DPD is hosting a series of meetings in March to discuss proposed industrial lands policies that are part of Seattle 2035 – the City’s major comprehensive plan update. DPD is considering specific land use policies for designated Manufacturing and Industrial Centers (M/IC) that will preserve these areas for ongoing industrial use. The proposed policies would limit the potential for converting property to non-industrial uses unless specific criteria are met.
On Wednesday, February 25, DPD hosted an open house at City Hall for the 2015 update to our environmentally critical areas (ECAs) regulations. We presented an overview of what ECAs are, how we regulate them, and what changes we are considering in this update. We also had large maps of each ECA type on display.
City staff are hosting a series of meetings in March to discuss specific land use policies for designated Manufacturing and Industrial Centers (M/IC) that will preserve these areas for ongoing industrial use. This policy work is aimed at strengthening our industrial business sectors as a part of Seattle 2035– the City’s major comprehensive plan update.
Seattle has five environmentally critical areas such as wetlands and wildlife habitat areas. How do we protect these environmentally critical areas (ECAs)?
In 1994 the city adopted a new Comprehensive Plan centered on the innovative “urban village strategy.” Rather than scatter growth throughout the city, or squeeze growth along corridors, this plan called for guiding growth and City investment to mixed-use, walkable villages. So 20 years later, how successful how this strategy been?
On January 13, 2015, Mayor Murray sent proposed changes to the City Council to encourage new and protect existing compact, walkable neighborhood business districts. The proposal includes 39 new or expanded areas to protect and promote pedestrian retail areas. The proposal also include modifications to current regulations that would apply to existing and new pedestrian zones to better meet the changing needs of our neighborhood business districts.
Last fall, Mayor Murray and City Council called together a twenty-eight member stakeholder committee to help develop a bold agenda for increasing housing affordability and livability in our city. The Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Committee is now up and running, and will deliver a set of recommended actions to the Mayor and Council by the end of May, 2015.
In February the City Council will consider Mayor Murray’s proposed legislation that would allow up to three transitional encampments for homeless individuals on non-residential City or private property if certain conditions are met. This legislation helps carry out key recommendations from the Emergency Task Force on Unsheltered Homelessness. The legislation is part of a three-pronged approach the City is pursing to address homelessness and affordable housing in the City.
DPD has amended the Seattle Mixed zone (Land Use Code Chapter 23.48) several times, most recently to apply the zone in South Lake Union. Currently, provisions related to specific neighborhoods are interspersed throughout the zone’s main chapter, which has made the zone difficult to understand and use. We are proposing to reorganize the chapter into subchapters consisting of general standards that apply in all Seattle Mixed zones and neighborhood- and location-specific standards that apply unique provisions to the neighborhoods.
Last summer, we hosted a meeting in West Seattle to provide information about development in the neighborhood and give West Seattleites an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. About 40 people joined 26 staff from the City’s Departments of Transportation, Planning and Development, Neighborhoods, and the Mayor’s office. You can read more about the meeting, and view the presentation materials, at The West Seattle Blog. This article summarizes what we heard about some of the major issues and identifies how you can get involved in related ongoing planning efforts.