Seattle, WA — Councilmember Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle) and Chair of the Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee issued the following statement in response to an appeal of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS):
“Two years ago, Seattle City Council committed to the implementation of a mandatory inclusionary zoning program to help address our affordable housing crisis – now known as Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program. The Council has unanimously supported MHA implementation in framework legislation and through enacting legislation in the U-District, Downtown, South Lake Union, Chinatown/International District, Uptown and parts of the Central Area. With the publication of the FEIS and the transmittal of city-wide MHA legislation, we are now much closer to requiring all new development in Seattle to contribute to our affordable housing goals.
“An appeals process is an important part of upholding the values of rigor and transparency of our government. It’s what ensures we have good information and affords everyone the opportunity to ‘check our work’. There has been a tremendous amount of attention given to the analysis within the FEIS, and a responsiveness to additional analysis, especially around displacement and school enrollment, between the draft and FEIS. It will now be the Hearing Examiner’s role to determine the merits of the appeal.
“Every day, I hear about Seattle’s urgent need for more housing choices for people of all incomes and family sizes, which is the goal of the MHA program. Though Council is prohibited from taking final action during the appeal process, we will continue our planned 8-month outreach and deliberation process so that when the appeal is resolved, we can act quickly to implement a critical strategy that will result in more income and rent-restricted housing and more housing options across our city for people of all incomes.“
Amy Gore, Councilmember Johnson’s Office, 206.-684-8808
Dana Robinson Slote, Council Communications, 206-615-0061