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Quick Action Needed to Resist Bad Planning

Quick Action Needed to Resist Bad Planning

There are two separate events unfolding right now with respect to the Sisley properties near Roosevelt High School.  One is the “contract rezone”, which was the topic of the EIS Scoping Meeting last week at Calvary.  Comments on that issue are due by Aug. 4, as outlined in another recent e-mail.  The other activity is much less visible, but technically important to the developer’s plan, and on a very fast track at City Council (this Wednesday).


The Roosevelt Development Group (RDG) has submitted an application to City Council, to *amend* the Seattle Comprehensive Plan.  The RDG proposal, among other things, would annex several properties in Ravenna near 15th Ave NE and NE 65th St to become part of the Roosevelt Urban Village.  Moreover, the RDG Comp Plan amendment would change some of the key provisions in the recently updated Roosevelt Neighborhood Plan, especially as it relates to the preservation of single family housing.  You can find the entire text of RDG’s proposal in the list (#8) of proposed Comp Plan amendments at this site:  http://www.seattle.gov/council/comp_plan/201011amendments.htm


The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association (RNA) has taken a strong position in opposition to the RDG Comp Plan amendment as outlined in the letter and attachment which can be found here (the attachment referred to in the letter can be found here).  There’s a lot of detail to the argument, and you needn’t study it carefully, but understand the RNA’s two major points:


(1)    The RDG Comp Plan amendment does not meet Council’s requirement that the applicant has conducted “outreach” with the affected community.  In fact, RDG has misrepresented meetings with the Community as genuine engagement on their Comp Plan Amendment.  This is not true, as the e-mail attachment forcefully makes clear.

(2)    The RDG Comp Plan amendment is positioned as a responsible and productive initiative to study increased density near the future transit station.  The RNA disagrees, and presses DPD and City Council to first study the neighborhood’s rezoning recommendations (“The Warren Report”) issued in 2006.  The Community’s land use recommendations cover the entire station area, unlike RDG’s Comp Plan, which would address only a corner of the community.  “Comprehensive Planning” should cover the whole station area.


The RDG Comp Plan amendment will be considered on Wednesday morning, July 28 at the City Council Committee on the Built Environment (COBE) meeting at 9:00 AM at City Hall.  John Adams, RNA Vice President and Diane Haddock, Ravenna neighborhood land use representative are each planning to sign up for public comment at the beginning of the meeting.  Other community members are encouraged to attend, to speak your own piece or to simply stand in support of your neighborhood representative.  The COBE meeting will be broadcast live on Seattle Channel 21, and posted on the City’s website within a few hours.   


I realize that attending the meeting will not be practical for most folks, but I would like to ask you to send an e-mail to City Councilmembers before they meet on Wednesday morning.  Your message can be as simple as “I support the position outlined by the RNA, and I oppose further consideration of Comp Plan amendment #8” or you may say anything you like, of course.  While careful, original comments have a lot of impact, the most important thing is just to send something; the number of e-mails counts a lot.


Who are you writing to?  Mainly, the members of the “COBE” committee which will meet on Wednesday morning: 


Sally Clark, sally.clark@seattle.gov

Sally Bagshaw, sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov

Tim Burgess, tim.burgess@seattle.gov and

Tom Rasmussen, tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov


I recommend also writing to Councilmembers Jean Godden and Bruce Harrell, who each seem to have taken a special interest in Roosevelt land use issues.  Of course it can’t hurt to contact each of the nine City Councilmembers (individually is best, but it’s OK to “cc” councilmembers).  Whatever you can manage. 


IMPORTANT NOTE:  In your e-mail “subject line”, do NOT use the term “rezone”, because this may cause your e-mail to be screened out of Councilmember’s mail.   The RDG contract rezone process is now considered “quasi-judicial”, which means that Councilmembers cannot have any direct communication with affected parties.  The Comp Plan amendment process, on the other hand, is openly conducted. 


Frankly, we’ve got an uphill battle on this issue.  But Council needs to know how much opposition there is and I think they can be swayed.  So please send an e-mail if you can, by Tuesday night if possible.  Thank you for your support.  Sorry for the long e-mail, and the short time frame in which to act.  Things are happening pretty quickly right now. 


Jim O’Halloran

Chair, Land Use Committee

Roosevelt Neighborhood Association



One comment

  1. Jim reported last night: This afternoon I’ve talked with several councilmembers’ offices. They’re telling me that they are getting *slammed* with e-mail from Roosevelt and Ravenna, and that they are quite impressed with the clarity and conviction of your messages. Sally Clark, land use committee chair, says: Don’t let up on the community pressure around this issue. Wow!

    Roosevelt Neighborhood Association

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