The Equitable Development Initiative

Earlier in 2016, OPCD created the Equitable Development Initiative (EDI), a set of strategies that emerged from our Growth and Equity Report, part of the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan update. The EDI involves many different City departments coordinating to address equity in our underserved communities and displacement as Seattle grows. Various EDI strategies will:

  • Advance economic mobility and opportunity
  • Prevent residential, commercial, and cultural displacement
  • Build on local cultural assets
  • Promote transportation mobility and connectivity
  • Develop healthy and safe neighborhoods

City department directors are working together to make decisions around the EDI. Here are some updates.

The EDI Fund: Mayor Murray announced in October that the City has signed an agreement on the pending transfer of the Civic Square project next to City Hall, with $16 million in proceeds to establish the new EDI Fund. The Mayor’s EDI budget also includes an additional $200,000 in General Fund in 2017 and thereafter, and $430,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in 2018 and thereafter, to support organizational capacity building, feasibility studies, etc.

The City has created a committee of the Capital Cabinet composed of the directors of the Office of Planning and Community Development, Office of Economic Development, Office of Civil Rights, Office of Housing and Department of Neighborhoods to help manage the overall initiative and fund, including developing funding criteria and community engagement process. The directors are reviewing how to best leverage City dollars to support EDI communities and projects. Expect to hear more about the EDI Fund and decision-making processes in early 2017.

OPCD EDI Staffing: OPCD is pleased to announce that Ubax Gardheere will join us as manager of the OPCD EDI staff team in late November. Ubax comes to us from Puget Sound Sage, and she brings experience in both policy development and community organizing around a diversity of issues. Our current EDI team is already engaged with communities throughout the City including the Central Area, Rainier Beach, Chinatown/ID, Delridge and Duwamish, to name a few.

Click on these links for more information about the Growth and Equity Report and related documents.

Comprehensive Plan Advances – Public Hearing on September 15

This summer, the Mayor’s Recommended Comprehensive Plan took center stage at City Council. Since May, a total of 15 briefings for 8 City Council committees were held. The Planning, Land Use and Zoning (PLUZ) Committee is leading the review and will hold a public hearing on Thursday, September 15, to hear your thoughts on their proposed amendments to the Mayor’s Recommended Comprehensive Plan. The public hearing will take place at Council Chambers, City Hall (600 Fourth Avenue, 2nd Floor) at 2:00 p.m. A sign-up sheet will be available at 1:30 p.m.

You may also share your written comments with the PLUZ Committee by sending to Councilmember Johnson,, by 2:00 p.m. on September 15.

After the public hearing, here’s what happens this fall:

  • Sept. 9 – The PLUZ Committee discusses possible amendments to the Mayor’s Recommended Plan
  • Sept. 15 – Public hearing on proposed amendments
  • Sept. 20 (tentative) – The PLUZ Committee votes on their recommended amendments and then shares with full Council
  • Council votes on the Mayor’s Recommended Plan with Council amendments
  • Our staff will publish the Mayor’s Recommended Plan as amended by Council

Visit to stay updated on the Plan’s progress.

Planning for a Fast-Growing City

The Mayor’s Recommended Comprehensive Plan was released on May 3! The Plan is a blueprint for how Seattle will grow over the coming twenty years. Its goals and policies are shaped by four core values: race and social equity, environmental stewardship, economic opportunity and security, and community.

Seattle continues to be one of the fastest growing large cities in the US according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Seattle grew 2.3% between 2014 and 2015, ranking 4th among the 50 largest U.S. cities. In addition, Seattle had the 11th largest in numeric increase among cities, adding 15,339 people to the population. Seattle now ranks as the 18th most populous city in the country, with an estimated population of 684,451. Check out all the new 2014-2015 stats on the Bureau’s American FactFinder tool.

Longer term, growth rates are projected to moderate. The Mayor’s Recommended Plan anticipates an increase of 120,000 people over the next 20 years. The Plan continues the “urban village strategy,” but with even more emphasis on guiding growth to urban centers and villages with very good transit. If you haven’t had a chance to review the Mayor’s Plan yet, visit

City Council began reviewing the Plan in May and will hold a public hearing  on June 27 at 6:00 PM in City Hall. Check the Planning Land Use and Zoning committee website for details of other Council briefings on the Plan.

Continue to follow us on Twitter (@Seattle2035), Facebook (Seattle2035), and check our blog ( for future updates on the Plan’s progress.

What’s Happening to the Public Feedback on the Seattle 2035 Draft Plan?

For the past month, City staff have been sorting and organizing feedback we received about the Seattle 2035 Draft Plan. During the five-month comment period, people had many options to share their thoughts. Online options included email, website comment box, Facebook, Twitter, and Consider IT online community conversation and survey. The 430 attendees at open houses in October and November completed surveys, recorded comments on easel pads or sticky notes, or used one of our iPads to log comments online. All that input is being gathered and organized in a single database.

While staff is reviewing all of that input, you can see what others have said about the Draft Plan on our website ( Documents recently posted include a printout of 600+ verbatim comments in the database, a packet of letters received from 41 stakeholder organizations, and results of the survey on the 10 key proposals. Although closed to new comments, the Consider IT online community conversation is archived and still available for viewing. A Community Engagement Progress Report summarizing all the activities and feedback for 2015 will be coming later this month. Look for the release of the Mayor’s Plan and the Final Environmental Impact Statement, and Final Equity Analysis in March or April of 2016.

For more information about Seattle 2035, contact:

Patrice Carroll
Office of Planning and Community Development
(206) 684-0946

Hundreds of Comments on the Seattle 2035 Draft Plan

Thank you Seattle for offering over 2,100 comments, opinions, letters, and surveys about the Seattle 2035 Draft Comprehensive Plan. Staff is now organizing and reviewing your feedback. We will post verbatim comments and summaries at in the coming month.  

The Draft Plan went live for public review in July 2015. We received online comments on the plan throughout the summer and fall. In October and November, DPD organized five citywide community open houses in Capitol Hill, Ballard, Othello, the West Seattle Junction and at the North Seattle College. Over 400 people attended the meetings, browsed displays, posed questions to city staff and listened to a presentation. Displays included an overview of the Plan, description of 10 Key Proposals, plus information about the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA). Up to 18 city staff attended each event to answer questions, listen and document comments on large easel pads.

Although the comment period on the Draft Plan is now closed, the conversation with the community will continue next year after City Council receives the Mayor’s Final Plan, and as community meetings about urban village boundaries and HALA begin. Look for the release of the Mayor’s Plan, Final EIS, and Final Equity Analysis in March 2016.