Comp Plan Docketing Amendments; MHA Update; No Big Salary Bonus for 2016; In-District Office Hours Update

Comp Plan Docketing Amendments

In the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee this Tuesday we discussed and voted on the Comprehensive Plan docketing resolution. An important inclusion in the resolution for “docketing,” or study and consideration in the 2018 Annual Comprehensive Plan Update, is direction to city departments to analyze and propose amendments to our Comprehensive Plan establishing a new developer impact-fee program to fund transportation, parks, and school needs associated with new development. Here is a Seattle Times editorial I co-authored with Councilmembers O’Brien and Bagshaw on the topic.

In addition, I brought forward two amendments:

  1. A requirement for formal community planning engagement before changes to three Morgan Junction Neighborhood Plan policies.
  2. A policy related to monitoring growth in urban centers and villages. This proposal would reintroduce policies that were previously removed from the Comprehensive Plan that would require the City to make adjustments to investments and growth thresholds when growth exceeds or falls short of our projections.

The first amendment was held at committee and not voted on. Councilmember Johnson agreed to work with me to develop a compromise and to vote on at Full Council on Monday, August 7. The second amendment failed with both Councilmembers Johnson and Gonzalez voting against it. While I’m disappointed that this amendment failed, the Office of Planning and Community Development does still report, on a quarterly bases, the growth in our urban center/villages. However, should growth exceed or not meet the Council’s expectations there is no specific mechanism that requires the Council to act in either providing resources to the effected communities in the way of increased infrastructure or neighborhood planning.

Comp plan pic


MHA Update

If you have comments on the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) Citywide Rezone Draft Environmental Impact Statement, don’t forget to comment by Monday, August 7, by using OPCD’s online form, by email to, or by mail to:

Office of Planning and Community Development
PO Box 34019
Seattle, WA 98124-4019

You may recall that I wrote last month about a letter that I sent to Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) Director, Sam Assefa. My letter focused on the displacement risk analysis for Citywide Mandatory Housing Affordability Implementation and it also requested an additional extension of the comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) from August 7 to August 28 and asks OPCD to do additional analysis. This letter addresses serious concerns that I raised in two previous blog posts, here and here. I received a response from Director Assefa and though he declined my request to further extend the comment period on the DEIS, he did agree to significant new analysis on the displacement risks associated with the proposed upzones. I am specifically seeking more detailed quantitative analysis of displacement impacts on people-of-color and a more qualitative analysis of cultural displacement, both disaggregated to the neighborhood level.  Director Assefa has also made an important commitment that the draft Final EIS will be shared with Council prior to publication. If the analysis for the FEIS is not sufficient to quantify disparate impacts, I may consider commissioning additional analyses either through a peer-review of the FEIS or other measure. I appreciate Director Assefa and his staff’s efforts to work with me.

In addition, I am currently working with Councilmember Johnson on a formal comment on the DEIS, including specific D1 concerns, as well as confirming these important commitments with Director Assefa.

For more information about the environmental review process watch OPCD’s What is an EIS? video. The Washington State Department of Ecology also has information about SEPA and the EIS process.


No Big Salary Bonus in 2017 for 2016

You may recall, from my email on July 20th, I shared with you a letter to Mayor Murray regarding the Seattle City Light CEO performance pay criteria and asking the Mayor to share those criteria with me. The performance pay criteria are important because of State Attorney General’s guidance in setting objective criteria which measures performance that exceeds the expectations of the job.

I had previously raised concerns about this pay during the appointment of Larry Weis, but ultimately voted to appoint Weis despite those concerns because the Council did not have the authority to prohibit the bonus without first repealing a law a previous Council approved back in 2003.

I’m pleased to report that on July 27, the Mayor replied to my letter, stating that though CEO Weis and he are still in conversations regarding the criteria for future performance pay, that due to expectations having not yet been codified, CEO Weis would not receive performance pay for 2016.

I don’t know if it was my asking whether there were established performance criteria that led to the Mayor ultimately deciding that performance pay was not merited. If so, it shows that when asked, good questions can save taxpayers money.


In-District Office Hours Update

Due to the Council’s late August Recess my next tentatively scheduled in-district office hours will be on Friday, September 22 at the South Park Community Center (8319 8th Ave S).

Here is a complete list of my tentatively scheduled office hours for the rest of 2017. These are subject to change.

Date Location Address
Friday, September 22, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8th Avenue S
Friday, October 27, 2017 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center 2801 SW Thistle St
Friday, December 15, 2017 South Park Community Center 8319 8th Avenue S


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