Urban Politics #177: 3 Brown-Bag Noon Discussions


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By City Councilmember Nick Licata.

With assistance from my Legislative Assistants Newell Aldrich and Frank Video

Urban Politics (UP) blends my insights and information on current public policy developments and personal experiences with the intent of helping citizens shape Seattle’s future.

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CONTENTS:

  • Monorail Elevated Pedestrian Walkway Brown-Bag, April 13
  • Neighborhoods And Nightlife Brown-Bag, April 21
  • Earth Day Precautionary principle Brown-Bag, April 22

I’m sponsoring three brown-bag forums in the City Hall Council Chambers during the month of April. They will involve local public officials, professionals and citizens in discussing issues that affect our Seattle residents. Attendance is open to all and there will be an opportunity for citizens to ask questions of the panelists.

The Monorail’s Elevated Pedestrian Walkway Proposed For 5th & Stewart Station Brown-Bag

The first of my three April brown-bag discussions examines the proposed elevated pedestrian walkway for the Monorail’s 5th & Stewart Street station in downtown Seattle. I’ve invited representatives from the Monorail Project, the Monorail Review Panel, Allied Arts, the City’s Department of Transportation, the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board, as well as my fellow Councilmembers to help facilitate the discussion.

The Monorail Pedestrian Walkway brown-bag will be held:

Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Seattle City Hall Council Chambers

Between Cherry and James Street, on 5th Avenue. The City of Seattle has posted a draft version of the Monorail Design Guidelines at http://www.seattle.gov/monorail/designguidelines.htm . Comments on the design guidelines can be sent via a comment form on the Web site, at the community meetings described below, or you can e-mail my aide Newell Aldrich at newell.aldrich@seattle.gov .Background on Monorail Design Guidelines:In September 2003, the Council passed Resolution 30629 (I sponsored), stating its intent to review and approve monorail design guidelines for the MRP to use in its review of the stations and alignment design, and for DPD and SDOT to use as a basis to waive or modify development standards and/or to impose reasonable conditions on permit approvals.In July 2003, the Council passed Ordinance 121278 (I sponsored) which allows the Dept. of Transportation and DPD to impose conditions to ensure consistency with the design guidelinesIn 2002, the Council passed Resolution 30485 (I sponsored) on design guidelines, setting forward desired parameters for design guidelines.
Future City Council Monorail Decisions:

Beginning this month, the Council will consider several items needed for the monorail to be built:
A.  Approval of final alignment and station locations;

B. Agreements on use of City right of way, including the West Seattle bridge;

C. Agreements on the use of Seattle Center property (this is necessary for a station located on Seattle Center ground, regardless of whether the monorail goes through or around the Center).
 

Neighborhoods And Nightlife Brown-Bag

 
My second April brown-bag will focus on the impacts upon neighborhoods by Seattle’s bourgeoning nightlife activity that is affected by zoning and public safety issues. Jim Peters, with California’s Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI), will travel to Seattle to discuss efforts his organization has been pursuing to address this issue. RHI was founded in August 1983 to promote legal and social awareness programs. It has evolved to become a central clearinghouse and facilitator of national, state and local networks seeking to create more safe and vibrant places to socialize. A Steering Committee in Seattle is currently working with the Institute to bring about better understanding and responsiveness to the needs of neighborhoods and the nightlife industry.

Joining Peters in this brown-bag discussion will be Gary Johnson, Director of the Downtown Seattle Neighborhood Service Center, City Councilmembers, City public safety officials, neighborhood representatives, and nightclub owners.

The Neighborhoods and Nightlife brown-bag will take place:
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Seattle City Hall Council Chambers
Between Cherry and James Street, on 5th Avenue.

Precautionary principle Brown-Bag

 
My third brown-bag discussion will be held on Earth Day and will focus on the Precautionary principle, which was set forth in the Rio Declaration of the 1992 United Nations Conference on the Environment and was signed and ratified by the United States among other nations. It states: “In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”

Among the various Comprehensive Plan amendments being considered by the City Council for adoption in 2004 is the following language contained in Council Resolution # 30662, paragraph R: “Discuss in the introduction to the Environment Element the “Precautionary principle.” The “Precautionary Principle” in essence calls for acting on the side of protecting health and the environment when there is uncertainty about an environmental effect. The principle as proposed states “Where threats of serious or irreversible harm to people or nature exist, anticipatory action will be taken to prevent damages to human and environmental health, even when full scientific certainty about cause and effect is not available, with the intent of safeguarding the quality of life for current and future generations.”

Invited guests include Steve Gilbert, representing the Seattle Precautionary Working Group, City Councilmembers and Council Central Staff, members of the City’s Planning Commission, Office of Sustainability and Environment, and the City’s Department of Planning and Development.

The Precautionary principle brown-bag will take place on Earth Day:
Thursday, April 22, 2004
Noon – 1:00 p.m.
Seattle City Hall Council Chambers
Between Cherry and James Street, on 5th Avenue.

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