Recently, my husband asked me what I would do about the worsening livability issues in downtown Seattle if I were Queen? That was a very good question and below is my answer:
1. I would mandate fairness and justice for everyone. Every person, no matter where they reside, is entitled to a livable environment that includes access to daylight, open space, and privacy. The growth in residential buildings in downtown Seattle has been amazing, but residential development standards have not kept pace with this new reality.
2. I would mandate the following fair and equitable residential development standards:
A. Legislation to require the residential development standards of South Lake Union, which were established in 2013 and are the most modern in Seattle to be used in the areas of downtown which now have virtually no standards*. I would also get our alleys out of the 19th Century and into the 21st Century by mandating 10 ft. min. alley setbacks for all new construction.
B. Legislation to accomplish the funding goals of HALA through additional allowable height equivalent to the proposed additional 1000 sq. ft. per floor of development capacity.
3. New Design Review Standards would be put in place to allow true citizen involvement in the EDG process, requiring give and take between the DRB and citizens equal to the Q&A between the DRB and the Applicant, adequate time for the Board to ask questions related to the public comments, and time allotted for the Board to consider what they heard from the public and review details in graphs/tables, photographs, or other information that the public presented.
These actions will result in a complete HALA solution—dollars for Affordable Housing and Livability for downtown residents.
*DOC1, DOC2, DRC, & DMC Waterfront