North Beacon Hill resident Frederica Merrell has filed an appeal with the City of Seattle Hearing Examiner, regarding the Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS) of the North Beacon Hill neighborhood plan update process.
In the appeal (read it in full here), Merrell states that North Beacon Hill residents and visitors will be “directly and significantly impacted” by the changes, including changes to zoning, density, protected views, pedestrian/bike/auto access, and more. She states that, among other problems, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) erred in making a determination of non-significance, failed to take necessary steps to assess the impact of the plan changes, and also failed to give proper notice to the community.
The appeal requests that DPD’s DNS for the North Beacon Hill plan update be vacated, and DPD be required to take other actions including additional community notification and environmental impact analyses.
The Neighborhood Plan update process began in Fall 2008 and continued through 2009 with community meetings and open houses in March, May, and September, resulting in the recently published update.
(ed. note—Frederica has occasionally contributed opinion articles to the Beacon Hill Blog.)
The goals presented in the report are split into two categories. The goals for Creating Choices for Living, Working and Play are:
A well defined mixed-use residential neighborhood where the lives of Beacon Hill residents are enhanced, in part, through affordable and diverse housing options available throughout the neighborhood. (NBH-G1 amended)
A vibrant mix of housing close to the light rail station.
An urban village with a strengthened overall business district image and identity that is home to a variety of commercial services, including a grocery store and a mix of small, local and ethnic businesses. (NBH-G9 amended)
A range of well-maintained parks, community and open spaces in the urban village core with programs that accommodate a variety of uses and diversity of users.
North Beacon Hill is an active and safe neighborhood for a diversity of people, throughout the day and evening.
and for Shaping a Transit Oriented Town Center:
A civic gathering space appropriate and flexible for the diversity of cultures living in the neighborhood.
Higher density development surrounds the light rail station and is responsive to the neighborhood context at a variety of scales, from single family houses to multistory buildings.
A redevelopment of El Centro de la Raza that builds on the site’s history and serves as a defining civic element of the Town Center.
The future urban form of the town center carefully and successfully transitions from denser development at the town center core to less dense and single family residential neighborhoods in a manner that is responsive to the context and character of the North Beacon Hill neighborhood.
An urban village that is a pleasant place to walk, with good access to alternative transportation; where lively, friendly and safe streetscapes encourage pedestrians and bicyclists and where roadways are seen as public access for walkers, bicycles, and buses as well as cars. (NBH-G3 amended)