Celebrating International Women’s Day; Report on SPU/SCL Call Center; Parking in the West Seattle Junction; Hate Crimes Audit Update

March 9th, 2018

Celebrating International Women’s Day

On Monday March 5th the Seattle City Council and Mayor Durkan signed a proclamation declaring Thursday March 8th, 2018 as International Women’s Day.  The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is Press for Progress.  This year the Seattle City Council and Mayor Durkan celebrated International Women’s Day with a proclamation touting the many achievements women have brought to this vibrant city; noting the impact of the #metoo movement, discrimination faced by women of all backgrounds, and that the gender wage gap has yet to be overcome.

Members of the Seattle Women’s Commission came to Monday’s Full Council meeting to accept the proclamation and spoke about issues facing women in Seattle.  In addition to presenting the proclamation on Monday I had the opportunity to be on a panel at the City’s Women in Power: Press for Progress event with my colleagues councilmember’s Gonzalez, Juarez and Mosqueda.

Report on SPU/SCL Call Center

I’ve heard from many of you about the Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Seattle City Light (SCL) call center wait times and service levels. I am tracking this issue closely, and my staff are working hard ensuring that individuals who contact my office get timely assistance. Ultimately we have to get to the root of the issues and solutions to those issues.

Early this year, because of the issues I’ve heard from so many of you, I included in my committee work plan review and monitoring the performance of the call center and coordinatization with SPU to resolve identified issues.  I only have SPU, not SCL, in my Committee, I’m taking this up in my workplan even though the call center handles both SPU & SCL problems and the data shows that most of the problems relate to SCL billing issues.   In late January I submitted several questions of SPU and in late February they provided answers to those questions, you can see the Q&A here.

The most common complaint that I hear is that the phone wait times are far too long, and often people give up waiting to be connected to a customer service representative. Below is a chart that shows the average call wait time, the number of customer service representatives available, and the current target wait time (the hope is to eventually reduce these targets too).

Many of you may be aware that the utilities switched to a new billing system at the end of 2016, called NCIS. Here is my last report about NCIS. While the new billing system, and accompanying learning curve, has contributed to some delays at the call center, there are other issue at play as well. Specifically, the report lists, among other things:

  • Peak workload volumes in seasonal moves for residential customers, college students, and escrow transactions.
  • Move transactions taking longer to process in the new billing system.
  • Accuracy of SCL bills due to multiple, consecutive estimated meter readings.
  • Delays in refunds, billing adjustments, and transfers.
  • New billing system transition issues related to time needed to process certain transactions. The contact center’s average handle time per call has increased 27% (3 minutes) from that related to the previous billing system.

To help illustrate the magnitude of the work that the contact center receives on a weekly basis I asked for the calls received as well as emails, below you can see the graphs that represent each.

While the workload is not an excuse for the long wait times, it does help provide perspective.

SPU has undertaken several steps to help correct the problem:

  • Created an offline team to handle all the non-phone related customer requests which includes emails, escrow requests, correspondence, solid waste online service requests, and staffing customer service desk on SMT 4th floor.
  • Changes were made to SPU’s website to improve the way customers send us emails to ensure that we receive all the necessary information to promptly respond to the customer’s issue.
  • As a temporary change, the contact center hired 8 temporary Customer ServiceRepresentatives to exclusively handle Solid Waste calls and emails.

I will continue working with SPU to find ways and implement strategies to reduce the wait times and increase the efficiency of the contact center. If you have an issue with your utility bill, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or Alex Clardy (alex.clardy@seattle.gov) in my office.

Parking in the West Seattle Junction

SDOT has completed a parking and access study in the West Seattle Junction.

SDOT found that in commercial areas, existing time limits are effective in creating parking turnover and availability. As such, they are not proposing paid parking. SDOT also found that off-street parking approaches capacity between 6 and 8 on weekdays, and noted that residential streets immediately around the Junction meet the basic qualifications for a new Restricted Parking Zone.

Weekday on-street parking occupancy in commercial areas was within the 70-85% range, or roughly 1-2 spaces available per block face. 70-85% occupancy is the target SDOT has established for on-street parking; rates above that can lead to a recommendation for paid parking.

SDOT also examined off-street parking occupancy, which also peaked in the 6-8 p.m. range on weekdays, and peaks during mid-day hours on Saturday.

Given that on-street parking occupancy is higher from 6-8 p.m., SDOT will consider extending time limits on and around California Avenue SW from 6 to 8 p.m.

Other next steps for SDOT include discussing a potential RPZ with JuNO at their April meeting, and considering time limits on commercial streets close to the Junction, and reviewing and adding load zones and at least one designated disabled space.

SDOT’s draft timeline notes additional outreach in commercial areas in April and May, release of a proposal for public comment (tentatively listed for July), toward a final plan in Fall, and implementation in winter of 2018-2019.

SDOT’s project website is updated and includes links to a presentation SDOT gave on February 28, and an access survey conducted for SDOT and transportation and parking patterns of people who visit the Junction.

Background on city parking policies is included here.

When SDOT announced the study, I requested that SDOT be sensitive to the unique nature of the Alaska Junction, and specifically include consideration of the extra capacity that the off-street parking contributes to the area in their study. They agreed, and included the presence of the free off-street parking in their study.


Hate Crimes Audit Update

In September the City Auditor published Phase 1 for their review of Review of Hate Crime Prevention, Response, and Reporting in Seattle.
One of the recommendations included in the report proposed “regional or statewide coordination of hate crime efforts to further the City’s impact of addressing these crimes,” and noted that SPD, SOCR, and SPU agree with all the recommendations.

It further noted “The City of Seattle could encourage a regional approach to responding to hate crimes by supporting a statewide agency or task force.”

The report noted the Community Relations Service from the NW Regional Office of the Department of Justice was willing to facilitate meetings to begin this conversation, and I indicated my office could represent the City as a co-convener.

Meetings of a planning group have begun. Next steps include creating stronger connections within Seattle with Seattle-area organizations and institutions to build a strong network that could then be expanded regionally.

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March 5 Deadline for ST3 Early Scoping Comments; Addressing Sexual Harassment; Property Taxes in Seattle; February Constituent Emails

March 2nd, 2018


Reminder: March 5 Deadline for ST3 Early Scoping Comments

Monday, March 5 is the deadline for submitting comments to Sound Transit as part of the ST3 scoping process for light rail from Downtown to West Seattle.

You can submit comments at Sound Transit’s online open house; here’s a link to the “Alternatives” page, where you can insert comments onto a map, and see other people’s comments.

Here’s background on how Sound Transit will develop a preferred alternative, and their schedule.

Moving Forward Our Work to Address Sexual Harassment

Earlier this year I shared the letter I wrote to Mayor Durkan thanking her for her leadership on sexual harassment issues and outlining a number of actions including asking for her to collaborate on an employee climate survey, requesting a human resource review and to work together to explore human resource innovation in sexual harassment trainings.

I also outlined my intention to move forward on a bill to extend the statute of limitations on sexual harassment claims brought to the Seattle Office of Civil Rights (SOCR). We had our first discussion of the bill in the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee on Tuesday February 27th.

Council Bill (CB) 119202 includes three proposed changes to the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC); (1) extending the statutes of limitation (SOL) for administrative charges enforced by the SOCR, (2) defining the term sexual harassment within the statute, and (3) specifying that the definition of discrimination includes sexual harassment.

 

  1. Extending the statute of limitations

Though this is not currently defined in the law, sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that is based on sex. SOCR enforces SMC provisions against discrimination based on sex in the areas of employment, public accommodations, housing and contracting.  The statues of limitations for filing a discrimination claim varies depending upon to which of these four areas the claim pertains.  Currently the statute of limitations for employment, public accommodations, and contracting is 180 days.  The statute of limitations for housing is currently one year.

This bill would extend the SOL for employment and contracting to one and a half years and would extend the SOL for public accommodations to one year.  The current SOL for housing would remain unchanged.

There are several different avenues available to people who want to move forward with filing a sexual harassment claim; they can pursue administrative and/or judicial recourse depending on the type of claim they want to move forward with.  Claims filed with the Office of Civil Rights are administrative claims.

In considering how long to extend these statute of limitations, my staff and I consulted with the Office of Civil Rights, Council Central Staff, community-based organization such as the Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence, and we are currently in contact with the Silence Breakers.  Through this engagement, it became clear that it is important to allow people experiencing sexual harassment as much time as possible to file claims while not prohibiting their ability to peruse a private right of action.  As such we have extended the SOL in each of the four areas of discrimination to half that of the current private rights of action.

For visual breakdown of the SOL for various jurisdictions and the impact of this bill, please see the chart below.

  1. Defining Sexual Harassment

Many different types of actions are forms of sexual harassment.  Currently, the SMC does not define sexual harassment. My goal in including a definition of sexual harassment in the statute was intended to help provide support and clarity for people experiencing this form of discrimination.  We know that one of the reasons people don’t come forward is that they may not know that the experiences they are having ARE sexual harassment and even when people are aware that they are experiencing sexual harassment they often don’t know what avenues of recourse are available to them.

The Council Central Staff memo outlines several potential unintended consequences related to defining sexual harassment within the bill.  Neither federal, state nor city statutes have a definition of sexual harassment.  In lieu of a definition codified in law, state and federal agencies have administratively named the kind of actions that, when taken against another, constitute sexual harassment.  This has allowed the courts to develop a body of case law about sexual harassment.  There is concern that creating a static definition in the Seattle Municipal Code could set a standard that is unnecessarily narrow and not consistent with the current caselaw.

After hearing these concerns, I am considering an amendment to remove the definition of sexual harassment from this bill in favor of addressing this issue via the director’s rules.

  1. Adding sexual harassment to the definition of discrimination

As mentioned earlier, sexual harassment is currently enforced under the part of the Seattle Municipal Code addressing discrimination.  Nevertheless, that part of the law not only doesn’t define sexual harassment (see above), it doesn’t even include the words “sexual harassment.”

This item would simply include the term “sexual harassment” within the definition of discrimination in the employment, public accommodations, housing, and contracting section of the SMC.  My hope is that adding the term “sexual harassment” to the definition of discrimination will help to further clarify that sexual harassment is a form of discrimination.  This item does not create a new category of discrimination but rather helps to explain that sexual harassment is already a form of discrimination based on a protected class.

We are currently engaging in additional outreach to the Seattle Women’s Commission, the Seattle Human Rights Commission, the Seattle LGBTQ Commission, the Seattle Commission on People with Disabilities and the Seattle Silence Breakers.  Following this engagement, this bill will come to a future Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee meeting for a vote.

Where do your property taxes go? Why are they increasing in 2018?

Property taxes have been in the news recently, and for good reason. King County Assessor Wilson announced earlier this year that property taxes are increasing 16.9% on average in King County in 2018. The increase in Seattle will also be 16.9%, or $825 for the average home. How is this happening?

The short answer is that 81% of the increase, or $669 for the average Seattle homeowner, comes from increased state funding for education adopted in 2017 by the State Legislature. The funding was approved in response to the 2012 State Supreme Court McLeary decision, which held that the state did not adequately fund education. As a result, state property taxes for education increased by 62% from 2017 to 2018.

Below is a primer on property taxes, with charts showing what property taxes fund, details about the sources of the 2018 increase, and how Seattle property taxes compares to other local cities.

Property taxes are set by multiplying the assessed value by the property tax rate. The Seattle rate for 2018 is 9.56207 per $1,000 in assessed value.

Here’s where your property taxes go; only 25% go to the City of Seattle:

Property taxes form 24.5% of Seattle’s General Fund, as shown in the chart below from the City’s 2018 Adopted Budget:

Here’s where the 2018 increases come from:

Several of the increases are related to voter-approved measures.  4.7% of the King County 7.5% increase comes from the 2017 Veterans, Families and Seniors levy. The increase for the School District comes from the 3-year funding measure passed in 2016, which included $229 million in funding in 2017, and $250 million in 2018. The Emergency Medical Services levy was passed in 2013; the most recent Sound Transit measure was passed in 2016.

So how does Seattle compare to other cities in King County? Below is a chart showing the median property tax bill in King County. Seattle’s average rate of $5,709 is $1,359 lower than the average King County city property tax of $7,068:

Another way of looking at property taxes is the rate per $1,000 of assessed value. For each $1,000 of value, Seattle’s property tax rate is $9.56. Among King County’s 39 cities, only Bellevue, Mercer Island and 5 other small Eastside communities have a lower rate than Seattle:

The 2018 increase for an individual home depends on the increase in the assessed value as determined by the King County Assessor. The median assessed home value in Seattle increased 13% from $528,000 in 2017 to $597,000 in 2018. Depending how much a home increased in value, the increase may be lower or higher than 16.9%.

The King County Assessor has webpages about how they assess the value of residential propertiesexemptions for senior citizens and disabled persons, and legal limitations on property taxes.

The Municipal Research Service Center has a primer on how the Property Tax in Washington State work.

I co-sponsored legislation last year to tax high incomes in Seattle. One of the uses for potential revenues is “(1) lowering the property tax burden and the impact of other regressive taxes.”

The City’s 2018 State Legislative Agenda states support for “comprehensive tax reform that leads to a more equitable and progressive tax structure and decreases reliance on flat tax sources like sale and property tax.” I worked with County Assessor Wilson to include a provision in Seattle’s 2018 State Legislative agenda in support of an exemption “to promote increased participation by seniors and disabled veterans through a simplified application process and eligibility criteria tied to varying property tax values across the state.”

Note: the 2018 Median Property Tax Bill chart omits the 5 highest and lowest figures, as high figures for the Eastside points communities skew the chart (Hunts Point is over $27,000); if you’re interested you can view a complete chart of King County cities that goes up to $30,000 here).

February constituent e-mails

Constituent correspondence is a really important task in my office.  My staff and I spend time every day helping you improve your community, whether that’s through getting you help from a city department with our constituent case management services or giving you information about legislation that the Council is considering.  The unshaded categories and numbers are problem-solving emails answered in February, what I refer to above as “case management services.”  The shaded categories and numbers are emails answered in February related to policy or legislation the Council is considering.

 

Category # of Emails Responded
Transportation Issues 38
Public Safety 7
Human Services & Homelessness 9
Information Technology 2
Public Utilities (electricity, water, sewer, recycling, garbage) 16
Labor & Economic Development 4
Parks & Recreation 5
Civil Rights 5
City Finances & Taxes 22
Planning & Development 27
Mandatory Housing Affordability legislation 5
Housing and Neighborhood Issues 3
Progressive Revenue Task Force 11
“Hostile Architecture” 52
Education (Sweetened Beverage Tax) 5
Building a Bridge for Housing for All Funding 234
Total 451

 

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Community Support for Family of South Park Shooting Victim; Comm Shop; Your Voice Your Choice Project Development Meetings in D1 Starting Feb. 26; Small Business Advisory Council; Destination Delridge

February 23rd, 2018


Community Support for Family of South Park Shooting Victim

Sadly, Dallas Esparza, the teenager who was shot in South Park on February 7, has passed away.

Please consider donating to the gofundme page set up for Community Support for his family.

The page notes, “This boy, who grew up in SP along with his brothers, is described by a teacher as ‘… a very special student who will be remembered as a kind, respectful young person.’ His mother is a single parent, and struggling to stay strong and present for her remaining children. If you can, please donate here to help defray hospital and funeral costs.”

You can donate here.

Council Votes Unanimously to Award $1 Million in bridge funding for Hygiene and Emergency Shelter Services

On Wednesday January 17, Mayor Durkan announced her intention to sell an underutilized City property known as the Communications Shop. Mayor Durkan’s proposal included utilizing a portion of the sales to support the urgent need for affordable housing and services for people experiencing homelessness.

This issue was first discussed in the Finance and Neighborhood Committee on Friday February 9th and again on Wednesday February 14th . There were three separate bills and two resolutions brought to committee for discussion and a potential vote. After three hours of discussion CB’s 119195 and 119196 were voted out of committee. CB 119195 relates to the sale of the property and was voted out of committee unanimously. CB 119196, related to the use of funds, was voted out of committee with three votes in favor and 4 abstentions. In response to a number of concerns including the allocation of funds related to homelessness, Councilmember Mosqueda and I worked together to draft a substitute to CB 119196.

The substitute bill allocates an additional $1 million in bridge funding for emergency shelter and drop-in hygiene services ensuring that these essential services will remain funded through 2018. The substitute bill also added a number of recitals outlining potential public health concerns related to the lack of hygiene facilitates, and addressing the need for bridge funding for service providers who either received decreased funding or whose funding was not renewed via the Homeless Investments Request For Proposal (RFP).

Pathways Home is the City of Seattle’s plan to address the City’s homeless crisis. Last year the Human Services Department announced that they would run a competitive process to re-issue all of their homeless dollars. In November of 2017 the Human Services Department announced the awards. Bridge funding was awarded to some of the previously funded organizations who were not awarded ongoing funding through this RFP. Bridge funding offered to service providers not selected in the Homeless Investments RFP process was originally limited to only less than six months for most recipients. This was an insufficient amount of time for some agencies to work with people receiving their services to find new services. I believe efforts to transition people to other services should occur and those new services should be demonstrated as more successful in getting people into permanent housing than the services being cut before bridge funding is terminated.

Among these underfunded services are emergency shelter and drop-in hygiene facilities. Hygiene services are essential part of our region’s public health response. It’s important that we learn from the hepatitis A outbreaks in cities such as Los Angles, San Diego and Santa Cruz. A public health crisis like this in Seattle is preventable. Hepatitis A is spread through close personal contact and is exacerbated by limited access to hygiene services.
While there is funding in Pathways Home for increased hygiene services, the majority of the increased services do not allow “drop-in” hygiene services. Unfortunately HSD announced cuts last year for “drop in” hygiene services. This bill restores critical low-barrier services in downtown and the University District.

In addition to adding $1 million in bridge funding and preserving all $5.3 million for the Mayor’s proposed uses that will come in a future recommendation of the Innovative Housing Strategies subcabinet, the subcabinet will now contain representation from the City Council.
This substitute bill co-sponsored by Councilmember Mosqueda and I was unanimously passed by Full Council on Tuesday February 20th.

Inaugural meeting of the Small Business Advisory Committee

This week was the first meeting of the City’s Small Business Advisory Council (SBAC). The SBAC was established in November of 2017 in order to provide an opportunity for Seattle small businesses to talk directly with City representatives about the issues most urgently impacting Seattle small businesses. In addition to representation from the Mayor’s office, Councilmember Mosqueda and I, the SBAC has representatives from nearly 30 small businesses from around the city. The inaugural meeting was an opportunity for the advisory council members to introduce themselves and share their ideas for how the City can support Seattle’s small business community. The SBAC currently plants to meet quarterly, holding additional, ad hoc meetings as necessary.

Your Voice Your Choice Project Development meetings in District 1 starting February 26

The Your Voice Your Choice Parks and Streets grant program will be holding five Project Development meetings in District 1 between February 26 and March 26.

The Project Development meetings will narrow the proposals in each of Seattle’s 7 Council Districts down to 10 options for public voting; proposals are currently being reviewed for feasibility and being within the budget limit of $90,000.

According to the Department of Neighborhoods, more than 1,000 ideas were submitted citywide by the public.

Here’s the meeting schedule for District 1:

February 26, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., South Seattle College, Chan Education Center, Rm 202 – 6000 16th Ave. SW
February 27, 6 – 8 p.m., South Park Community Center – 8319 8th Ave. S
March 12, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Southwest Youth and Family Services – 4555 Delridge Way SW
March 14, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., West Seattle Branch Library – 2306 42nd Ave. SW
March 26, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Southwest Branch Library – 9010 35th Ave. SW

Anyone who lives, works or attends school in Seattle can participate.

You can view proposals on this map. Proposals are color-coded to correspond to one of the meetings, shown on the left-hand side of the map. The principal focus of each meeting will be on the projects listed in the same color. Project lists for each meeting will be uploaded at the Project Development page as they are available.

If you’re not able to attend the meeting focused on a project list, you can discuss it at another meeting.

The citywide schedule for all seven district is listed here. Information about eligible projects is here.


Destination Delridge

The Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA) is a non-profit that brings together neighbors, organizations, and the business community with the local government to help build a more sustainable community. On March 2, they will be hosting their annual fundraiser:

“An exciting evening filled with fabulous food, drink, live entertainment, music, art and interactive games. Mingle and connect with 200+ attendees who share your passion for social justice and our community, as we gather to support DNDA’s Art, Nature, and Neighborhood programs.”

Join me at Destination Delridge!

When: Friday, March 2, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Metropolist in SoDo (2931 1st Ave. S)
Tickets: $100
Theme: “Oh The Places We’ll Grow”

In-District Office Hours

Today, February 23, I will be at the South Park Community Center (8319 8th Ave. S) from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. Please be sure to arrive no later than 6:30 p.m. The final meeting of the day will begin at 6:30 p.m.

These hours are walk-in friendly, but if you would like to let me know you’re coming in advance you can email my scheduler Alex Clardy (alex.clardy@seattle.gov).

Additionally, here is a full list of my tentatively scheduled office hours for the rest of 2018. These are subject to change.

Friday, March 30, 2018
Southwest Neighborhood Service Center, 2801 SW Thistle St

Friday, April 27, 2018
South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Avenue S

Friday, May 25, 2018
Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 SW Oregon St

Friday, June 15, 2018
South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Avenue S

Friday, July 27, 2018
Southwest Neighborhood Service Center, 2801 SW Thistle St

Friday, August 17, 2018
Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 SW Oregon St

Friday, September 21, 2018
South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Avenue S

Friday, October 26, 2018
Southwest Neighborhood Service Center, 2801 SW Thistle St

Friday, December 14, 2018
South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Avenue S

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Fauntleroy Watershed Council Annual Report; New Parking Legislation Proposal; Bus Service to Admiral and Alki; In-District Office Hours

February 16th, 2018

Fauntleroy Watershed Council Annual Report

In my Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and Arts committee meeting on Tuesday we heard from the Fauntleroy Watershed Council who presented their annual report. The Fauntleroy Watershed Council is a venue for volunteers interested supporting and maintaining the Fauntleroy Creek, Park, and other natural areas within the Fauntleroy watershed. The Council was founded in 2001 and their mission is “to further restoration, stewardship, and responsible public enjoyment of the park and creek.” Among the highlights in this year’s report, the Fauntleroy Watershed Council:

  • hosted 764 students releasing salmon in Fauntleroy Park.
  • funded and installed emergency erosion control in the lower creek.
  • enhanced educational experiences for Salmon in the Schools students.
  • celebrated EarthCorps’ eradication of knotweed from the Kilbourne ravine.
  • supported planning for replacement of Fauntleroy Creek culverts.

At the committee table we discussed some work that Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is beginning to undertake regarding three culverts that are in need of repair and expansion to better facilitate the water flows and wildlife in the area.

Additionally, I learned that SPU has worked closely with the Fauntleroy Watershed Council in the past but, reportedly due to budget constraints, the partnership isn’t as strong as what it once was. I have already connected the Fauntleroy Watershed Council to SPU’s General Manager Mami Hara in order to discuss a renewed relationship to better facilitate the utility’s involvement in the Watershed Council’s work to restore and maintain Fauntleroy Park and Creek.

New Parking Legislation Proposal

In January I wrote about the pending new neighborhood parking legislation. I have been tracking this issue since 2015 when I shared my concerns with the Hearing Examiner regarding the implementation by Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI, previously DPD) of the definition in the Seattle Municipal Code of “Frequent Transit Service.” This definition is important because it determines the requirement for the provision of onsite parking in developments depending on whether they are or are not within Frequent Transit Service areas.

In previous committee discussions I have questioned whether or not relieving developers from the cost of creating parking ($35,000 per space, plus $300 a month in operational costs) will result in reduced costs for renters. I had asked how rental costs differ between developments with and without on-site parking.  Though this data is apparently not available in Seattle, we’ve got some regional data that suggests that housing without parking has lower rents. From the 2015 American Housing Survey, rent for tenants in the Seattle area who moved between 2010 and 2015 into multifamily rental buildings and compared rents for buildings with and without garages or carports. (Caution because sample size is small.)

Seattle Area Nationwide
Garage? Rent Count Rent Count
Yes $1,370 135 $1,299 1,877
No $1,069 441 $931 6,052

In the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee last week Council and Executive staff introduced and discussed an alternative frequent transit service definition in the neighborhood parking proposal. This alternative is distinct from the definition that was proposed in late 2017 when Mayor Burgess proposed the legislation. The new proposal begins on page four of this memo. I still have to analyze the impacts of the proposed changes, but my fundamental concern is still that I question whether the case has been made to demonstrate a correlation between transit ridership and a reduction in car ownership, and therefore not needing a place to park a vehicle.

The new proposal came with a new map that shows the potential expansion of frequent transit service as well as an overlay (as I previously asked for) of the potential Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) overlay which shows that if an urban village is expanded, where that expansion would occur and how they proposed parking legislation would interact with that expansion. This gives the committee a better understanding of how both of these pieces of legislation would affect our neighborhoods.

I also asked for a map of multifamily housing with vehicle ownership rates; however, I was only able to get data on renters. This map shows quartiles of renters by census tracts and the numbers are the percentages of households that do not have a vehicle. Finally, this map overlays the two previous maps to give a clearer picture of where new frequent transit service will be in comparison to renters as well as car owners. The significance of these maps is to show that the oft reported statistic, that is being used as the policy basis for this legislation is misleading.   The SDCI Director’s report says that ““For the one-quarter of Seattle census tracts with the highest proportion of renter households, 40% of all renter households have no vehicle.”

In other words, these maps show that, regardless of a low rate of car ownership in these particular choice census tracts there is still a high rate of car ownership in the areas where allow developers to build without providing parking. For instance, District 1 has an 82% car ownership rate which has stayed mostly flat since 2009.                      

This legislation will continue to be heard in the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee and there will be a public hearing held on Wednesday, February 21st at 9:30am located in the Council Chambers.

Bus Service to Admiral and Alki

As District 1 Councilmember, I regularly hear from residents of the Admiral and Alki neighborhoods about the lack of daytime and evening bus service to and from Downtown. Non-rush hour service on Bus Route 56, which connects Alki and Admiral to Downtown was eliminated in 2012.

As a result, Admiral is the only Urban Village in Seattle without off-peak transit service to Downtown. It is also the only Urban Village not served by the Frequent Transit Network included in the Seattle Transit Master Plan. Urban Villages were adopted by Seattle in the 1994 Comprehensive Plan to direct growth to areas with enhanced services, so the lack of service is noteworthy, and unique. The lack of off-peak service to Downtown for an urban village also does not seem consistent with our approach to managing growth.

I have written a letter to SDOT Director Goran Sparrman, requesting that SDOT assess the costs associated with improving off-peak transit service on Route 56, and inform me of the City’s funding capacity to meet this need with Seattle Transportation Benefit District funds passed by Seattle voters in Proposition 1 in late 2014, which directly funds bus service in Seattle. You can see the letter here. While King County Metro operates bus service, since 2015, with the passage by Seattle voters of Proposition 1, Seattle funds additional bus service.

Background information is included below about how the Admiral Urban Village fits into the city’s transportation and growth plans.

After the State Legislature passed the Growth Management Act in 1990, to stop regional sprawl and direct growth into designated areas. The City of Seattle adopted the Urban Village Strategy in its passage of the 1994 Comprehensive Plan. By 1999, the City had completed passage of neighborhood plans throughout Seattle, to implement the state Growth Management Act, and to direct growth into areas with enhanced services to match the growth.

Seattle has six Urban Centers, six Hub Urban Villages and eighteen Residential Urban Villages. Of those 30 areas targeted for growth in the 2035 Comprehensive Plan, only Admiral lacks off-peak transit service to Downtown.

Figures from the Seattle Transit Master Plan illustrate the unique status of the Admiral Urban Village. Figure 3-1 shows the City Capacity Transit Vision for High Capacity Transit Corridors. Figure 1-2 shows how these current and planned corridors align with the Urban Centers, Hub Urban Villages, and Residential Urban Villages adopted in Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan.

All of Seattle’s six Urban Centers and six Hub Urban Villages are included in a corridor—nearly all of which go to Downtown. In addition, 16 of Seattle’s 18 Residential Urban Villages are included in a corridor. The only ones that aren’t included in one of the transit corridors for RapidRide, Light Rail, Priority Bus Corridors, and the Streetcar are 1) Admiral and 2) South Park.

Figure 4-1 shows the status of the Frequent Transit Network as of March 2016; it notes a few areas on the map for “Priority Upgrade to Frequent”, including the Admiral Urban Village.

The Frequent Transit network included in the Transit Master Plan is designed to provide service every 15 minutes or better, 18-24 hours a day, seven days a week. This document shows bus routes that meet the frequent transit service level for land use purposes (SMC 23.84A.038), i.e. 15 minutes or less for at least 12 hours per day, 6 days a week, and transit headways of 30 minutes or less for at least 18 hours every day.

The current Frequent Transit Network using land use standards serves 29 of the 30 areas targeted for growth, but not Admiral.

Transportation Figure 5, from the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan, shows the Planned Frequent Transit Network, which includes SW Admiral Way through the Urban Village.

It appears that among Seattle’s 30 Urban Centers and Urban Villages, the Admiral Urban Village is one of only two not included the High Capacity Transit Network, and uniquely 1) is not served by the current Frequent Transit Network, and 2) has no off-peak bus service to Downtown. In addition, it saw a decrease in bus service to Downtown, with the 2012 elimination of off-peak service to Downtown on bus route 56. No buses leave for Downtown after 9 a.m., and return buses from Downtown operate only during evening rush hour.

Given the geographic distribution of jobs and work patterns, direct access to Downtown is important. Unless we are able to provide sufficient bus service to the Admiral Urban Village, it is less likely it will be able to accommodate its share of growth.

Metro Service prioritizes crowding, schedule reliability and service frequency. Proposition 1 noted that revenues would be used for these purposes, consistent with the Seattle Transit Master Plan and Metro’s Service Guidelines.

However, I believe we are missing an important element of equity in not considering how we can increase ridership in areas with low ridership and minimal options available to improve ridership. The lack of off-peak service to Downtown for an Urban Village also does not seem consistent with our approach to managing growth.

While King County Metro’s Service Guidelines target a minimum service level of at least every 60 minutes, even an exception for less frequent off-peak service would be an improvement.

In-District Office Hours

On February 23, I will be at the South Park Community Center (8319 8th Ave S) from 2:00p.m. – 7:00p.m. Please be sure to arrive no later than 6:30 pm, the final meeting of the day will begin at 6:30 p.m.

These hours are walk-in friendly, but if you would like to let me know you’re coming in advance you can email my scheduler Alex Clardy (alex.clardy@seattle.gov).

Additionally, here is a list of my tentatively scheduled office hours. These are subject to change.

Date Location Address
Friday, January 26, 2018 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center 2801 SW Thistle St
Friday, February 23, 2018 South Park Community Center 8319 8TH Avenue S
Friday, March 30, 2018 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center 2801 SW Thistle St
Friday, April 27, 2018 South Park Community Center 8319 8TH Avenue S
Friday, May 25, 2018 Senior Center of West Seattle 4217 SW Oregon St
Friday, June 15, 2018 South Park Community Center 8319 8TH Avenue S
Friday, July 27, 2018 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center 2801 SW Thistle St
Friday, August 17, 2018 Senior Center of West Seattle 4217 SW Oregon St
Friday, September 21, 2018 South Park Community Center 8319 8TH Avenue S
Friday, October 26, 2018 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center 2801 SW Thistle St
Friday, December 14, 2018 South Park Community Center 8319 8TH Avenue S

 

 

 

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South Park; Second West Seattle Tree Cutting Settlement; Amazon Meeting; How Will Sound Transit Develop a Preferred Alternative for West Seattle Light Rail?

February 9th, 2018


South Park

Like you, I was shocked, saddened, outraged, and worried for the safety of my neighbors when we learned about the shooting of one of our South Park children.

Wednesday evening, I was at the Denny/Sealth PTSA Safety meeting at Neighborhood House in High Point when the officers that were the presenting guests were called away to respond. Many of you were much closer to this event. Maybe you, like I, felt a sense of helplessness in the face of such a needless tragedy.

When a teenager or any child in our community is shot we all feel that pain in different ways. It is my greatest hope that the child involved can recover fully, and that family and community members are there to offer support every step of the way.

As a parent and grandparent this is the worst of our fears. But I need you to not feel helplessness. I need you to keep raising your voices to demand more from City Hall.

I know that South Park will not be defined by this incident, but instead by the strength and pride of this community who, every opportunity, rallies to the aid of others who are suffering.

While it’s too early to know specifically what could have been done to prevent this senseless shooting, what we do know is it is past time for City Hall to really rally its support for South Park. What I do is commit to you in my capacity as representative of our community to continue to keep the health, safety and welfare of my South Park constituents at the forefront. As a Councilmember, the formal scope of my powers doesn’t necessarily extend beyond legislation and budget decisions. But it does afford me a chance to secure resources and services for all of us, and to advocate for the community.

I’ve been able to advocate for the residents of South Park, only because of the efforts that many of you have made to engage with my office.  Over the last two years my staff and I have worked on South Park issues ranging from:

  • Securing a dedicated SPD bike beat
  • Securing a mobile precinct unit for South Park
  • Closing several residential and commercial nuisance property cases while continuing to work on others
  • Advocating for the clients of the South Park Information and Referral Center
  • Supporting efforts to do community-based planning for the South Park Neighborhood Center
  • Supporting superfund remediation efforts for the Duwamish
  • Pushing to break ground on the long-delayed SPU Pump Station project to improve the environment where you live
  • Working to improve the lighting on the streets, in alleys, and recreation areas
  • Helping the Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition, to support their capacity building to undertake anti-displacement work in the Duwamish Valley
  • Proposed and secured funding for the South Park Family Service Center
  • Helped ensure the future of Duwamish Waterway Park and the continued development into a park space
  • 36.5 hours of open office hours in South Park to hear from you
  • South Park Public Safety Task Force (see below)

Let’s continue our efforts to work with the precinct officers to maintain their presence, engaging the crime prevention coordinators to help SPD to be more proactive, fighting for greater support for youth engagement and violence prevention services, mental health funding, and other services that help the people that need it most, and implementing and funding the recommendations from the community-driven South Park Public Safety Task Force. The Council, in the budget process, secured $600,000 for implementation. The Executive has committed to reprioritizing funds to help implement some others.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been in touch with the Mayor’s Office, Chief Carmen Best, and City departments. Below is an update on the City’s work to implement the recommendations of the South Park Public Safety Task Force. Please click here for an update on the City’s work to implement the recommendations of the South Park Public Safety Task Force. Thanks to the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) for their work in coordinating this update; DON is assigning a point person to make sure these items keep moving forward.

I’ll see you at the vigil tonight.


Second West Seattle Tree Cutting Settlement

On Monday, the City Attorney announced a settlement of $360,000 for a second tree cutting lawsuit stemming from the illegal cutting of 153 trees on public property in the East Admiral area in early 2016.  The first lawsuit was settled in 2017 for $440,000. Remediation work is underway, including saplings that were planted within the last week.

Saplings now adorn a hillside where the trees once stood, though it will be decades before our West Seattle greenbelt is truly restored.  Thank you to City Attorney Holmes and his team for securing this $360,000 settlement, in addition to the $440,000 settlement from last spring; I expect these clear consequences will make someone think twice before considering arboricide in the future.  I’m glad the funds will be going to restore this greenbelt, and other greenbelts in Seattle.

Here’s a link to the City Attorney’s announcement. Parks and Recreation Interim Superintendent Williams notes that over 620 trees have been planted, and over 5,500 native plants overall.

Trees in our greenbelts are precious natural resources that maintain soil stability, thus lessening the risk of landslides, and maintain air quality by absorbing carbon.

Earlier, the King County Prosecutor opted not to file felony criminal changes; the City Attorney has jurisdiction over lesser charges, i.e. misdemeanors.


Today’s Amazon Meeting

Later today some of my colleagues and I are attending what has been referred to as the “Amazon Reset Meeting,” along with a number of other policy makers and opinion leaders in Seattle. I think of it as an opportunity for King County Councilmembers, State Legislators, Governor’s staff, School Board members, Seattle College Presidents, and other attendees to set the terms for what we as a City believe is important for a good corporate partner that is employing a larger and larger portion of our workforce.

I’ve not been shy about calling for Amazon to pay more attention to its labor practices. I sent this letter last year and worked to get the famous “reset letter” to also include these same critical issues.

These are the topics on Amazon’s agenda today:

  • Providing Affordability and Opportunity in Seattle
  • Transportation and Mobility
  • Seattle Business Environment
  • Education and the Future of Work

It’s important for Amazon to understand the elected leaders in this region highly value workers’ rights, and that in seeking a better relationship with Amazon will not look the other way when workers are misclassified as contract employees and labor rights are denied.   I also want to ensure that union represented workers in markets that Amazon has and is acquiring are secure in their employment futures.

With that in mind I will continue to advocate for many of the issues important to Amazon workers:  not receiving minimum wage, overtime, rest breaks, paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, and other benefits.  Resolving these problems for the workers who keep Amazon running – and others struggling to make it in our City — is critical for the high cost of living in Seattle.

Finally, I want to ensure the understanding that preemption bills in the State Legislature that would limit Seattle’s ability to enact strong labor laws are not acceptable to many City of Seattle lawmakers.


How Will Sound Transit Develop a Preferred Alternative for West Seattle Light Rail?

Next Tuesday, February 13th Sound Transit will host the first open house for light rail to West Seattle. This is part of the “early scoping” period from February 2 to March 5, which starts the formal process to develop the route light rail will travel from Downtown to West Seattle.

It’s vital to get involved and put forward proposals for the light rail route as early as possible. Suggestions from the public will inform what gets considered through the three-tiered formal decision making process for developing the preferred alternative for the light rail route for the West Seattle and Ballard extensions.

The first layer is the Stakeholder Advisory Group, which began meeting on February 8; the full membership roster was announced earlier this week. They will make recommendations for alternatives to study, and for a preferred alternative. They are advisory to the Elected Leadership Group.

The Elected Leadership Group will recommend a preferred alternative for consideration by the Sound Transit Board of Directors based on input of the Stakeholder Advisory Group, the public, and the voter-approved project scope, schedule and budget. The first meeting was in January.

Members of the Stakeholder Advisory Group come from neighborhoods along the entire line, from West Seattle, SODO, Downtown, South Lake Union, Uptown (Lower Queen Anne), Interbay, and Ballard. Members of the Elected Leadership Group represent all those areas as well (I serve on it as the Councilmember representing West Seattle); Snohomish County Executive Somers, Chair of the Sound Transit Board, is also a member.

The Sound Transit Board will make the final decision to adopt a preferred alternative. This board consists of elected officials from throughout the Sound Transit district in Snohomish, King and Pierce Counties.

Proposals from the public will inform the decisions made by each of the three layers of decision making. Here’s Sound Transit’s Community Engagement Guide, which includes additional information about how to get involved. More information is available at the Sound Transit document archive and the project website.

Here’s a link to a document that shows the decision making process and the schedule flow; I’ve asked Sound Transit to update the document to clarify that the Neighborhood Forums listed in the schedule are tied to the recommendations schedule of the three formal groups.

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Fauntleroy Boulevard Update; Feb. 13 Open House – Light Rail to West Seattle; West Seattle Chamber Meeting; Extreme Rainstorms; Pedestrian Master Plan; Movie Screening: Harvest of Empire

February 2nd, 2018


Fauntleroy Boulevard Project Update

SDOT has announced that they are putting the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project on hold; their announcement says:

“Based on community input and continued coordination with Sound Transit, we are putting construction of the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project on hold. This decision responds to community concerns about prolonged construction and effective use of taxpayer dollars.

Sound Transit’s current proposed route for the voter-approved West Seattle Light Rail Extension includes an elevated rail line on Fauntleroy Way. If built after the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project, there is the possibility that Fauntleroy improvements would need to be removed and potentially rebuilt.”

I raised the issue of potential overlaps in a May letter to Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. I appreciate SDOT and Sound Transit coordinating to resolve this obvious potential conflict and potential waste of public dollars. Moving forward I have questions about a. use of levy funds in West Seattle, b. whether there are smaller short-term improvements that can be made, and c. the fulfillment of north-south bicycle access across the peninsula.

Some have asked if the project is being delayed or if it has been cancelled.  Here’s where things stand.  We’re working to ensure that, if Sound Transit builds the representative alignment through Fauntleroy Way, then Sound Transit will be responsible, on their dime, for rebuilding to project-level standards if they dig up the same portion of the street.  Those standards, as currently defined by SDOT Director’s Rule, are very similar to the plans for the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project, minus the bike lanes.  If Sound Transit, on the other hand, chooses a different alignment, then SDOT can still move forward with the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project.  Under that scenario, if SDOT determines that there are increased costs as a result of cost escalation due to the delay, then we’ll work to see that Sound Transit picks up those extra costs.  Sound Transit won’t make final alignment decisions until April 2019, so in the meantime, we need to be working to prepare for a possible reallocation of levy dollars, based on what we have heard and will hear from the community about West Seattle’s transportation priorities.

 


Mark Your Calendars – Sound Transit Light Rail to West Seattle Open House February 13

As long as we’re on the topic of Sound Transit, it’s important to note that Sound Transit will hold its West Seattle light rail project kickoff open house on Tuesday, February 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Alki Masonic Center at 4736 40th Avenue SW.

This meeting is a first opportunity to help identify alternatives for potential routes and station locations. Sound Transit will make a brief presentation 15 minutes after the start of the meeting.

Sound Transit will also be holding open houses in Ballard on February 15, and Downtown on February 20.  They will be hosting an online open house from February 12 to March 5.

Why is starting and participating in the public process important now if we won’t even have a “preferred alternative” for light rail from West Seattle to Ballard until April, 2019?   In meeting this goal set in an agreement the Council passed in December we can build light rail faster than previous light rail lines. With the April 2019 target, it’s important to get involved and bring forward all proposals and options as early as possible. Only if we do so, can we complete environmental review by 2022, utility work in 2024, final design through 2025, with construction and testing through 2030.

Sound Transit’s starting point for light rail to West Seattle, and for Ballard, is the “representative alignment” included in the ST3 plan. The representative alignment included in the ballot measure includes a high-level bridge across the Duwamish, an elevated alignment, and three stations in West Seattle Delridge, Avalon, and Alaska Junction.  A Sound Transit presentation from January 4 shows an aerial view of the representative alignment.

The West Seattle line description notes “The elements included in this representative project will be refined during future phases of project development and are subject to change.” The project kickoff is your chance to weigh in early.

West Seattle Light Rail Extension


West Seattle Chamber Annual Meeting

Last week I attended the West Seattle Chamber Annual Meeting luncheon.  Though I can’t use public resources to promote the caterer, I can say unequivocally that the food was exceptional!  Pete Spaulding, former Vice-Chair and Government Advocacy Chair, is now leading the organization as West Seattle Chamber Board of Directors Chair.    Congratulations to Pete; I know that he will do a great job.

Lynn Dennis, the West Seattle Chamber CEO reviewed the accomplishments for the year which included (but are not limited to):

  • Increasing, to more than 200, the membership of the Chamber
  • Working with the West Seattle Junction Association, WorkSource, the Family Resource Center at Neighborhood House High Point, and the Seattle Housing Authority to organize a West Seattle Job Fair. People were hired on the spot!
  • Partnering with North Delridge business owners and the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association on a survey of needs and priorities to develop a “shared Delridge economic development vision.”

The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has been around since 1923.  It works to support economic growth based upon an understanding that “when our entire community thrives– when neighbors care about neighbors, people shop and eat local, and individuals participate in advocacy and service” that’s when business also thrives.


SPU Study Shows an Increase in Extreme Rainstorms

Seattle Public Utilities recently released a study showing that, since 2003, extreme rainstorms in Seattle have increased by 30%. The data was collected using SPU-owned rain gauges and combined with observations from the National Weather Service.

The City has a combined sewer system that handles both stormwater and wastewater. Therefore, large rain events can overflow the capacity of the system which causes combined sewer overflows (CSOs). This SPU study is helpful so that the Utility can accurately plan new stormwater infrastructure that will better control CSOs. Controlling our CSOs is important because, not only do we want to maintain clean waterways, but the Clean Water Act, passed by Congress in 1972, requires that government ensure that CSOs occur no more than once per outfall per year.

The increase observed by SPU in the newly released study is consistent with national research on climate change and provides additional evidence for the need for increased stormwater infrastructure as well as other innovations to combat climate change.


Pedestrian Master Plan 2018-2022 Implementation Plan and Progress Report

Last June the Council approved a resolution to adopt an updated Pedestrian Master Plan, the first update since 2009. A high priority of mine in the Council resolution was to require a 5-year implementation plan, which has been done for the Bicycle Master Plan for a number of years. Councilmember O’Brien’s resolution included this requirement.

In December SDOT published the Pedestrian Master Plan 2018-2022 Implementation Plan and Progress Report.  It lists projects completed in 2016/2017, projects planned annually from 2018 to 2022, project selection framework, scoring for project evaluations, and a priority investment network.

A presentation heard in the Transportation Committee has a high-level summary.

Seattle has a Pedestrian Advisory Board, charged with advising the Mayor and Council and departments on pedestrian matters; there’s a link to apply in case you’re interested.


Movie Screening: Harvest of Empire

harvest of empire, movie

This Saturday, February 3, Hate Free Delridge and West Seattle Meaningful Movies will be screening Harvest of Empire the Untold Story of Latinos in America, based on a book from Juan González which considers the real-life events and conditions of Latinx families who left their home to come to the US. The film examines the linkage between US intervention in Latin America and the immigration patterns that comprehensive immigration reform public policy efforts seek to address today.  It is recommended for high school ages and up due to some graphic violence.  The screening will be at High Point Neighborhood House (6400 Sylvan Way SW). Doors open at 6:30pm with show time at 7pm.  A facilitated discussion will occur after the film. There is no charge, but donations are welcome.

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Crescent-Hamm Building Historic Preservation; Stormwater Investments Coming for Longfellow Creek; MHA Committee Established

January 26th, 2018


Crescent-Hamm Building Historic Preservation

As Seattle grows, it’s critically important to maintain connections to our past. Seattle’s Historic Preservation program, in effect since 1973, has designated more than 450 sites as landmarks, helping us to preserve our heritage.

On Monday, the Full Council will vote to complete the landmark designation process for the Crescent-Hamm Building in the Alaska Junction. The Finance and Neighborhoods Committee voted to approve the legislation earlier this week.

The Crescent-Hamm Building was completed in 1926, and is located on the northwest corner of Alaska and California. It’s the location of Easy Street Records and other businesses.

The Landmarks Preservation Board earlier approved the designation as a historic landmark in February 2017 and found that it met three of the six criteria for landmark status (only one is needed for landmark status):

  • It is associated in a significant way with a significant aspect of the cultural, political, or economic heritage of the community, City, state or nation;
  • It embodies the distinctive visible characteristics of an architectural style, or period, or of a method of construction;
  • Because of its prominence of spatial location, contrasts of siting, age, or scale, it is an easily identifiable visual feature of its neighborhood or the City and contributes to the distinctive quality or identity of such neighborhood or the City.

The Council’s vote will impose controls on the exterior of the building, the final step in the landmarks process. Here’s a link to the report of the Landmarks Preservation Board.

The Council earlier voted to approve landmark status for the Campbell Building in December, across the street. Both nominations came thanks to the work of the Southwest Seattle Historical Study Group, a collaboration of the SW Seattle Historical Society, SW District Council, West Seattle Junction Association, the Junction  Association (JuNO), and ArtsWest.

Many thanks to all of them for their work to help preserve our heritage in West Seattle!


Green Stormwater Infrastructure Program Investments for Longfellow Creek Coming

Green stormwater infrastructure helps capture and clean polluted water runoff from roads, roofs, parking lots and other sources. When it rains, water picks up oil, greases, metal and other pollution as it makes its way back to our rivers, lakes and ultimately the Puget Sound. This pollution is toxic to the wildlife in our streams. As such, in 2013, the Council and Mayor directed departments to work together to manage a goal of 700 million gallons of stormwater runoff using green infrastructure, this is part of the Consent Decree we entered into with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State Department of Ecology to reduce sewer overflows into Seattle’s water bodies. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) had initially allocated $30 million to this end. However, during last year’s Strategic Business Plan update the Council approved an additional $35 million over the next six-years.Rain wise installations map

The Utility is tackling this issue in a number of ways. Many of you may have seen signs around your neighborhood for the RainWise program. This program, for eligible customers, provides a possible rebate of up to $5,000 for the installation of a rain garden or cistern. These solutions clean the water before it carries the pollutants to our waterways preventing the toxins from harming our wildlife. If you’re interested in the program and would like to see if you’re eligible, please go here.

In addition to the smaller scale RainWise program, SPU is partnering with sister agencies to lower costs and install “bioretention” along many of our street blocks within Seattle’s three major watersheds: Longfellow Creek, Thornton Creek, and Pipers Creek. Specifically, Longfellow Creek will begin the design phase of these bioretention areas this year and construction is set to begin in 2019.

Finally, SPU is working to leverage redevelopment to lower costs while updating green infrastructure. They are working with the Office of Planning and Community Development to prioritize urban villages based on equity, growth, and density to improve drainage, water quality and livability in the most rapidly growing areas. While I am supportive of this partnership and the outcomes, it is important to note that SPU recognizes that these types of improvements, by making these communities more livable and desirable to higher -income individuals, have the potential to exacerbate displacement of low-income individuals and communities of color. We need to ensure that we couple these investments with citywide anti-displacement strategies.

If you’d like to learn more, you can see SPU’s presentation here, and watch it here.


Select Full Council Committee on MHA Established

On January 22, 2018 Council President Bruce Harrell established the 2018 Select Committee on Citywide Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA).  The committee was formed to begin the next steps to consider implementation of the citywide MHA including changes to land use regulations, zoning designations, comprehensive plan language and maps, neighborhood plan policies and changes to Urban Village boundaries.

The committee will also be considering development standards for all multifamily and commercial areas throughout the city.  The Council, in its MHA framework legislation passed in 2016, also signaled its intent to, in July of this year, and before the Council votes on the Citywide MHA zoning legislation, revisit mandatory developer housing affordability obligations that are required for all developments in areas receiving additional building capacity under proposed rezones.

Historic districts and the areas already rezoned will be excluded from these discussions as the rezones in these areas have already been voted on by City Council.  The City has completed rezoning in the University District, Downtown, South Lake Union, Chinatown/International District, the 23rd-Union-Jackson Urban Village and the Uptown Urban Village.

The first meeting of the Select Committee on Citywide MHA will be Monday January 29, 2018 in council chambers.

In this initial meeting we will be reviewing a short history of MHA as well as the MHA principles and maps.  There will be up to 20 minutes of public comment at the end of the meeting. For more information about District 1 MHA engagement opportunities please see my January 5th post on the issue.

 

 

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Taking Action on Sexual Harassment; California and Orchard Drainage Issue; In-District Office Hours

January 19th, 2018


Taking Action on Sexual Harassment

On Friday January 12th, I wrote to Mayor Jenny A. Durkan thanking her for her leadership on sexual harassment issues and asking her to work with me to look at the impact of sexual harassment on our city and to work together to ensure that every person is free to live and work in Seattle free from the impacts of gender-based violence.

In my letter to Mayor Durkan I outlined four actions moving forward.

  1. Statute of Limitations on Reporting Sexual Harassment

Recently a constituent contacted my office because she had tried to file a sexual harassment claim with the Seattle Office of Civil Rights (SOCR) only to find out that the harassment she experienced happened before the 180-day statute of limitations outlined in the Seattle Municipal Code. It often takes time for people to come forward because of shame, fear of reprisals, denial, history of prior sexual violence, and lack of information about what constitutes sexual harassment and how to report it.  As the chair of the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee, I’ll be working with SOCR to examine how the current statute of limitations impacts people experiencing sexual harassment.

In addition, we know that people with experiences of sexual harassment are more likely to come forward when we clearly define the associated behavior.  In working on legislation to address this issue it is also my hope to provide a clearer definition of sexual harassment than what is currently in the Seattle Municipal Code.

I’m consulting with the City Attorney’s Office and drafting legislation to address this issue.  This also involves working with the SOCR and subject matter experts to explore best practices and to help develop a stronger statute and to avoid any unintended consequences when making these changes.

Though my focus is on civil complaints against sexual harassment because this is the area where the city government has jurisdiction, it’s important to recognize that the State Legislature has proposed House Bill 1155 that would eliminate the statute of limitations for felony sex crimes.

  1. Employee Climate Survey

It’s important that in doing this work, we get our own house in order.  We live in a society with extremely high rates of gender-based violence. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 6 men have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives.   The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reports receiving 12,000 allegations of sex-based harassment each year.  Eighty-three percent of the complainants come from female employees.  As with other forms of gender-based violence we know that many people experiencing such harassment never tell anyone, as such the 12,000 allegations are likely a vast underreporting in comparison to the true impact this issue has on our communities.

In working to create a safe and welcoming climate for all employees I have asked Mayor Durkan to work with me to create an Employee Climate Survey.  Many people who experience harassment know something is not right long before they have the words to describe their experiences or the tools to take action.   According to the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, “The least common response to harassment is to take some formal action-either to report the harassment internally or file a formal legal complaint.”

We know that City employees want to come forward to tell their stories.  Recently a group of City employees has formed called the Silence Breakers.  See the coverage of their efforts here at Crosscut.  It is my hope that by administering an employee climate survey we can learn more both about how City employees perceive their work cultures and their comfortability in reporting inappropriate or dangerous behavior.

  1. Human Resource Review and Division Director Survey

I have asked the Executive to complete a comprehensive review of each individual human resource division responsible for addressing sexual harassment related issues within each of the executive departments and to collaborate in designing a Human Resource Division Directors’ Survey.  In making this request of the Executive I am also seeking the Legislative Department’s participation as well.

As we address this issue it’s important to ensure that the City of Seattle, and all its departments, model the practices we are working to create.   In looking deeper into the issue of sexual harassment it is likely that new information will come forward.  This is not a sign of failure.  In a climate where gender-based violence is prevalent, where reporting statistics are so low and where we haven’t, as a city, taken a comprehensive look at our anti-harassment provisions in over 20 years, it’s likely that there are experiences we haven’t yet heard.  This exploration is an opportunity for us to ensure that moving forward, we are all working together to create a climate where sexual harassment is not tolerated and that when employees do experience harassment it is dealt with in a respectful, appropriate, and efficient manner.

  1. Explore HR innovations in sexual harassment trainings

There was a time that people received short anti-harassment trainings that amounted to telling women to brush it off and telling men how to adjust their behavior to mitigate liability; that is if they received any training at all. According to the EEOC, traditional sexual harassment trainings have a limited efficacy because they are too focused on avoiding liability, rather than addressing the root of the problem.

There have been important innovations in anti-harassment trainings.  Bystander training is one of the innovations. The hallmarks of bystander training include:

  • Raising awareness of helping behaviors
  • Increasing motivation to address harmful or unjust situations
  • Developing skills and confidence when responding to problems
  • Ensure the safety and well-being of self and others

At a time in our history when our nation’s leader promotes individualism at the expense of caring for one another, our learning how to safely stand up in solidarity when anybody in our community is targeted can help us become our best selves.  Here is an article from the Seattle Times on Sunday about bystander training done by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, “America’s largest Muslim civil rights group.”

 


California and Orchard Drainage Issue

picture of drainage issue on california and orchard

Last October several Gatewood neighborhood residents contacted me about the water collection located at California Ave SW and SW Orchard St.  They had already contacted Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) without resolution of the problem. The water that seeped onto the sidewalk and roadway would freeze in the winter. My staff and I reached out to SPU and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to ask if a solution could be found.

The new year brought good news, and I was notified two weeks ago that SPU was able to fix this problem. You may have already learned this since the work was actually completed shortly before the new year. Drainage and Wastewater operations staff at SPU discovered an abandoned storm water pipe.  This allowed SPU to correct the problem of the water seepage because that they have been able to use the abandoned storm water pipe as a connection to newly route the water away from the sidewalk and street surface.

I want to thank everyone for their continued advocacy in order to resolve this issue.  My efforts would not have been as effective without your voices demonstrating to SPU that the water accumulation was an issue of concern. The observations of residents in this area monitoring the occurrence of this accumulation of water was critical to the identification of a solution.

 


In-District Office Hours

On January 26, I will be at the Southwest Neighborhood Service Center (2801 SW Thistle St) from 2:00p.m. – 6:45p.m. Please be sure to arrive no later than 6:30 pm, the final meeting of the day will begin at 6:30 p.m.

These hours are walk-in friendly, but if you would like to let me know you’re coming in advance you can email my scheduler Alex Clardy (alex.clardy@seattle.gov).

Additionally, I am working to put together a full list of in-district office hours available for 2018 by the end of this month. When those are available I will include them in my emails as well as post them on my website here.

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Progressive Revenue Task Force; Your Voice, Your Choice; Response to Marijuana Decision; Waste-Free Communities Grant Now Open

January 12th, 2018


Progressive Revenue Task Force

Thursday January 4, 2018 was the first meeting of the Progressive Revenue Task Force.  The task force was established by Resolution 31782, passed during the November Budget discussion soon after a narrow majority of Councilmembers voted against the progressive Employee Hours Tax (EHT) that would have funded $13 million in programs serving homeless people as well as creating a new on-going revenue stream that we could bond against – in order to invest nearly $50 million more each year (over and above the annual Housing Levy funds) to build 2000 additional new units of affordable housing.

Though they voted “no,” on that version of an Employee Hours Tax, at the same time a majority of Councilmembers sent a clear signal supporting future passage of a progressive EHT that would generate between $25 million and $75 million in revenue per year.  The resolution outlined a scope of work for the task force including:

  1. Explore potential new progressive revenue sources, including an Employee Hours Tax (EHT)
  2. Identify investments to be paid for using those progressive revenue sources that would assist people who are homeless or at high risk of becoming homeless in obtaining and retaining stable housing

There are four task force co-chairs; two City Council chairs and two community co-chairs.  Councilmember Gonzalez and I co-chair the task force with community co-chairs: Progress Alliance of Washington Program Director and former Councilmember Kirsten Harris-Talley and Homesight Executive Director Tony To.

The first meeting of the task force was an opportunity to meet the task force members, introduce the co-chairs and discuss and approve a work plan.  The task force will be meeting 4 more times.  The final meeting will be March 1, when the task force will review the draft report based on their recommendations and finalize it.  The next Progressive Revenue Task Force meeting will be Thursday January 18th.  The task force meetings are open to the public and future meetings will be recorded by the Seattle Channel.  You can find information about the time and location of task force meetings on the City Council’s website calendar page.


Your Voice, Your Choice Parks and Streets: Idea Collection

The Department of Neighborhoods (DON) is accepting proposals for the Your Voice, Your Choice Parks and Streets grant program, through February 2.

A project is eligible if it benefits the public, is a physical or capital improvement project in Seattle’s parks or streets, and does not exceed $90,000.

Eligible projects include:

  • Streets: curb bulbs, flashing beacons, low cost sidewalks, low cost curbing, median pedestrian crossings, speed humps, curb ramps, traffic circles, and asphalt paths;
  • Parks: accessible picnic tables, park benches, park entrances, trail improvements, equipment improvements, and minor structural improvements

Here’s a link to visual examples of eligible projects; you can submit ideas here.

The revised budget balancing package I proposed during the budget process added an additional $1 million in funding, proposed by former Councilmember Kirsten Harris-Talley, increasing the total 2018 funding available to $3 million.

Public voting will take place from June 16 to July 16.

Here’s a link to apply to serve on the Steering Committee; applications are due by January 19 at 6 p.m.

DON indicated that some projects submitted but not funded in 2017 will be carried over for consideration in 2018. The Citywide map of these projects is here. There are two links for District 1; here’s the southern D1 map, and the northern D1 map.

DON published a review of the 2017 process and plans for 2018, available here. You can contact program coordinator Kraig.Cook@seattle.gov at DON for any questions.


Statement in Response to Attorney General Sessions’ Marijuana Decision

Last week, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his intent to change the federal government’s approach to legalized marijuana. As chair of the Council’s committee on issues related to economic development, I released the following statement:

“Seattle, with critical vision and leadership from the cannabis industry, has approached marijuana legalization diligently and responsibly, and developed thoughtful and reasonable City regulations for how marijuana establishments would operate in our communities.  We barred dispensaries from opening near schools, libraries, parks, child care centers, or playgrounds recognizing the federal government’s interest in maintaining public safety and distancing businesses from children.  Critical to this successful outcome has been the creation of cannabis trade organizations that, very early on, promoted good business practices with community safety and business responsibility as central to their mission.

“As a city where marijuana growers and retailers are good community partners, and contribute to economic development, the federal government’s new approach is both alarming and disappointing, especially when there are much more significant issues to address.

“Seattle currently hosts approximately 42 retail locations, and dozens of related businesses. Our City has been allocated $569,891 in 2018 tax proceeds due to marijuana sales. Statewide, marijuana revenues support substance abuse programs, community health centers, the state’s portion of Medicaid, dropout prevention programs, and many other priorities. Minimizing the bad, old underground cannabis market has made our communities safer.  I hope the Western Washington United States Attorney recognizes that ending or scaling back marijuana legalization in Washington would have far more reaching implications than one might think.”


Waste-Free Communities Grant Now Open

Seattle Public Utilities is accepting applications through February 23, for the new “Waste-Free Communities Matching Grant.” This grant focus is community based projects that prevent waste by using less, reusing items, and sharing or donating items. The total fund is $100,000 to be awarded in 2018-2019.

If you’re a non-profit, business, community group, or school interested in reducing waste you should consider applying. Grants can range from $2,000 to $15,000. The application deadline is February 23, and notices of decisions will be sent in April. If you’re interested, go here to apply, and send me an email about your application too!

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Schmitz Park Property Acquisition; New Parking Regulations Coming; Delridge H Line public meetings; Apply for the Stakeholder Advisory Group; Sign Up for Alert Seattle; MHA District 1 Open House and Public Comment Opportunities; University District Small Business Impact Study

January 5th, 2018

Schmitz Park Property Acquisition

On Monday, years of work finally came to fruition. It was December 2015, just a week after my election was certified, and before I took office when I toured Bruce Stotler’s property on the southeast edge of Schmitz Park. I was joined by the Southwest Historical Society and Forterra (a land conservation non-profit).  Forterra was interested in helping to preserve the property and potentially purchase it because, at the time, the Parks Department was not.

However, due to the persistence and hard work of many people, the Parks Department became convinced that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The Parks Department will purchase the 5,000-square foot plot for $225,000, which is less than half of its assessed value of $473,000. The funds will come from the 2008 levy which are mainly used to support property acquisition, capital expansion, development, and renovation of Seattle Parks and Parks facilities. The purchase will also use an innovative policy called the “life-estate agreement” which will allow Bruce to remain in his home.

I want to thank Bruce first for his generosity which will positively impact Schmitz Park and the surrounding community for decades. I also want to thank everyone else who helped make Bruce’s dream come true; including former Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Vicki Schmitz-Block, Nancy Sorensen, Forterra, the Southwest Historical Society, former Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre, Chip Nevins with the Parks Department, and my staff Alex Clardy.

 

New Parking Regulations Coming

Since passing legislation in 2012 the City has not required parking for residential development in urban villages, when the multifamily development is located within 1320 feet (about ¼ mile) from a stop with frequent transit service.  You can find maps of urban villages here.

In 2015, the Council passed Ordinance 124608, which specifically requested an analysis of the City’s vehicle and bicycle parking requirements for residential uses, here is the report.  I asked several follow up questions to which I received a response in late October, you can see the questions and answers here.

The City is now taking up new neighborhood parking legislation and, among other things, changing its definition of “Frequent Transit Service.”  In 2015, I expressed my concern with how the City was implementing the ordinance regarding parking exemptions in frequent transit areas.  I sent a letter to the Hearing Examiner supporting an appeal of a project in West Seattle.  My specific concern is that if the City averages headways across all routes that pick up at a particular bus stop in order to determine Frequent Transit Service that doesn’t mean that this stop is actually providing frequent transportation to where a person needs to go. The concept of Frequent Transit Service is linked to the idea that if a person has a bus near their home that comes often, and goes where they regularly need to go, then they may be less likely to have a car.  There are 2 principles to test here.  The first is testing the principle that being “more likely to take transit” also means that someone is less likely to have a car that they need to park.  The second issue is, will a person be more likely to take transit (and less likely to have a car if principle 1 is true) if one has access to many buses that, on average come every 15 minutes, but the bus that is needed for a daily commute comes less frequently?

At the meeting this week Council Central Staff reported that the accepted average for the cost of creating below-grade parking is $35,000 per space, plus $300 a month in operational costs.  I’m not convinced that reducing the cost to developers to provide these spaces will result in reduced costs for renters and have asked how rental costs differ between developments with and without on-site parking.  This kind of data is apparently not available in Seattle.

Additionally, the legislation would uncouple parking costs from rent.  This would allow renters the ability to opt out of paying a monthly fee for a parking space.  I certainly support finding ways for renters to reduce their living expenses, but I am concerned that the requirement of uncoupling parking costs from rent, without an obligation for a tenant to demonstrate that they do not own a vehicle, may incentivize more people to use limited on-street parking spaces instead of using the parking provided onsite.

More information on the proposed legislation is available here, and recommendations from the Mayor to the City Council are available here.

On Wednesday, in Councilmember Johnson’s Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee, we had the initial discussion about the legislation the Council will take up. A process was outlined in that committee which includes a Public Hearing that will likely be in February and a potential vote on final legislation in March. You can stay up-to-date by signing up for committee agenda’s here.

 

Delridge H Line public meetings

In January, King County Metro will be hosting public meetings about the RapidRide H Line, as part of its plans to convert Bus Route 120 to a Rapid Ride line in 2020. There will be three meetings for the route, which travels through Burien, White Center, Westwood Village, Delridge, then on to Downtown:

 

The meeting in West Seattle will be on Wednesday, January 17, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW). The format will be an open house with Metro and SDOT from 5-6:30 p.m. Following that at 7 p.m. will be a meeting with the Delridge District Council beginning at 7 p.m., to review and provide input on design elements and implementation. All are welcome.

 

The two other meetings will be Wednesday, January 10, 5-8 p.m., Burien Community Center, Shorewood Room (147600 6th Avenue SW, Burien), and Thursday, January 11, 5-8 p.m., Mount View Elementary School (10811 12th Avenue SW in White Center).

Metro also has a H Line Online Open House and survey, available here.

The goals of Rapid Ride are:

  • Greater frequency and reliability for each commutes downtown and cross-town as well as travel within the neighborhood.
  • Additional service on nights and weekend.
  • Improvements for sidewalks, street crossings, and paths for getting to stops for pedestrians and bikes, and for those with limited mobility.

More information is available at Metro’s H Ride webpage.

 

Apply for the Stakeholder Advisory Group for West Seattle and Ballard Light Rail

Sound Transit is seeking community members to serve on the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions Stakeholder Advisory Group.

The Stakeholder Advisory Group will provide a forum for community members to inform the development of alternatives for the West Seattle and Ballard light rail projects. Advisory group members will work through project issues and build consensus around key project decisions, highlight specific issues and trade-offs in the corridor, make recommendations to help identify alternatives to study during environmental review, and identify a preferred alternative.

You can apply here. The link includes information about and what they’d like in members (e.g. understanding public transportation; understanding one or more of the affected communities along the corridor; willingness to act as a community ambassador and share information with community members).

The deadline to apply is January 22 at 5 p.m. The Advisory Group will meet monthly beginning in February, through Spring 2019.

Sound Transit’s goal is for the Sound Transit Board to identify a Preferred Alternative in April 2019. Here’s a chart showing where the work of the Stakeholder Advisory Group fits in that timeline. As District 1 representative, I am serving on the Elected Leadership Group, which met for the first time yesterday; here’s a link to materials.  The Stakeholder Advisory Group will make recommendations to the Elected Leadership Group; the Elected Leadership Group will make recommendations to the Sound Transit Board of Directors.

 

Sign Up for Alert Seattle

Please help the Seattle Office of Emergency Management to increase the number of people signed up for Alert Seattle.  Their goal is signing up 10,000 more people.  You can sign up here.

What is Alert Seattle?  Alert Seattle is the official emergency notification system used by the City of Seattle to communicate with city customers and residents during emergencies. The system was launched in August of 2015 and currently there are over 28,000 people signed up to receive alerts via text, email, and phone. While 28,000 is a good start, it represents only about 4% of the total population of the city.

In 2017, Alert Seattle was used on multiple occasions to communicate emergency information to the public, including by the Seattle Fire Department to alert residents of a gas leak, and the Seattle Police Department to alert residents to stay out of an area downtown impacted by ongoing police operations and the pursuit of an armed individual. Each of these notifications reached approximately 25,000 individuals. Increasing the number of people signed up for the system, means more people will have access to this type of important emergency information. In addition to emergency alerts, people signing up can also choose from a menu of community notifications regarding traffic and utility disruptions, severe weather, and emergency preparedness. The system is not only intended for those who live in the city, but also those people from throughout the region that come here on a daily basis for work, school, shopping, entertainment, and other activities.

 

Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) District 1 Open House and Public Comment Opportunities

Last year the Full Council adopted MHA for each the University District,  Downtown & South Lake Union; 23rd and Union-Jackson Residential Urban Village, the Chinatown International District and Uptown. The Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program requires all developers in urban villages to contribute to affordable housing by either building it onsite or paying into a City fund for affordable housing. The city plans to develop 6,000 affordable units with the implementation of the MHA program.

This year the City Council will form a Committee of the Whole to review the proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) Legislation.  This legislation has been in development by the Executive for the last couple years and was finally proposed to the City Council in late 2017.  There will be two new opportunities in District 1 to learn more about and give public comment on MHA. First is an open house on Wednesday May 9, 2018 at Louisa Boren K-8 (5950 Delridge Way SW Seattle, WA 98106).  The open house will be an opportunity to review the proposed MHA zoning changes for the District 1 urban villages; Admiral, Morgan Junction, South Park, West Seattle Junction, Westwood-Highland Park.  Snacks and drinks will be provided and everyone is welcome to attend.

Additionally, the City Council will be hosting a public hearing on MHA in District 1 on Tuesday June 5, 2018 at Chief Sealth High School (2600 SW Thistle St, Seattle, WA 98126).  There will also be a citywide public comment session on June 25, 2018 at Seattle City Hall.

You can find the calendar of all Open Houses and Public Hearings here.

 

University District Small Business Impact Study

On Tuesday December 12, 2017, the Civil Rights, Economic Development and Arts Committee received a briefing on the University District Small Business Impact Study.  I was joined by former Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, Rick McLaughlin of Big Time Brewery, Chris Peterson of Café Allegro and Pamela Jacob of Pam’s Kitchen, Michael Wells of the Office of Economic Development, and Aly Pennucci from Central Staff.  Last year, during the discussion of the University District Urban Design Framework  and the Mandatory Housing Affordability program in the University District and prior to passage of Ordinance 125267, the bill was amended to delay making any changes to the University District – or “The Ave” to allow more time for the small business owners on “The Ave” to complete this small business impact study and evaluate the impacts of these zoning changes on these businesses.

The study is prefaced with a quote from Jane Jacobs, in her famous book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, wrote: “The trust of a city street is formed over time from many, many little public sidewalk contacts. It grows out of people stopping by at the bar for a beer, getting advice from the grocer and giving advice to the newsstand man, comparing opinions with other customers at the bakery and nodding hello to the two boys drinking pop on the stoop…”

The study goes on to say how “Small, independent, owner-operated neighborhood businesses such as pubs and cafes, bakeries, pharmacies, galleries, retailers, makers, dance studios, professional services, and nonprofit organizations are what define neighborhood character and authenticity, and the foundation for vibrant, walkable, and sustainable communities.”

I was pleased that among recommendations related to displacement and gentrification, transportation, and zoning and development standards, and business services provided by the Office of Economic Development, the report included support for adopting “best practice anti-displacement measures to protect small businesses, such as San Francisco’s Legacy Business Program.”  A Seattle Legacy Business Program is an effort I have been pursuing for the last 2 years now.  You can read previous blog post about my work on legacy businesses here, here and here.

You can watch the full presentation and discussion here.  The full University District Small Business Vulnerability Study can be found here.

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