Council Member Mike O’Brien [MOB] seems to have “gone mad” in the last few months, ever since it became obvious that he had no chance for reelection to his District 6 Council seat. This week, however, his outrageous claims sank to a new low.
In a Seattle Times article by Dan Beekman, he tried to justify his push for passage of CB119600 [The “let’s water down SEPA” Bill] by falsely claiming that all SEPA appeals are made by “NIMBY obstructionists with the time to track land-use policy and the money to hire specialist attorneys”.
A Clyde Hill kid like yourself, MOB, should have better manners than to bad-mouth hard working folks who have had to pool personal funds to fight both the City and wealthy developers against egregious cheek to jowl proposals that threaten both our health and the environment
In our opinion, the real story is that the City is looking for a scapegoat to blame for affordable housing dollars not rolling in as fast as expected from one-time fees on new projects. The developer community was happy to sell MOB on the idea that it was frivolous appeals that were causing delays in project approvals…and MOB bought this fictional tale hook, line, and sinker.
The truth is that the appeals we’ve seen downtown resulted from citizens with legitimate concerns about threats to their health, safety, and livability from ill-conceived and non-functional designs coupled with inequitable DCI decisions.
We’ve even seen developers’ representatives start off their Design Review presentations with how many dollars their project will be contributing to affordable housing…an unspoken way of saying “we’ve got to rush this project through no matter how poor, non-functional, or unhealthy the design.”
SEPA [State Environmental Policy Act] is not the problem, MOB. An environmentalist like yourself should know that. If you’ll spend your last few months in office focusing on strengthening the DCI review and approvals processes, appeals will naturally go away, and it’ll be a win-win situation for everyone.