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admin 24.11.2014

SEATTLE – Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle) issued the following statement after the completion of today’s Sound Transit Board meeting, during which time City of Seattle representatives presented an amendment to the Sound Transit 3 package which will fully fund the NE 130th Street station on the Lynnwood LINK rail line. The amendment will be considered as part of a revised ST3 proposal scheduled for a vote by the 18 member regional Sound Transit Board on June 2, 2016.
Seattle City Council meetings are cablecast live on Seattle Channel 21, HD Channels 321 Comcast, 721 Wave and on the City Council’s website.
SEATTLE – Sound Transit Board members Mayor Ed Murray and City Councilmember Rob Johnson introduced amendments to the Sound Transit 3 (ST3) plan during today’s Board meeting in conjunction with other board members around the region.  The amendments effectively expand light rail and other transit services throughout the region.
Improve access to existing or previous planned routes with new stations at Graham Street, Boeing Access Road, and N.
Address immediate transit needs with investments in the RapidRide C and D Lines and Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit. The amendment will be considered as part of a revised ST3 proposal scheduled for a vote by the 18 member regional Sound Transit Board on June 2, 2016.  The actions at this meeting will be related to the final adoption of the system plan, which is scheduled for the June 23, 2016 Board Meeting.
As a daily transit rider I feel a strong responsibility to ensure that the decisions we make on the Sound Transit board will be in the best interests of our current and future riders.
When we asked the public for feedback, we heard many things, including that the draft plan took too long to deliver important projects, especially the added lines to Ballard and West Seattle.
First, additional funding allows us to speed up the delivery of new lines to Ballard and West Seattle. In addition to the projects and timelines released today, Sound Transit’s staff and board are still working on important policy language to be included in the final plan including statements and principles on transit oriented development, project delivery, and station access amongst other issues.
I also want to be clear that while the size of this package is increasing from $50 billion to $54 billion, the tax burden is unchanged. Sound Transit 3 will dramatically improve mobility across our region and help us keep up with our rapid population and employment growth. On May 24, 2016, the Energy & Environment Committee unanimously voted in favor of the resolution I brought forward, drafted by environmental activists from Physicians for Social Responsibility, Heart of America Northwest, and others from the anti-nuclear movement. On May 16, the Full Council unanimously voted to adopt the Swedish Medical Center Cherry Hill Major Institution Master Plan.
The Swedish Medical Center at Cherry Hill is located east of the Seattle University Campus in the Squire Park neighborhood. Swedish Medical Center at Cherry Hill is a hospital and is therefore regulated as a major institution.
In November 2011 Swedish Medical Center at Cherry Hill applied for approval of a new Major Institution Master Plan (MIMP). A MIMP is prepared with the review and participation of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC). The City Council has quasi-judicial powers to make decisions on the rezone application when there are appeals. The first amendment addressed heights on the Western block, where Swedish proposed to increase the MIO height to 160’ but the hearing examiner conditioned to 150’.
As of July 1st, the High Point and South Park libraries will restore Friday operating hours.
The Senior Center of West Seattle is holding an educational cannabis event for seniors on May 26th.
Seniors are the fastest growing demographic of cannabis consumers and they often have a lot of questions about what is legal and what is safe. I’ve been asked by a few constituents whether any tracking technology might be available to help police officers apprehend suspects driving in cars. Because of the risks, some cities have no-pursuit policies.  Other cities are considering options such as Starchase.
Last year the City launched a youth-focused participatory budgeting process, where Seattle youth will get to choose exactly how to spend $700,000 of City money. Starting tomorrow, youth from the ages of 11 to 25 are able to vote for their favorite seven projects. For those who had specific requests or cases, my staff is looking into the issues and is following up with each constituent.
And as the City continues to grapple with addressing our homelessness crisis, I invite you to please join me on July 27th for a Public Forum on Safe and Healthy Communities, co-hosted by St.
While our City continues to boom, attracting new jobs, development, and infrastructure, we know that not all members of our community benefit equally.  In fact, the increased pressures of our booming economy exacerbates our current housing affordability and homelessness crisis, and disproportionally harms low-income communities and communities of color. Last May, council adopted Resolution 31577, which I sponsored, to ensure that we incorporate racial and social equity into our Comprehensive Plan update.  Essentially, we asked that before making decisions about how to grow, we need to be able to define and measure displacement, beyond the antidotes we hear every day.  Who is being pushed out?  Of what neighborhoods?  And why?  How does growth impact communities differently? I believe in the Growth and Equity Analysis’s Vision of an Equitable Seattle: Seattle will be a city with people of diverse cultures, races, and incomes. The equity analysis highlights the need for city-wide strategies as well as place-based strategies to ensure people thrive in place. In addition to the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan, our community continues to take strides forward to achieve the goals and vision set forth in the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA).  We are taking essential steps toward building new, and protecting existing, affordable housing stock. Access to quality affordable housing is key to anti-displacement.  Building new affordable housing is an essential way we are able to maintain Seattle’s racial and economic diversity and vibrancy, but it cannot be our only strategy against displacement. Affordability in Single-Family Zones: In addition I want to see more opportunities for affordability across Seattle. We are looking forward to working with other Councilmembers, departments, community-based organizations, tenant advocates, non-profit developers and land trusts working on creative ways to ensure development without displacement.  We hope to bring together local and national experts to learn more about how we can creatively keep people in place, and assure all of our communities benefit as Seattle grows. SEATTLE – Councilmember Mike O’Brien (District 6, Northwest Seattle) released a proposal today that would make it easier for more homeowners to build backyard cottages and mother-in-law units in Seattle. As of December 2015, 221 backyard cottages had been constructed or permitted in Seattle since Council authorized their use in 2009, despite approximately 75,000 single-family lots that are eligible to build one.  Councilmember O’Brien heard feedback that current regulations put significant burdens on homeowners deciding to build backyard cottages or mother-in-law units.
Backyard cottages, also called detached accessory dwelling units (DADUs), are separate living spaces on the same property as an existing single-family house. Allowing both a backyard cottage and mother-in-law unit on the same lot, which provides additional housing options while maintaining the character and appearance of the property. Increasing the height limit for backyard cottages by 1-2 feet, depending on lot width, which would allow enough livable space to make two-bedroom units more feasible.
Removing the requirement for owners to include an off-street parking space for backyard cottages or mother-in-law unit.
If a backyard cottage is only one-story, its floor area may cover up to 60% of the rear yard (currently 40%), creating a large enough livable space for those unable to use stairs. Requiring that the property owner live on-site for at least one year after a backyard cottage or mother-in-law unit is created, rather than the current requirement that the owner live on-site at least 6 months out of every year in perpetuity. Allowing backyard cottages on lots 3,200 square feet or greater in area (currently 4,000 square feet), which would make approximately 7,300 additional parcels eligible to provide this additional housing option. Increasing the maximum gross floor area of a backyard cottage to 1,000 square feet (currently 800 square feet), which would provide more livable area and increase the likelihood of two-bedroom backyard cottages to better serve families with children. If a backyard cottage is built above a garage, the garage square footage will no longer count toward the maximum floor area, which often results in an unreasonably small living space. The legislation was developed utilizing feedback from neighborhood community meetings, from architects, and from current backyard cottage owners.   A summary of the public feedback is available here.
I was upset to learn about the two bicycle-car accidents in District 4 last week – one along NE 65th Street and the other along 20th Ave NE. This is now the second serious bike collision on NE 65th Street within one year; with last year’s death and the two current bike riders in critical condition, it serves as a terrible reminder that safety improvements along this arterial are far past due. My vision to address these safety concerns is to install a fully protected bike lane on 65th Street, along the entire length from Magnuson to Greenlake, connecting projects that already exist or are in development, such as Ravenna Boulevard, Roosevelt Way, the 39th Ave NE Neighborhood Greenway, and Burke Gilman Trail. Each of these improvements – which could have been a factor in preventing these accidents – can be found in the city’s Bicycle Mater Plan Northeast Sector Map (pdf), but have yet to make it into any revenue dedicated plans such as the “2016 – 2020 Implementation Plan” or the Move Seattle Levy. At this Tuesday’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee meeting, SDOT will be coming in to talk about the Bike Master Plan.
These incidents bring to the fore the necessary urgency of our actions to make our city streets safer for all users, and we must emphasize investments in critical road safety projects to prevent the next tragedy from occurring.


Race and socio-economic factors must not be used to prevent people from securing safe, healthy affordable housing. On Monday, May 2, 2016, the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) filed 23 director’s charges of illegal discrimination against 23 different property owners in response to the latest round of fair housing testing.
As chair of Civil Rights, I will seek to balance the interests of rental housing providers with the interests of renters. To further address this issue, in July, the Mayor’s office will convene the Fair Chance Housing committee to develop proposals that address rental housing discrimination, provide wider access to rental assistance and increase enforcement of Seattle fair housing ordinances.  In the meantime, I believe sharing the HUD guidance with landlords and tenants alike will further the City’s interest in promoting opportunities to access housing. Secondly, an Ordinance to address source of income discrimination (SOID) proposes to add protected class to existing ordinances that already make it illegal to discriminate against a prospective renter whose primary source of income is a section 8 voucher, to include a pension, Social Security, unemployment, child support or any other governmental or non-profit subsidy. Late last week Sound Transit released the results of a telephone survey and online public comments regarding the Sound Transit 3 Draft Plan. Improvements to the C and D lines to increase reliability and decrease travel time also scored highly in the North King survey, as did the Ballard line, and a potential station at NE 130th.
The Council plans to adopt a resolution on ST3 later this month; the Sound Transit board plans to vote on an ST3 ballot measure in June. As noted in an earlier blog post, the Council sent a letter to Sound Transit that asked whether tunneling was considered from the bridge to the West Seattle Junction (the Draft Plan released in March includes elevated rail).  Sound Transit estimated a tunnel would cost approximately $500 to $600 million more than an elevated alignment. They noted the alignment would require environmental review, which would consider a reasonable range of profile and alignment alternatives. The Council letter also asked about the rationale for eliminating the Delridge option included in the list of Candidate Projects released in December 2015. Sound Transit indicated they selected an elevated option to the Junction in the Draft Plan based on the result of their High Capacity Study.
SDOT has announced the bearing pad replacement project for the Fauntleroy Expressway will begin the evening of Monday, May 16. The contractor will replace 674 bearing pads, which provide a cushion between the bridge girder and the horizontal support for the girders, which help preserve the long-term integrity of the bridge. A few weeks ago SDOT decided to delay the nighttime Fauntleroy Expressway closure, given WSDOT’s closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct for tunnel boring.
The City, led by the Office of Arts and Culture (ARTS), is developing the upper floors into an arts and cultural hub, in conjunction with the Office of Economic Development and SDOT. The first public meeting took place earlier this week; information about future meetings, timelines, an FAQ, and updates, is here. If you recall, the project started out with a $66 million dollar budget and was slated to be completed in October of 2015. The second presentation was from the Executive Steering Committee for the project, which includes members from SPU, SCL, and Seattle IT. In January of 2016 the team conducted its third dress rehearsal, to practice switching over from the old system to the NCIS. The first step of the audit is the “job design” phase, during this phase the auditors will work to clarify the objectives and determine what specific steps and tests the auditors will need to perform. I will continue to keep my eye on this project, and continue to ask questions as they move through additional testing.
We women have made great strides toward equality in many ways, but this past week we learned a sad lesson: Scratch the surface in Seattle and some serious anti-women sentiment begins brewing. We five women who voted against the street vacation received hundreds of emails, tweets, voicemails and Facebook posts calling us c*nts, b*tches, who*es, even worse. A day after the ranters tried to take over my phones, a tsunami of support followed for which I am grateful.
Our vocal supporters were soon joined by the Mayor, our male colleagues, the Port, maritime workers, other members of the press, and the arena developer, among others. I know there are women across our city and nation who don’t have the support system the five of us on the Council have — women who are abused, insulted and belittled at home and work.  Their stories rarely make news and this is the problem I want to highlight. Consider our national election, where next year we may well be addressing the President of the United States as Madame President. A stop at NE 130th -if approved- will mean neighborhoods including Cedar Park, Lake City, Pinehurst, Haller Lake, and Bitter Lake will have access to a light rail station, translating into increased ridership across the entire system.
Copies of legislation, Council meeting calendar, and archives of news releases can be found on the City Council website. Additional funding for near-term C line improvements is also a welcome improvement,” said Councilmember Lisa Herbold, District 1 (West Seattle).
Today’s amendment is due in large part to successful advocacy by North Seattleites, who are committed to the prospect of light rail service for generations to come” said Juarez.
To that end, I am incredibly proud of the work that our staff and board have accomplished with our updated Sound Transit 3 plan.
The Ballard line, originally scheduled for delivery in 22 years, will now be completed in 19 years.
This additional funding does not come from new taxes, but rather from improved financial leveraging of Sound Transit’s debt capacity. With these critical investments, I believe that the Sound Transit 3 plan represents a huge opportunity to expand access to reliable, high speed transit, while creating tens of thousands of jobs and making our region more affordable. It calls on Seattle City Light to oppose the Columbia Generating Station, the sole nuclear power plant in the Pacific Northwest, and to support replacing it with green energy. Major Institutions are subject to a zoning overlay whereby an institution can deviate from the development standards in underlying zoning, if the institution prepares a Major Institutions Master Plan (MIMP).  The intent of the MIMP is to balance the needs of the Major Institutions with the need to minimize the impact of their development on surrounding neighborhoods. On September 24, 2015, the Hearing Examiner recommended conditional approval of the MIMP, incorporating some of the recommendations from the CAC.
The Council’s decision to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the recommendation must be supported by substantial evidence in the record.
I proposed two amendments to (a) make the mass of institutional structures more compatible with the neighborhood and (b) create a more gradual transition from more intensive zones to less intensive zones.
Six years ago they suffered reduced hours including the loss of Sunday and Friday hours due to a $1.7 million dollar cut to the Library’s budget in 2010. NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) Women of Washington is offering Cannabis Education for Seniors at the Senior Center of West Seattle on Thursday, May 26th at 2pm.
NORML Women of Washington is a chapter comprised of women who are dedicated to education and outreach on marijuana in the State of Washington. The NORML Women representatives will also talk about myths regarding marijuana and can brief the latest research on medical marijuana and addiction. Existing SPD chase policies are available here.  You can see that these policies specify the importance of safety and require officers to end pursuit when the risk of the pursuit outweighs the danger to the public if the suspect is not captured. Youth delegates helped select 19 thoughtful proposals to be on the ballot, including funding for safe routes to schools, murals, job readiness workshops, or a youth-produced podcast on violence prevention. Our responses have included engaging with departments for increased outreach and community policing in the Sandel Park area, inquiring into more parking areas for RV’s, connecting residents impacted by the Greenwood explosion to assistance from the Phinney Neighborhood Association, and working to create consistent policies between our Parks, Transportation, and City Light departments for electric bicycles on trails. But I remain hopeful about our ability to grow and prosper without displacing the people, communities, and cultural anchors that make our city and neighborhoods great.
Including in single family zones. I am hopeful that encouraging more backyard cottages and mother-in-law apartments will be a big step towards this goal. Here in Seattle, Homestead Community Land Trust has been working to create affordable homeownership opportunities for low-income families since 1992. There are many models for what these community-owned LEHCs can function and work with other models, including CLTs. As the city faces an affordable housing crisis, Councilmember O’Brien developed the legislation to increase the housing supply by encouraging low-impact housing options that fit within the scale and character of Seattle’s single-family neighborhoods. Mother-in-law units, also referred to as accessory dwelling units (ADUs), are separate living units generally located within a single-family house. The requirement prevents speculative developers from acquiring property and building backyard cottages that don’t fit the character of the neighborhood, while allowing the owner future flexibility for those who don’t want, or are unable to continue living on-site.
First and foremost, I wish a quick and healthy recovery to the bike riders who were both transported to Harborview as a result of their respective accidents.  It is clear that critical road safety improvements need to be made quickly across our city to ensure street safety for all – no matter your age, ability, or mode of transportation.


As I stated last year on the campaign trail after Andy Hulslander’s death, even my young daughters know that this street is fast and dangerous: they argue over who gets to hold my hand as we walk along NE 65th everyday so they can stay as far away from the street as possible.
At the very least, we should install Protected Bike Lanes, from Ravenna to 20th Ave NE along NE 65th Street (as well as the two planned Neighborhood Greenways adjacent to 25th Ave NE that run on 24th Ave NE north of NE 65th Street and on 27th Ave NE south of 65th Street). We need to begin making concrete steps towards Seattle’s vision for a fully connected, safe cycle network and I will work to ensure that we find the funds to move these improvements up the list of priorities. I plan on vocalizing my own concerns that were highlighted by the two accidents last week – and would encourage residents from District 4 and across the city to do the same through public testimony. Using HUD approved testing practices, it was revealed that prospective “tester renters” experienced different treatment than did “control group renters” across all three categories: familial status, disability, and use of a federal Section 8 voucher.
In the next month, the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts (CRUEDA) Committee will discuss two pieces of legislation to 1) help landlords comply with their duties and 2) uphold renters’ rights. Some of these employers are known to have workforce gaps based on gender and race, potentially resulting in negative impacts on underrepresented populations.
The Draft Plan also includes a station at Graham Street, a high priority in Southeast Seattle. They noted the West Seattle Junction has higher ridership and density of residential and commercial uses, and is centrally located on the peninsula. Her committee oversees Seattle City Light (SCL) while Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is under my committee’s jurisdiction. It has now been delayed twice and is budgeted for $109 million and has a go-live date of September.
Almond has also flagged risks for the project after the projected September go-live date, including the lack of IT expertise to manage the program. They described the project, and explained its complexity; the NCIS is replacing a 15 year-old customer billing system, and supports account management for more than 400,000 customers. The January dress rehearsal highlighted some major concerns that the Executive Steering Committee still needs to address, including data conversion from the current system to the NCIS, additional testing to safeguard quality, and additional training to ensure business and team readiness. However, in the bigger picture, I want to continue conversations with Councilmembers and the Executive about the Council’s expectations regarding communication of scope and budget changes to major capital projects; we need more transparency, and I am considering a new policy to address this.
Hundreds of women and men from Seattle and around the country, encouraged by the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington and journalists at Seattlish and C is For Crank, got the word out fast.
Hundreds — if not thousands — have categorically condemned the hate mail and urged a new tone of civility and respect. For the next six months, I expect Donald Trump and his supporters to escalate their deeply hateful remarks, not just against Hillary Clinton, but against any woman who disagrees with him. In a city and region beset with daunting congestion, a Sound Transit 3 measure with a NE 130th Street Station represents a giant step forward. Through rigorous financial analysis from both within the agency and from leading financial experts, we’ve been able to modestly increase the bonding capacity by approximately 8 percent, or $4 billion. The West Seattle line, originally expected in 17 years, is now scheduled for completion in 14 years. The recently completed financial work confirmed the feasibility of moving up and modestly increasing the issuance of bonds while remaining fully consistent with the agency’s conservative debt policies, maintaining the agency’s current high ratings and minimizing borrowing costs to taxpayers. These investments will open doors of opportunity, improve equity, and advance regional connectivity for generations to come.
In an effort to truly strike a balance between the request to limit the MIO height at 105’feet and the MIO height of 150’ recommended by the Hearing Examiner, I proposed the amendment to reduce the maximum allowable MIO height to 125’. In 2012 the voters passed the Library Levy and in 2013 Sunday hours were restored to all locations. Bring your questions–there will be ample time allotted for questions and for sharing wisdom across generations! In another blog post I discuss my efforts around affordable housing and preventing displacement in Seattle. Feedback found the parking requirement was prohibitive in creating new backyard cottages, as additional parking spaces were either unnecessary or unable to fit on the lot. The proposal is scheduled for consideration in the Council’s Planning, Land Use & Zoning Committee in July. I also mentioned then that we need to fix NE 65th Street before someone else is killed or seriously injured; we have unfortunately missed that mark and simply can’t continue to have tragedy dictate our neighborhood’s safety improvement investments. The SOCR has jurisdiction within Seattle city limits to investigate and file charges against landlords for violating the Fair Housing Act, which protects people from discrimination when they are renting, buying, or securing financing for any housing. As of 2012, the United States accounted for only about five percent of the world’s population, yet almost one quarter of the world’s prisoners, or 2.2 million adults, were held in American prisons. It was also rated highly in East King County, South King County, and Snohomish County—testament to strong regional resonance. They further noted the plan includes a station on Delridge that can serve as a transfer point to light rail, and that the Draft King County Metro Long Range Plan includes Delridge for Future Rapid Ride Expansion (labeled as “Burien TC ? Westwood Village ? Seattle CBD”. We called this joint committee to bring more oversight to the New Information Customer System (NCIS). Additionally, “project staff is tired, [and] operational staff are working hard” reads a risk that Mr. It will be used by more than 600 City employees, and will produce 15,000 bills with $4.8 million in revenue daily.
After evaluating the issues and working with third party vendors, they believe that they can meet a go-live date in early September.
They identified the negativity for what it was: hatred and fear of the strength we women bring to our community. In short, a lot of people have had our backs and want to change the way we all speak and listen to each other. We’ve leveraged that bonding capacity to respond to the public request to deliver more projects, and to deliver projects more quickly. It is a tool that activists are confident they can use to put pressure on all those who decide the fate of the Columbia Generating Station, including representatives from City Light. Low-rise 3 multifamily zoning is located north of the site on the opposite side of Cherry Street, and a Major Institutions Overlay with a 65 foot height limit is located on the opposite side of 15th Avenue. After many patrons expressed their wishes that the branches be open on Fridays the Library Board prioritized this request totaling $378,000, and was approved in the Library’s 2016 Operations Plan.
For single-family lots outside urban villages or urban centers, the one required off-street parking space for a single-family house requirement will still apply.
Under Seattle Municipal Code, Chapter 14.08, a civil penalty could be assessed against each property owner ranging between $11,000 and $55,000. It was the only project to score in the top 5 in four of the five geographical areas, as the West Seattle blog noted (see slides 24, 26-29).
The Move Seattle levy approved by voters in 2015 included funding for seven new RapidRide corridors, including on Delridge). Almond warned of a lack of oversight and a deficiency in IT resources as well as expertise in implementing the program. With that feedback, here is how we are going to use this $4 billion in bonding capacity to improve upon the Sound Transit 3 draft plan. Customer service representatives are training on this new program which has led to longer waiting times and more dropped calls.
Almond identified significant scope changes early in the product design phase that lead to significant delays.
These changes include cyber security, new workforce management software, and lessons learned from other similar project implementations.



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