Last Day to Comment on the Seattle Comprehensive Plan!
Please send in your comments TODAY to the city.
Email your comments directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For ideas, see our comments below. If you don’t have time to read the entire DEIS document, you can always simply write something similar to ours, or state that you agree with our comments.
Here’s what we submitted:
Comments to the Draft EIS – Seattle 2035
Submitted by Seattle Nature Alliance
June 17, 2015
Seattle Nature Alliance offers our comments on the Draft EIS. The Alliance represents Seattle citizens interested in preserving and protecting Seattle natural areas and greenspaces for wildlife habitat, low-impact passive recreation, and scenic beauty. We are concerned that pressures from population growth and development will subject our natural areas to overuse and will ultimately degrade nature for wildlife, and the nature-experience for people.
We have reviewed the plan, and also the comments from several other groups, including the Urban Forestry Commission, Seattle Greenspaces Coalition, and TreePac/Plant Amnesty. We would like to express our full support for the comments submitted by those groups.
In addition, we would like to emphasize that the Plan should include much more specific goals with regard to protecting existing trees, and for increasing overall tree canopy. The stated reduction in tree canopy goals from 40% to 30% coverage is unacceptable. We should be increasing the goal, not decreasing it. City dwellers as well as urban wildlife depend on the urban forest for health and well-being, and this need will be much more dire in the future, with more people and fewer natural areas to serve them.
The Plan should have more specific goals for increasing open space, and allowances for using surplus city-owned land as protected and preserved open space specifically designated and reserved for wildlife habitat and passive/low-impact recreation or scenic beauty. Instead of selling off this surplus acreage for development, the City should be improving and restoring this land for our open space needs. In the future, people will desperately need more natural areas close to where they live, as transportation to outlying natural areas will be much more difficult, and for many lower-income people, virtually impossible. They will need nature close to home.
Chapter 3.4 includes some very odd references to “Proposed Expansion Areas”, with maps showing Residential Urban Villages with dot-hatched areas overlapping onto existing parkland. See attached screenshot for an example. This makes it look like the Urban Village—and residential development—will be extended into part of Ravenna Park, and other parks as well. We assume this is a mistake, or that there is some explanation that makes sense. It cannot be that the Plan is truly proposing to build in existing parklands, because that would be far outside the bounds of wise planning. Please clarify this in the next Plan document. Please state clearly that parklands, greenspaces, open spaces and natural areas are expressly and forever exempt from urban village development.
In conclusion, we feel the Plan should be much more nature-friendly, and should increase, protect, and preserve natural areas and tree canopy.
Seattle Nature Alliance
Map of the “Proposed Expansion Areas”