The Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity (SCALE) has decided to appeal the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) citywide upzone ordinance to the Growth Management Hearings Board and will submit the appeal by June 3. Issues include displacement of existing residents, preservation of trees, historic resources, and failure to consider alternative policies.
“We are not opposing growth or density,” SCALE President David Ward said, “but we are asking that the Growth Management Act be followed when it calls for balance between growth and livability. Each neighborhood has its own needs. Impacts should be evaluated on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.”
“Affordable housing for current residents should be preserved, and those residents not be displaced. Racial and social justice impacts should be at the forefront, not be an afterthought. Neither the City’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) nor the MHA ordinance acknowledged this duty to preserve livability while we grow,” Ward said. Ward is a renter in the Ravenna neighborhood.
“After 19 days of hearings and 11 expert witnesses, the City’s Hearing Examiner ignored almost all the evidence,” Ward said. The examiner found the EIS “adequate,” except for the City’s lack of any assessment of historical resources. The City Council adopted the MHA ordinance on March 18.
“We believe the ordinance violates not only the requirements of the State Environmental Policy Act, but also the Growth Management Act, so the next step is to appeal to the Growth Management Hearings Board on this broader basis,” Ward said.
SCALE is optimistic that the Growth Management Hearings Board will find in its favor and will remand the EIS and the entire upzone ordinance back to the City for planners to complete a true EIS that is thorough, transparent, accurate, inclusive and honest, and an ordinance that includes true neighborhood engagement and neighborhood-by-neighborhood planning for impacts and mitigations.
For More Information :
See the SCALE website at www.scaleseattle.org.
Contact Frank Fay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The goals of the state Growth Management Act (GMA) are defined in RCW 36.70A.020.
The Growth Management Hearings Board process can take up to six months for a decision.
The purpose of the Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability & Equity (SCALE) is to defend and promote affordability, livability, and equity in Seattle neighborhoods as informed by public participation of the residents themselves in each of Seattle’s unique neighborhoods.