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Thanks to Carl Guess for looking at the fine print of the city’s HALA environmental impact statement.

As we exponentially increase housing units across the city, we must not forget about the “L” in the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) — lest you forget, that stands for livability. Parks and green spaces are part of what makes this city special and, for me, tolerable amid rampant construction and change. These spaces provide important benefits — a refuge from heat and a frenetic city; a filter for run off toxic to salmon; space to think and connect with the community; and so much more, including space to play for families who live in the very multifamily units we’re looking to build more of through HALA.

We need to double down on protecting more green spaces — not simply focus on packing more people in to the detriment of neighborhood livability. You can do better, Seattle City Council, and now is the time to invest, not change the standard. Take a cue from King County, which just launched a bold land conservation initiative that will address inequities in green space across the county and invest at this time of unprecedented growth.

Kitty Craig, Seattle