Plastic bag ban (and paper bag fees) headed to EVERY retailer near you

You’ve got even more motivation to remember your own shopping bags now: Plastic bags will soon be banned, and paper ones will start to cost you, beginning Sunday July 1.


Why ban single-use plastic bags? Seattle Public Utilities has your answer (from this Bag Ban for Shoppers FAQ):

Lightweight plastic carryout bags are commonly found in litter and escape into our waterways where they remain as a pollutant forever. Fish and other marine animals commonly mistake pieces of plastic and bags for food. When plastics break down into smaller and smaller pieces, those microscopic particles may also be consumed by small animals in the oceans and enter the food chain. Because of plastic’s persistence in the environment, the City believes the use of throw-away plastic products should be minimized.

The Seattle City Council unanimously passed Ordinance ordinance number 123775, banning single-use plastic bags and imposing a 5-cent fee on large paper bags, on December 19, 2011.

The fee will not be collected from customers using vouchers or electronic benefit cards from state or federal food assistance programs such as Women, Infants and Children (WIC) or the Washington State Food Assistance Program (FAP).

A similar bill passed by the City Council in 2008 was repealed by voters in 2009. This earlier version of the bill charged a 20-cent bag fees to retailers, the proceeds of which would have gone to the city. The new 5-cent fees go instead to the retailers.

Seattle Public Utilities has a series of FAQs about the ban that should answer any question that you may have about the impending bag ban.

Just don’t forget to *WASH* your reusable bags occasionally. Nobody likes the norovirus.

Community meeting Tuesday night spotlights public safety (UPDATE)

UPDATE (3:39 PM): The Ravenna-Bryant Community Association twitter feed reports that “N. Precinct Lt. Rasmussen, or Captain Robin Clark, to attend tomorrow’s meeting and answer questions about the shooting.”


Tomorrow night’s Ravenna-Bryant Community Association community meeting focuses on different aspects of public safety, and includes both Councilmember Bruce Harrell and North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Terrie Johnston as featured speakers.

The meeting takes place Tuesday night, June 5, at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Ave NE), and starts at 7 PM.

Other speakers include Paulo Nunes-Ueno, Director of Transportation at Children’s Hospital (speaking about Greenways), and Laurie Ames from the Department of Neighborhoods (speaking about Neighborhood Matching Funds).

You can see the full agenda here, on the RBCA website.

North Link Light Rail Update: QFC closing, Brooklyn Station naming, street greening

Roosevelt Station updates

Signs of impending light rail construction are bittersweet, aren’t they? The FUTURE is coming, but the neighborhood has to make room for it first.

Case in point, the Roosevelt QFC’s last day is Saturday, May 12. Roosiehood reports that the store’s staff will be transferred to other local QFC stores. According to the Seattle Times, the Roosevelt QFC was the first in the chain, opening in 1955.

The other recent sign of the impending FUTURE is the Standard Radio building being dismantled. Sound Transit’s contractor has removed the Vitrolite glass tiles from the building’s exterior. In May, the curved canopy and its neon lettering will be removed, and stored for later use in the station.

And one last bit of Roosevelt Station-related news: The stretch of NE 66th St (from I-5 to 15th Ave NE) identified by the Seattle City Council as a “Green Street”* is getting a planning committee (made up of Sound Transit and “neighborhood representatives and city staff”). For more on “Green Streets,” visit the City of Seattle’s website here.


In other North Link Light Rail news, there are some upcoming events for Brooklyn Station (or whatever you choose call it) that you might be interested in…

Brooklyn Station Construction Open House

Tuesday, May 1, from 6-8:30 PM, at the Neptune Theatre (1303 NE 45th St). Presentation starts at 6:30.

Agenda items include:

  • Revised construction schedule
  • Updated street, sidewalk and parking restriction plans
  • Construction noise and the nighttime noise variance process
  • Potential construction mitigation measures
  • Station naming

Brooklyn Station 60% Design Open House

Wednesday, May 23, from 6-8:30 PM, at the Neptune Theatre. Presentation starts at 6:30.

Agenda items include:

  • Design plans for Brooklyn Station
  • Initial concepts for station art
  • Station naming

* Not the same as a “Greenway,” by the way. Here’s a Seattle Department of Transportation page on “Greenways.”

Ravenna-Bryant Community Association Spring Community Meeting tonight (LIVE COVERAGE)

Packed house for last year's RBCA Spring Community Meeting

This evening at 7 PM, the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association holds its Spring Community Meeting at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Ave NE), and it’s looking to be a good ‘un.

Speakers include:

Jim Diers: The original Director of the Department of Neighborhoods, and author of Neighbor Power: Building Community the Seattle Way. You can read Jim’s full bio on his website.

Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw: CM Bagshaw is currently the Chair of the Parks and Neighborhoods Committee, and will be speaking about Greenways. Read her bio on her Seattle City Council website.

Ravenna Blog will be there! If you cannot attend, follow our live coverage below, or come back and read our notes at your leisure.


Full disclosure: Ravenna Blog is on the RBCA’s Communications and Community Safety Committee. Our next meeting is Wednesday, April 18 at the Pied Piper Ale House (2404 NE 65th St), start time of 7 PM. You should join us.

Ravenna Blog – Sunday Edition

Full Council vote on the Roosevelt Rezone (LIVE COVERAGE)

On Monday, January 30, at 2 PM, the Seattle City Council will vote on Council Bill 117379, better known as the Roosevelt Residential Urban Village rezone.

We will be watching the live stream (via the Seattle Channel) from Ravenna Blog HQ and covering the action in the space below. Readers may follow along (and make comments) during the live event, or come back later to read our notes. We will also embed the video of the meeting here once it is available.

SPOILER ALERT: The Full Council meeting agenda already includes eight of the nine Councilmembers’ votes (then Council President Conlin was absent from the December 14, 2011 Committee on the Built Environment meeting due to illness).

Committee vote on the Roosevelt Rezone likely this Wednesday (LIVE COVERAGE)

UPDATE (1:57 PM): Today’s Committee on the Built Environment meeting footage has now been archived by the Seattle Channel, and we include it here.

UPDATE (12:18 PM): The Councilmembers present at today’s meeting of the Committee on the Built Environment have voted to move the Roosevelt Rezone (with the 65-foot-heights on the blocks just south of Roosevelt High School) forward to a full council vote. Full council vote likely to take place on January 17, 2012.

For more details about the vote and today’s COBE meeting in general, read our archived coverage of the meeting below.


Tomorrow, Wednesday, December 14, the Seattle City Council’s Committee on the Built Environment meets to discuss and possibly vote on the Roosevelt Neighborhood Rezone (Council Bill 117379).

The meeting starts at 10:30 AM in the Council Chambers of City Hall (600 Fourth Avenue) with the Chair’s Report, then moves into 10 minutes* of public comment before the briefing on the bill begins.

We will be covering the event LIVE, right here, starting around 10:30 AM. Our notes will be archived here after the meeting, as well.

Recent Background Information

Just last week at another COBE meeting, the Committee discussed four different rough design options for the three blocks south of Roosevelt High School, before showing a preference (five of the eight councilmembers in attendance) for Option 2: A zoning designation of NC2-65 with over 25,000-square-feet of open space at street level.

You can download the entire design presentation by GGLO, “Development Standards for the High School Blocks,” in PDF format (5.03 MB) here.

An image of Option 2 from the GGLO design presentation. The view is from NE 65th Street, facing north toward the high school.

The next day, COBE Chair, Councilmember Sally Clark, summed up the rezone process so far and clarified her position on it on her blog.

Councilmember Bruce Harrell weighed in as well, on his personal blog. While he states his prefererence for design Option 2 at 65-feet, it was his “understanding that throughout the long process of neighborhood planning, the surrounding communities consistently made it clear that these three blocks should be protected from 65 foot heights.” Councilmember Harrell did not state specifically how he would vote, he did say that “[W]hat matters most to me…is that communities are ensured that their local government is truly listening to them when deciding how this city should look in the future.”

Then, today, a curve ball

Only yesterday, Publicola teased that Councilmember Nick Licata would be adding an amendment to the Roosevelt Neighborhood Rezone bill which would leave the three most contested blocks out of the rezone altogether. Today, Licata shared his position on the rezone on his Urban Politics blog.



Note from Councilmember Clark

Received the following email from Councilmember Sally Clark not quite an hour ago. If you’ve been looking for a summary of all the City Council action on the RDG comp plan rezoning EIS COBE RNA ETC stuff, then read on:

Thank you for writing to me regarding the Roosevelt Development Group’s (RDG’s) proposed Comprehensive Plan amendment.  I’m sorry for the generic response, but this particular amendment generated a lot of emails. (Good job!)  This is the quickest way to respond to everyone.  Please email me back if I didn’t answer a question related to your particular comment.

Yesterday the Council voted to exclude RDG’s amendment for further consideration this cycle. This confirmed the proposal I made, and the Committee on the Built Environment approved, last week. Your near-unanimous community feedback and advocacy was instrumental in this decision.

As you know, the conversation regarding Roosevelt’s zoning future has become a bit complicated with 1) The zoning proposal from Roosevelt’s Neighborhood Plan Update  2) RDG’s Environmental Impact Statement work, and 3) RDG’s Comprehensive Plan amendment to adjust the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) and the Roosevelt Urban Village boundary.  Councilmembers have been able to engage in some of these conversations (1, 3), but have needed to exclude ourselves from others because of the “quasi-judicial” status (2).  It’s been frustrating to not be able to engage in a fuller discussion of zoning ideas. I appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through land use changes for Roosevelt.

To be clear, Monday afternoon’s vote isn’t meant to signify that the City Council isn’t interested in seeing zoning action taken in Roosevelt.  The new light rail station presents great opportunities for people to live near transit and for the broader community to enjoy benefits new development should be expected to bring.  Roosevelt has supported that vision by advocating for the best station location and for smart land use changes in the core around the station. The community’s neighborhood plan update, submitted in 2007, included rezone proposals working their way through review at the city’s Department of Planning & Development.  I’m eagerly awaiting delivery to Council. Concurrently, we have the environmental review of the RDG possibilities taking place and expected to wrap up next year. Ideally, full consideration of the neighborhood plan update zoning proposals and the finished EIS will shape a proposal for the RDG properties that meets the needs of all parties.

However, as chair of the Council’s land use committee, I know it won’t be that easy. Rising land values, housing affordability, demand for transit, demand for great parks, demand for safe, walkable, attractive business areas, and sustainability — Roosevelt, like every other neighborhood, struggles with all this and more.  I appreciate you taking the time to advocate.  Please feel welcome to write about this or any other city issue in the future.



RDG Comp Plan Amendment, Final Round (for now)

From tomorrow morning’s Council Briefing Agenda:

2. Preview of Today’s Council Actions/Council and Regional Committee Reports

(All Councilmembers) 9:40 – 10:00 AM

And from the full Council agenda (meeting starts at 2pm):

Committee on the Built Environment

9. Resolution 31233

Identifying proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments to be considered for possible adoption in 2011, and requesting that the Department of Planning and Development and Seattle Planning Commission review and make recommendations about the amendments to the Council.


(Clark, Bagshaw, Burgess)

There are presentations and public comments near the start of the meeting that may or may not include RDG comp plan stuff.

I’ll try to be around and available to live tweet both of these meetings (toddler willing).  You can follow along on the Ravenna Blog twitter feed here, whether you have an account or not.

Note from Council President Conlin

This is an excellent sign of things to come on Monday (emphasis mine):

Thank you for your message about the proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment for the Roosevelt neighborhood submitted by developers in the Roosevelt area.  Yesterday the Committee on the Built Environment voted unanimously to remove this amendment from consideration for the 2011 Comprehensive Plan review.  I am confident that the Full Council will agree with the Committee.
I look forward to a Roosevelt neighborhood plan implementation amendment coming forward in a future year with the participation and support of the Roosevelt community.

Council President Richard Conlin
Seattle City Hall
600 Fourth Avenue, Floor 2
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

I sent off an email to Conlin just last night, and received his this morning.

I still urge those of you who have NOT sent in your thoughts to do so. Contact information can be found by clicking the various Councilmembers’ heads here: