Seattle climate news 9/30

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Robin Briggs

Sep 30, 2021, 4:26:35 PM9/30/21
to Seattle Climate News
Lots of news this week! Sorry for the overload, but there's a lot going on now that summer is over. This information is also available online.

Note also that I am now maintaining the email list as a Google group. This should make it easier to subscribe & unsubscribe, and easier to make sure I have included the right people. If you know of other people who might be interested, please feel free send it on, they should be able to subscribe at, or they can send email to me.


The Mayor presented her proposed budget for 2022 to City Council. The mayor's budget allocates $14M to addressing climate change through initiatives from the Green New Deal Oversight Board. Note that the Council's plan of allocating 10% of the JumpStart funding for this same purpose would result in $20M for low income building electrification. Moreover, some of the Mayor's $14M is Federal funds, which means rather than being additive, the Federal funds are just replacing. There is a competing proposal, the Solidarity Budget, that reduces money for police, but allocates $85M over three years for low income building electrification, as well as $100M for green transportation -- transit, biking, and rolling. See The Urbanist's article on the budget. Also, if you have time, Kevin Schofield from Seattle City Council Insight and and Omari Salisbury from Converge Media have put together an excellent series "Budget School" with videos with background information about how the city budget process works in Seattle. 

The next step in the Budget is presentations from City departments to Council. The Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE)'s presentation is here (video not yet available). The Department of Transportation (SDOT)'s will be Friday, Oct. 1 at 9:30am. Presentations from other departments of interest have not yet been posted.

The Land Use Committee approved a name change for the Comprehensive Plan (CP) from "Single Family Zone" to "Neighborhood Residential". In addition, council heard a presentation on plans for community engagement on the upcoming major update to the Comprehensive Plan. SDOT is doing a new vision plan on a schedule that aligns with the Comprehensive Plan update, and the two efforts will coordinate engagement. The rough timeline for the Comprehensive Plan update is:

  • Fall 2021 - Spring 2022: Community Engagement Listen & Learn

  • Spring 2022 - Fall 2022: Community Engagement: Shaping the Plan (focus groups & community mtgs)

  • Winter 2022 - Fall 2023: Community Engagement:  Review & Refine (includes open houses)

  • Draft available Q1 2023

  • Mayor's proposed Plan Q4 2023

  • Winter 2023 - Spring 2024: Community Engagement: Adopt & Look Ahead (public hearings)

  • Council adopts Plan Q2 2024

The Land Use Committee also heard the Quarterly Tree Report from Patty Boctor in OSE, as well as pubic comments on this topic from concerned residents. the City has completed an update to the Urban Forest Management Plan. Also a report on the Tree Protections , which the City has been gathering feedback on, with a report on the feedback expected in October or early November. The City is completing a SEPA review of the Tree Protections, which is expected to be complete at the end of the year. Once that is done, there will be a draft bill released which the public can review.

Sound Transit

The Northgate Link opens on Sat Oct 2! This brings three new stations into the network: U-District, Roosevelt, and Northgate. Riding the Link to downtown from Northgate will take 14 minutes – which is faster than taking the bus from Uptown.

 Washington State

The Department of Ecology has begun the rulemaking process for the Climate Commitment Act passed last year by the Legislature (also known as the Cap & Trade bill). To learn more about it, and see how you can get involved, you can visit's Ecology's website and sign up for a webinar & to be informed on upcoming public hearings. The bill leaves a lot up to Ecology, including what the cap should be, what the pricing of allowances should be, and how to treat offsets. Industry has a lot of incentive to bend the rules in their direction, so public involvement is going to be critical to make this bill a lever for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

WSDOT has released Part 2 of the Active Transportation Plan, and is seeking public feedback by 5pm on Oct. 29. Part 1 of the Active Transportation Plan was a real game-changer for the statewide debate on infrastructure for walking and rolling.  Click here to respond.

Futurewise is kicking off this year's Washington Can't Wait campaign. They have three big priorities:

  1. Pass HB 1099 to add a climate element to the Growth Management Act so that local jurisdictions make plans around climate change, both for mitigation and for resilience. 

  2. Fully fund HB 1220 so local jurisdictions can afford the staff time for planning affordable housing in communities.

  3. Close the Growth Management Act's vesting loophole, to protect farmland, forest and critical habitat from sprawl by passing SB 5042.

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