—DPD begins scoping process for updating Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan
Do you have a vision for the perfect Seattle in 2030 and beyond? Do you sometimes wonder why the City implements some ideas and not others? Do you want to roll up your sleeves and get into the nitty gritty of planning your city’s future? If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, then DPD wants to hear from you.
DPD is about to prepare a major update of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan. The plan was first adopted by the City in 1994 and has been amended annually. However, the only previous major update of the entire plan was in 2004.
This new update to Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan will be a practical and visionary roadmap, expressing Seattle’s values and vision for the next 20 years. The plan will spell out specific goals and policies affecting the natural environment, land use, transportation, housing, capital facilities, utilities, and other important elements that affect future planning for your city. It also provides specific guidance for where to locate new housing and jobs.
In addition to these locally driven changes, the update will also address changes at the State level (the state Growth Management Act, the law that governs comprehensive planning), changes to the regional growth management strategy (Vision 2040), and the Countywide Planning Policies.
The first big step in the update, which will start in October, will be a public process to identify the issues that should be addressed over the next 2 years of the update. DPD and other City departments will then conduct research and public outreach on key topics. Later in the process draft revisions of the plan will be available for public review. The final draft will be submitted to City Council in 2012 and there will be further opportunities for you to participate in Council public hearings.
A comprehensive plan is not just a file cabinet full of plans. It is the City’s consensus-based vision and its business plan. The plan suggests who we are as a city, what our aspirations are, and how Seattle’s many different documents and plans are connected to achieve a broad array of community objectives.
A comprehensive plan is also a practical and flexible roadmap, capable of shifting arrangement and emphasis as available resources and the community’s preferences change. So Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan is both practical – laying out a series of objectives to be accomplished over the coming years – and visionary in that it frames Seattle’s goals and aspirations for future generations.
Washington state cities, including Seattle, are required by state law to review and update their Comprehensive Plans every seven years.
DPD plans to produce final recommendations for the City Council to consider in 2012. There will be periodic public meetings and continuous opportunities for online comment before that date.
This Comprehensive Plan update will focus on three specific areas:
- clarify and articulate the City’s commitment to growing sustainably
- identify specific actions and department-level coordination to carry out Comprehensive Plan goals and policies
- incorporate the State’s most recent population forecasts and Seattle’s resulting growth targets into the Plan, along with the estimated future growth for each of the City’s urban centers and urban villages.
We are asking you to participate in the public meetings that the City will convene and to contribute to the update over the next couple of years. At the upcoming Fall 2010 meeting, we want to hear your thoughts about a 20-year vision for Seattle and how we should best address the urgent issues of sustainability and climate change.
Coming soon: online Comprehensive Plan survey. Keep an eye on our website for more informaiton.