On June 27th our attorney was successful in getting additional bus headway data into the appeal record. This is good but it may mean some delay in getting a final decision on the substance of our appeal. We anticipate a decision by July 7th or shortly thereafter. Watch this website for breaking news.
MOTION TO RE-OPEN THE RECORD
At the May hearing, we presented statistical evidence that 38% of the time, the #5 bus does not meet the 15 minute headways required to build Phinney Flats without any on-site parking. This was a crucial issue in the appeal. The City and the developer’s attorney argued that two additional trips in the morning added in March could “fix” the problem but they did not produce any evidence to prove this. However following the close of the hearing, we were finally able to secure additional data from Metro and conduct the same statistical analysis showing that even with the added trips, the bus did not meet the headways 37% of the time. This study is now before the Hearing Examiner in addition to the original report and testimony.
The City planners continue to insist that bus schedules, regardless of late arrivals and skipping stops due to full buses, are all that is needed to characterize frequent transit performance. We have argued that actual bus performance data must be considered before eliminating all parking requirements.
The decision will affect all urban villages with so-called Frequent Transit Service. Please share this information with your friends inside and outside Phinney Ridge and urge their support for our cause.
WE STILL NEED DONATIONS TO COVER LEGAL COSTS FOR THIS EXTENDED APPEAL
Since our fundraising begin in early February, we have received 170 donations totaling over $31,000. Individual donations have ranged from $20 to $1,500. Several individuals donated more than once. The Fini Condo Association contributed $2, 500. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU! This shows what a concerned neighborhood can do when challenged with a bad decision. It also shows how expensive land use appeals really are.
BECAUSE we are not done paying the bills!
We estimate the need for another $10,000 to cover the preparation of the closing brief and the unexpected motion described above. Please click to donate:
Or send a check to Livable Phinney, 6537 Greenwood Ave. Seattle, WA 98103 or drop off a check at the HomeStreet Bank at 73rd and Greenwood.
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT
To join our mailing list, or to ask us a question, please email us at LivablePhinney@gmail.com.
OTHER RELATED NEWS
LAND USE CODE CHANGE REGARDING COSTLY CODE INTERPRETATIONS
One of the expenses associated with this appeal was the requirement to pay a $3,150 fee to the city to get a written explanation of how the planner applied the land use code when approving the project. This fee presents a real financial burden on citizens’ rights to appeal since many times appeals are tossed out because the appellant did not pay for an Interpretation.
Livable Phinney worked with other activists in West Seattle and Council member Lisa Herbold to help resolve this. There is now a code change pending to remove this requirement.
There is a quiet public hearing on the amendment July 18th at 9:30 am in the regularly scheduled Planning, Land Use and Zoning Council Committee. Please write an email by July 17th to council member Rob.Johnson@seattle.gov and cc Ketil.Freeman@seattle.gov in support of Council Bill 118985. Say you support the intent of removing the Interpretation requirement and ask that the effective date of the ordinance be made retroactive to January 1, 2017. The latter request is a long shot but if successful, will help us claw back the fee we paid.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AMENDMENT ON SPILLOVER PARKING FROM NEW DEVELOPMENT
The impacts of spillover parking from new development along Phinney/Greenwood into the already full adjacent residential streets was highlighted in the LivablePhinney appeal. Irene Wall, who is also a City Neighborhood Council committee member, proposed an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan to address this situation.
#4. Application by the City Neighborhood Council to amend land use policies to reduce the spillover of parking from urban centers and villages into the surrounding community. Follow this link to read this and other amendments in Clerk File 320265 by searching http://clerk.seattle.gov/~public/CFCF1.htm for File Number 320265.
There will be a Public Hearing on Monday, July 24 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall to advocate for amendments to be “docketed” for consideration. Send written comments in support of Amendment #4 to Council member Rob Johnson c/o firstname.lastname@example.org.