Capitol Hill Community Council
Cal Anderson Shelterhouse
May 22, 2014, 6:30
6:30 Welcome and announcements:
CAPA yard sale
6:35 CH Champion update John Akamatsu and Cathy Hillenbrand 5 min
Upcoming June community meeting
6:40 Streetcar Extension Update (Emily Mannetti) 10 min Where the project stands, upcoming open house, and opening dialogue with community
6:50 Committee Report:
· Safety Summary
7:00 By-laws: John and Erie 10 disc (to be discussed one more time in June, and voted on during the July meeting).
· Revising quorum
7:10 City Light and City Construction Hub team 25 min
7:35 Mike Podowski, DPD 40 min
· update on zoning heights and microhousing legislation
8:10 Brady Walkinshaw, Representative of 43rd Legislative District 10 minutes
John Akamatsu, Vice President
To accommodate the many schedules involved for the May General meeting, we have moved the meeting to May 22 instead of May 15.
This was announced at the April meeting.
Our next meeting will be devoted to the issue of a $15/hour minimum wage, and how it affects Cap Hill. We will have people from varying sides of this issue to present and answer questions: a representative from Councilmember Sawants office, representatives from local business, from SEICU, and hopefully more.
This is an important topic, and we want your voice to be heard.
Thursday April 17th, 6:30 Cal Anderson Park shelter house
6:30-6:45 Announcements and quick bylaw vote
6:45-6:50 Alyssa Introduces Minimum Wage & Capitol Hill Panel and Lays Ground Rules
6:50-7:00 Ted Virdone, Legislative Assistant to Kshama Sawant provides updates/overview of issue
7:00-7:25 5 minutes per panelist for intro and position statement
7:25-7:35 Panelists Address pre-determined clarifying questions from Council
7:35-8:00 Q&A open to all
-Jess Spear, Organizing Director 15 Now
-Volunteer, 15 Now
-Michael Wells, Director of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce
This proposal is still fluid – we need your input!
April 17, CaL Anderson Park shelter house 6:30
From Capitol Hill Seattle blog:
Last week, a Department of Neighborhoods community group considered nine new street and parks project for central Seattle and Capitol Hill. Below, you’ll find the three projects that made it through and are being studied for feasibility by the city to be part of some $1.2 million in funding through the Neighborhood Parks and Street Fund. We’ve also included descriptions of all the proposals just in case you want to rally around one of the passed-over ideas next year or you find something to inspire a similar project in your own neighborhood.
Project 2014-064 would create street, sidewalk and crossing improvements to E Madison for pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle safety at the site where a man was seriously injured in a collision with a cyclist last year.
Project 2014-021 would add curb bulbs and marked cross walks at the busy and frequently-crossed intersection of 23rd Ave and Boyer.
Project 2014-012 would repair a half-block stretch of “heaving” sidewalk on the north side of E Madison between Boren and McDonald’s.
No projects from Capitol Hill were chosen, mainly because only one Capitol Hill project (2014-052) was submitted.
To see all the proposals and read comments from District Coordinator, Tim Durkan, go here.
Sound Transit posted the RFQ for the CH TOD site, to develop its surplus properties as the light rail construction sheds its outside construction sites. (You can read a saved, zipped version here without registering for the ST site.) Besides pushing for the public amenities, the CH Champion also:
* Secured a public meeting co-hosted by ST, where the community will be able to meet proposing teams and bring in the community’s energy and vision.
* Published a concise piece of communication that will provide developers clear initial guidance, and an open door for further discussion.
The by-laws changes continue to be under consideration. Due to time constraints or lack of eligible or interested voting members, the changes still need to be approved. Here is the narrative, map, and changes as they will be discussed at the February meeting.
From Capitol Hill Seattle Blog
A group of neighborhood activists organizing against taller building appear to have landed a major victory despite a year of rising demand for housing on Capitol Hill — and rising rents.
Following a petition and flyer campaign, Council memberSally Clark has called for the City of Seattle to consider lowering building heights in areas zoned for lowrise townuses and apartments.
The code correction would specifically target Lowrise 3 multi-family zones which includes most of the lowrise areas in Capitol Hill. “There is a sense that these new generation buildings have more height than necessary,” said city planner Geoff Wentlandt.
The Department of Planning and Development will hold a public meeting January 14th at 6:30 PM at Lowell Elementary to get public feedback on lowering the height limits. You can also provide feedback via email.
According to planners, lowering the height limits would mean fewer surprises for neighbors of new developments and would ensure those developments fit with the character of lowrise neighborhoods.
2013 was marked by a continued rise in housing costs on Capitol Hill as rents continued to soar and solutions like rent control became a serious part of political debate in the city. A recent report touted by the Seattle Times predicts that the city’s soaring rents may “stabilize” in the coming year — but even that report indicates a significant improvement in affordability in the area is unlikely.
In the meantime, CHS has noted a “mini-explosion” of townhouse development activity in the neighborhood.
The groundwork for the lowrise conflict was laid in 2010 when Clark spearheaded an update to the multifamily zoning code, including allowances for higher buildings. Now that the first generation of buildings under the new code has been constructed, many neighbors have complained the buildings aren’t keeping in the spirit of lowrise development. Where lowrise development is generally thought of as three to four-story townhouses and apartments, some developers have used incentives to cram five stories into tightly packed apartment andmicrohousing buildings.
A five-story microhousing building at 17th and Olive St., along with a handful of others, have sparked an outpouring of complaints that developers were pushing the height limits in onerous ways. In the meantime, Seattle’s Hearing Examiner will consider an appeal this week of a decision to approve rules to further regulate microhousing developments brought by some of the slow growth groups and Capitol Hill land use activist Dennis Saxman.
For the process to reconsider lowrise zoning, in an October letter (PDF), Council member Clark requested the DPD reconsider the height limits after meeting with some of the activists:
The concern they raised that I find most compelling has to do with ways some developers are combining incentives and the new approach to measuring height. Bottom line – I never envisioned or intended that developers would be able to achieve five stories in LR3 zones. I think five stories is too big a change in height and scale for the LR3 zone.
You can learn more on the city’s Lowrise Multifamily Code Corrections page.
Lowrise Multifamily Code Correction Community Meeting
When Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 6:30 – 8pm
Location Lowell Elementary School
1058 E. Mercer St.
Website Lowrise Multifamily Code Corrections
Event Contact Geoff Wentlandt
Event Contact Email Geoffrey.Wentlandt@seattle.gov
Event Contact Phone (206) 684-3586
We are studying recent buildings constructed in lowrise multifamily zoned areas, particularly the lowrise 3 areas. We will be considering code changes to help ensure the new buildings fit into the neighborhoods. To help guide our clean-up of the Lowrise 3 multi-family zones, we’re reaching out to interested groups. In particular we want to hear from neighborhood residents who live in or near lowrise multi-family zoned areas. We also want to hear directly from builders and designers of housing.
The January 14th meeting is a citywide meeting to talk about the citywide issue of building height limits in Lowrise Multifamily zones. (Links to meeting info and project website are below.) We want to hear from residents and others about how buildings built recently in lowrise zones are fitting into neighborhoods. Capitol Hill has several areas of lowrise zoning. We’re evaluating possibilities for reducing allowable building height.
The meeting will be held on Capitol Hill at Lowell Elementary School at 6:30PM – 8:00PM. Please contact me if you want to discuss, and please pass this information on to members of your group if you would like.
Meeting info: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/aboutus/news/events/default.htm?trumbaEmbed=eventid%3D108385105%26view%3Devent%26-childview%3D
Project Website: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/codesrules/changestocode/lowrisecorrections/whatwhy/default.htm
Geoffrey Wentlandt AICP, LEED AP
City of Seattle
Department of Planning & Development