Letter to City Council Candidates, Unanswered Questions from the Community – September 19, 2017

Updated October 13, 2017

Responses from candidate Pat Murakami

Responses from candidate Jon Grant


September 19, 2017

Dear Seattle City Council Candidates,

Thank you for attending our September 12 Forum here in Magnolia presented by the Queen Anne, Ballard, and Magnolia community groups, the Nordic Heritage Museum and The Queen Anne Magnolia News. We appreciate  your stepping forward to stand for election to this important post.

At our Forum, we promised the attendees that we would submit unanswered written questions to the appropriate candidates and post the responses on our Magnolia Community Council website. The attached questions were received  for Seattle City Council candidates.

We will appreciate it if you can respond within a week so we can promptly post your responses.

Thank you,

Bruce D. Carter

Magnolia Community Council


Questions for candidates from audience 9/12/2017 [Questions typed as written on card.]

City Council Candidate Questions from the Audience

With police reform and equitable justice being such timely issues and the homelessness, addiction and mental health crises playing out so publicly) how can city council help re-establish civic norms of public safety and individual responsibility (not just individual rights)? How can we make up for lost time in rebuilding a right-sized police force with officers who are connected to the communities they serve? Better protect our parks and public spaces from misuse?

 

City Council is passing an unprecedented level of experimental legislation at the same time that our city budget and bureaucracy is very bloated, with little direct accountability for outcomes. How can you bring pragmatism and follow-through on impacts to communities affected? (e.g. small landlords, small businesses, neighborhoods).

 

The opiod epidemic is playing out painfully in our neighborhoods (like Ballard). No one on city council seems to recognize the impacts to business costs, home safety, devastation to parks and green spaces and urban disorder. How can we make better progress helping individuals in need and also mitigating the wide abuses to communities (not NIMBY, not hysterical)?

 

What is your thoughts on the issue of AirBnB/HomeAway rentals and reduction in long term rental apartments? Where are the appropriate? How can city manage?

 

Would you hire your staff based the first qualified applicant. No need fro interview, Obviously not, So what is your position on requiring landlords to rent to the first in line?

 

I no longer feel safe in Magnolia on the bus to my downtown office or walking around the city – day or night because of the homeless issues. How do you plan to address these? How much do you think this homeless problem stems from drug abuse?

 

There have been advocates to rezone single family housing zones to multi family and to relax the rules for parking and requiring a property owner to live on the property. Do you support these initiatives? Why? There     use serious issues with too much garbage and noise and not enough parking.

 

I can no longer afford to live in my own city. Seattle rents have experienced the highest increase of any major city in the country. What is your specific plan to create affordable housing?

 

What do you plan to to to address the traffic situation in the city? There are some easy ways to address these without just spending more money –

 

Seattle is experiencing unprecedented traffic gridlock. What specifically will you do to was traffic congestion?


Question for City Council candidates received via email [shortened version above, original question full length shown below]

Shortened question

Currently, under the “green house” regulations, there is a minimum number of trees that need to be put on a construction site.  Unfortunately, there are no regulations about the appropriateness of the species of trees that  are planted on each lot where the construction of the “green house” is.  There is no protection for the neighbors, as large trees are planted close the houses possibly undermining foundations or allowing rodent access to roofs. The people at DPD were very clear that the situation is very bad.  The bottom line is that the responsibility for the current rules regarding the “green houses” belongs to City Council. Are you willing to address this issue?

 

Original question

Currently, under the “green house” regulations, there is a minimum number of trees that need to be put on a construction site.  Unfortunately, there are no regulations about the appropriateness of the species of trees that  are planted on each lot where the construction of the “green house” is.  There is no protection for the neighbors. I recently had a MAGNOLIA grandiflora VICTORIA tree planted TWO feet from my foundation.  These trees are not supposed to be planted any closer than 15′ to a structure according to the City of Seattle guidelines provided to the public.  As it stands, there is no regulation about the number or species of trees planted per square feet of the lot the construction project is on.  I have TWO Magnolias planted 5 feet from my house and one planted 2 feet from my foundation.  These trees can easily ruin my foundation, ruin my roof, allow rodents to walk onto my roof (not jump), clog my gutters, clog my sewer pipes and clog my water line. These are normal occurrences for these trees.  There needs to be some sort of regulations regarding the appropriateness of greenery that  is permitted to be planted around new structures. It appears that the developer who put these truly inappropriate trees in, was hoping to sell to a newly arrived and naive buyer.  There is an entire row of trees that are planted EIGHT Inches from the sidewalk that goes up along the house.  The sidewalk is approximately three feet wide.  Within a couple of years the sidewalk will probably be showing damage from the roots.   The foundation of the house. is attached to the three feet wide sidewalk. A second house that was built above on the very small lot had four enormous Magnolias planted in a five foot strip between the new house and an existing house.  One of the trees was so large, it was not able to stand  up straight.  Instead, it was leaning on the new house.  Both houses will be easily ruined by the beautiful Magnolia trees roots.  At that point, the developer will be long gone. The people at DPD were very clear that the situation is very bad.  The bottom line is that the responsibility for the current rules regarding the “green houses” belongs to City Council. Are you willing to address this issue?