We are excited to welcome Michael Jenkins back to DPD as the Director of the Seattle Design Commission. The Seattle Design Commission advises the Mayor, City Council and City departments on the design of capital improvement projects, as well as projects on City land, in the City right-of-way, or constructed with City dollars. The mission of the Seattle Design Commission is to:
- Champion design excellence in the public realm
- Promote design practices that serve as a catalyst for innovative sustainable development, equal opportunity and social inclusion
- Ensure that the city’s built environment makes Seattle a world-class example of sustainable urban design that strengthens community, public life and economic prosperity
Michael first worked at DPD from 2000-2007 as a Senior Land Use Planner. Michael’s work focused on land use review for new downtown developments, projects in the City’s historic districts, developments along the City’s shorelines, and new developments at several hospitals and universities. Some of the more notable projects Michael oversaw included the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Cadillac Hotel, the Russell Investment Center/ Seattle Art Museum expansion, redevelopment of Seattle Housing Authority’s High Point Garden Community, Olympic Sculpture Park, 1521 – 2nd Avenue (the first residential high rise built under the 2005-2006 downtown code update) and the Gates Law School at University of Washington.
In 2007 Michael moved to the City Council’s Council Central Staff, providing Council with policy advice on a range of land use and transportation issues. Michael oversaw Council’s review of street and alley vacations and skybridges, Major Institution Master Plans, and new City facilities funded under the City’s Fire and Parks levies. He also provided Council with advice on a variety of policy issues including updates to the City’s single family and multifamily codes, contract rezones, adoption of the City’s Rental Housing Registration and Inspection program and updates to the City’s taxi and towing ordinances.
In his role as Director, Michael has begun looking at ways to streamline the commission review of projects. One of his first tasks will be to work with the Seattle Design Commission to establish specific application and review requirements, so that project applicants can be better prepared and informed about the commissions’ role and review process. In addition, Michael will be meeting with City departments and with the region’s architecture and engineering firms to increase awareness of the commission’s critical role in publicly funded projects or projects that affect the public realm.
The Seattle Design Commission meets the first and third Thursdays of the month. If you are interested in attending a meeting or have general questions about the commission, you can contact Michael at (206) 386-4024 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Valerie Kinast, the commission’s coordinator, at (206) 233-7911 or email@example.com.The Seattle Design Commission’s website is at www.seattle.gov/dpd.