- Apartment unit, rental inspections: The City Council Monday approved legislation that will create a rental home inspection program in Seattle. The legislation will…
… require anyone who owns rental property, from a single-family home to a large apartment building, to register with the city and certify that the unit meets city safety and health codes. All registered properties would be inspected within the first 10 years of the program and, once inspected, would be on a five-year cycle for reinspection. Owners would have to hire a city inspector or a private, city-approved inspector to examine the property and certify that it meets city housing standards.
More from the Seattle Times…
In 2010, the Council passed rules governing only rental housing units. The new rule apply to everyone — from single-family home landlords to developers of seven-story, mixed-use apartment buildings. aPodments, too, we presume.
- City to expand fiber leasing plan: Mayor McGinn is officially taking bids on approximately 500 miles of unused fiber-optic cable under the City of Seattle. The plan is seen as an avenue toward boosting Internet speeds via free-market demand:
The City has already worked with The University of Washington, King County, Seattle Public Schools, Washington State Ferries and other government entities over the past 14 years to maintain and install fiber optic cable throughout the city.
But residents and businesses have been complaining about slow Internet and thus, the city responded with this new plan. Opening up the fiber network to private companies should increase internet speeds and allow for competition between providers.
- NYT spills ink on SPD’s Tweet by Beat: After months of bad press over use of force and consent decrees, the Seattle Police Department’s new Twitter accounts are getting some positive coverage from the nation’s leading daily newspaper:
“This is trailblazing stuff,” said Eugene O’Donnell, a professor of police studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. “It shows a willingness I haven’t seen in large supply to really affirmatively make available, warts and all, a clear picture to people of what’s going on.”
The professor then professorially cautions on privacy, etc. concerns. No matter. The feeds certainly are a big help for our coverage of the neighborhood. We’ve listed the Capitol Hill accounts here — New SPD Tweets by Beat will help you figure out what those Capitol Hill sirens were all about
Next all we need is similar effort on the legal side of things to help us keep track of criminal charges and cases. Give us those Tweets and this whole neighborhood news thing will be a breeze.
- Schools community meeting space: Here’s a cool little program that might help the next time your community group needs a meeting space:
City partners with Seattle Public Schools to offer meeting space in school libraries
Community groups and non-profits can sign up online
SEATTLE – Today Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda announced a new partnership called “Evening Community Meetings in School Libraries” to open every school library in Seattle for use by community and neighborhood groups. Groups will be able to sign up online for a fee of only $15 to hold meetings in school libraries after school hours.
“We’ve heard from a wide variety of community groups, non-profits and neighborhood organizers that they need more access to meeting space,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “Our engaged and active community is one of Seattle’s greatest strengths, so we’re glad to be able to partner with Seattle Public Schools to make sure our school facilities are being fully utilized by everyone in our community.”
Any local community group or nonprofit organization is eligible to sign up, but the libraries are not available for business or commercial uses, nor for events that have admissions or fees. Reservations will be available from 6 – 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday during normal school calendar academic business days.
“We’re proud that we can offer this resource to our neighbors who are working hard to build a stronger community,” said Superintendent Banda. “Being an active, engaged citizen is one of the core values we try to instill in our students, and I hope many former students will return to our libraries to get involved in a cause they care about.”
Visit http://tinyurl.com/9ltgx4q where you can sign up for a user account, submit a request for space, and read the Seattle Public Schools rules and regulations (including the payment process and insurance requirements). The fee is $15 plus any applicable custodial or heating and cooling costs. You can find more details about the program in a fact sheet at seattle.gov/media.