Neighborhoods beware!

The Seattle DPD is violating its own land use code again.  This time, it’s with the use of proposed Director’s Rule 6-2015, where Seattle DPD is trying to loosen the definition of what Frequent Transit Service means so that developers can evade reasonable parking requirements and SEPA.

Imagine coming home at night to find parking at your house or friends coming over looking for parking.
Here is what it looks like after a rule like the proposed rule takes its toll on your neighborhood.

A recent Hearing Examiner’s decision clearly corrected a DPD practice where DPD was combining bus routes to validate Frequent Transit Service near projects in a way that violated the Land Use Code.  DPD was doing this so that they could reduce developer’s parking requirements by 50%, or in certain urban village areas remove the requirement altogether.  That means that a 100 unit building would have to provide no parking for it’s residents. Our neighborhood will be over 130% of physical capacity.

This sound and look reasonable to you?

The DPD knows about the Hearing Examiner’s decision and should be following it!

Mayor Murray, please inform the DPD that they are to follow the Hearing Examiner’s decision.

Why does DPD know about the decision?  Because our neighborhood just spent $100,000 in a case just to get the DPD to follow the existing rules, and this one was included.  We have to wonder what kind of deals are going on?  The DPD allowed the developer to be 5 months past due in the amount of $50,000 for their permit fees while our case was happening and at the time of case decision. And, it is still not paid. But, that’s another story- City DPD bankrolls $50,000 of your tax dollars for a developer while violating its own Seattle Land Use Code while hurting a neighborhood.


DPD blatantly violates the Examiner’s Decision in proposing this Director’s Rule. 

Why? To give developers a free pass at the expense of people and their neighborhoods!

The Examiner determined that the transit stop that this Director’s Rule references does not meet the requirements of Frequent Transit Service according to Seattle Land Use Code.  Therefore, this stop and any like it cannot be used to grant the parking requirement reduction based upon Frequent Transit availability.

Violation #1

  • Hearing Examiner Decision: Transit Service Headway is the time interval between two vehicles on the same route
    The same route is an individual route for the calculation (See 1st blue highlight below)
  • Proposed DR 6-2015: “Multiple routes at the same stop may be included” (to calculate Transit Service Headway)

The “same” route is the decision, not Multiple, this is in direct violation of the Examiner’s decision.

Violation #2

  • Hearing Examiner Decision: The Examiner denies the developer and the DPD’s claim of doing an interpretation that reduces requirements of the definition which is not ambiguous.  Rule intended to define the threshold with specific criteria for regularity and consistency (See yellow highlight below)
  • Proposed DR 6-2015: This Rule attempts to side step the Examiner’s decision by adding definition that relaxes the thresholds by removing specifics and consistency requirements, i.e., using multiple routes and dividing the 12 and 18 hour time segments in to parts when determining FTS

In short there is no justification for a director’s rule to interpret the land use code here.  The restrictions that exist in the land use code here are there for a reason. They are not ambiguous.

Violation #3

  • Hearing Examiner Decision: The Examiner states that neither the Director nor the Examiner has the authority via statutory construction to add the word average or term headway in the definition of frequent transit service (In turn, neither (Director or Examiner) can add the changes that would accompany this proposed Director’s Rule) (See 2nd blue highlight below)
  • Proposed DR 6-2015: This Rule attempts to do statutory construction in order to remove the specificity and consistency of the land use code regarding frequent transit service

To use the Examiner’s words, “doing so would change the clearly stated meaning and impact of the definition” (See the green highlight below)

Violation #4

  • Hearing Examiner Decision: Changing this definition “can only be accomplished through legislation.”
  • Proposed DR 6-2015: this director’s rule is attempting to change the definition of frequent transit service and how it’s applied

Plain and simple, the Examiner states that the changes to frequent transit service can only be done legislatively. (See the tan highlight below)

 

Please ask our Mayor why the Director of DPD does not have to follow Seattle Land Use Code and its legal determinations.

Please ask our Mayor why the DPD is not protecting and enhancing our neighborhoods.

 

Here is the Hearting Examiner’s Decision: HearingExaminerFTS

 

peace, SeattleNERD  Speak up neighbors, encourage reasonable development.

Contact us by email at phaury@seattlenerd.org