The election results from Tuesday mean HALA and Seattle 2035 now have a clear path to become law over the next couple years, including the upzoning of the Wallingford Urban Village. At Wednesday’s WCC meeting architect and longtime WCC land use guru Greg Hill went through the 159 pages of Seattle 2035 and pulled out this sampling of developer goodies packed inside:
|Land Use Guideline from
Current Comprehensive Plan
|Mayor’s Recommended Change||Change|
|Use the goals and policies included in this Plan to identify on the Future Land Use Map the general locations where broad categories of land uses are preferred. Use rezone criteria which implement the goals and policies of this Plan to identify on the City’s Official Land Use Map where the specific zones are located.||Use the Future Land Use Map to identify where different types of development are planned to achieve a development pattern that supports the urban village strategy
|Eliminates clear definition of SF for a fuzzy map with no distinct boundaries.|
|LU3||LU1.2 & LU1.4|
|Establish rezone evaluation criteria and procedures to guide decisions about which zone will provide the best match for the characteristics of an area and will most clearly further City goals.
|Use the Future Land Use Map, the land-use policies in this land use element, and criteria in the Land Use Code to determine the appropriate zoning designation for property in the city.
Promote this plan’s overall desired land-use pattern through appropriate zoning.
|Change neighborhood zoning to suit the Mayor’s (developers) plan for bigger buildings.|
|1. Consider, through neighborhood planning processes, recommendations for the revision of zoning to better reflect community preferences for the development of an area, provided that consistency between the zoning and this Plan is maintained. Consider relevant goals and policies in adopted neighborhood plans when evaluating a rezone proposal.||Eliminates neighborhood planning process|
|In order to maintain the character of Seattle’s neighborhoods and retain existing affordable housing, discourage the demolition of residences and displacement of residents, while supporting redevelopment that enhances its community and furthers the goals of this Plan.||If you are not discouraging the loss of affordable housing, you must be ok with destroying it.|
|Because of the many benefits that street trees provide to both property owners and the general public, encourage the preservation or planting of street trees as development occurs, except in locations where it is not possible to meet City standards intended to preserve public safety and utility networks.||Trees are no longer specifically identified as important.|
|Permit upzones of land designated single-family and meeting single-family rezone criteria, only when all of the following conditions are met:
||Eliminates SF criteria, removing an obstacle to eliminating SF zoning and removing reference to neighborhood plans|
|Apply small lot single-family zones to single-family property meeting single-family rezone criteria only when all of the following conditions are met:
||Removes SF criteria, removing an obstacle to eliminating SF zoning|
|Foster neighborhoods in which current and future residents and business owners will want to live, shop, work, and locate their businesses. Provide for a range of housing types and commercial and industrial spaces in order to accommodate a broad range of families and individuals, income groups, and businesses.||Provide zoning and accompanying land use regulations that: Allow for a variety of housing types to accommodate housing choices for households of all types and income levels; Support a wide diversity of employment-generting activities providing jobs for a diverse residential population, as well as a variety of services for residents and businesses; Accommodate the full range of public sevices, institutions, and amenities needed to support a fully developed, diverse, and economically sustainable urban community||Eliminates the Neighborhood focus in favor of a variety pack of uses.|
|LUG6||LUG6.1 (see also LU 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.6)|
|Encourage the use of alternatives to single-occupant vehicles and the use of smaller, more energy efficient automobiles through the City’s regulation of parking, including the amount of parking required, design of parking, location of parking, and access to parking.||Establish parking requirements where appropriate at levels for both single-occupant vehicles and their alternatives to further this Plan’s goal to increase the use of public transit, carpools, walking, and bicycles as alternatives to the use of single-occupancy vehicles.
LU 6.3 Rely on Market forces to determine the amount of parking required.
|The “Parking Myth”: eliminating parking requirements will make cars evaporate [while increasing developer profits].|
|Protect the ecological functions and values of wetlands, and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas; prevent erosion from development on steep slopes; and protect the public health, safety and welfare in landslide-prone, liquefaction-prone and flood-prone areas.
|Protect the ecological functions and value of wetlands, and fish and wildlife conservation areas; prevent erosion caused by development on steep slopes; and protect public health, safety and welfare in areas prone to landslides, liquefaction or floods, while permitting development that is reasonable in light of these constraints.||Encourages development in critical areas|
You can comment on all this by going to the Seattle 2035 Web site or attending one of their upcoming open houses. I’m not going to bother though- the mayor took 8,500 comments on the Move Seattle Levy and made exactly zero changes as a result. I don’t see why this process would be any different, especially since all the text was negotiated as part of the so-called “Grand Bargain” between downtown developers and downtown housing advocates. The fact that people living on the land being rezoned are being completely shut out of the process is by design.