Category Archives: Sustainability

Capitol Hill Community Council

 

Open-House-Graphics-Header

December Open House

December 14th 6:00 – 8:00 PM, Vermilion

Our council represents the diverse needs of those living & working on Capitol Hill to encourage a sense of community and foster community development.

On this night we want to highlight the year and collaborate with YOU (the neighborhood) on the great things we have planned for next year.

Refreshments, local delicious pies from Sizzle Pie, and treats from Cupcake Royale will be served!

So come and join the PARTY and help us build a stronger community!

+PLUS! Updates from the Capitol Hill Champion!

 

 

Ten Cities Where the Most People Walk to Work

According to 247wallst.com, Seattle rates number 7 in cities where people walked to work. Of course, Capitol Hill plays a large part of this, despite the proliferation of residential building in Belltown and South Lake Union.

Just 2.9% of American workers walked to work as of 2012, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. However, the Census Bureau notes that there were massive regional differences in the proportion of people who chose to walk to a work. Different factors influence commuters’ preferences, including a city’s layout, climate, and infrastructure.

Boston residents were the most likely Americans to walk to work, with 15.1% doing so as of 2012. By comparison, less than 1% of workers in Gilbert, Arizona and Plano, Texas commuted on foot. Based on U.S. Census Bureau figures, these are the cities with the highest percentage of commuters walking to work.

While commuters choose walking for various reasons — ranging from lack of resources to simply residing near their place of business — many of the cities reviewed were also pleasant places to walk. The publicly accessible walkability index generated by Walk Score gave seven of the 10 cities a score of at least 70, a rating described as “very walkable,” as measured by residents’ proximity to amenities as well as friendliness to pedestrians. New York City, where more than 10% of residents walked to work, had a walk score of 87.6, the highest in the nation

High population densities also tended to encourage walking. For example, the New York City metropolitan area was the densest metro area nationwide, with 31,683 people per square mile in 2010. The area included two of the cities where a high proportion of commuters walked to work, New York City and Jersey City. Five other cities on this list were among the country’s 10 most densely-populated metro areas.

A walkable city also tends to support public transit and bike infrastructure. The cities where people walked most to work also had among the nation’s top five transit systems, as measured by Walk Score. These include New York, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, which all have well-developed and heavily used public transportation systems. On an average weekday, the New York area’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a dailyridership of more than 8.5 million people.

Cities where people walk to work are also often ideal destinations for residents who enjoy riding bikes. Five of these cities were among the 10 best large cities for the quality of biking. Most notably, San Francisco was the third best such city, with a bike score of 70, according to Walk Score. In fact, some of these cities not only had a high proportion of workers who walked to work, but also a substantial proportion of commuters who biked. In Madison, Wisconsin, more than 5% of workers commuted by bicycle, the second-most of any major city.

Of course, with walking a viable option for a large number of workers in these cities — in many cases supplemented by biking and public transit — relatively few households elected to own cars. As of 2012, just 9.2% of households nationwide did not have a car. In New York, that number was greater than 56%, the highest in the U.S. At least a third of households did not own a vehicle in half of the cities where people were most likely to commute by walking.

Many cities promote walking as a way to get-around due to the various health benefits associated with regular, brisk walking. According to the American Heart Association, walking half an hour a day reduces the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and stroke, while helping people improve their blood pressure and lower their body weight.

Based on recently released U.S Census Bureau figures, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the cities with the most workers walking to work between 2008 and 2012. Walk Score produced the figures on the quality of walking, biking and public transit. Data on population-weighted density and the percent of households without a vehicle are based on the 2010 Census and 2012 American Community Survey (ACS), respectively. We used the 2012 ACS for population data.

 

…..

7. Seattle, Wash.
> Pct. walking to work: 9.1% (tied for 6th)
> Walk score: 70.8 (10th highest)
> Pct. households with no car: 16.7% (23rd highest)
> Population density (of metro area): 4,721.6 (24th highest)

Seattle had the ninth best public transit score among all cities, according to Walk Score, which also ranked the city 10th for walkability, and 11th for bike friendliness. As a result, many residents chose to avoid driving to work. More than 9% commuted to work on foot and another 3.4% by bike, both among the highest proportions in the country. According to the Seattle Department of Transportation, the city’s long-term goal is to become the nation’s most walkable city. Although the Seattle metro area is more densely populated than most cities, the population is still relatively widely dispersed in comparison to New York, Boston, San Francisco, and other large cities of similar size.

 

Read more: Ten Cities Where the Most People Walk to Work – 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/05/16/ten-cities-where-the-most-people-walk-to-work/#ixzz32BUEpEf3

 

 

 

Development on Capitol Hill

In anticipation of our development-focused General Meeting on 5/22/14, here are a few pictures of some of the latest buildings being erected, as well as some buildings that have had neighbors complaining.

CHS: City considers curbing building heights in response to outcry from neighborhood groups

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.
Seattle, WA
Website Lowrise Multifamily Code Corrections
Event Contact Geoff Wentlandt
Event Contact Email Geoffrey.Wentlandt@seattle.gov
Event Contact Phone (206) 684-3586
What
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.

DPD Jan. 14th Community Meeting – lowrise zone building heights

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

Sincerely,

Geoffrey Wentlandt  AICP, LEED AP

 Senior Planner
City of Seattle
Department of Planning & Development
Geoffrey.Wentlandt@Seattle.gov
p. 206-684-3586

Micro housing and SEPA comment period

From the DPD:

We welcome your comments on our proposed micro-housing legislation. Read the new regulations on our project documents page and then e-mail your feedback or ideas, by October 21, to mike.podowski@seattle.gov or geoffrey.wentlandt@seattle.gov.

State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Review Draft
On October 7, 2013 we released proposed new rules for micro-housing and congregate residences along with a Director’s Report. We also published notice of a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) on the proposed rules, as a part of the required State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review. The SEPA comment period runs from October 7 through October 21 of 2013.

Staff Draft – Micro-Housing Preliminary Recommendations
Our preliminary recommendations for code changes to address the permitting and design of micro-housing is discussed in the memo below. We’ve drafted our preliminary recommendations based on input from elected officials, residents, and property owners.

  • Background Appendices

Champion update on Sound Transit meetings for Sept ’13

From Mel Burchett at Capitol Hill Champion:

Thanks again to all of you who have supported the Champion’s efforts in realizing and advocating for the community’s vision for the development at the Broadway Light Rail Station.

This afternoon Sound Transit’s Capital Committee will meet to discuss the Development Agreement that was unanimously approved by City Council on August 5th and will implement some of the neighborhood vision for affordable housing, public plaza, festival street and more.  The public is welcome to attend, but please note that public comment will NOT be taken during this meeting.

The Champion will provide testimony in support of the Development Agreement at the September 26th Sound Transit Board Meeting. Public comment is welcome and will be taken at the start of the meeting, but there is no need to speak. You can support the Champion and Community by simply attending and standing up during our testimony to be counted.

We want to show our appreciation to the Sound Transit Board for taking the big step of embracing the process with Capitol Hill and the precedent it sets.

Sound Transit Board Votes on Development Agreement

Thursday, 26 September 1:30 – 4:00 PM

Union Station, Ruth Fisher Boardroom
401 S. Jackson St.

Submit written comments before the vote to: caphilltod@soundtransit.org

questions?? / comments- email caphilltod@gmail.com

 

Mel Burchett
Community Outreach
Capitol Hill Champion
mel@caphillchamber.org

City of Seattle awards $465,000 in matching funds to support community-initiated projects

Neighborhood Matching Fund awards were announced September 5. Reviewers met in early summer to meet the applicants and to review the projects. Awards were based on the merit of the projects themselves. This year, John Akamatsu was the City Wide Reviewer from the East District.

Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle City Council today announced $465,000 in awards from the Neighborhood Matching Fund for six community-initiated projects. With awards ranging from $41,250 to $100,000, the matching funds go to neighborhood groups for projects as diverse as building play spaces to creating an agriculture demonstration project for youth.

“The Neighborhood Matching Fund reflects the city’s commitment to providing concrete ways to help community members make Seattle a better place to live,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “The fund serves as a resource and catalyst for community members to turn their creative ideas and energy into reality.”

Recipients of the Neighborhood Matching Fund match their awards through a combination of cash, donated materials and expertise, and volunteer labor. This round of Large Projects Fund projects is matching the city’s $465,000 contribution with resources valued at $936,000.

“Community volunteers make these projects happen. They raise the money, donate their time, and reach out to neighbors over the span of several years all in an effort to make improvements to their neighborhood and community,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, chair of the Parks and Neighborhoods Committee. “They truly are committed to fostering and building a better Seattle, and we are richer for it.”

The Neighborhood Matching Fund Large Projects Fund applications are reviewed by the Citywide Review Team (CRT) which recommends the projects to the Mayor and City Council. Made up of volunteers from each of the 13 neighborhood districts, plus four at-large community members, the CRT reviews applications, interviews applicants, and makes funding recommendations. The applications are also reviewed by members from District Councils.

Created to promote and support community-based, self-help projects, the Neighborhood Matching Fund is managed by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Fund has awarded approximately $50 million with a community match of more than $71 million. The next opportunity to apply to the Neighborhood Matching Fund is through its Small and Simple Projects Fund. The deadline for applications is October 7. To learn more, visit www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/.

2013 Large Projects Fund Awarded Organizations and Projects:

Central Area Urban Gardeners for the Central Area Urban Gardeners Project

Awarded $67,330; Community match $71,138

Equipment purchase and installation to support a new agricultural demonstration project designed to grow healthy, safe, affordable, organic vegetables indoors. It will involve year-round training and education in food production for youth in the community.

Madison Valley Community Council for the Madison Valley Neighborhood Landmark Construction

Awarded $41,250; Community match $100,000

Construction of a neighborhood landmark sign located at East Madison St and 28th Ave East, the heart of the district. Plans include landscaping, a means to advertise seasonal events, and possible redesign of the intersection crosswalks.

View Ridge Elementary PTA for the View Ridge Playground Project

Awarded $100,000; Community match $130,455

Design and installation of a play/sport court and related amenities, such as seating, natural elements, and drainage improvements to increase the availability of useable and safe play and gathering spaces.

Historic Seattle for the Get Lifted: an Elevator for Washington Hall

Awarded $100,000; Community match $504,900

Outreach, fund raising, and construction of an elevator and tower for this historic landmark to make Washington Hall accessible to the community.

Friends of Lower Kinnear Park for the North Trail Pre-design Work

Awarded $57,500; Community match $29,500

As the second phase of the North Trail project, completion of a Slope Stabilization Study that includes a survey, geotechnical evaluation, and a stormwater and drainage report.

Montlake Family Fitness for the Montlake Family Fitness Project

Awarded $99,290; Community match $100,348

Construction of a 65’ x 80’ (approximate) sport court next to the Montlake Community Center playground and placement of four to five pieces of adult fitness equipment.

– See more at: http://frontporch.seattle.gov/2013/09/05/city-of-seattle-awards-465000-in-matching-funds-to-support-community-initiated-projects/#sthash.m48fzmx0.dpuf

Sustainable Seattle: free walk next Saturday, August 24

From Sustainable Seattle:

Capitol-Hill-Sustainability-Walk-Flyer

We’re putting on a free walk next Saturday, August 24 in your neighborhood and would love to have some of you there. Participants will be led by a guest tour guide around the neighborhood, visiting the areas most sustainable sites. They’ll hear from most of the project leaders and learn how to join in on the positive action at home and take home some swag.

Highlights include:

-an urban edible garden that’s open to the public
-one of only few designated Eco-District’s in the nation
solar power for your home
-green building design, particularly the “world’s greenest office building”
-storm water management
-how to get your own urban garden (p-patch) space
-an exciting new street revitalization project set to give Melrose Avenue a much needed makeover
-and how to get involved in the community!

Organizations speaking:

To continue the sustainability theme, our event is taking place the same day as the Seattle Bike-In which we are co-presenting with NW Film Forum and Vera Project.

Event Page // http://sustainableseattle.org/component/content/article/313

Facebook Event Page // http://www.facebook.com/events/1412575112287345/

Happy Saturday! Hope you can join!

Michelle Ruiz

Communications Manager

M. (206) 458-9927  |  O. (206) 622-3522  |  www.sustainableseattle.org