Are you tired of looking at gravel lots surrounded by wire fencing next to the Beacon Hill Light Rail station? Do you dream of potential businesses that would be perfect for our community? The comments on Joel’s post “Beacon Hill’s Post Alley” indicate community support for development around the light rail station. For any development to occur, the North Beacon Hill Neighborhood Plan Update must be approved.
That plan is being challenged. A community member has filed a petition with the City of Seattle Hearing Examiner (see the earlier news post in the BHB) calling the update process into question and requesting that the DNS (Determination of Nonsignificance) be vacated. Concerns listed in the petition include construction noise, increased traffic, lack of specific guarantees regarding service improvements, and overall disregard for community opinion and the existing neighborhood plan.
Simply put, it’s a request for DPD to be required to throw away over a year’s worth of community input and other work on this project—essentially starting the entire process over.
Neighborhood, City and transit groups have worked hard to update the North Beacon Hill Neighborhood Plan in a way that respects the core values of our community and includes the reality of introducing mass transit into the neighborhood. Two critical considerations for an urban neighborhood served by mass transit include increased residential density accompanied by increased employment, service, and other business development.
Increased density is a worthy goal for our neighborhood: people should live and work near transit. We need housing, employment, and services for our future neighbors. This doesn’t have to/shouldn’t mean increased vehicle traffic—the entire point is that new residents will be using light rail.
If the North Beacon Hill Urban Village is ever to develop, we must move forward as a community. Change can be challenging, but it’s also an opportunity to improve.
Get involved. Learn more about this issue and take action to make Beacon Hill the place you want it to be. Please attend the North Beacon Hill Council meeting on Thursday, February 4 at 7:00 pm. Meetings are held at the Beacon Hill Public Library. The full agenda is here and also here.
(Melissa is a columnist for the Beacon Hill Blog and recently wrote about the Neighborhood Plan Update in her column “Walking with Tica.”)