When they were done pounding out Seattle microhousing regulations after years of negotiations, here is what the public servants of City Hall have also been working on.
- Minimum wage enforcers: Mayor Ed Murray and City Council member Nick Licata announced a plan for a new Office of Labor Standards with seven full-time employees to help enforce the implementation of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage plan and workplace regulations.
- Budget season: The money to pay for the new minimum wage watchdogs and other early announcements like the promise to beef up SPD hiring and technology spending will be part of Murray’s 2015 budget plan to be announced next Monday, September 22nd.
Boom fees: Reportedly, City Hall is considering more ways to try to move some of the cash from the Seattle development boom into providing city infrastructure and services. First, the City Council has started to look at “growth impact fees when developers build new projects that put additional demand on public roads, schools, parks and fire departments.”
Meanwhile, the ball has also started rolling on linkage fees:
Linkage fees are a strong public policy tool that can help address our city’s affordable housing crisis. This policy requires new development to contribute to the creation of affordable housing through mandatory fees, can apply broadly across the city to reach the greatest number of neighborhoods and can be structured to promote affordable units within each new development, fostering inclusive, mixed-income communities.
- 2nd Ave bike counts: SDOT says bike traffic has “tripled” on 2nd Ave, claiming “an average of 1,099 bicyclists a day” in a three-day sample following the implementation of a new bikeway. The Broadway bikeway is serving about 600 trips per day.
- Yesler Terrace tech: With the excitement about all the woodies flocking to Seattle and driving up rents on Capitol Hill following the announcement that “forest products” giant Weyerhaeuser is moving its headquarters to Pioneer Square, you might have missed the City of Seattle’s work to woo “another tech giant” to the Emerald City with the promise of a Yesler Terrace tech campus. They employees will need apartments — and parks.
- There are never Car2Gos on Capitol Hill when you need them: The mayor is apparently a fan of expanding car sharing in Seattle and has a two-pronged plan for expansion:
First, he wants to open up Seattle to more car-sharing companies such as BMW’s DriveNow. Fizz hears the legislation will allow three additional companies into the market.
And second, he wants to empower the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) director to make the call (rather than the council) on the cap per company.
Meanwhile, it ain’t City Hall but the King County Council has aped Seattle’s moves on regulating “transportation network companies” like Lyft and Uber in the 16 cities and incorporated areas it regulates.
- Metro not so bad-o: While we’re talking county, the Seattle Times reports — Metro bus service cuts not quite as bad as predicted:
King County Metro Transit has found enough savings to limit its cuts to 400,000 bus service hours per year instead of the 550,000 hours predicted earlier, General Manager Kevin Desmond said in a news conference this morning.
That bit of good news raises the possibility that if Seattle voters approve new transit taxes this fall, the city might gain transit, rather than merely hold the line against cuts. But Desmond said that if Metro were to serve all the “latent demand” in the county, including overcrowded routes, it would need a 15 percent service increase.
But, yeah, you’ll still have to say goodbye to the 47.