The missing middle. (Classic brick condos near Volunteer Park, illegal in most of Seattle.)
The missing middle. (Classic brick condos near Volunteer Park, illegal in most of Seattle.)

Apologies for the short notice, but tonight (September 30) at 5:30 is your last chance to testify before the City Council on the HALA Grand Bargain and the Council’s related workplan. The Council’s Select Committee on Housing Affordability will hear public comment on the proposed Affordable Housing Impact Mitigation Program (aka the Commercial Linkage Fee).

After tonight, the budget and the election will consume the energies of the council, so your turnout tonight is important, especially if you did not have a chance to testify at the September 9 hearing.

New development capacity is critical to ensuring that people who want to live in Seattle will be able to find a place to call home, and the core of HALA is a Grand Bargain of mandatory inclusionary zoning, commercial linkage fees, and dozens of other recommendations. It is not a purist document – its proposals chafe both pure supply-side urbanists and hardcore social justice advocates alike – but a remarkable coalition has come together to recognize that its net impact would be very positive for the City, with more units built at more levels of income than ever before. If you cannot make it tonight, you are encouraged to email your comments to

13 Replies to “Action Alert: Last Chance to Comment on HALA Before the Election”

  1. Also popping up in my email. speaking of opportunities for public comment, from Dembrowski:

    As the Chair of the Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee, I have scheduled an evening public hearing on this topic to foster further engagement from the community. I encourage you to attend the meeting and voice your opinion to my colleagues and me. Here are the details:

    Tuesday, October 6
    Open House at 6:30 p.m.
    Meeting at 7:00 p.m.
    The Mountaineers Club at Magnuson Park
    7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115

    1. I question the wisdom of holding this forum in a somewhat transit-hostile location

    2. The forum’s also discussing the Metro route changes!

      Fortunately, it’s just off the Burke-Gilman Trail. I’m considering showing up.

  2. Nobody today is building “classic brick condos” like those in this photo. A more candid discussion might be had if current architectural aesthetics were used instead.

    1. That is the point. No one is building housing like that because the code no longer allows it.

      You can’t on one hand decry the buildings we’re building now and at the same time say those are the only kind of buildings we should allow to be built.

      1. The zoning code certainly does too allow it. The building in that picture is in an LR-1 zone. It’s perfectly legal and conforms to the current zoning code. In fact the whole west side of 11th from Aloha to Volunteer Park is zoned LR-1.

      2. Start looking through the zoning code MUCH more carefully, Steve. Start with the parking requirements. And the setbacks. And the FAR ratios. And so on and so on…

        …and then note that a miniscule fraction of Seattle is even zoned LR-1, so this building is illegal in most of Seattle even if it does satisfy all of that.

    2. Why would this discussion be anything but “candid”? We moderate on this forum for abusive language, but not for mere strong disagreement.

    1. Colorado’s gone in for *really boxy* architecture lately. I wish they’d use some more curves.

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