LOCAL NEWS

Heated debate at final hearing for Seattle’s upzoning measure

Feb 22, 2019, 9:57 AM
Seattle upzoning MHA city council...
A public commenter at the final public hearing on the MHA. (Seattle Channel)
(Seattle Channel)

Seattle City Council has long dealt with its controversial Mandatory Housing Affordability proposal, designed to increase the amount of affordable housing the city has available. On Thursday, hundreds of people packed the council chambers to testify for the last time before the upzoning measure goes to a full vote.

RELATED: Seattle City Council opens up discussion on upzoning measure

The upzoning measure would enact requirements for building affordable housing and taller residence buildings in select neighborhoods throughout Seattle. The goal: To provide at least 6,000 new rent and income-restricted homes for low-income residents.

Additionally, it would levy substantial fines on developers who don’t dedicate between 5 and 11 percent of projects to low-income housing. Concerns have been expressed, though, that developers would simply choose to absorb the fines and not fulfill the affordable housing requirement.

“To all the firefighters, nurses, and cops who are priced out of Seattle, your income will never be enough for the MHA developers who will opt out of having affordable units on-site,” said commenter Ruby Holland.

More than that, some worried that the MHA doesn’t account for displacement after single-family zones are opened up to multi-story apartment buildings.

“Throughout Seattle, there are families that struggle to purchase the American Dream,” said Holland. “Now these same families are threatened with displacement because of MHA.”

“If you think we’re going to turn over our properties to some rich, fat cat who wants to own all of Seattle, so that some high-income workers that have never struggled a day in their lives can live in our place, wrong answer; not happening,” she added.

RELATED: Seattle mayor, council push forward affordable housing plan

“The MHA is fundamentally flawed — I don’t believe MHA has done anything about displacement so far,” another commenter added.

Others expressing support for the measure noted the city’s urgent need for more available housing.

“Working families are struggling — more people need housing, and this is the chance to mitigate that need,” one proponent noted.

“If we don’t build more housing and more types of housing, this crisis is only going to get worse,” said another.

The MHA has already been enacted in the University District, South Lake Union, downtown, Lower Queen Anne, the International District, and the Central Area. The eventual hope with this measure is to get it up and running across the entire city of Seattle.

It’s set to go before city council for a full vote sometime in mid-March.

Local News

Frasier...
Bill Kaczaraba

Lovable radio host Frasier returns, but not to Seattle

Frasier, the lovable but loveless radio host who put Seattle on the map will not be returning to the Emerald City.
16 hours ago
Capitol Hill shooting...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Investigation underway after man shot in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood

Police are investigating after a man was shot in the hip in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on Saturday morning.
2 days ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Julia Dallas, KIRO 7 News and Bridget Chavez, KIRO 7 News

Redmond police using vehicle-mounted GPS tracking system to track down fleeing suspects

The Redmond Police Department started using StarChase Pursuit in January to safely pursue fleeing suspects.
2 days ago
...
Deedee Sun, KIRO 7 News

Murder of Kent teacher calls attention to mental health crisis in Washington

A Tacoma mom stabbed and killed on Wednesday has been identified as 66-year-old Gail Gese, a teacher at Cedar Heights Middle School in Kent.
2 days ago
In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer reac...
Associated Press

Man rescued by Coast Guard wanted in ‘Goonies’ fish incident

A man who was saved by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer at the mouth of the Columbia River as a massive wave rolled the yacht he was piloting Friday was wanted for a bizarre incident in which police said he left a dead fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the classic 1985 film, "The Goonies."
2 days ago
FILE - An Amazon company logo on the company's building in Schoenefeld near Berlin, Germany, March ...
Associated Press

Amazon violated labor law with delivery app

A Spanish court has ruled that Amazon broke labor laws by forcing more than 2,000 delivery drivers to use an app that the company controlled for scheduling work and payments and requiring them to use their own cars and cellphones on the job.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Heated debate at final hearing for Seattle’s upzoning measure