(Web banner courtesy of The Capitol Hill Community Council)
Below are two calls for involvement in the Capitol Hill Community Council from Cathy Hillenbrand, community activist, landowner, and long-time Capitol Hill resident. Now is certainly a good time to participate in the Community Council, and not just because the next Community Council meeting is tonight at the Cal Anderson Shelterhouse from 6-8pm.
First off, fall is here and winter’s on its heels, so you no longer have the excuse that you need to optimize your evening hours sun-worshiping. Two, the rate of development has picked right up on Capitol Hill, and as Cathy says below, it’ll go best for us as a neighborhood if we have a hand in shaping it. The Capitol Hill Community Council is one good place to make your voice heard and hear what some of your neighbors have to say.
The item of specific interest on tonight’s agenda is the resolution to ask the City Council to place a moratorium on the permitting of aPodments projects until they make sure that these buildings are subject to the Design Review Process and environmental review (NEPA/SEPA) processes. I’m for the idea that these projects should go through design and environmental review, especially since they only sneak out of having to do it now by claiming that 5-9 units with separate leases that share a common kitchen count as one dwelling. So, a developer says that their building is only 5 units (too small for review), but it’s really more like 25 – 45 units (definitely big enough for review). Not cool.
The first part of the resolution talks a lot about density, and I get the distinct feeling that the folks that wrote it don’t want Capitol Hill to get much denser. There we disagree. I’m not sure at what point I’ll say “enough”, but for now more people living on the Hill is fine with me. Also, in general, the building of wee little apartments on the Hill does not bother me.
So, sorry, equivocal advice. But I can definitely say: “Go to the Capitol Hill Community Council meeting tonight. And bring your friends & neighbors.”
Now, on to Cathy Hillenbrand.
Below [after the equals signs] is a post I made on the POWHAT list-serv, my little neighborhood. Please share with your friends.
The Capitol Hill Community Council has to hold a big tent, but it only is as big as the viewpoints represented at meetings and in votes. Where there are strong differences of opinion, we need to negotiate good compromises rather than having the Community Council lurch from flash point to flash point. Capitol Hill is an aggregation of ‘micro-neighborhoods’ , but we’re all in it together, buckled in the center by the Light Rail Station development – Change is here, it’s happening quickly, and we need to shape it. Hopefully we can develop, maintain diversity, accommodate a variety of income levels and family sizes, etc while maintaining some of our neighborhood character. What interesting and innovative solutions can we drive as a community rather that the two extremes of total resistance to change or rampant development for the greatest profit without thought for what makes a complete sustainable neighborhood.
Encourage your friends and neighbors to be engaged in the Community Council.
The Capitol Hill Community Council is meeting this Thursday evening, 6 – 8PM at the Cal Anderson Shelter House.
There is a resolution to be voted on regarding a possible moratorium on apodment and micro-unit apartment development – the link above goes to the agenda for the meeting, with a link to the language of the proposed resolution.
The Community Council is moving to monthly meetings due to the amount of activity on and around Capitol Hill.
If you are interested in the direction of Capitol Hill going forward as changes come, and in helping shape that direction, please attend the Community Council meetings. You can sign up for the Community council list-serv at this address – email@example.com
The Community Council represents you if you attend and are involved. If you are interested in affordability, diversity, public safety, high-quality development on top of the light rail station, consider getting involved in your Community Council. If you want to be further involved in implementing the neighborhood vision for the Light Rail Station, join the TOD listserv: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cathy Hillenbrand, POWHAT resident and Capitol Hill Champion Steering Committee Chair.