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.