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City Council notes: SPD and neighborhood ’emphasis’ update, short-term rental tax funding for affordable housing, AIDS Memorial Pathway

Seattle City Council committees are busy with a few topics Wednesday important to Capitol Hill and the nearby.

  • SPD and neighborhood emphasis update: The Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans, and Education Committee reviewed a report on the status of the city’s “seven neighborhood” emphasis program aimed to reduce crime concerns with a combination of increased policing and attention to clean streets and traffic issues. Overall, SPD says crime is down about 13% across the city so far in 2019 and the city’s takeaways on the emphasis effort mark the project as a success that will require sustained investments. In the downtown segment of the effort which includes areas of lower Capitol Hill, SPD says crime reports have dropped but officer reported contacts and incidents were also down amid an overall drop in crime in the area. “SPD is focused on increasing officer proactivity in the Pike/Pine corridor, with a focus on retail theft and predatory narcotics dealing,” the committee briefing reads. On Capitol Hill, SPD says its annual summer nightlife increase in patrol and staffing in the Pike/Pine core is also underway.
  • Short-term rental tax funding for affordable housing: The Finance and Neighborhoods Committee is slated to take up how best to put short-term rental tax revenue to work creating equitable development and affordable housing in the city. The tax of $14 per night for homes and $8 per night for rooms is planned to raise more than $7 million per year, Wednesday, the committee will discuss proposals for how that money should be divvied up and how much should go to the city’s Equitable Development Initiative to push economic development and reduce displacement in the Central District, International District, and Rainier Valley.
  • AIDS Memorial Pathway: A lunchtime session will update the council on plans for the art and pathway that will connect the development above Capitol Hill Station to Cal Anderson Park. CHS wrote about the artist, the art, and the causes behind the pathway here in May.


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