November was a hectic time for neighborhood planning activities. From our CHUV Neighbor-to-Neighbor conversation at the Greenlake Library to the City Council sponsored design workshop to the rescheduled Find it Fix It Walk. Thank you to the nearly two-hundred neighbors who joined participated to discuss zoning, infrastructure and our community’s future.
During these events, consistent themes emerged from neighbors about the future of our community, and specifically the draft rezone maps, including:
- Continue to prioritize planning, and integrate planning solutions such as design guidelines to make growth work for our community and mitigate likely problems arising from these changes.
- Many neighbors support the City’s plan to build density along the arterials as represented in the maps, but would like the City to consider a phased-in, incremental approach–building along arterials first, before building on traditionally residential streets. Some neighbors suggested that if development is done incrementally with arterials first, we could then address some of the infrastructure challenges (drainage, transit, public and pedestrian safety and sidewalks) our residential community experiences now.
- Regardless, neighbors nearly unanimously expressed clear, consistent desire to upgrade the infrastructure and transit needed to handle new growth, or adjust the zoning plan appropriately to accommodate limits in infrastructure.
- Neighbors also strongly highlighted concerns that growth extends too deeply into our residential streets that run parallel to arterials (16th, Mary and 14th), and rezoning these residential streets to commercial creates significant livability concerns.
- Our neighborhood has identified a clear interest in creating an Urban Village Neighborhood Center – likely in the area north of 85th and East of Holman where there is room for growth.
- Many expressed concerns about displacement of neighbors (particularly seniors) from existing housing and a desire to mitigate that displacement and keep affordable housing here in the community.
- Many expressed worries about parking, and support solutions including Restricted Parking Zones (RPZ) to address the existing community’s mobility concerns.
The Crown Hill Urban Village Committee for Smart Growth compiled the strongest themes in community feedback on the draft rezone maps and sent them to City officials, and we met with Councilmember O’Brien to discuss this feedback and are meeting with OPCD in January to discuss next steps. Read the summary of maps feedback and a longer compilation of feedback here. We also sent City officials feedback from our December 5th neighbor meeting to discuss the maps, which not only addressed concerns about the draft maps, but also addressed broader concerns about the fairness of the rezoning plan and the policies behind them. The City also has our list of questions raised about the zoning changes, and we will post answers on our Frequently Asked Questions page when we get them.
There is one additional opportunity to give your feedback on the City’s draft zoning maps now. Go online to Hala.Consider.IT and select the Crown Hill draft zoning map. This is the City’s official online community comment tool for the draft maps. You can select whether you agree or disagree with some of the City’s general questions, but we strongly suggest your feedback would be more impactful if you click on each question and then add your specific comments under each question. This is an opportunity to register your and your neighbors priorities for growth in another of the City’s official feedback tools. (Please know this is NOT a quick survey or a particularly intuitive tool, and you will need some time and perhaps a bit of patience to navigate this website and leave comments on questions.) We believe well considered comments are worth the effort.
Finally, we’re looking for neighbors to join our efforts. Leadership positions on the Committee are available in 2017. Want to learn more? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will hold a planning meeting for 2017 in January.
Happy Holidays and New Year.