Do you feel like changes to the U District in the heart of Northeast Seattle are coming fast and furious with no time to voice your views? Concerned that the funky U District will become the next South Lake Union? There’s a dramatic proposal from your city government to increase building heights (the “up-zone”) in the U District, which some believe could increase rents for tenants and small businesses. The City Council redrew boundaries for a business tax and improvement area (BIA). The UW is considering an office tower on top of a new light rail station — which would trump the hopes of many neighbors for a public plaza. SDOT is removing parking spaces along Roosevelt Way to make way for additional bike lanes. SDOT and King County Metro are cutting some commuter bus lines or re-routing them through the U District to feed the light rail stations, even after Seattle voters approved more $ for buses. At the same time, long-standing problems persist. Burglaries. Graffiti. Pot holes. Drug dealing on the Ave continues, despite promises from the City Attorney to enforce laws once the State government licensed legitimate stores for the regulated sale and taxation of all marijuana.
With embarrassingly low voter turnout in August and City Council candidate Tony Provine NOT advancing to the general election for District 4 (much to the cynical relief of big business), no candidate is raising these issues. So it’s back to the long-term slog of attending meetings and organizing neighbors to voice their views on their own.
Some are concerned that government employees, technical advisers, lobbyists, and others paid to be in the room could simply wait-out the exhausted and demoralized residents and mom & pop businesses and do what the moneyed interests want anyway: Build, Baby, Build!
The good news is that there is already an organization where you can voice your views during this month’s “Meeting to Connect“: the CITY / UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (CUCAC).
- WHAT: City / University Community Advisory Committee (CUCAC)
- WHO: The 16 voting members of CUCAC as well as staff from City Dept of Neighborhoods staff and UW. (See CUCAC by-laws.)
- WHEN: Tuesday, Sept 8, 2015 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
- WHERE: UW Tower at 4333 Brooklyn Ave, 22nd Floor, Seattle, WA 98105.
If you want to connect on issues other than the U District, here are links to some of our community councils: Ravenna/Bryant, Hawthorne Hills, Laurelhurst, Roosevelt, U-District, View Ridge, Wallingford, Wedgwood, and others. They are among the many community councils that connect to our Northeast District Council (NEDC).
BONUS MEETING: The Northeast District Council (NEDC) meets on the 1st Thursday of every month, including Sept 3 at 7 p.m. at Wedgwood Presbyterian Church at NE 80th St. and 35th Ave NE.
NEXT MONTH (October): Check out our website www.4toExplore.org, our Facebook, or our Twitter for candidate debates among those competing for the City Council positions that will impact our neighborhoods in Northeast Seattle: