Mayor Jenny A. Durkan has introduced her 2019-2020 Proposed Budget (http://www.seattle.gov/financedepartment) in her address on September 24, including her proposed two-year budget for the Office of Planning and Community Development.
In the coming year, OPCD will continue to pursue our mission to lead collaborative planning, advance equitable development, and create great places. We look forward to working with the Seattle City Council to support citywide implementation of Mandatory Housing Affordability program, advance the City’s community planning work program, work with neighborhoods to create equitable and transit-oriented neighborhoods, align comprehensive planning with regional partners, and support quality urban design and public open spaces throughout Seattle.
We are also pleased to announce that Mayor Durkan is proposing to expand OPCD’s Equitable Development Initiative (EDI). EDI provides funding for community-based organizations that initiate, develop and operate programs that support racial and social justice and respond to displacement pressures. The expanded program will build on the ten EDI projects that received capital funding and capacity-building dollars in 2018, in addition to the five projects that received funding in 2017. The Mayor is proposing to invest nearly $5 million of new Short-Term Rental Tax revenue annually to support EDI. Please see our web page for information about EDI Projects.
As part of Citywide cost savings needed to bring spending into balance with anticipated resources and to better align our staffing needs with OPCD’s core objectives, OPCD will eliminate two land use planner positions, and add a planning and development specialist who will focus on equitable development work. The Mayor is also reallocating funding to support our Language Access Action Plan to reach Seattle residents who speak languages other than English.
Now the Council will begin its process to review the budget, including public hearings and amendments, with final approval scheduled for November. We look forward to working with the community in the coming year to advance our vision of an inspiring city, in harmony with nature, where everyone thrives.
Sam Assefa, Director