Capitol Hill Community Post | Mayor Durkan Announces Members of City’s New Small Business Advisory Council

From the Office of the Mayor Jenny Durkan
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced the members of the City’s new Small Business Advisory Council (SBAC), a group tasked with ensuring small businesses have a role in informing policies and programs, and have the access to resources they need to thrive and be part of the solutions to the challenges of growth and Seattle’s affordability crisis. The SBAC, established by Mayor Durkan in an Executive Order in November, will provide input on the impact of City decisions, make policy recommendations, and help increase access to tools and resources available to small businesses including arts and culture organizations. The inaugural meeting of the SBAC will be held on February 21, 2018. Continue reading

Step 1: Dream up $90K Capitol Hill, First Hill, or Central District parks & streets idea

Step 2: enjoy your improved neighborhood. The city’s annual Your Voice, Your Choice process is starting up again. You have until February 2nd to take part in the first phase of helping decide how to spend $3 million on park and street improvements in Seattle.

Need inspiration? These were the District 3 winners in 2017.

DISTRICT 3  

  • Capitol Hill: Crossing Improvements at I-5 Exit on to Olive Way (Cost: $75,000, Total Votes: 240)
  • Central District: Traffic Calming on 17th Ave S between E Yesler Way & S Jackson St (Cost: $15,000, Total Votes: 200)
  • Judkins Park: Improved Connections to Judkins Park from S. Dearborn St (Cost: $90,000, Total Votes: 173)
  • Capitol Hill: Crossing Improvements at 19th Ave E & E Denny Way (Cost: $83,000, Total Votes:  171) 

City departments were to include the winning proposals in their annual budgets with plans to implement the projects in 2018.

The process to collect new proposals ends Friday, February 2nd. Your ideas should adhere to three simple values. Your proposed District 3 projects should:

  • Benefit the public
  • Add a physical or capital improvement project in Seattle’s parks or streets
  • Not exceed a budget of $90,000

Add your proposal here

There is also a map of the project ideas from 2017 that will roll over to the 2018 process. “These are ideas that were submitted in 2017 and considered potentially feasible, but not funded through the 2017 process,” the city says.

After the hundreds of proposals are collected, Project Development Teams in each district will “turn ideas into concrete project proposals,” the city says. Over summer, the final proposals for each district will be put up for a vote.

Each of the city’s seven district will be eligible for up to $430,000 in projects.

Sawant to chair City Council’s new committee dedicated to homelessness services, renters rights

Seattle City Council fans, grab your popcorn. The new committee assignments are out and you’ll be seeing some familiar faces in new roles in council business in 2018.

District 3 representative Kshama Sawant will start the third year of her four-year term with a new assignment for the council as chair of the newly formed Human Services, Equitable Development, and Renter Rights Committee. The HSEDRR will “work on issues relating to services provided by the Human Services Department, including programs that meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in our community.” Sawant’s new committee will also consider “matters involving public health” and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) as well as renter rights, “including but not limited to legislation intended to protect renters facing gentrification, economic evictions, excessive background checks, and unaffordable rent.

In a crucial but challenging role, Sally Bagshaw will step into the council’s budget chair. Bruce Harrell, meanwhile, has been voted to continue serving as the body’s president.

City Hall’s full details on the committee assignments are below.

Council Sets 2018-19 Committee Assignments

Seattle – The Seattle City Council today adopted Resolution 31789 establishing committee assignments for 2018 and 2019. Each Councilmember is responsible for chairing a Councilcommittee and managing legislation related to the committee’s respective subjects. In addition, each Councilmember serves as vice chair, member and alternate on three additional committees. Continue reading

To push back on short-term rental boom, Seattle adds new Airbnb regulations

The Seattle City Council followed through Monday on a second piece of legislation to further regulate the short term rental market in the city and raise new funding from the industry.

Council members approved a package of rules that will limit owners to only two units at a time on services like Airbnb. The new rules will also require the platform companies including Airbnb and Expedia to pay for a permit to operate in Seattle. The approved legislation calls on the city to study how much the platform companies should be charged to help pay for regulation and enforcement of the industry. Continue reading

Take the 2017 Pike People Street survey

With the 2017 season of Pike People Street pedestrianization of Pike/Pine complete, city officials want to know your thoughts on the program after three summers of testing various setups of closing the core of the nightlife district to automobile traffic. Here is the pitch on the latest survey from SDOT:

To evaluate this program, we are conducting a survey on the Pike People Street concept and how it was implemented in 2017. We want to understand what worked well, what could be improved, and gauge interest in future People Streets in the City. It should take about 5 minutes to complete.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PikePeopleStreet2017

The survey is gathering responses both on participant experiences during the People Street events and from local businesses that may have benefitted from any increases in foot traffic or impacted by the modified motor vehicle traffic flow and parking changes.

First tested in 2015, the initial E Pike car restrictions between Broadway and 12th Ave were an attempt to address issues of crowd control, sidewalk congestion, and LGBTQ visibility and accessibility in the Pike/Pine nightlife core of Capitol Hill, and the results indicated overwhelming support by participants for a more pedestrian-friendly corridor, city officials say. But the project also faced criticism from some businesses and property owners who said the nighttime street closure perpetuated the public image of Pike/Pine as a nightlife-only party district, that day-time oriented retail businesses weren’t benefiting equally, and that the project didn’t achieve its goal of increasing public safety in the area.

The initial pedestrian zone project was funded through a city grant the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce received in 2015.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Vote June 3 – 30 for your favorite Your Voice, Your Choice park and street improvements

From the City of Seattle

From June 3 – June 30, it’s your chance to vote for your favorite park and street improvement projects.

It’s all part of the City of Seattle’s Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks & Streets, a participatory budgeting initiative in which Seattle residents democratically decide how to spend a portion of the City’s budget on small-scale park and street improvements. A total of $285,000 is set aside in each City Council District, and residents can cast their ballots for their top three choices in the district where they live, work, go to school, receive services, or volunteer.

Each council district will have its own ballot with a set of 8-10 projects.  The projects were selected from nearly 900 ideas submitted in February by community members across Seattle. The projects, which can be viewed at www.seattle.gov/yvyc, range from improved intersection crossings to better park accessibility.

Community members ages 11 and up can vote online or at in-person polling stations between June 3-30. Paper ballots are also available at all community centers and libraries. The projects that receive the most votes will be funded by the City and implemented in 2018.

Ballots will be tallied after June 30, and winning projects will be announced by July 18. You can find information and voting instructions at www.seattle.gov/yvyc.

City of Seattle seeks candidates for Community Involvement Commission

cic_800x350If you have “three to six” hours per month you can give toward helping “advise and guide our City departments to assess, improve, and develop authentic and thorough outreach and engagement to all residents,” the city’s newly forming Community Involvement Commission needs you:

The Community Involvement Commission will advise the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and other City departments on coordinated, Citywide outreach and engagement activities. Its goals are to:

  1. Provide advice on priorities, policies, and strategies related to equitable civic engagement and public participation in City decision-making processes. This includes the review of initiatives, strategies and proposals brought forward by the City, as well as ones identified by the Commission.

  2. Provide feedback on the development of City departments’ community involvement plans with a focus on implementing more equitable engagement strategies and identifying new ways to increase civic participation in City processes.

  3. Develop and periodically amend bylaws and a work plan that enable the Commission to organize itself, perform its work, and advance program and policy proposals consistent with its mission.

You have until March 1st to apply to be part of the first ever set of 16 volunteers for the commission.

“Don’t miss this opportunity to represent your community, your civic interest, and your neighborhood in telling the City how it can do a better job of reaching and engaging all community members in the City’s actions and decisions.” You can read more about the search for commission members here.

In November, CHS reported on Seattle’s plan to shift to the new commission in a bid to increase participation of underrepresented groups with local government.

In quest for diversity, Seattle now has a Community Involvement Commission

Capitol Hill Community Post | Where will the new Convention Center workers live?

"The Addition will add approximately 250,000 square feet of exhibition space, 125,000 square feet of meeting rooms and 60,000 square feet of ballroom space to the current Convention Center capacity," according to the WSCC

“The Addition will add approximately 250,000 square feet of exhibition space, 125,000 square feet of meeting rooms and 60,000 square feet of ballroom space to the current Convention Center capacity,” according to the WSCC

By Joel Sisolak and McCaela Daffern

The most expensive public works project in Seattle’s history is quietly heading toward City Council approval. Let’s hit pause and consider how the project will impact adjacent neighborhoods and how the developer should internalize costs that will otherwise fall on Seattle taxpayers, including the cost of housing the development’s own workforce.

In case you’ve missed it, the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) is slotted for a makeover to the tune of $1.6 billion dollars – an eye watering price tag bigger than Safeco and CenturyLink combined. It will reshape a large part of Seattle’s city center, result in four years or ongoing construction, disrupt downtown traffic, and permanently remove 1.28 acres of streets and alleyways to use by the public.

And the benefits are less than certain. WSCC claims that the addition will provide “a host of economic benefits, including as much as $240 million annually in visitor spending, as many as 3,900 direct and indirect jobs.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Renter Initiative, Entre Hermanos holding ‘housing justice’ movie night

Last summer, CHS reported on progress in easing the construction of backyard rentals to help combat Seattle’s affordability crisis. The progress has since ground to a halt. Wednesday, the Capitol Hill Renter Initiative and Latino LGBTQ nonprofit Entre Hermanos are teaming up for a movie night and discussion at 12th Ave’s Northwest Film Forum to sort out how the groups “can take action on backyard cottages and other housing justice campaigns” —

Housing Justice Movie Night-Quinceañera

This event was created in response to the recent decision by the Seattle hearing examiner to indefinitely delay an ordinance that would make it easier for homeowners to build backyard cottages (legally called Detached Accessory Dwelling Units or DADUs) like the home the main characters share in the movie. The hearing examiner decision came after a legal challenge by the Queen Anne Community Council, a neighborhood group that hired attorneys in order to delay these low cost housing options from coming to their neighborhood.

You can register for a “ticket” to the event here. The screening is free but organizers are asking for a $3 donation to help cover costs.

CHS wrote here last month on the Capitol Hill Renter Initiative’s goals for 2017.