May 10, 2017
TO: HALA Team: Jesseca Brand email@example.com, Brennon Staley Brennon.Staley@seattle.gov, Nick Welch Nicolas.Welch@seattle.gov, Geoff Wentlandt Geoffrey.Wentlandt@seattle.gov
CC: Sam Assefa Samuel.Assefa@seattle.gov, Lisa Herbold Lisa.Herbold@seattle.gov, Rob Johnson Rob.Johnson@seattle.gov, Spencer Williams Spencer.Williams@seattle.gov
RE: Alternate Proposal for Mandatory Housing Affordability in the Madison-Miller Residential Urban Village
Dear HALA Team:
The Madison-Miller Community group acts on behalf of the Madison-Miller Residential Urban Village. As stewards, we have engaged with the HALA feedback process to date. We have also organized our own parallel process to collect feedback from our community (including a February 15 workshop attended by more than 200 community members) about the proposed rezoning.
We do not believe the city’s February 28 Madison-Miller Design Workshop was adequately publicized and that attendance did not accurately represent the diversity of opinions in our community on these issues. The post-meeting “Summary” and “Map” did not accurately reflect the discussions at our tables or the written input attendees provided to session facilitators.
We recognize that there is a crisis of affordable housing and the need for new solutions. We embrace the move toward increased density, and strongly believe that we can achieve the proposed 2035 density goals in a way that retains the character and fabric of our neighborhood, while keeping affordable units – and our diversity – within our RUV boundaries.
We submit the following Guiding Principles and attached Alternate Proposal Rezoning Map. We prepared these based on the feedback received in the February 15 community workshop and since. They were approved at the Madison-Miller Community group meeting May 10, 2017. We request that these Principles and Map be submitted to all applicable departments and to the Seattle City Council. We welcome the opportunity to discuss these further.
The Madison Miller Community
Madison-Miller Community – Guiding Principles for HALA Planning
The Madison Miller Residential Urban Village (RUV) supports housing affordability, increased density and livability. We are and always have been a working-middle-class community. Madison-Miller is more diverse in race, income and age than Seattle as a whole. Retired empty nesters are neighbors to families with school-age children; university students live next door to young professionals. We are also diverse in housing: a mix of owner-occupied homes, rental homes, townhouses, attached rental units, duplexes, triplexes, condominiums and apartment buildings. Design standards of these buildings blend to create the neighborhood’s valued, sustainable character. We reflect what an urban neighborhood near transit should be.
Based on projects currently being built or in the permitting process, Madison-Miller RUV will exceed HALA's 2035 housing density goal within the next few years without rezoning. That said, we endorse the goal of creating more affordable housing and support a plan for increased density in our neighborhood that:
1) Balances affordable family oriented housing density (two- and three- bedrooms units) with one-bedroom and studio units. Specifically, we support a plan to achieve target density that:
- Preserves the existing Residential Small Lot (RSL) zoning south of Madison Street
- Limits up-zoning of most current Single Family areas to RSL (maximum height 30 ft.), Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) and Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (DADU)
- Focuses most density achieved through Lowrise structures (30 ft. and higher) along transit corridors
2) Optimizes overall affordability and livability:
- Keeps affordable housing dollars generated by development of the Madison-Miller RUV within the RUV, instead of allowing developers to pay into a fund that shifts affordable housing elsewhere
- Provides HALA dollars to subsidize the presence of locally owned small businesses within the RUV
- Retains front-yard and back-yard setbacks of 15-20 feet; and indigenous and significant trees that define the neighborhood character
3) Mandates infrastructure improvements/additions concurrent with increases in density, such as:
- Upgraded sewer lines
- Upgraded/buried utility lines
- Street repairs; potholes, etc.
- Accessible public green space
- Designated onsite parking
4) Distributes the cost of increased availability of affordable housing equitably city-wide, rather than being limited to RUVs.