In June, DPD and our community partners completed the U District Urban Design Framework (UDF). This document draws from a year of working group meetings and extensive public input. Our public engagement process has sought to balance interests in the community from a wide range of participants and perspectives, including:
- service providers
- business owners
- housing advocates
- open space proponents
- resident groups
- property owners
The UDF builds on neighborhood plan goals and policies, with specific recommendations for street and public space improvements and zoning changes. You can download a copy from the U District Urban Design website. . This document will guide our work going forward, including land use recommendations and streetscape concept plans.
The next step in our planning process will be to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), providing technical analysis of several alternative zoning scenarios. Based on ideas in the UDF, we’re starting to flesh out zoning alternatives. We’ll host an EIS scoping meeting in fall 2013 to get public input on our initial direction. Our goal is to complete a final EIS by August 2014, and send zoning recommendations to City Council in 2015.
At this early stage, we plan to evaluate three alternatives: one “no action alternative” that studies 20 years of growth under existing zoning, and two “action alternatives” that assume different approaches to zoning and development standards over the same 20 year period. One of the recommendations coming out of the UDF process will be to focus residential and job growth in the area surrounding the future Sound Transit light rail station, scheduled to open in 2021.
We have a consultant team under contract for the EIS, which includes Deborah Munkberg from Studio 3MW as the prime consultant, Fehr & Peers for transportation analysis, Hewitt for aesthetics and urban design, Berk for housing and socioeconomics, and Artifacts for historic resources.