City Hall | Public hearing on SPD union contract, microhousing regulation, May Day preparation

  • SPD contract public hearing: The contract with the union representing Seattle Police is up for renewal. Tuesday night, the public process around the negotiations begins with a public hearing:

    City Council and the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB) will jointly host a public hearing on the effectiveness of the City’s police accountability system on Tuesday, Apr. 22, at 6 p.m. (note revised time) in Seattle City Hall Council Chambers. Sign-up sheets for public comment will be available at 5:30 p.m.
    As directed by Ordinance 122809, adopted in 2008, the hearing will provide a forum for elected officials to hear directly from the public before the City begins labor negotiations with the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG). The comments from the public hearing will help inform deliberations on the upcoming negotiations.

    The Stranger’s Dominic Holden documented his case against the status quo with the guild here. It’s a worthwhile read.

  • Small lots: Friday, the Seattle City Council chambers were filled with neighbors from around the city who wanted to go on the public record against dense, infill development encroaching into areas they consider to be best preserved as single family-style housing. The City Council’s planning and land use committee is again taking up legislation to close so-called “small lot development” loopholes following last year’s moratorium on the projects which plopped three-story buildings into the midst of old-school single-family homes.
  • Microhousing rules: While the “small lot” legislation expected to be finalized later this spring would also impact Capitol Hill’s neighborhoods, the more Hill-centric density issue of microhousing was also on the committee’s slate Friday as regulation of the dorm-style developments is also again moving forward. In February, CHS reported on the framework for the new microhousing legislation getting back on track following the city’s Hearing Examiner slapping down a Capitol Hill-born challenge that the the new proposed rules didn’t go far enough. The Council is also expected to deliver final microhousing regulation later this spring.
  • Car services: The debate over technology-enabled freelance car services in Seattle has swung back in favor of the companies like Uber and Lyft. The City Council-passed regulation of the new services has been suspended as the companies powered a coalition group’s drive to submit more than 36,000 citizen signatures to potentially put the issue on the ballot. Mayor Ed Murray is hoping to bring all sides in the debate together to work out a compromise without the need for a fall vote.
  • Minimum wage demonstration: Groups are planning to encircle the block around City Hall with a human chain Wednesday as the mayor’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee meets for its final time before this week’s Murray-imposed deadline for recommendations on raising Seattle’s minimum wage.

    (Image: CHS)

    (Image: CHS)

  • May Day 2014: Seattle Police’s command is again preparing for possible unrest in the city’s core during this year’s May Day march and protest. While thousands of marchers each year demonstrate peacefully for worker and immigrant rights, past years have been regularly marred by violence and damage on both sides of the police lines. May 1st will again include the May Day Anticapitalist march beginning at 6 PM from Broadway and Pine’s Seattle Central. 2013’s Workers and Immigrant Rights march was, as usual, a peaceful protest attended by thousands until incidents between groups of protesters and police flared up downtown in the afternoon and protestors were pushed up Capitol Hill by officers using crowd control tactics including pepper spray and flash grenades. Nearly 20 were arrested and windows were reportedly broken out at several Capitol Hill businesses including glass was broken at Hill businesses including Bill’s Off Broadway, Sun Liquor and Walgreen’s.
  • Prop 1 Election Day: Don’t forget. Your ballot in the vote on the Metro and roads-powering Proposition 1 needs to be in the mail Tuesday.

7 thoughts on “City Hall | Public hearing on SPD union contract, microhousing regulation, May Day preparation

  1. I’m glad to hear that the new regulations of microhousing are moving ahead in the City Council. This can’t happen soon enough. Hopefully the new regs will stop the developers from exploiting the loopholes on height, design review, and parking.

  2. I have no problem with micro-housing, what is the big deal? If someone wants to live in one..their choice and if you can knock a few hundred off the going rate of a studio…great.

    I lived in a “micro” apartment in Taipei, did I want to have a party there? Nope…Was it fine for sleeping, studying, etc? Yes.

    If people do not want micro-housing, developers wont build them. If they get rented…a market exists.

    • No one here really has a problem with micro housing and could care less if people want to live in 200 sqft. The issue is they are built via loopholes and thus take a big stinking dump on the neighborhood as they do not undergo any of the same design review processes and accountability as a conventional apartment buildings.

      Its not about the price/size per unit, its about treating all new developments equally and not leaving blights on the neighborhood.

      • Well-said, Timmy. I completely agree with you! The main loophole that the City Council will fix is the one that is allowing microhousing developers to build up to six stories in a LR-3 zone. That’s why you are seeing some of them tower over their neighbors, blocking out light and uglifying the street

        I hope the new regs will also disallow the developers’ claim that their buildings are “six-unit boarding houses,” when in fact they have 48 units. This disingenuous claim is what allows them to avoid design review.

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