Seattle Displacement Coalition challenges adequacy of Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS):
“The loss of existing low income units would greatly outweigh total affordable units produced under HALA plan. The DEIS makes a mockery of responsible planning and analysis and thumbs it’s nose at the City’s statutory obligations under SEPA. And it thumbs it’s nose to the thousands of low income tenants in our city whose housing is being put on the chopping block due to this HALA-MHA plan.”
In a written statement submitted last Monday, a few hours before the deadline for acceptance of formal comments, the Seattle Displacement Coalition (SDC) said the DEIS would deny decision makers accurate information on how the HALA upzone plan would set off massive displacement, gentrification, and loss of low cost housing in our city. These losses would greatly outweigh amounts of “affordable” units developers are required to provide under the mandatory housing requirement accompanying the upzones.
The Coalition’s 7-page letter with attachments identified numerous problems with the DEIS including:
- A lack of discussion/assessment/study of a true second alternative to ‘no action’. Both alternatives studied assumed the same level of growth and added density, only moving it around slightly. Consequently impacts are similar preventing decision-makers from viewing an alternative with fewer impacts that still could meet the proposals affordable housing objectives. There is a need for a “managed growth” alternative that assumes less density and a higher mandatory housing requirement. Without this, the DEIS does not fulfill the requirements of WAC 197-11-442 (2) that require a level of discussion of “alternative means of accomplishing a stated objective” and with detail “sufficient to evaluate their comparative merits”. Continue reading