Full Council to Vote on Downtown/SLU Upzoning on April 10 at 2 PM

Full Council to Vote on Downtown/SLU Upzoning on April 10 at 2 PM

According to Andra Kranzler, Aide to City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, the Full Council will vote on Downtown/SLU Upzoning for HALA/MHA, Monday, 4/10/2017, at 2pm in Council Chambers. A precedent for granting height departures in lieu of extra girth in the Downtown/SLU rezones in this legislation is good, but that alone does not solve existing livability problems, especially in DOC2, caused by inadequate tower spacing and alley loading/unloading and circulation issues.

A reasonable solution is to couple the allowable height departure under HALA with a height departure in Design Review for DOC2 in exchange for tower spacing and alley setbacks. The result would be livability, health, and safety protection for downtown residents, no reduction in development capacity, and maintains the expected funding for affordable housing. A win...win...win solution!

With the future LIVABILITY of downtown Seattle at stake, it is critically important that at least two of the Amendments, Numbers 6 and 3, be passed as part of this legislation. 

Amendment 6, sponsored by Downtown Councilmember Sally Bagshaw,  states that “The Council intends to consider, as soon as environmental review of the proposal is complete and after a public hearing, an amendment to the text of the Land Use Code that would authorize the Director of the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, as a Type I decision, to allow increases in the maximum height for residential uses in the DOC2 500/300-550 zone.  The increase would be granted when new development voluntarily provides a greater separation than would otherwise be required from existing residential towers on the same block.  Additionally, the Council intends to explore complementary livability initiatives Downtown including, exploring rights-of-way management techniques to optimize access and service use of alleys, considering additional programs to use rights-of-way downtown as an open space amenity, and refining the urban design strategy downtown through an Urban Design Framework and revised Review guidelines.”

Amendment 3, sponsored by Councilmember Rob Johnson, “allows projects that have a Master Use Permit or are vested prior to the effective date of the Downtown/SLU rezone ordinance, to modify the project to (1) incorporate the additional capacity and (2) participate in the MHA program, without requiring additional review by the Design Review Board.”  Rob noted that there are about 40 vested projects that are not part of MHA (at this late stage in the building cycle)--and not wanting to miss out on an opportunity to get more MHA involvement.  Rob asked staff to create a list of projects that might want to be involved. 

Please contact Mayor Murray and City Council and ask them to include the companion livability legislation in this bill.