There's so much action in the city this week that we're doing a second Fizz post. Enjoy.
1. A meeting on Capitol Hill tonight could feature a showdown between advocates of increased density around light rail (AKA Transit-Oriented Development) and opponents who argue that allowing 85-foot-tall buildings and a farmers’ market on Broadway will set a dangerous precedent for taller buildings in the neighborhood.
Two representatives from the Capitol Hill Community Council are running for representation on the group that represents Capitol Hill’s interests to Sound Transit. A group of density opponents has been drumming up opposition to their appointment, arguing that allowing taller buildings at the light rail station will open the floodgates to huge upzones throughout the neighborhood.
The groups opposed to the two pro-density candidates are the same groups (the Capitol Hill Coalition and Reasonable Density Seattle) are the same groups that have fought against micro-housing (commonly known as aPODments) on Eastlake and Capitol Hill.
The meeting's tonight at 6:30 at the Cal Anderson Park Shelterhouse, 1635 11th Ave.
2. Fizz has been hearing rumors that Gov. Jay Inslee opposes a proposal that was backed by his predecessor, Chris Gregoire, to consolidate collections of cities' business and occupation (B&O) taxes at the state level, and supports a competing idea proposed by the state’s largest cities, including Seattle.
Cities opposed Gregoire’s top-down proposal (which was also backed by the conservative Association of Washington Businesses) because, they argued, it would result in millions of dollars in lost revenues (including an estimated $43 million in Seattle alone) every year. Instead, they’ve proposed an alternative: An online “portal” for businesses operating in the state’s five largest cities—a single site for businesses to figure out how much they owe each city in taxes.
Does Inslee support the portal idea?
Fizz asked his spokeswoman, Jaime Smith. She told us: “The Governor has said he’s open to speaking all the cities about the best way to move forward. He encourages efforts by cities to work together to streamline tax collection.”
Not exactly a plug for the cities’ proposal, but hardly a ringing endorsement for Gregoire’s plan.3. Seattle Districts Now held its kickoff last night at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center, with speakers representing the old guard of Seattle’s neighborhood activists including International District community activist Bill Bradburd, former monorail advocate (and board member) Cleve Stockmeyer, Fremont and Democratic Party activist Toby Thaler, and Eugene Wasserman of the North Seattle Industrial Association.
Expect to hear from the group in your neighborhood shortly; they're planning to fan out across all seven potential districts to gather signatures for what they hope will be a November 2013 ballot measure. And they're planning a debate at City Hall in about a month, featuring former city council member Phyllis Lamphere and former King County Democratic Party chair Steve Zemke.