Category: Recognition

Seattle City Council Resolution 31562 Passes Unanimously

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 8.33.15 AMToday, the Council voted 9-0 to pass Resolution 31562. It was an important moment for the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict. The Council (and the Mayor is expected to sign in concurrence) has resolved that “the City of Seattle will support the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict as a framework and agent for advancing City sustainability goals within the EcoDistrict boundaries.” Many thanks to the community leaders who came to give testimony on behalf of the EcoDistrict, including Michael Wells, Executive Director from the Capitol Hill Chamber, 45 year Capitol Hill resident, former Capitol Hill Champion Chair and Hillebrity Cathy Hillenbrand, Chris Persons, CEO from Capitol Hill Housing, SAAS teacher and Vino Verite owner Tom Hajduk, Neelima Shah from Bullitt Foundation, Matthew Combe from Seattle 2030 District, Michelle Hippler from the EcoDistrict Steering Committee, and Sue Cary from the Capitol Hill Foundation Board. Appreciation also to folks who wrote to Council in support of the Resolution and EcoDistrict. Here are excerpts from two of those emails:

…we [the Capitol Hill Community Council] are unequivocally supportive of the EcoDistrict and are grateful that you passed Resolution 31562, declaring the City of Seattle will support the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict … Capitol Hill Housing

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and the EcoDistrict are a vital part of the existing (and future) cultural, economic, and social ecosystem of Capitol Hill.Zachary Pullin, Vice President, Capitol Hill Community Council PPUNC fully and enthusiastically supports the Capitol Hill Eco-District. We have often discussed the District at our meetings, and how many shared goals there are between our Conservation Overlay and the broader goals of the District.John Feit, Chair, Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council

Today was exciting and it was humbling to sit and hear community leaders and Councilmembers express their confidence in the EcoDistrict. We believe the EcoDistrict is a strong model for neighborhood sustainability and hope the City will continue to grow in its support. During comments leading up to the vote, Councilmember Licata pointed out that a resolution doesn’t get recorded into Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 8.37.18 AMCity Code. In other words, it is more an expression of intent than law, and the language in the body of Resolution 31562 definitely veers towards the encouragement of City Departments’ engagement rather than requiring their help. At the PLUS Committee hearing on the Resolution last Friday, Licata suggested including stronger language requiring departmental accountability, but the Committee decided instead to ask City departments, led by the Office of Sustainability and Environment, to return to the PLUS Committee in the 3rd quarter of 2015 to give an accounting of progress in meeting the goals outlined in the Resolution. We look forward to future meetings and dialogue with the Council and City Departments. Today, we’re grateful for this victory and the Resolution’s expression of intent.

Sally Clark asks, Should every urban village be an EcoDistrict?

The Urban Village Strategy in Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan directs growth to concentrate density in centers across the City. From the City of Seattle

website:

The four core values of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan are: Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 12.07.31 PMCommunity – developing strong connections between a diverse range of people and places Environmental Stewardship – protect and improve the quality of our global and local natural environment Economic Opportunity and Security – a strong economy and a pathway to employment is fundamental to maintaining our quality of life Social Equity – limited resources and opportunities must be shared; and the inclusion of under-represented communities in decision-making processes is necessary Our plan’s urban village strategy supports the core values by:

  • Directing growth to existing urban centers and villages
  • Contributing to the vibrancy of our neighborhood centers
  • Reinforcing the benefits of City investments in transit, parks, utilities, community centers, and other infrastructures

The Capitol Hill EcoDistrict is an active effort to make that density in the Pike/Pine, Capitol Hill and 12th Avenue Urban Villages healthy and livable. During discussion of Resolution 31562 at yesterday’s PLUS Committee, Councilmember Sally Clark ponders the potential of the EcoDistrict model for other urban villages in Seattle. Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 11.59.29 AM

I think this is great… I’ll admit, I was one of those people who, when Chris Persons [Capitol Hill Housing CEO] started talking about [the Capitol Hill] EcoDistrict, I’m like, ‘I don’t know what that is. What is he talking about? What is that going to look like?’ And as it’s matured…now my thing is, well, do I want to have just one EcoDistrict or should every urban village really be an EcoDistrict? We’re trying [via the Urban Village strategy] to create yes, a concentration through zoning, but that doesn’t make community, and that doesn’t make progress necessarily…

Clark goes on to say that real community building is “about being really intentional about how people live together, so I think this [EcoDistrict] approach is great.”  

PLUS Committee Approves EcoDistrict Resolution

On Friday, the Planning Land Use and Sustainability Committee of the Seattle City Council approved Council Resolution 31562. The Full Council will vote on it Monday at 2pm. You can watch our presentation to the PLUS Committee HERE starting at about the 28:00 minute mark. Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 11.08.44 AM   Resolution 35612 brings formal recognition of the EcoDistrict from the City, as well as encouragement to City Departments to work with us in the EcoDistrict’s success. Here is the meat of the Resolution:

Section 1. City departments are encouraged to recognize the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict and its intersection with departmental work including, but not limited to, the Office of Sustainability and Environment, the Department of Neighborhoods, the Office of Arts and Culture, the Office of Economic Development, the Office of Housing, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Planning and Development, Seattle City Light, the Seattle Department of Transportation, and Seattle Public Utilities. Section 2. City

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departments are encouraged to review and provide feedback on EcoDistrict performance targets and provide access to available City data and analysis for tracking EcoDistrict performance targets. Section 3. City departments are encouraged to explore tools and incentives that may advance the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict and remove identified regulatory barriers that thwart EcoDistrict initiatives in the context of the City’s broader sustainability and neighborhood development goals.

We’d love a showing of community support at Monday’s Full Council meeting (2pm City Hall). Bring a friend!