ...
    Posted Feb 5, 2019, 8:22 AM by CBF
  • Amendments to Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) Legislation Submitted by PRCC to the Seattle City Council The City Council has begun final discussion of the proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) zoning changes that would increase height and density throughout neighborhoods, ostensibly to facilitate the building of ...
    Posted Jan 24, 2019, 10:32 PM by PRCC Webmaster
  • Suggested MHA Amendments Approved by PRCC Board The Phinney Ridge Community Council (PRCC) held a special board meeting on the evening of January 14th to develop amendments to the Seattle City Council's Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA ...
    Posted Jan 15, 2019, 9:44 AM by CBF
  • Template for Contacting the Mayor and Council Regarding Elimination of of Single-Family Zoning Please use and/or adapt the following for your own email to the Mayor and Council as you see fit.  A PRCC Board Member drafted this text.    Dear friends and ...
    Posted Dec 23, 2018, 8:07 PM by CBF
  • PRCC Board Letter to Mayor Durkan: Community Concerns Regarding Proposed DADU/AADU Legislation (Dec 20, 2018) Please see our December 20, 2018 letter (linked below and attached) to Mayor Durkan expressing concerns of the Phinney Ridge Community Council (PRCC) Board regarding the proposed Detached Accessory Dwelling ...
    Posted Dec 23, 2018, 7:55 PM by CBF
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 103. View more »
PRCC officers may post announcements and information about current and local issues here.   Please subscribe to the PRCC email list by following the link to the left if you are interested in receiving PRCC updates by email. 

Cancelled Due To Weather: Tuesday February 5th Meeting

posted Feb 5, 2019, 8:22 AM by CBF

Due to our bout with wintery weather, it is in the best interest of everyone to not be out and about in the cold and ice.  So the Community Council meeting is CANCELLED.  We will let you know if there is a new date this month.

Looking forward to our next meeting Tuesday March 5 at 7pm,, we will host our City Councilman Mike O'Brien.  Mike is sponosr of Backyard Cottage policy revisions which effectively changes singles family zoing as we no experience it.  Mike is also a strong proponent of height increases to new buildings (55 feet in our neighborhood)  to try and create "affordable" housing.  Both proposals have considerable controversy so this would be a chance to ask question directly.  So mark your calenders next month.  

Alice Poggi
PRCC President

Amendments to Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) Legislation Submitted by PRCC to the Seattle City Council

posted Jan 15, 2019, 8:41 PM by CBF   [ updated Jan 24, 2019, 10:32 PM by PRCC Webmaster ]

The City Council has begun final discussion of the proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) zoning changes that would increase height and density throughout neighborhoods, ostensibly to facilitate the building of some affordable units.  There has been considerable effort made by neighborhoods citywide to refine the City's proposal so that it better respects and is more consistent with the unique character of each neighborhood.  The City Council was accepting proposed amendments to the MHA legislation until January 15 at 5 p.m.

In light of the condensed time frame, as announced by the city over the holidays, the Phinney Ridge Community Council Board of Directors held a special meeting on January 14 to adopt several amendments, generated from earlier discussions, that it has now transmitted to the City Council for consideration.  These amendments focus on accepting growth in the Greenwood/Phinney Urban Village, encourage a mix of unit sizes in new construction so as to better accommodate families, call for retaining existing code requirements for new buildings built outside the Urban Village, and seek to protect and increase the tree canopy.    

We will be requesting that Mike O'Brien, our District 6 City Council representative, sponsor these amendments and facilitate discussion on the merits of each of them.  The amendments submitted by PRCC are attached below and are posted here in our Important Documents archive.  

Suggested MHA Amendments Approved by PRCC Board

posted Jan 15, 2019, 9:44 AM by CBF

The Phinney Ridge Community Council (PRCC) held a special board meeting on the evening of January 14th to develop amendments to the Seattle City Council's Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) legislation.  To meet the 5 p.m. January 15th deadline imposed by city the PRCC board voted to suspend the workflow outlined in its advocacy policy document (https://drive.google.com/drive/u/5/folders/0B2QjsBCM2Zj2cUtNR0J5WkxRNmc). The PRCC board then adopted several amendments to the MHA legislation that will be submitted to the city council for consideration.  The themes of these suggested amendments have been previously presented by board members at recent PRCC monthly public meetings.  The MHA amendments adopted by the board and transmitted to the city council will be available at our website soon.

Template for Contacting the Mayor and Council Regarding Elimination of of Single-Family Zoning

posted Dec 23, 2018, 8:07 PM by CBF

Please use and/or adapt the following for your own email to the Mayor and Council as you see fit.  A PRCC Board Member drafted this text.    

Dear friends and neighbors,

I generally try not to send political emails to you, but I thought this issue was important enough to make an exception.

I'm forwarding an email that I suggest you read from the Queen Anne Community Council. It concerns a proposal by District 6 City Council Member Mike O'Brien to eliminate single-family zoning in the City, and replace all single-family neighborhoods with triplex zones. 

His proposal would allow three-story triplexes or duplexes plus two-story backyard houses on single-family lots of 3,200 square feet or more, would eliminate all parking requirements for these structures, would allow absentee landlords and speculators to own them, and would allow up to 12 unrelated persons to live on every single-family lot. Although the proposal has sometimes been characterized as simply an effort to ease restrictions on "backyard cottages" and "in-law" apartments, in fact it is a wholesale elimination of single-family neighborhoods. 

This is not a strategy that will produce more "affordable" housing. The City's own Environmental Impact Statement characterizes the proposal's effect on housing prices as marginal. Also, the legislation could well mean displacement of lower-income persons as speculators buy up small, relatively affordable homes in less well-off neighborhoods. This is especially true with the proposed elimination of the current requirement that homeowners with in-law apartments or backyard cottages live on site. Council Member O'Brien initially said that he would retain some form of owner-occupancy requirement in the legislation to prevent speculation, but that requirement doesn't appear in the final version. (There's also the issue these new units being used for Air BnBs rather than housing.)

You should also be aware of three more things: 1. The City already allows backyard cottages and in-law apartments in single-family zones;  2. the present rules could be fine-tuned and relaxed with more sensitivity to design and context but without a wholesale elimination of single-family neighborhoods; and 3. According to the Queen Anne Community Council, Council Member O'Brien has rebuffed their proposals to reach a compromise solution.

Written expressions of concern and opposition will only be effective if enough people send them. If you are concerned about this proposal, please take a few minutes to write to the mayor and council members. This legislation could pass early next year, so the time to write is now.

council@seattle.gov (all council members)
mike.obrien@seattle.gov (Mike O'Brien)


PRCC Board Letter to Mayor Durkan: Community Concerns Regarding Proposed DADU/AADU Legislation (Dec 20, 2018)

posted Dec 23, 2018, 7:55 PM by CBF

Please see our December 20, 2018 letter (linked below and attached) to Mayor Durkan expressing concerns of the Phinney Ridge Community Council (PRCC) Board regarding the proposed Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (DADU) and Accessory Dwelling unit (AADU) legislation.   

CM O'Brien at Ballard District Council Meeting Dec 12th 7:00 p.m.

posted Dec 9, 2018, 2:13 PM by CBF

View this email in your browser
NOTE CHANGE OF MEETING VENUE:
Nordic Museum
Market St.
Seattle, WA 98117

Dec. 12, 2018   7:00 - 8:30 pm

Meeting Agenda

7:00 - 7:10p. Introductions and Community Information Sharing

7:10 - 8:20p. Mike O’Brien, Seattle City Councilmember, District 6

This will be your opportunity to hear CM O’Brien describe current programs and issues he and the City are dealing with, and how they may specifically impact the Ballard community. Among the topics to be discussed are the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) plan, the plan to allow more density into single family neighborhoods with ADUs/DADUs, homeless encampments, transportation issues, as well as the just passed 2019 budget. There will be time for Q and A, which will be facilitated to allow questions on a variety of topics to be covered

8:20 - 8:30p Other business/Discussion
 
Ballard District Council has been an active coalition of Ballard and Crown Hill organizations for over a quarter century.. Originally established under auspices of the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods we are now independent of the City and incorporated as a Washington State Non Profit. We continue our mission as a forum for community engagement, discussions and information sharing.

Eliminating Single-Family Neighborhoods - CM O'Brien's Plan for City-wide Triplex Zoning

posted Nov 21, 2018, 5:43 PM by CBF

Protect Our Seattle Neighborhoods!
Seattle Neighborhoods Call to Action
 
 
Appeal Update
Councilmember Mike O’Brien’s legislation is now rapidly moving forward to eliminate EVERY single-family neighborhood and convert your property to triplex zoning with no parking or ownership requirements!
 
Please forward this email to every neighbor and friend!

Please consider joining hundreds already from all around Seattle in helping us defend you and every Seattle neighborhood by offering a contribution here.  And for much more information, please visit our Appeal Website here.

20 November 2018
Good Evening Neighbors City-wide;
 
Re:     Eliminating Single-Family Neighborhoods
          Compromise Negotiation Proposal Rejected by Councilmember Mike O’Brien
 
Update - QA Appeal of the ADU-EIS.
 
On November 1st, well over 200 Seattleites gathered on Queen Anne to learn more about Councilmember O’Brien’s pending legislation to eliminate all single-family neighborhoods city-wide.  Everyone in attendance from all around our city had the opportunity to learn about our appeal and publicly share their opinions, ideas, and personal stories and concerns.  Everyone felt it was a great public meeting.
 
One week later on the 8th, the Hearing Examiner held the Pre-Hearing Conference where the parties joined to schedule the upcoming events associated with holding the hearing.  The basic dates below have been established going forward:
 
  1. Document Delivery:  Due December 14, 2018
QACC submitted a formal Public Records Request a after filing the appeal in order to review all documentation connected with the proposed legislation including the EIS and all other work products surrounding the appeal.  The City stated that 100% of that document request will be delivered on that date.  Upon receiving the complete set, a QACC committee including our experts and volunteers from around our city will review the document history.
 
  1. Hearing Date:  March 25th – March 29th 2019
During the next few months the QACC committees together with our attorney and professional experts will work to prepare our case which will be heard by the hearing examiner on these dates.  Some will question the delay but all parties had conflicts in January, February, and early March 2019.
 
During our Prehearing Conference, we made it clear that QACC is open to negotiating a reasonable settlement including compromises to the legislation.  At our city-wide community meeting on November 1st, I invited participation from everyone in attendance to contact us and propose ideas that could improve the legislation in hopes that the city would entertain discussions of compromise from many perspectives.  Several accepted the invite.
 
I reached out to Councilmember Mike O’Brien and we grabbed coffee yesterday to discuss the issues and opportunities and areas of compromise that may lie ahead.  I proposed that he and the council accept our invitation to review and consider obvious alternatives that the he and the Environmental Impact Statement failed to consider.  I saw this as a win-win as I feel strongly that councilmembers should be facilitators, not autocrats strictly beholden to their own narrow ideology.  Keep in mind that less than 150 Seattleites attended the only two abbreviated scoping meetings held by the city where the legislation was open for public review!  Very few Seattleites know of this huge change!
 
Unfortunately, I must inform you that CM O’Brien has closed the door to negotiating.  He relating to me unequivocally that the EIS spoke to all his issues leaving no room to consider any compromise.  He remains firmly entrenched in every line-item of his legislation to eliminate every Seattle single-family neighborhood without considering any important neighborhood, property, infrastructure or economic differentiations.  One-size-fits-all!  
 
In addition, he shared his confidence that every councilmember firmly supports him and his legislation.  He left no door open and even told me directly that there was no reason for us to withdraw our appeal – nothing would change!
 
As the EIS is woefully deficient in adequately identifying and analyzing the true environment impacts from CM O’Brien’s indiscriminate conversion of every Seattle neighborhood, we will continue to proceed full-speed ahead in preparing and proving our case, now that we have been given the unambiguous decision from City Hall. 
 
Invite you friends and neighbors to write a letter to your councilmember and strongly voice your opinion!
 
Please consider joining hundreds already from all around Seattle in helping us defend you and every Seattle neighborhood by offering a contribution here.  And for much more information, please visit our Appeal Website here.
 
Thanks as always for your support,
 
Queen Anne Community Council
Land Use Review and Planning Committee
Martin Henry Kaplan, AIA Chair

Convert all Single-Family Neighborhoods to Triplex Zoning: Summary of Mike O'Brien's Proposed Code Changes (from Queen Anne Community Council website)

posted Nov 13, 2018, 9:51 PM by CBF   [ updated Nov 13, 2018, 9:56 PM ]

Summary of Present Rules versus Council Member O'Brien's Proposal

Present rules for backyard cottages (DADUs) and “in-law” apartments (ADUs) in single-family zones

O’Brien Proposal to convert all single-family neighborhoods to triplex zoning

Min. lot size for DADU: 4,000 SF

3,200 SF

Number of dwelling units per lot: 2 (main dwelling plus either DADU or ADU)

3

Number of separate dwelling structures per lot:

2, including main home and DADU

3 (units could be in one, two or three separate structures)[1]

Triplexes allowed? No.

Yes

Parking required for DADUs and ADUs?

Yes

No

Maximum number of unrelated persons per lot: 8

12

Maximum size: 1,000 SF for ADUs, 800 SF for DADUs. Garage space included in this calculation.

1,000 SF for both ADUs and DADUs, PLUS garage space. Setback requirements are also relaxed.

Height limit for DADU: varies from 18-27 feet according to lot width

Would essentially add two feet to all current limits.

Owner occupancy of one unit is required

No owner-occupancy requirement. Absentee landlord could own all units.

Maximum lot coverage by DADUs: 40 percent of rear lot

60 percent of rear lot

Requirements that units be “affordable” to persons of a certain income level? No.

 

No.



[1] The O’Brien proposal would reduce the maximum square footage of homes to half the size of their lot (e.g., you could build a 2,000 SF home on a 4,000 SF lot). However, it would allow two additional houses of 1,000 SF apiece in the backyard of that home.

Stated reasons for Queen Anne Community Council’s appeal (See website for appeal at https://queenanneappeal.org/). Note: The following is a summary of a more detailed list in Queen Anne’s notice of appeal.

1.      The City didn’t provide for adequate citizen involvement in the process.
2.   The EIS doesn’t adequately analyze the proposal’s impacts on issues such as the overall reduction in affordable housing, change in neighborhood character, loss of more modest and affordable homes, increased housing costs for existing residents, and quality of life.
3.   The EIS doesn’t adequately analyze the cumulative impact of the proposal in conjunction with HALA upzones in other areas.
4.   The EIS doesn’t adequately consider other alternatives that could accomplish its goals with less impact.
5.   The EIS doesn’t adequately examine parking impacts. The study on which it relied involved four outlying neighborhoods that don’t represent conditions in more crowded areas.
6.   The EIS doesn’t adequately consider the impacts of allowing 12 unrelated persons to live on one lot, especially with respect to parking and traffic-circulation.
7.   The EIS provides no comprehensive studies to support its conclusion that removing the owner-occupancy requirement would have no impacts.
8.   The EIS doesn’t adequately analyze the proposal’s effect on public utilities.
9.   The EIS doesn’t consider a range of alternatives that would vary zoning requirement to fit the unique conditions of different neighborhoods in the City.
10.  The EIS doesn’t adequately address the proposal’s effect on the City’s tree canopy.


The Queen Anne Community Council’s appeal website also asks for donations to help fund the appeal, including a donations link.  https://queenanneappeal.org/

Prepared by Ted Inkley 11/13/18

City-Wide Community Meeting to discuss the City’s Final Environment Impact Statement (EIS)

posted Oct 27, 2018, 5:18 PM by PRCC Webmaster

Protect Every Seattle Neighborhood!

A City-Wide Community Meeting

November 1, 2018    7:00-9:00 pm

Queen Anne Community Center, Room 1

1901 1st Avenue West, 98119

 

Seattle Neighborhood’s Call to Action

 

Urgent Action – Every Neighborhood!

 

The Queen Anne Community Council invites you to attend our City-Wide Community Meeting to discuss the City’s Final Environment Impact Statement (EIS) and the background behind our filing the necessary appeal.  We will discuss the EIS, answer your questions, discuss next steps and hopeful outcomes, and consider ways that you can help protect your neighborhood.

 

While Queen Anne officially filed this appeal, we are representing you and every other Seattle neighborhood and single-family property owner.  Our appeal challenges the adequacy of the EIS as it concludes that Mike O’Brien’s proposed city-wide legislation to eliminate and convert your single-family property to multi-family triplexes with no parking or ownership requirements has not even one impact. 

 

Please forward this email to neighbors and friends!

We’ll see you next Thursday

Queen Anne Appeal Website

 

Thank you,

Queen Anne Community Council
Ellen Monrad, Chair
Martin Henry Kaplan, AIA, Chair of Land Use Review Committee
 

Please consider helping fund our collective city-wide appeal - here

Green Stormwater Infrastructure Projects Briefing: Oct. 1 and 6 at PNA

posted Sep 25, 2018, 8:58 AM by CBF   [ updated Sep 25, 2018, 9:00 AM ]

We are contacting you because King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division plans to construct green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) projects in planting strips in some north Seattle neighborhoods with construction beginning as soon as 2021 and the project ending by 2023. Green stormwater infrastructure mimics nature by slowing or reducing polluted rainwater runoff close to its source.  We are interested to learn from your organization what we should prioritize when choosing how and where to install GSI. We have not yet chosen any locations within the University Green Stormwater Infrastructure Project’s (click on link) Project Study Area.

At the end of the month we are mailing a flier with information to all residents, businesses and property owners in the Project Study Area.

This fall we are meeting with community organizations to provide more information about the project and learn their feedback by 10/9.

  • We will host drop in sessions, including one at the Phinney Neighborhood Association. See list below.
  • Visit our Online Open House and take our survey

We also encourage you and your members to take our visit our Online Open House and take our online survey anytime from Sept. 24 to Oct. 9. (It is only live during these dates). The information online is the same information that will be shown at the drop-in sessions.

  • Post our visit our Online Open House and survey for your members:

Drop-in session -Monday, Oct. 1, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Phinney Neighborhood Association (6532 Phinney Ave. N.) – special focus on Phinney neighborhood

Drop-in session = Tuesday, Oct. 2 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Green Lake Community Center (7201 E. Green Lake Dr. N.)

Drop-in session = Wednesday, Oct. 3 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the University Heights Community Center (5031 University Way N.E.

Open house = Saturday, Oct. 6 - from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fairview Christian School (844 N.E. 78th St.) - special focus on Phinney neighborhood from 10 a.m. to noon

Sincerely,

Dana West King County Wastewater Treatment Division, Community Services

Dana.West@kingcounty.gov

206-477-5536

Project background

During peak storms, polluted stormwater and sewage from the north-central Seattle area goes into Portage Bay on average six times per year. To help address this, King County plans to construct natural drainage systems, known as green stormwater infrastructure (GSI). The GSI project is in its planning phases. To learn more, visit our project website at: www.kingcounty.gov/Natural Drainage

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