The City Council is set to vote on a budget for 2015 later today. In the budget package, Council has included budget for the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) to implement a Legislative Rezone for the 35th Ave NE Business District, between NE 65th Street to NE 95th Street, following the 35th Ave Committee's request. A "Legislative Rezone" is a corridor or area-wide analysis and rezoning process conducted by the City. The funding ($67,610 in 2015 and 2016) to be approved for DPD's includes budget to review and analyze our final zoning recommendations (the final formal report is to be issued soon!), conduct additional public outreach to the community, and develop legislation to approve any rezones.
After both the Wedgwood Community Council and Ravenna-Bryant Community Association endorsed the 35th Ave Committee's final plan (the final formal report is to be issued soon!), the 35th Ave Committee met with many councilmembers and request some modest funding to DPD to review our zoning recommendations and implement a formal legislative rezone. Councilmembers Mike O'Brien, Sally Clark, and Jean Godden were gracious enough to sign on to a "Green Sheet" (e.g., budget request) on behalf of DPD for this work. This Green Sheet was taken up by the Budget Committee on November 5th for discussion.
|Click Image for Link to Nov. 5th Budget Committee Meeting Video.|
(We couldn't turn off "autoplay" on embeded video.)
At the November 5th Budget Committee meeting (link to video above), Per Johnson, the Chair of the 35th Ave Committee, provided public testimony to provide some context for the Council regarding the Green Sheet starting at minute 4:04. Tony Provine, current president of the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, also spoke on behalf of the Green Sheet starting at minute 9:50 in the video below. (Note: there are 2 speakers in between Per and Tony with some relatively explicit language.) The City Council then held an interesting conversation about the merits of our Green Sheet starting at minute 17:50 and ending at 26:10. Part of their conversation gets at the process the City has set up for their formal neighborhood planning processes and typical legislative zoning for other neighborhoods. Part of the conversation also gets to questions, concerns, posturing by councilmembers as the City is adjusting to new District elections. Without this specific budget request and Council's approval, there is no opportunity for neighborhoods and communities such as ours for any formal legislative rezone assistance from the City given our status within the City's Comprehensive Plan.
IMPORTANT: We, the 35th Ave Committee, have tried to be clear throughout this grassroots planning process that we have been seeking community concensus, not unanamity. Certainly there are those who disagree with the zoning recommendations developed through the public workshops and our planning process, no matter how modest the changes are. This is inevitable. As the City analyzes our zoning recommendations and listens to the community, they may reach slightly different conclusions on the zoning needs for the business district. These differences are also expected. We trust that the City's planners, along with our great community input and continued involvement by the 35th Ave Committee, Wedgwood Community Council, and Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, will achieve the conditions desired for the business district and our community in the future.
The 35th Ave Committee is very, very appreciative to the city council for taking up this budget request and approving it. A special thanks goes out to Councilmember Mike O'Brien for formally proposing the Green Sheet (our budget request) as the chair of the City's Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Commitee, and to Councilmembers Sally Clark and Jean Godden for co-signing the Green Sheet.