Torgelson sworn in as director of the new Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections

After the Seattle City Council confirmed Mayor Ed Murray’s nominee to lead the newly created Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, Nathan Torgelson was sworn as the department’s first director.  Previously, Torgelson was deputy director of the Department of Planning and Development.

“As a proven leader with a strong track record at the City, Nathan is the right person to launch our new agency,” said Murray. “I look forward to his continued leadership on the regulatory issues governing housing and construction. Seattle’s current building boom and our expanding inspection efforts to support the quality of rental housing will certainly keep him busy.”

Torgelson has 25 years’ experience in land use, planning and economic development in various roles at the City of Seattle and Kent. He has dedicated his career in the public sector to improving communities and the built environment.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve as the director of the new Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections,” said Torgelson. “We will continue our work to improve rental housing conditions and reach out to our community leaders on how decisions can be shaped through positive community engagement.”

As coordinated planning is elevated to the new Office of Planning and Community Development, the existing regulatory functions of the Department of Planning and Development – permits, code enforcement and inspections – will be housed in the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections.

Uptown Planning Open House

On October 8, DPD will hold an open house and scoping meeting for several important initiatives in the Uptown Urban Center.

Uptown Planning Open House
Thursday, October 8
5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Seattle Center, McCaw Hall
Allen Foundation for the Arts Room
Please enter off Mercer Street

Community stakeholders, DPD, and the Seattle Center have been working together to develop an Urban Design Framework for the neighborhood. The Urban Design Framework sets out a vision for the physical development of the neighborhood as it grows, addresses emerging issues and opportunities, and presents a clear set of implementation actions. Major issues include:

  • Establishing the neighborhood as an Arts and Culture District.
  • Increasing the diversity of housing opportunities, both in terms of housing type and affordability.
  • Supporting development of a multi-modal transportation system that includes high capacity transit, bike, and pedestrian facilities.
  • Addressing a complex parking situation.
  • Using zoning to obtain important neighborhood amenities such as open space, affordable housing, and cultural spaces.
  • Advocating for a school and community center.

 

In addition to discussing the Urban Design Framework, this meeting is the kickoff to two implementation actions set out in the Urban Design Framework.

First, DPD is preparing an environmental impact statement to evaluate increases in building height in the neighborhood.  This Urban Design Framework recommendation rests on the idea that increases in height in some locations can improve the urban form of the neighborhood and provide important public amenities resulting from the public benefits required to gain extra height. Our October 8 meeting will serve as the scoping meeting for the rezone EIS. However, written comments may also be submitted through November 8.

Second, this meeting is the kickoff for the Seattle Center and Uptown Strategic Parking study. This study will address how to adequately provide parking for Seattle Center while still allowing potential redevelopment parking structures and lots in the neighborhood.

Uptown Planning Open House

On October 8, DPD will hold an open house and scoping meeting for several important initiatives in the Uptown Urban Center.

Uptown Planning Open House
Thursday, October 8
5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Seattle Center, McCaw Hall
Allen Foundation for the Arts Room
Please enter off Mercer Street

Community stakeholders, DPD, and the Seattle Center have been working together to develop an Urban Design Framework for the neighborhood. The Urban Design Framework sets out a vision for the physical development of the neighborhood as it grows, addresses emerging issues and opportunities, and presents a clear set of implementation actions. Major issues include:

  • Establishing the neighborhood as an Arts and Culture District.
  • Increasing the diversity of housing opportunities, both in terms of housing type and affordability.
  • Supporting development of a multi-modal transportation system that includes high capacity transit, bike, and pedestrian facilities.
  • Addressing a complex parking situation.
  • Using zoning to obtain important neighborhood amenities such as open space, affordable housing, and cultural spaces.
  • Advocating for a school and community center.

 

In addition to discussing the Urban Design Framework, this meeting is the kickoff to two implementation actions set out in the Urban Design Framework.

First, DPD is preparing an environmental impact statement to evaluate increases in building height in the neighborhood.  This Urban Design Framework recommendation rests on the idea that increases in height in some locations can improve the urban form of the neighborhood and provide important public amenities resulting from the public benefits required to gain extra height. Our October 8 meeting will serve as the scoping meeting for the rezone EIS. However, written comments may also be submitted through November 8.

Second, this meeting is the kickoff for the Seattle Center and Uptown Strategic Parking study. This study will address how to adequately provide parking for Seattle Center while still allowing potential redevelopment parking structures and lots in the neighborhood.

City to Discuss Ballard Transportation and Urban Design Improvements

Seeking feedback during May 7 open house

In response to ongoing development, the community’s desire to retain Ballard’s character, and Sound Transit’s planning for light rail to Ballard, Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and Department of Transportation (SDOT) are working with neighborhood groups and non-profits, organized as the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth. This meeting is an opportunity to review recommendations for shaping growth in the Ballard Business District and to explore transportation issues.

The collaboration will develop an Urban Design Framework (UDF) and a multimodal transportation plan called Move Ballard that will articulate a shared vision to guide future development and transportation investment while ensuring Ballard’s people and places thrive. Through Move Ballard, we will engage community members to recommend innovative solutions for enhancing the transportation environment for all, regardless of how they travel to and through the area. The City and Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth are holding an open house on May 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Leif Erikson Lodge to:

  • Receive comments on the draft recommendations to better guide development
  • Identify and prioritize near-term improvements for all forms of transportation in the Ballard Hub Urban Village
  • Evaluate and prioritize potential future high capacity transit (e.g. light rail, streetcar) station locations while preserving and supporting industrial and commercial employment in Ballard.

Tell us what you think about the future of transportation and growth in Ballard. Here’s how you can provide your feedback:

  • Attend the Community Meeting
    May 7, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
    Large Hall (2nd floor), Leif Erikson Lodge, 2245 NW 57th Street
    (Light snacks will be provided)

At the first meeting held a year ago, we heard that the community loves Ballard’s historic qualities and its tradition of industry. Many appreciate the growth of shops and restaurants in a beautiful, walkable neighborhood. However, they are also concerned that a number of recent high-density projects being built in the area do not contributing to Ballard’s character. There are also worries about affordability and that transportation improvements have not kept pace with growth.

The City then worked with the Ballard Partnership to define responses to the community input on the character of growth in Ballard’s core business areas. At the second public meeting last November, we received strong support for preliminary recommendations to shape new development, streetscapes and open space in downtown Ballard.

Review the background information here

Questions? Comments?

Department of Planning and Development Seattle Department of Transportation
David Goldberg,Planner
(206) 615-1447
Davidw.goldberg@seattle.gov
Chris Yake, Transportation Planner
(206) 727-8719
Christopher.Yake@seattle.gov