Description of proposal: The City of Seattle is proposing amendments to Land Use Code (Seattle Municipal Code Title 23) to implement a proposed new program, Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA). MHA would require that all new multifamily and commercial developments meeting certain thresholds to either build affordable housing units on-site or make an in-lieu payment to support the development of new affordable housing. The MHA program would focus primarily on creating housing reserved for community members earning 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or below. MHA is expected to create a total of 6,000 new affordable housing units over the next 10 years. In order to implement the new MHA program, the City is considering zoning code amendments to allow developments to build slightly higher or slightly more floor area in certain zones.
Alternatives to be addressed in the EIS include No Action, or continued growth as guided by the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Code standards; and two action alternatives that will consider growth under different development patterns and Land Use Code standards. Both action alternatives will evaluate increased allowable height and floor area in commercial and multi-family zones, as well as single family zones in designated urban villages and potential urban village expansion areas identified in the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan. It is likely that one action alternative will consider MHA implementation, and one alternative will consider MHA implementation with program measures seeking to reduce potential for displacement in high risk areas.
Proponent: City of Seattle
Location of proposal: The proposal considered in this EIS is for areas in the City of Seattle outside of the Downtown and South Lake Union neighborhoods. The MHA program and associated zoning changes are expected to be considered for all areas that are currently zoned for commercial or multi-family development, plus any existing single family zoned areas that are located in an urban village or urban center as designated in the City’s Comprehensive Plan and in potential urban village expansion areas identified in the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan. In addition, the EIS will incorporate the separate environmental analysis conducted for MHA implementation in the Downtown and South Lake Union neighborhoods. This will allow the EIS to conduct a citywide cumulative analysis of potential impacts associated with the proposal and alternatives.
Lead agency: City of Seattle
EIS Required. The lead agency has determined this proposal is likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment. An environmental impact statement (EIS) is required under RCW 43.21C.030 (2)(c) and will be prepared. Once they are prepared, a draft EIS and technical appendices will be available for review at our offices.
The lead agency has identified the following areas for discussion in the EIS:
The EIS will consider potential impacts associated with land use, housing and socioeconomics, aesthetics and height/bulk/scale, historic resources, open space and recreation, transportation, public services, and utilities.
Scoping. Agencies, affected tribes, and the public are invited to comment on the scope of the EIS. You may comment on alternatives, mitigation measures, probable significant adverse impacts, and licenses or other approvals that may be required. The methods and deadlines for providing comments are:
Provide written or verbal comment at the public scoping meetings on:
Saturday, August 13, 2016
Rainier Valley Summer Parkways Event
Rainier Ave. S., between 29th Ave. S. and 42nd Ave. S.
1:00PM – 3:00PM
Saturday August 27, 2016
Ballard Summer Parkways Event
Ballard Ave. NW, between NW Market St. and 22nd Ave. NW
1:00PM – 3:00PM
Mail written comments to the Responsible Official at the address below or email comments to Geoffrey.Wentlandt@seattle.gov. The City must receive comments by 5:00 pm on September 9, 2016 for the comments to be considered.
Responsible official: Sam Assefa, Director
Office of Planning & Community Development
700 5th Ave, Suite 1900
PO Box 94788
Seattle, WA 98124-7088
There is no agency appeal.