Land Use & Neighborhoods

Committee regular meeting days and time:

2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m.

Committee Members:

Committee Scope:

To provide policy direction and oversight and to deliberate and make recommendations on legislative matters relating to:

  • planning and land use, including comprehensive planning, community development, zoning, design, and land use regulations, including the Office of Planning and Community Development, and the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, except for issues related to rental regulations;
  • Major Institution Master Plans and quasi-judicial land use decisions; and
  • the Department of Neighborhoods, including neighborhood planning, engagement and outreach, funding opportunities, and historic preservation.

Mobile Home Park Regulations

In 2019 the Council passed Ordinance 125764, which placed a one-year moratorium on redevelopment of the remaining two mobile home parks in the city: the Halcyon and the Bella Bee. Those mobile home parks are located in the Bitter Lake Hub Urban Village in northwest Seattle. Ordinance 125764 also established a work program for the Office of Planning and Community Development to develop and proposed permanent regulations to protect the mobile home parks. The moratorium has been extended for three additional six-month periods. The current extended moratorium will expire in July, 2021.  In April 2021, the Council issued a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) threshold determination of non-significance for a proposal to create a Mobile Home Park Overlay District. That threshold determination was appealed to the City Hearing Examiner on May 17, 2021. The COVID-19 civil emergencies declared by the Governor and Mayor and the SEPA appeal have forestalled the City's efforts to develop a proposal for Council consideration. A six-month extension of the moratorium is necessary to preserve the option for Council to consider future land use regulations related to mobile home parks.

The Committee will hold a hearing on the proposed overlay on May 26, 2021 at 9:30 am. The Full Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed moratorium extension on June 1, 2021 at 2:00 pm.  Information and legislation for the proposed overlay and a proposed extension of the moratorium are linked below.

Proposed Overlay

The MHPOD legislation would establish more restrictive development standards than the underlying Commercial 1 zoning. Those standards would be applicable to redevelopment of existing mobile home parks and would:

  • Limit residential uses to mobile homes and mobile home parks;
  • Establish minimum and maximum residential densities of 1 unit per 5,000 square feet and 1 unit per 2,400 square feet, respectively, to allow for urban densities while ensuring adequate separation for light and air;
  • Allow some commercial uses, consistent with the underlying commercial zone designation, but limit the size of those uses with a maximum floor area ratio of 2 and maximum size limit of 5,000 square feet;
  • Establish height and setback limitations that are consistent with ongoing mobile home park residential uses;
  • Require the provision of residential amenity areas, such as outdoor or indoor recreational areas, when 25% or more of a site is redeveloped or undergoes a major renovation; and
  • Provide for the expiration of the overlay within 50 years.

When the overlay lapses the sites could be developed to the densities and with the full range of uses allowed in the underlying zone, which allows significantly higher intensity of both residential and commercial use.

The MHPOD legislation would also request that the Office of Housing add the census tract containing the overlay to those census tracts eligible for participation in the affirmative marketing and community preference policy adopted in the City’s Housing Funding Policies (2019), most recently amended by Ordinance 125852. Those policies provide opportunities for displaced residents to return to affordable housing in their prior neighborhood.

Resources for Mobile Home Park Overlay

Proposed Moratorium Extension

The proposed moratorium extension would continue the current moratorium for an additional 6-month period. The moratorium could end earlier than 6 months from the date the extension legislation is effective if the proposed overlay legislation passes.

Resources for Moratorium Extension

Notice of an Opportunity to Comment on Legislation to Amend the Seattle Comprehensive Plan to Replace the Term “Single-Family Area” with “Neighborhood Residential Area”

The Seattle City Council’s Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee will hold a public hearing on a proposal by Councilmember Mosqueda to amend Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan to replace the term “Single-Family area” with “Neighborhood Residential area” when referring to areas shown on the Future Land Use Map and guided by policies in the plan. The use of Neighborhood Residential is intended to be a non-substantive, technical change that would better reflect the mix of activities already present in these areas, rather than a policy change in how these areas are treated in the plan.

The proposed amendments would update the terms (1) on the Future Land Use Map; (2) in the Land Use, Housing, and Parks and Open Space elements; (3) in seventeen neighborhood plans; and (4) in the Housing appendix.

The neighborhood plans to be amended are:

  • Admiral,
  • Aurora-Licton,
  • Bitter Lake Village,
  • Central Area,
  • Columbia City,
  • Crown Hill/Ballard,
  • Greenwood/Phinney Ridge,
  • Morgan Junction,
  • North Beacon Hill,
  • North Neighborhoods/Lake City,
  • North Rainier/Mount Baker,
  • Northgate,
  • Queen Anne/Uptown,
  • Rainier Beach,
  • Roosevelt,
  • West Seattle Junction, and
  • Westwood Highland Park

Public Hearing

The City Council’s Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee will hold a public hearing to receive input on this preliminary proposal on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at 9:30 AM. The hearing will be held in the: City Council Chambers 2nd floor, Seattle City Hall 600 Fourth Avenue.

Due to the COVID-19 civil emergency declared by the City and the State of Washington, persons who wish to participate in or attend the hearing may be required to do so remotely.

The City will provide instructions in the meeting agenda on how to participate remotely. Please check the Committee agenda a few days prior to the meeting at http://www.seattle.gov/council/committees.

Print and communications access is provided on prior request. Please contact Noah An at (206) 684-5326 or via e-mail at: noah.an@seattle.gov as soon as possible to request accommodations for a disability.

Questions concerning the public hearing may be directed to Noah An in Councilmember Dan Strauss’ office, by calling (206) 684-5326 or via e-mail at: noah.an@seattle.gov.

Written Comments

Written comments on the draft proposed legislation will be accepted through 5:00 PM on July 28, 2021. Please send comments to Erin House in Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda’s office, via e-mail at erin.house@seattle.gov, or by mail to:

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda
Seattle City Council
600 4th Avenue, 2nd Floor
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Information Available

Information regarding the proposal is available on the Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee webpage at: http://www.seattle.gov/council/committees/land-use-and-neighborhoods.

Questions regarding the proposal may be directed to Erin House of Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda’s Office at (206) 615-1567 or erin.house@seattle.gov or Lish Whitson of the City Council Central Staff at (206) 615-1674, lish.whitson@seattle.gov.

Resources

Proposed Text Amendments to Modify the Regional Transfer of Development Rights Program and Determination of Non-Significance

The City of Seattle is proposing text amendments to modify the existing Regional Transfer of Development Rights program (TDR) program in Downtown and South Lake Union. The amendments would allow the City to accept TDR from Pierce and Snohomish counties. Currently, only TDR from King County is allowed. Amendments could also include changes to the requirements for achieving extra floor area in Downtown and South Lake Union including removing the option to purchase Regional TDR in Downtown zones or allowing other options to achieve extra floor area in Downtown or South Lake Union zones.

Environmental Determination

OPCD has determined that the amendment described above will not have a significant adverse environmental impact and has issued a Determination of Non-Significance (no Environmental Impact Statement required).

Resources: