Working with key community stakeholders in the South Lake Union neighborhood, DPD has completed work on the South Lake Union Urban Design Framework (UDF). The South Lake Union UDF establishes a shared design vision for the physical development of the South Lake Union neighborhood. The UDF bridges 15 years of community planning work in the neighborhood with concrete implementation actions.
Developed with guidance from constituents, including representatives from the South Lake Union Community Council, the Lake Union Opportunity Alliance, the Cascade Neighborhood Council and representatives from other Citywide groups, this document builds on past public planning processes to identify more specific recommendations. It advances goals and policies set out in the SLU Neighborhood Plan, and will help coordinate private and public investments toward the development of a vibrant neighborhood. Strategies identified in this process will guide zoning changes, amendments to SLU Design Guidelines and the Right-of-Way Improvement Manual, and other implementation actions. Goals from the Neighborhood Plan that are not related to physical design (such as childcare and affordable housing) receive some consideration, but will be more thoroughly addressed in the rezone process.
A project team of public and private planners, urban designers, architects, landscape architects, and neighborhood constituents convened for a series of workshops in the summer of 2009. Building on previous public planning efforts, the project team explored ideas in greater detail, incorporating new information about major infrastructure projects and refining design concepts. The success of this effort is a great credit to the community stakeholders who participated in this project and to the architecture firm of Weber + Thompson who generously provided hundreds of hours of pro bono effort to the project.
The completion of the UDF is one step in a planning process that will lead to recommendations for potential zone changes in the neighborhood in the coming year. While the UDF does not address the issues of height and density nor endorse any particular height and density approach in the neighborhood, the UDF does offer guidance for how increases in height and density should be considered. Currently DPD is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement on four different height and zoning alternatives. The draft Environmental Impact Statement will be released in February of 2011.
Look for an announcement of an open house to celebrate completion of the SLU UDF which will be held in late January.
For information on the UDF or the Environmental Impact Statement please go to the following link: www.seattle.gov/DPD/Planning/South_Lake_Union/Overview/
For more information about the South Lake Union project, contact: