The Morgan Festival Planning Committee work is underway, with plans for another great festival for our community to enjoy! We plan for more fun for the kids and another slate of great music. We want to continue to bring local talent and products into our Vendor area and we'd like to put out the call - if you are an artist, craftsperson, entrepreneur, or have a great service to offer, we're looking for you! We keep our booth prices low so that we can emphasize local talent and businesses - we hope you can join us. Booth applications are due by May 30 and are attached to this posting
Welcome and Introductions/Deb Barker, (34 in attendance).
Slate of Officers announced for open Board positions. Ginnie Hance is willing to be Treasurer, and her husband Steve Hance will assist. Marianne Holsman is willing to be our new PIO. The confirmation vote will be at the April meeting.
Thank you to Eldon Olson and Cindi Barker.
Morgan Minute Updates
SWDC Report/Tamsen Spangler – Southwest District Council is very active, welcomed the SW Historical Society back in, WS YMCA is coming, and they are getting back to a District Council that communicates with the other West Side District Council (Delridge Neighborhoods District Council), which Lisa Herbold supports. Speakers include representatives from the City about how neighborhood organizations coordinate. Monthly meetings are first Wednesdays at 6:30pm at the Senior Center.
SWPAC Report/Phil Tavel – property crimes are down. Please continue to report odd or out of place things you see to 911.
WS Nazarene Church Townhouse Development/Deb Barker – Last MoCA meeting the Church announced their City Council waiver request so they would not have to pay $200,000 MHA fees on top of providing open space with their townhouse project. Unfortunately, the City Council did not grant the waiver, and the church is now looking at other options.
Drainage issue: California at Orchard – Water over the roadway intersection becomes icy in cold weather. Todd Rodman reported that new drainage pipes were installed in the area in December. Thanks to all who pushed for this to be fixed!
2018 Morgan Junction Festival/Phil – The Festival will be the Third Saturday in June. Every year is a little bigger and better. We need a volunteer coordinator for this year’s events.
Volunteer Projects/Cindi – Announced that Jill Boone will be coordinating summertime Morgan Junction cleanup events. We will announce parties in the spring. Jill suggests that we try and get cigarette disposal containers placed in the MJ business area, since that’s what a lot of the trash is, and those are very time consuming to pick up. If you have one you can donate, contact MoCA. She could also use donations of the small buckets for the kids to carry for trash.
Lowman Beach Wall Report and Next Steps – David Graves: Handed out Executive Summary of the Lowman Beach Park Feasibility Study Report prepared by ESA Consultants dated Dec. 7, 2017. KC had granted $250K to do this analysis. The ESA report covers three options for the failing beach wall site. Later this spring, the City will conduct a cultural analysis, ie; to look for native Indian artifacts under the tennis court, and devise an emergency response plan in the event the wall fails during a storm/king tide. A recommendation to the Park’s supervisor is due early March.
Q&A: Could this area be reclaimed as a ‘Mitigation’ area? That’s tough, because they want those mitigation areas to be closed to the public…and the wall is part of the park.
When will you be digging under the tennis courts? This spring, but they will be very small sample collections – and not right under the courts.
How long will each option last? Any wall option will fail as the previous two have. Audience comment: That’s not a fair conclusion as new construction will be better than what was done 50 years ago.
2018 Morgan Junction Project Volunteers –Deb spoke about the ongoing need for volunteers to join in. Jim Guenther suggests formation of a committee to look at funding some of the expenses for HALA actions. The MoCA board will discuss this before the next quarterly meeting.
Morgan Neighborhood Fund – Applications, Discussions and Votes
Fund Background: Several years ago, some concerned citizens filed an appeal against development in their Morgan Junction neighborhood. Settlement was a $25K donation to MoCA. The Admiral Neighborhood Association (ANA - a 501(c)3 organization) became fiscal agent for the fund and MoCA created the MoCA Neighborhood Fund to distribute the money. ANA took their fiscal agent fee up front so we have $23.500K left to distribute.
Phil introduced the first applicant: Morgan Junction Mural Restoration. Business Owner Dan Austin has submitted an application for $5,000 to fund proposed restoration of the mural on the west side of the Starbuck’s building at 6503 California Ave SW by BK Painters. This artist will include a coating that protects against graffiti and will also offer a $1500 discount to his $9,765 work bid. The building owner is donating $3K, and has no plans to sell the building. Additional fundraising would be necessary. The mural would be restored to the original condition, but with mildew resistant paint and the new graffiti resistant coating.
Q&A: Could Starbuck’s help? Possibly, Dan would fold that into his management of the project.
Voting on the $5,000 funding request passed with 30 yeas, no nays and at least one abstention.
Phil introduced the second applicant: MHA EIS legal appeal – Background provided in the December 26, 2017 MoCA letter to the Community: “In Nov. 12017, the City released its final EIS (FEIS) and proposed maps that would up-zone all areas of the Morgan Junction urban village. This document was dismissive of MoCA’s comments regarding flaws in the evaluation. In reviewing the FEIS, the MoCA board came to the realization that the only recourse to have our specific urban villages concerns addressed would be to file an appeal of the FEIS. Other neighborhoods were coming to the same conclusion. The November 27 appeal deadline was before scheduled MoCA meetings, and the board voted to both file a placeholder appeal and join the coalition of neighborhoods under the Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity (SCALE) then bring the appeal issue to the January 2018 meeting. The SCALE appeal seeks to require the City to adequately analyze, disclose and address the full impacts of proposed up-zones, as well as provide a true alternative.”
In introducing the MHA/EIS legal appeal application, Phil clarified that SCALE is represented by the Bricklin & Newman Law Group and they are working hard. The Morgan Junction appeal was read aloud, and specific Morgan Junction appeal issues were discussed, including impacts of WS Ferry traffic on at-capacity Morgan Junction intersections, MHA conflict with the Morgan Junction Neighborhood Plan, and the addition of a pedestrian overlay zone without public disclosure.
The application request is for $5,000 to fund MHA/EIS Legal Appeal efforts. Following discussion, the funding request was granted 29 Yeas, 3 Nays, and 3 Abstentions. The full appeal is included at the end of the meeting minutes.
Comprehensive Plan Amendment, HALA and MHA
MoCA Appeal of the MHA FEIS: As reported, the MHA Final EIS came out just after MoCA’s Nov. 14 special meeting about our Comprehensive Plan Amendment. After a very concentrated review of the 1,000 plus page FEIS, the MoCA Board voted to join the city-wide SCALE appeal of the FEIS and file an appeal of our own as well. We now are seeking approval of the Board’s decisions to file the appeal which concerns impacts that are specific to this community: WS Ferry traffic on at –capacity Morgan Junction intersections, MHA conflicts with the Morgan Junction Neighborhood Plan, impacts to existing affordable housing, and the addition of a pedestrian overlay zone without public disclosure. Phil read aloud the Morgan Junction appeal and its issues were discussed. The Appeal hearing before the Seattle Hearing Examiner will begin on April 28. Meeting participants voted to approve the filing of the appeal: Yeas = 18, Nays = 3, and Abstentions = 3.
MoCA Special Review District Concept Committee: Cindi reported on the results of the November 14, 2017 meeting where we learned that 53% of our UV will be up-zoned from Single Family to Multifamily. This could drive families out, affect vulnerable populations , and decrease diversity. We wanted to somehow designate that entry-level, owner-occupied, family sized homes be preserved in our UV. Cindi asked for volunteers to participate on a committee to work with outside agencies and the City toward this goal. We’d like a real estate representative and a tax person on this committee which hopes to have a first meeting in February.
MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION (MOCA)
APPEAL TO THE CITY OF SEATTLE HEARING EXAMINER
OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE CITYWIDE IMPLEMENTATION OF
MANDATORY HOUSING AFFORDABILITY (MHA)
FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
WHAT IS YOUR INTEREST IN THIS DECISION?
Morgan Community Association (MoCA) is a grassroots neighborhood association of residents, business persons, property owners and other stakeholders focusing on the future of the Morgan Junction neighborhood, including the Morgan Junction Urban Village. Our primary purpose is to make Morgan Junction a better place to live, work, shop and enjoy.
MoCA believes that Morgan Junction and its Urban Village will be adversely affected by the November 9, 2017 City of Seattle MHA/FEIS, due to the City's one-size fits all approach to Urban Village and land use planning, the City's rejection of the existing Morgan Junction Neighborhood Plan, and the City's failure to adequately engage with the Morgan Junction community or adequately address identified impacts throughout the entire HALA/MHA process.
MoCA is further alarmed by the FEIS assertion that the greatest potential for significant adverse land use impact occurs in single family areas that are rezoned to higher intensities, and that those Urban Villages with greater quantities of single family zoning could experience more local land use impact. With over 50% of the Morgan Junction Urban Village currently zoned single family, MoCA is aware that this Urban Village will have more negative impacts as a result of MHA. Despite the warning, the FEIS fails to identify land use impacts for the Morgan Junction Urban Village or offer any mitigation.
WHAT ARE YOUR OBJECTIONS TO THE DECISION?
1 of 6. Morgan Community Association (MoCA) adopts and incorporates by reference, as its own, each and every issue raised in the Notice of Appeal filed by Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity (SCALE). Each such issue raised will remain an issue raised by MoCA until and unless MoCA or the Hearing Examiner affirmatively dismisses such issue raised with respect to MoCA.
In addition, MoCA finds that the FEIS decision is deficient and a violation of SEPA due to the following:
2 of 6. Under the FEIS Preferred Option, a Pedestrian overlay zone is now imposed along California Ave SW within the Morgan Junction Urban Village. The City failed to disclose the addition of this overlay zone during any of the HALA/MHA public process, and it was never mentioned in depictions of Alternative 2 or Alternative 3. As a result, no analysis of the impacts of this overlay has ever been conducted, nor have the Pedestrian overlay limitations been disclosed. The Pedestrian overlay zone limits land uses that are key to the Morgan Junction Urban Village, and West Seattle community. Further, owners of these businesses have not been notified of this overlay limitation. This Pedestrian overlay should not be imposed without a thorough community specific public process.
3 of 6. The Morgan Junction Urban Village already contains a number low income resources that will face ultimate displacement. The proposed MHA mitigation fee fails to ensure a return of the affordable housing resources to the location from where it was removed. The Seattle Office of Housing criteria listed for redevelopment funding does not guarantee that affordable housing will be returned TO the neighborhood, just NEAR the neighborhood, further compounding the impacts of displacement on the Morgan Junction Urban Village. As noted in our DEIS comments, MoCA believes that MHA fees should be returned to the Urban Village or neighborhood where they were generated.
4 of 6. The FEIS is focused on a one-size fits all Urban Villages solution and, as a result, dismisses key goals and policies of the Morgan Junction Neighborhood Plan that are relevant to the Morgan Junction community. The FEIS failed to identify tools and methodology that have long been used by OPCD to review and revise Neighborhood Plan goals and policies. MoCA has continued to request that any changes to our Neighborhood Plan incorporate formal neighborhood planning tools and methodology along with decent neighborhood oriented outreach.
5 of 6. Under the existing zoning, Morgan Junction will exceed HALA density goals without upzones yet both the DEIS and the FEIS fail to acknowledge any other way of achieving housing goals within existing zoning designations other than the upzone. This lack of any alternative actions to the HALA goals will result in further adverse impacts to community displacement that are not addressed by the FEIS. All of the land inside the Morgan Junction Urban Village that is currently zoned single family is proposed to be upzoned by one or more categories. This includes many housing units that are family sized, entry level, and affordable. Morgan Junction has already seen the following advertisement: “Rare 7 parcel assemblage marketed as a development opportunity in advance of rezoning from SF to LR3” offered for $5.6 Million, and creating 148 apartments or 30 townhomes where there are currently seven modest single family homes. This “type” of displacement is not recognized by the FEIS which statement that “MHA is designed to address the critical housing needs of low income populations.” The narrow scope of any displacement impacts and related mitigation in the FEIS is unconscionable and illogical because an impact is an impact is an impact.
6 of 6. During the DEIS, MoCA commented that it failed to address Washington State Ferry (WSF) related impacts on the existing transportation grid of the Morgan Junction Urban Village as well as the West Seattle Junction Triangle Urban Village. In their FEIS reply, the authors stated that the FEIS includes Ferry data. Following a thorough search, MoCA concludes that the FEIS does not contain or disclose any reference to the impacts created by the vehicular traffic coming through the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock in West Seattle. The FEIS states that reducing the share of SOV is key to the Seattle Transportation Strategy, and lists several agencies to partner with in order to effectively address the strategy. But the FEIS omits data from the Washington State Ferry system, who's web site’s 2016 report indicates the total (ferry) vehicle traffic for West Seattle was 1,104,990 with an increase of 10% from prior period. It further noted "There is an expectation that Kitsap County will continue to see a moderate increase in population so the commuter traffic can be expected to reflect this change in the future." The FEIS neglects to suggest partnering with the Washington State Ferry system to address an important transportation strategy.
WHAT RELIEF DO YOU WANT?
The Morgan Community Association (MoCA) requests that the Hearing Examiner remand the FEIS to the City with instructions to prepare Supplemental EIS(s) as necessary to adequately address the environmental impacts and potential additional mitigations for the items herein raised for the Morgan Junction neighborhood and Urban Village, and other Urban Villages, as relevant.
Also, please impose the following mitigation measure: MHA fees shall be directly returned to the specific Urban Village where they were generated, based on a percentage amount commensurate with the percentage of existing single family zoning in an Urban Village that will be upzoned at the time of the City Council adopts MHA/EIS provisions. If the funds are not used within inside the relevant Urban Village within ten (10) years of being generated, they shall be forwarded to the Office of Housing for citywide distribution.
In November, 2017, the City of Seattle released their Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program. In reviewing the City’s FEIS document, the MoCA Board came to the realization that the only recourse to have our specific Urban Village concerns addressed would be to file an appeal of the FEIS. Other neighborhoods were realizing that only legal action would force the City to provide a true neighborhood planning process to address the environmental impacts specific to neighborhoods as well as city-wide impacts. The November 27 FEIS appeal deadline was several months before scheduled Morgan Community Association member meetings, and the Board voted to file a placeholder appeal and bring the issue to the January 2018 Membership meeting. The Board also approved joining with a coalition of 26 neighborhood and other interested groups (the Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity) seeking to require the City to adequately analyze, disclose and address the full impacts of its proposed up-zones, as well as provide a true alternative. Appeal efforts involve member commitment and funding, and a member group can withdraw at any time. The descision of the board was discussed and a vote cast in support of continuing with the appeal and involvement with the SCALE coalition appeal. The Seattle Hearing Examiner will hear the appeal starting on April 23, 2018.
Attached is a copy of the Morgan appeal filled with the Hearing Examinier.