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SCALE Coalition Challenges Seattle Housing Policy
Hearings Begin Today

The Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity (SCALE), a coalition of 29 Seattle neighborhood and issue organizations, begins their appeal before the Seattle Hearing Examiner in room 4009 of the Seattle Municipal Building on Monday, June 25 at 9:00am.
The hearings will continue June 25-29, July 23-27 and August 20-24. A decision would be expected within two weeks after that, leaving only September before the city dedicates its time to preparing the budget.
SCALE is appealing the City of Seattle’s Final EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) of the Multifamily Housing Affordability Citywide upzone ordinance with two key overarching concerns.
The first concern is that there was no alternative that analyzed providing far greater affordable housing than 6,000 units over 20 years. According to SCALE, the March 2015 report Solutions to Seattle’s Housing Emergency contains solutions and options that would create far more affordable housing and get us closer to the estimated 14,000 units of homeless housing that a report done for the Seattle Chamber of Commerce says we currently need and the 244,000 affordable units that King County will need by 2040.
Using the options in Housing Emergency report also would not involve upzoning (building taller, wider, closer to the sidewalk or lotline) everywhere in major Seattle neighborhoods, which is the City’s proposal for creating affordable housing. SCALE believes that upzoning will disrupt those neighborhoods, displace many people, and not create significant affordable housing beyond those it displaces.
The second concern is that the FEIS did not study the alternatives on a neighborhood by neighborhood level, as other more recent MHA (Mandatory Housing Affordability) EISs did. Instead it did a general analysis of all 27 neighborhoods known as Urban Villages, not looking in depth at each of the neighborhoods that are as diverse as Othello and Wallingford, Northgate and West Seattle, Ballard and South Park, each of which are in widely different situations and with different needs.
This need for a neighborhood by neighborhood analysis was also one of the concerns of the City’s Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) team, but the FEIS was released despite this concern by those in the City examining the FEIS specifically for how these policies would affect people of color and low income people.
In the appeal itself, SCALE presents 43 specific issues where it considers the City’s FEIS inadequate, including displacement, land use, height/bulk/scale of buildings, transportation/parking, tree canopy, pollution, parks and open space, historic buildings, schools and other services.
Members of SCALE include organizations from the following areas: Three from different parts of the Central Area, North Rainier, Beacon Hill, South Park, Georgetown, four from throughout West Seattle, Queen Anne, Magnolia, and nearly every neighborhood just north of the Ship Canal from Ballard to Ravenna. There are also organizations, representing seniors, displacement, trees, building design and small business.

Help SCALE reach its goal of $25,000 in new donations today!

Every dollar you donate, up to $25,000 will be matched by SCALE members during this critical period.  Your cash donation will go for attorney fees and appeal expenses.

We hope that you'll chip in with us and match our pledges with your donation! Your donation is deeply appreciated and carefully used to further SCALE's appeal.

Please make a donation today to be matched 1:1 up to $25,000 in June- raising a total of $50,000 for the costs of the appeal

Simply click on the green button! 

Checks made out to Seattle Fair Growth can be mailed to:

Seattle Fair Growth
2442 NW Market Street, Box 487
Seattle, WA 98107


Participating SCALE members: Seattle Fair Growth, Seattle Displacement Coalition and members representing Alki Community Council, Baker Street Community Group, Beacon Hill Council of Seattle, Central Ballard Residents Association, Citizens for Architectural Diversity, Eastlake Community Council, Fauntleroy Community Council, Fremont Neighborhood Council, Friends of North Rainier Neighborhood Plan, Friends of Ravenna-Cowen, Georgetown, Duwamish Valley Neighborhood Preservation Coalition, Greenwood Exceptional Tree Group, Jackson Place Community Council, Madison-Miller Park Community, Magnolia Community Council,  Morgan Community Association,  Queen Anne Community Council, Save Madison Valley, Seniors United for Neighborhoods, South Park, Duwamish Valley Neighborhood Preservation Coalition, TreePAC, University District Small Businesses, University District Community Council, Wallingford Community Council, West Roxhill Arbor Heights Community Coalition, West Seattle Junction Neighborhood Organization

Seattle Fair Growth is acting as fiscal agent for Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity (SCALE).

Thank you for your support. Attorney fees to appeal this decision will run into to tens of thousands of dollars. Seattle Fair Growth and Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity are all volunteer organizations. 100% of your donation (minus any processing fees) will go towards legal fees and promotion of the appeal.  We could not do this without your support!

If your community organization is interested in joining us and would like a presentation from SCALE, please contact

To learn more about why we are appealing the Mandatory Housing Affordability Environmental Impact Statement please read the following editorial from our legal team – All of Seattle’s Neighborhoods deserve a say in upzoning upheaval as well as Susanna Lin's op-ed in the Seattle Times Entitled "Don't believe HALA upzone hype"


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