November 26, 2018
Seattle Hearing Examiner Ruling Clears Path for More Affordable Housing

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan heralded a ruling by the Seattle Hearing Examiner that clears the path for more affordable housing in Seattle. 
The Seattle Hearing Examiner ruled on Wednesday, November 21 that the environmental analysis of MHA conducted by the City, the Environmental Impact Statement, adequately explores most of the major impacts of the proposal, as well as identified policies that policymakers could implement to mitigate those impacts. The ruling does call for some refinements to the analysis that the City is prepared to start quickly. 

With today’s ruling by the Seattle Hearing Examiner, the Seattle City Council can move forward early next year to consider and adopt legislation implementing Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) requirements on new development in neighborhoods across Seattle. MHA is expected to generate at least 6,000 new rent-restricted homes for low-income people over the next decade. ( Read More )
Accessory Dwelling Unit (or In-Law Unit) Update:
Final Environmental Impact Statement published

On October 4, 2018, the City published a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) examining potential environmental impacts of proposed changes to the Land Use Code related to accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in single-family zones. Often called backyard cottages, in-law units, or basement apartments, ADUs are small secondary dwelling units, inside, attached to, or in the rear yard of a single-family house. The Final EIS includes a Preferred Alternative for Land Use Code changes that address regulations and policies frequently cited as barriers to the creation of ADUs. 

You can read a one-page summary of the Final EIS or dive into the full analysis at

Publishing this Final EIS completes the environmental review process for this proposal. In 2019, after considering the EIS alternatives and holding a public hearing, the City Council will consider whether to adopt changes to the Land Use Code related to ADUs. For more information, visit our project website or email
Our new Early Community Outreach for Design Review program came into effect on July 1st, 2018 and requires developers to notify residents and businesses of new multi-family, mixed-use or commercial projects in your neighborhoods and elicit community input early in the design and permitting process.
How does this new process affect me and my neighbors?
Developers are now required to reach out to nearby neighbors, community organizations, and small businesses of new projects by at least one printed, one digital and one in-person outreach method. This gives you an opportunity to learn about new developments and give input very early on in the process. You can learn more about these new requirements by reviewing the Early Community Outreach for Design Review website

How do I find out about events and projects happening in my neighborhood?
You can find out about projects by visiting the Early Community Outreach for Design Review Project Blog. You can search by region or neighborhood to find basic project information and the developer’s contact info. You can also find out about nearby in-person meetings that developers are holding on the Early Community Outreach for Design Review Calendar

How do the developers know to contact us? 
The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods has developed new tools that list local community groups, the Community Connector and Neighborhood Snapshots. If you would like to be included on these lists, please reply to this email with that request. 
Jesseca Brand 
Seattle Neighborhoods
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