Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Neighborhood Plan Update Update Update Update

Sally Clark came by yesterday's Capitol Hill (Neighborhood Plan!) Stewardship Council meeting to tell us how the neighborhood planning updates will go and to reassure us that we would actually have a role in the process.

As I've reported, the Neighborhood Planning Advisory Commitee (made up of District representatives like Dennis and also of persons nominated by the City Council and Mayor's office) is coming together now. Next year, I am presuming they will oversee the 2009 citywide status surveys of all the present neighborhood plans.

These yearlong surveys will assess each neighborhood plan to see what has been accomplished from the first plan over the last ten years and to determine the status of neighborhood elements like transportation, zoning, housing, etc. Sally Clark mentioned that the neighborhoods would have a say in what elements they would want included and focused upon in this status survey. The citywide status survey determines which neighborhoods will have their plans updated first. I believe that they will go in batches of three or four, and each batch will take several years to complete.

There will be three neighborhoods in the Rainer Valley that will fast-tracked in the updating process: Beacon Hill, Mt. Baker/N. Rainer Valley, and the area around the intersection between MLK Way and Holly. These areas will begin their neighborhood planning process in 2009 because they are scheduled to have Light Rail stations opening there in 2009. I believe the idea is to give these areas neighborhood plans before developers do it for them.

As for reassurances - the Stewardship Council has been getting the runaround from the higher echelons of the Dept. of Neighborhoods for the last few months surrounding its role in the Neighborhood Plan Updates. Sally Clark said that the Stewardship Council is a great neighborhood resource and that we should hold on a little while longer while DON figures out what the hell is going to happen during the Update process.

She also said that Stella Chao's circumspectness in regards to our role in the Neighborhood Plan Update was probably due to her desire to make sure as many people came to the planning table as possible, i.e. the Stewardship Council didn't run the show and hog the spotlight. This a problem in some neighborhoods, but as Sally Clark was quick to add, not ours. I really hope that's the case, because otherwise I would feel like such a dick.

Synthesis of Update the Third: Hold on, we'll know what the crap is going on in January. We hope.

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