The City of Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) has issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) addressing several alternatives for implementing Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA). MHA would require that new multifamily and commercial developments meeting certain thresholds either build affordable housing units on-site or make an in-lieu payment to support the development of affordable housing. MHA would focus primarily on creating housing reserved for community members earning 60 percent of the area median income (AMI) or less. To implement MHA, the City is considering amendments to regulations to increase development capacity in the study area. The amendments would modify development standards in the Land Use Code, such as increases in maximum height and floor area ratio (FAR) limits, make area-wide zoning map changes, expand the boundaries of certain urban villages on the Comprehensive Plan’s Future Land Use Map (FLUM) in locations near high-frequency transit as studied in the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan, and modify certain rezone criteria in the Land Use Code.
The study area is existing multifamily and commercial zones in Seattle, areas currently zoned Single Family in existing urban villages, and areas zoned Single Family in potential urban village expansion areas identified in the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Planning process. The study area does not include the Downtown, South Lake Union, and Uptown Urban Centers or the portion of University Community Urban Center addressed in the University District Urban Design Framework.
The Draft EIS is a programmatic-level analysis of environmental impacts of two MHA implementation alternatives and one “no action” alternative. The action alternatives evaluate a range of differing geographic patterns of zoning map changes. A Determination of Significance was previously published for this proposal on July 28, 2016.
The City Council is expected to consider action in 2018, after completion of a Final EIS.
Responsible Official: Sam Assefa
Contact Person: Geoff Wentlandt
Phone: (206) 684-3586
Address: City of Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development
600 4th Avenue, Floor 5
PO Box 94788
Seattle, WA 98124-7088
Issuance Date: June 8, 2017
Date comments are due: July 23, 2017
Date of Public Meeting An open house and public hearing to accept verbal comments on the
Draft EIS will be held on June 29, 2017 at Seattle City Hall, 600 4th
Ave. The open house will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the public hearing
will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Availability of Draft EIS The Draft EIS may be viewed and downloaded from the City’s website
at http://tinyurl.com/HALA-MHA-EIS. Interested parties may obtain
electronic copies on disc of the Draft EIS free of charge (while
supplies last) or hard copies (there is a charge) at Seattle
Department of Construction and Inspections, 20th floor of the Seattle
Municipal Tower, 700 5th Avenue. A copy of the Draft EIS is available
for public review at the Central Branch of the Seattle Public Library.