Costs, Permitting, and Uncertainty: Outreach to Our New Mayor

Last week Jenny Durkan was sworn in as Seattle’s new Mayor. It is a historic moment since Durkan is the first woman to have the job in almost a century. She’s also got a big job managing expectations about growth and change in the city in the next decade. We’ve already been reaching out to her transition team. I’ve dusted off the letter we sent to Mayor Murray and the Council asking to work on reducing costs and uncertainty in the permitting process. We may not agree on the bigger issues associated with Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning (MIZ), but market rate and non-profits producers of housing face serious problems with how we permit housing. Here’s a quick email I sent to Mayor Durkan’s Deputy Mayor. Let’s hope we can work together in the year ahead.  

Hello Mike,

And welcome back to the City! Congratulations!
I wanted to share the attached letter we sent to Mayor Murray and the Council earlier this year and that I also shared with Jordan Royer and David Della. I’ve also talked with members of the transition about our interest in working with the Mayor on how we create more certainty in the permitting process and reduce costs associated with uncertainty and additional mandates and adverse interpretations of the code.
I have personally found departmental staff helpful and very much interested in customer service and trying to do the right thing. But they need more leadership and direction which lends clarity to the challenging job they do.

When the time is right, we would like to meet with your team to figure out how we can work together on these small items that add up to big costs. We also think non-profit developers should be part of this discussion. The state is moving on an audit we requested of housing costs (also attached). We think this is the time to come together as a broader housing provider community to tackle these issues.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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