Open Space Seattle:2100

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Time to Act is NOW!

Hello OSS 2100 readers--

We have an extraordinary chance to begin to change the way the City functions in regards to open space, but we need to move quickly and act before Tuesday! We have the opportunity to achieve things that various members of this list have been seeking for months and sometimes years , including:

  • WAYS TO INTEGRATE GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE RESPONSIBILITIES ACROSS CITY DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

  • 100% PUBLIC MEETINGS

  • DIRECT CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT

  • SEEDS OF A NEW COMPREHENSIVE VISION FOR SEATTLE'S PARKS, TRAILS AND GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

  • FUNDING TO BOLSTER THE "BUSINESS CASE" FOR NEW, SMARTER INVESTMENTS IN GREEN IN THE CITY

Again, we must act now. After a long slog of a budget season, various coalition members of the Open Space Seattle 2100 group now have a budget addition and accompanying resolution (see below for the complete text) that would establish a Green Infrastructure Technical Advisory Panel and direct a work plan for that panel, which includes finding to find strategies to implement a new long-term vision of a green infrastructure network for the City of Seattle.


Please write (and encourage others to do the same) to the Seattle City Councilmembers TODAY, supporting "17-1-B-1 - $100K add to OSE for consultant + resolution." You can find some sample support text below.


****************************

Dear Seattle Councilmembers,
I encourage you to adopt Tab 17, Option B which would, "add $100,000 in 2007 to the Office of Sustainability and Environment to hire a consultant to support a Green Infrastructure Technical Advisory Panel to help implement the recommendations of Open Space Seattle 2100 to:
  1. Take steps to further develop a 100-year Green Infrastructure Plan with an initial 20-year set of priority actions based on the Green Futures Charrette using city staff and consultants.
  2. Create a Green Infrastructure Technical Advisory Panel, half of the members appointed by the Mayor and the remaining half appointed by the City Council, to serve as the client group for the consultants in the development of the above plan and to advise the City on ways to maximize existing green infrastructure efforts underway by the City.
  3. Tasking the Panel with planning for investment in green infrastructure by developing a funding strategy that might include a green infrastructure levy, fee structure or other funding mechanisms.
This as an extraordinarily important issue as we think about the future of our city. For a variety of reasons, from ecological robustness to economic integrity, we believe that this long range thinking is a priority for the City to take on.

I also believe that this keeps the hopes and aspirations of the many, many people who participated in the Open Space Seattle 2100 process alive. Their commitment to the future of this City is made manifest in the extraordinary wotk that they did at the Green Futures Charrette in February and

Thank you for your hard work on these issues,

Sincerely,

***************************
Councilmember emails and where they stand on the resolution:

Peter.Steinbrueck@seattle.gov supportive in concept, but did not sign on as a sponsor
nick.licata@seattle.gov supportive in concept, but did not sign on as a sponsor--watching $
jan.drago@seattle.gov co-sponsor of resolution
jean.godden@seattle.gov not sure. one of the swing votes
tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov co-sponsor of resolution
david.della@seattle.gov co-sponsor of resolution
richard.conlin@seattle.gov co-sponsor of resolution
richard.mciver@seattle.gov against
sally.clark@seattle.gov not sure. one of the swing votes

Obviously, councilmembers licata, steinbruech, godden and clark are where we should be knocking hardest.

*********************************

We think that this keeps the goals and ideas of the 350 people who participated in the charrette alive, and keeps the pressure on the city to think comprehensively about where we are going in the coming decades and even over the next century.

Finally, if you would like to serve on the Green Infrastructure Technical Advisory Panel, I might suggest that you throw your name in the ring for consideration when you email the Council

P.S.
Next time you see them, please thank John Barber, Joyce Moty, Heather Trim, Diana Kincaid, Nate Cormier, Dave Rogers, Nancy Rottle, Michael McGinn, Jerry Arbes, Craig Skiption and others for all of their hard work lobbying on behalf of this and giving up their time to go talk to the various City Council members.

*****D R A F T R E S O L U T I O N*****

A RESOLUTION endorsing the development of a green infrastructure work plan to implement the visions of Open Space Seattle 2100, directing the Office of Sustainability and Environment to provide staff leadership in coordinating City department actions to support development of a green infrastructure framework for this work plan, and establishing a green infrastructure technical advisory panel and requesting that consultant resources be used to support the development of the framework in 2007.

Whereas, the Seattle City Council has embraced the Goals and Principles of Open Space Seattle 2100 by proclamation in May 2006; and

Whereas, we recognize that our green infrastructure investments across the city contribute to a more ecologically-sound, economically-vibrant, and socially-just civic landscape that creates more robust communities and healthier citizens; and

Whereas, we recognize the overwhelming commitment, investment and excitement generated by the 350 plus participants in the Open Space Seattle 2100 process; and

Whereas, we understand their collective desire to create a new vision for Seattle’s integrated green infrastructure of trees, parks, natural drainage systems, greenbelts, creeks, shorelines and other green infrastructure amenities; and

Whereas, we recognize the need to integrate the services and functions of the eight agencies, including Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Transportation, Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Planning and Development, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Center, and the Office of Sustainability and the Environment to create the most efficient and effective civic expenditures on green infrastructure; and

Whereas, we recognize that the Bicycle Master Plan, the Pedestrian Master Plan, the Urban Forest Management Plan and the Mayor’s Environmental Action Agenda will be stronger if treated as a comprehensive whole rather than as separate plans competing for resources; and

Whereas, we endorse the need to create a spatial framework that overlays existing and future planning needs to identify gaps and opportunities in current planning; and

Whereas, we recognize the need for long-term thinking about changing the way that we, as a city, do business in order to better realize and sustain our long term green objectives; and

Whereas, we encourage creative thinking about opportunities to fund future green infrastructure improvements; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE, THE MAYOR CONCURRING, THAT:

Section 1. There is hereby established a Green Infrastructure Technical Advisory Panel (Panel) to study creating an integrated green infrastructure throughout the City and to engage the citizens of Seattle in discussions about green infrastructure planning. [TO BE DEVELOPED: # of members and interests to be represented.] Half of the members of the Panel shall be appointed 50% by the Mayor and the other half shall be appointed by the Seattle City Council. In order to ensure continued grassroots support and transparency in process, public notice of all meetings of the Panel shall be provided and the public shall be explicitly invited to attend. The Office of Sustainability and Environment shall staff the Panel and shall serve as the liaison to the public regarding the development of green infrastructure in the City of Seattle.

Section 2. City funds included in the 2007 Adopted Budget to hire a consultant to assist the work of the Panel will support the following tasks: (1) using life cycle analysis, compare natural drainage systems versus traditional infrastructure, (2) conduct a feasibility study of implementing government-wide asset management controls into capital improvement projects and to maximize system-wide efficiencies for green infrastructure, and (3) conduct community assessment of implementation pathways and roadblocks, or a best practices report looking at global green infrastructure systems, with the intention of informing the City’s decision about how to create a long-term, integrated green infrastructure plan for the City of Seattle.

Section 3. City staff in collaboration with the Panel, in 2007 shall develop a green infrastructure framework for a work plan. The work plan would serve as the basis for funding a future consultant report to create guiding green infrastructure principles, GIS overlays of city plans and projections for the spatial locations of an integrated green infrastructure, and investigate ways to integrate green infrastructure planning into the City’s capital projects. The Panel should also in 2007 begin to determine a funding strategy, and analyze potential funding sources, including but not limited to a green infrastructure levy, a fee structure and other funding mechanisms.

Adopted by the City Council the ____ day of _________, 2006, and signed by me in open session in authentication of its adoption this _____ day of __________, 2006.


*****I S S U E P A P E R*****

Tab # 17

Open Space 2100

Norm Schwab

November 1, 2006
Issue: Does the Council want to help implement the recommendations of Open Space Seattle 2100 through City actions? If YES, how so?

Background: Seattle’s population is expected to double by 2100. Open Space Seattle 2100 (OSS 2100) seeks to develop a comprehensive open space network vision for Seattle's next 100 years that will complement the city's predicted growth and density, and to build the broad constituency and strategies required to implement this vision. The University of Washington's Department of Landscape Architecture is joining with leaders and citizens from civic, environmental, professional, neighborhood and community groups to create plans for connected open space that will serve residents, businesses, and natural systems for the coming century.

OSS 2100 held a two-day Green Futures Charrette on February 3 and 4, 2006 involving over 350 people and produced a comprehensive report entitled, “Envisioning Seattle’s Green Future.” The City Council embraced the goals and principles of OSS 2100 by proclamation in May 2006. OSS 2100 is seeking further City support to implement the visions contained in its July 2006 report.

OSS 2100 is asking the City to:

1. Take steps to further develop a 100-year Green Infrastructure Plan with an initial 20-year set of priority actions based on the Green Futures Charrette using city staff and consultants.
2. Create a Green Infrastructure Technical Advisory Panel, half of the members appointed by the Mayor and the remaining half appointed by the City Council, to serve as the client group for the consultants in the development of the above plan and to advise the City on ways to maximize existing green infrastructure efforts underway by the City.
3. Tasking the Panel with planning for investment in green infrastructure by developing a funding strategy that might include a green infrastructure levy, fee structure or other funding mechanisms.

Proposed Budget: The Mayor has not included any funds to directly support the request submitted by OSS 2100. However, the City has funded a number of initiatives in Departments that are consistent with and relate to OSS 2100. The Mayor’s Environmental Action Plan includes significant funding requests for projects and programs such as the Climate Action Plan and Restore Our Waters. Together they include over $5 million of new hires, targeted actions, and strategies. Also, the Green Seattle Initiative, which includes the Urban Forest Management Plan and Green Seattle Partnership, proposes to invest another $4.4 million to enhance and improve the health and beauty of Seattle’s tree canopy and green areas. The Mayor’s proposed budget includes $196,000 in the Department of Planning and Development for a Strategic Advisor ($146,000) to work on sustainable infrastructure and consultant services to analyze green infrastructure life-cycle costs. ($50,000).
Option A:

Option B:






Option C:


1. Adopt the Mayor’s budgeted as proposed.



2. Add $100,000 in 2007 to the Office of Sustainability and Environment to hire a consultant to support a Green Infrastructure Technical Advisory Panel to help implement the recommendations of Open Space Seattle 2100 to do the three things listed above in the Background. Also, adopt a Resolution supporting the request of OSS 2100 (draft attached).



3. Add $50,000 to the Department of Planning and Development’s (DPD) budget for additional consultant work to augment the Mayor’s proposed budget on sustainable infrastructure. The added $50,000 would support further analysis of ways to address green infrastructure recommendations from OSS 2100. The Council could also adopt an alternate Resolution that would endorse: 1) the goals of OSS 2100, 2) the numerous complimentary environmental efforts underway at the City (Climate Protection, Urban Forest Management Plan, Restore Our Waters, Green Building Team, Sustainable Infrastructure, etc.), and 3) creation of a citizen advisory panel to provide integrated community feedback on the City's environmental activities.

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