climate justice

8 petitions

This petition won 8 months ago

Petition to Office of Planning & Community Development, Seattle's Department of Neighborhoods

Beyond Backyard Cottages: 10 ideas to address Seattle’s housing shortage

Beyond Backyard Cottages: 10 ideas to address Seattle’s housing shortage By More Options for Accessory Residences (MOAR), a group of citizens concerned with the future of the city, housing availability and affordability. We have diverse backgrounds, experiences and housing situations, but we’re all Seattleites who want our city to allow more options for accessory residences. For us, our neighbors, and future generations. For the last decade, backyard cottages — also known as Detached Accessory Dwelling Units, or DADUs — have been popping up all over Seattle’s neighborhoods. Based on their success, making backyard cottages and mother in law apartments easier to permit and build was one of the important recommendations of the City’s 2015 Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Final Report (labled SF1 in the report). After Councilmember O’Brien introduced land use code revisions to open the door for more of this important housing type, a small, wealthy group of Queen Anne homeowners successfully derailed the ordinance. Now the City of Seattle is now starting over and plans to study in depth the impact of accessory dwellings. Because of their size and location, backyard cottages are an almost invisible form of increasing neighborhood density. They have many other benefits: They begin to undo past exclusionary land-use wrongs by opening up our city’s parks, schools and other amenities to people that could never afford to rent or buy a multi-bedroom single family detached home in the same neighborhoodMany older Seattleites who want to age in place see backyard cottages as a solution. Backyard cottages help people finance their retirements, or facilitate multi-generational living arrangements, or downsize while maintaining neighborhood connections. They are a perfect size for our smaller households (2.1 people according to the latest demographics) and are relatively more affordable An investment in DADUs is a powerful disincentive to future tear downs and the greater environmental, visual and noise impact of out of scale McMansions. A Call to Action: In order to support Accessory Dwellings during this housing shortage, please cut and paste the language below into the online forms and in emails to Council In writing at the EIS Public Scoping Meetings/Open Houses: October 17, 2017, 6:00–7:30 p.m. Location: High Point Community Center, 6920 34th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98126 October 26, 2017, 6:00–7:30 p.m. Location: Hale’s Ales (in the Palladium), 4301 Leary Way NW, Seattle, WA 98107 Via e-mail to: PLANNING AND ZONING COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Are there additional topics or concerns that you would like to see addressed in this EIS?Given the scarcity of housing and astonishing escalation of rents and home prices, the very minimum is to allow more accessory dwelling units into Single Family zoning. This is a perfect opportunity to look beyond the backyard cottage at what more we could do to solve our housing shortage. Do you have other comments or suggestions related to the scope of the EIS? Change zone name from ‘Single Family’ to ‘Residential.’ Our current ‘Single Family’ has a long history of duplexes, triplexes, corner stores and apartments, prior to downzoning, and renaming the zone removes a mental roadblock about what residential areas are for: people. Waive building permit fees for 5 years for AADUs and DADUs. Portland uses this incentive to permit nearly one per day, 6 times the rate of Seattle’s accessory dwelling unit production. Use Green Building incentives similar to other permit types: Allow 10% increase in size and height for projects on lots over 4000 SF. Allow 20% increase for lots over 5000 SF. Housing Opportunity Overlay. Create a ring overlay within 10 minute walkshed of schools, parks, urban villages, arterials and frequent transit, where additional housing is desired. Allow Residential Small Lot zoning without MHA in Overlay. Make parking requirements for additional units voluntary Upgrading non-conforming housing types and uses, such as duplexes, established before 1995. There are 4300 grandfathered duplexes and triplexes within SF zones and they are subject to different rules such as continuing use and limitations on expansion/upgrades. They should have the same flexibility under the code that applies to their neighbors in SF zones. Buffering detached houses from higher zones: If adjacent zoning is not SF 5000 zoning, allow flexible increase in height, or setbacks to help with transition to other zones (LR, NC) Make accessory dwelling units easier to built. Allow exceptions for handrails and parapets over height limit. Decks over 18” and covered areas should not count toward accessory use square footage, but should have stand alone total. Allow separate metering of utilities. When expanding a garage/existing non-conforming use, allow vertical expansion in line with existing structure, rather than to setbacks. Allow extra height for flat roofs when used as a green roof. Study using Floor Area Ratio to restrict size of development and incentivize additional housing units. Currently we are seeing many new single dwellings that dwarf the house that was torn down. On a 5000 SF lot, with lot coverage at 35%, and a height limit of 30’, we currently allow a house to be 5250 SF. Using a .5 FAR for single dwelling unit properties, allowing .7 for two dwelling units and .8 for three dwellings per lot, the same property would allow 2500 SF, 3500 SF or 4000 SF. Restricting maximum FAR will make teardowns/McMansions less viable, put a break on gentrification, and insure that many more housing units and options are built. FAR limitations will create many lots with dwellings with mix of sizes and prices. Double Ownership. Allow split ownership of lots with existing house and new cottage, like a fee simple subdivision, provided the cottage was legally established. Create template for condominium-like agreements to share lot ownership between existing house and new cottage. Seattle has no starter homes and this would create new opportunity for ownership. If we agree ownership is an aspiration, creating more affordable options such as this would be desirable. Allow homeowners to qualify for small loans from Office of Housing from pool of MHA payments when creating additional dwellings. One of the key criticisms of MHA is whether affordable housing created will be well distributed, and by making the available loans applicable at residential scale, on a parcel by parcel basis, there will be new affordable housing integrated into every neighborhood. The other difficulty most people face when creating a DADU is securing financing, and having an additional source would help many owners create their own.   Please send an email to the city:   Please share this medium article: Beyond Backyard Cottages: 10 ideas to address Seattle’s housing shortage

MOAR - More Options for Accessory Residences
513 supporters
Update posted 7 months ago

Petition to Dean Baquet, James Bennet, Joseph Kahn, James Dao, Terry Tang, Liz Spayd

Tell The NY Times: do not promote climate denial at your paper

Tell The New York Times that climate denial should have no place on its editorial page! Please sign and share our petition! The New York Times has hired the columnist Bret Stephens, who is on record dismissing climate change as “hysteria generated by an imperceptible temperature rise of 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880.” In his first column for the Times, “Climate of Complete Certainty,” Stephens argued that we should doubt the certainty of climate science before we call for changes in public policy to address climate change. He said it is “not entirely” true that “the science is settled” and “the threat is clear.” In fact, climate science tells us with over 90-95% certainty that if we continue to emit CO2 at our current rate we will cause the planet to warm between 3-5.5 °C over the coming ninety years. Uncertainty in the modeling is already accounted for by the range of projected temperatures. Even 3°C warming would be catastrophic for human beings everywhere. 3°C warming would destroy agricultural systems that feed millions of people, incite fatal droughts and heat waves, and flood our costal cities, rendering them uninhabitable. It is only by taking immediate steps to decarbonize our global economy – even bigger steps than were outlined in the 2016 Paris Agreement – that we have any hope to hold warming at 2°C and preserve our current way of life. The world's most respected climate scientists have signed an open letter calling Stephens' work “inaccurate and misleading.” (You can read that letter here: And indeed Stephens is spreading the disinformation campaign developed by Exxon and its lobbyists in the 1990's (a campaign first exposed, in a somewhat painful irony, by The New York Times itself). This campaign uses the tobacco-industry playbook of minimizing and distorting scientific research into the hazards of smoking to minimize and distort scientific discoveries about the dangers of burning fossil fuels. The connections between tobacco-industry and fossil-fuel-industry propaganda have been well documented, for example in Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes, Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University. By claiming that Bret Stephens' arguments fall safely within "a range of views" that reasonable people may debate, The New York Times is legitimating the dangerous lie that there is enough uncertainty in the climate science to make us question whether we need to phase out fossil fuel consumption. In seeming to provide its readers with different viewpoints about climate change, The New York Times is in fact reinforcing and amplifying one viewpoint: that of the fossil-fuel industry and the climate-deniers in the Trump administration who are spreading the fake news that we must debate the science before policymakers act. Legitimating fake news about climate is irresponsible and dangerous. Every one of us who signs this petition has a deeply personal reason for protesting the hiring of Stephens by The New York Times. I am lucky to have a seven-year-old boy who I and his father love more than anything in the world; we will fight tirelessly to leave him a planet on which he can live safely and, if he wishes, have children of his own to love with equal ferocity. We trust that the Editors of The New York Times have similar hopes for a livable future. We urge the Times to remember that only its commitment to the truth enables it to fulfill the public trust and maintain the broad readership that has made The New York Times America's paper of record. We call on The New York Times to rescind its offer to Bret Stephens and instead hire a columnist committed to advancing his political position without using lies to support his argument.

Genevieve Guenther
40,387 supporters
Started 1 year ago

Petition to Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Tampa City Council

If you want more solar in FL, support Tampa's "Ready for 100%" clean energy campaign!

Nearly 100 cities across the U.S. have embraced renewables as their power source by committing to transition to 100 percent clean energy. From San Diego to Abita Springs, Louisiana, from Salt Lake City to St. Petersburg, Florida, big cities and small towns know that clean energy is the way to cleaner air, climate action, better jobs, and a stronger economy. Yet few of these commitments would be possible without the leadership of a visionary mayor. That’s why Organize Florida, the Sierra Club, and a Coalition of other organizations in Tampa are working on the Mayors for 100% Clean Energy campaign, to urge Mayor Bob Buckhorn to endorse a vision of 100 percent clean energy. Mayor Buckhorn knows that we need to address the flooding in our city, so why wouldn't he want to address one of the root causes of the flooding - sea level rise due to climate change? He was also one of the mayors to sign on to the Paris Climate Agreement. Today, we offer him the opportunity to lead the way right here at home. Indeed, mayors know firsthand the harmful effects that pollution, the high cost of energy, and climate change have on people and families in their cities. From increased rates of asthma to missed days of school and work, mayors see how dirty fuels like coal and gas harm our health and put entire communities at risk. They’ve witnessed how fossil fuel companies and utilities have held cities back by locking us into costly, polluting energy while fighting or stalling affordable clean energy solutions. Many mayors govern cities that are grappling with the increasing risks associated with climate change, which put a strain on city budgets and infrastructure. But mayors are also at the vanguard of innovative, bipartisan solutions. Mayors Philip Levine of Miami Beach, Jackie Biskupski of Salt Lake City, Kevin Faulconer of San Diego, and Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina share a commitment to lead their communities and the nation toward a cleaner, more reliable and affordable energy. As co-chairs of Mayors For 100% Clean Energy, these mayors are leading by example and inviting their peers across the country to join them in supporting a transition to clean, renewable energy. Mayors have a way of elevating issues when their time has come. We are in such a moment. A majority of Americans want clean air, clean water, and clean energy. Americans oppose cuts to environmental protections and they opposed cuts to the agencies that keep us safe from pollution. By a more than 5 to 1 margin, voters say the U.S. should keep its commitment to the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon pollution and address climate change. And too many American lives are lost, especially in low income communities and communities of color, to the impacts of dirty fuels. The Trump administration has made abundantly clear that it is hell bent on gutting bedrock environmental protections and putting dirty energy interests first—even if it means putting millions of Americans at risk of illness, disease and even premature death. We can meet these challenges head-on by leading the transition away from fossil fuels in our cities, our towns, and our communities. Cities are uniquely positioned to drive the innovation, creativity, ideas, and solutions needed to tackle the pressing social and economic issues we are facing. A growing trend among cities committing to 100 percent renewable energy demonstrates the ambition of mayors, in red states and blue, to articulate a vision for our country that is aligned with the will and well-being of the people. 100 percent renewable energy is both the right thing and the smart thing to do. In 100 percent cities like Georgetown, Texas, wind and solar provided an affordable and stable energy solution that shelters residents from the fluctuating costs of dirty fuels. Georgetown is now one of the first cities to run entirely on renewable energy. Clean energy is saving schools, businesses, and faith communities serious money! Schools are saving millions of dollars that they are putting money back into the classroom after investing in solar. Churches are reinvesting in programs like food banks that serve low-income and impoverished communities with the money they save from going solar. Now is the time to transition from dirty fuels to 100 percent clean energy! Committing to 100 percent renewable energy will make cities and towns healthier and stronger today and in the future. Whether you’re a mayor or an activist you can take action now -- step up and support 100 percent clean and renewable energy in your community. We must urge Mayor Buckhorn to sign the Ready for 100 proclamation, which you can see at the following link:

Tampa Ready for 100 Coalition
770 supporters