Uptown Open House

On October 8 DPD and Seattle Center cosponsored a community meeting to:

  • Release the draft Uptown Urban Design Framework
  • Begin an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) scoping comment period for a potential rezone for the Uptown Urban Center
  • Kick-off the Seattle Center and Uptown Parking Strategy Study

 

About 150 community members attended the open house event.  Many agencies and organizations were on hand to answer questions, including SDOT, Metro, Sound Transit, the Office of Arts and Culture, DPD, Seattle Center, and the Uptown Alliance.

The Uptown Urban Design Framework (UDF) helps guide the future physical development of Uptown.  The UDF identifies concrete recommendations such as:

  • Consider increasing heights to improve urban form and provide public benefits to support future growth
  • Identify a preferred location for a Sound Transit Station should light rail reach Uptown
  • Redevelop the Mercer/Roy Corridor
  • Improve neighborhood streets, such as designing Republican Street from Queen Anne Avenue to Seattle Center as a ‘festival street’
  • Establish the neighborhood as an Arts and Culture District
  • Develop a parking strategy that balances the needs of Seattle Center with traffic and land use concerns of the neighborhood
  • Implement the Century 21 Master Plan for Seattle Center

 

The meeting also served as the beginning of an EIS scoping comment period. The UDF recommends a range of building heights in the neighborhood. An EIS identifies potential impacts on the built and natural environment that increasing building heights may have on the neighborhood.

The scoping comment period is an opportunity to let DPD know what you think should be studied in the EIS.

DPD will be accepting comments on the draft UDF and scoping comments on the rezone EIS through November 9, 2015.  The draft UDF can be found on DPD’s website.  Please send your comments to jim.holmes@seattle.gov.

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.

U District Green Streets and EIS

A lot is happening in the U District!  April saw milestones for two ongoing projects. First, we’ve released draft streetscape designs for Brooklyn Ave NE, NE 43rd St., and NE 42nd St. Second, we’re requesting public comments on the U District Urban Design Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Green street concept plans are an opportunity for the neighborhood and the City to establish a clear vision for key pedestrian corridors. Those visions are implemented over time as private development and City projects gradually make improvements to widen sidewalks, add landscaping, art, and other amenities.

The community identified Brooklyn, 43rd, and 42nd as green streets in the 1998 neighborhood plan.  Now that development is picking up in the U District and a major public infrastructure project (Link Light Rail) will be improving stretches of Brooklyn and 43rd, the time is right to identify priorities and opportunities on these streets.

We hosted a public open house on April 16. Participants voiced strong support for improvements to pedestrian safety and aesthetics.  In particular, there’s excitement about the possibility of creating a curbless “festival street” on Brooklyn abutting the future light rail station, and on 43rd approach the UW Central Campus. Based on the suggestions and concerns raised at that meeting, we’re working on final recommendations for joint approval by DPD and the Seattle Department of Transportation.

We published the Draft EIS on April 24.  This document studies likely future impacts of several possible zoning scenarios.  It projects 20 years of growth under current zoning as well as two hypothetical rezones.  This analysis will serve as a bridge between the U District Urban Design Framework (2013) and the zoning recommendations we anticipate sending to City Council in early 2015.

To present findings from the DEIS, we’ll host at an open house and public hearing on May 20, 2014.  Comments on the DEIS are due June 9, 2014.

Meeting Details

When:
May 20, 2014
6:00 p.m.

Where:
University Temple Methodist Church
1415 NE 43rd Street
Seattle

We expect the final EIS (FEIS)to be released in late summer 2014 – this document will add to the Draft EIS and respond to comments we receive during this public comment period.

For more information about any of our work in the U District, please visit www.seattle.gov/dpd/udistrict. For questions or comments on green streets or the Draft EIS, please contact:

Dave LaClergue, Urban Designer
(206) 733-9668
dave.laclergue@seattle.gov

Seattle Comprehensive Plan Major Update EIS Scoping

DPD is scoping an environmental impact statement (EIS) that will evaluate the City’s Comprehensive Plan update.  The EIS will examine the possible impacts under three different growth scenarios.

Consistent with regional growth projections, all three scenarios assume the city will grow by 70,000 households and 115,000 jobs over the next 20 years.  All the scenarios follow the Comprehensive Plan’s urban growth strategy that aims to concentrate most of the growth in the city’s designated urban centers and urban villages.  The alternatives differ in how the projected growth would be distributed:

Alternative 1 would evaluate most of the growth in the six urban centers, in keeping with the regional plan of concentrating development in centers.

Alternative 2 would still project a lot of growth in the centers, but would shift some growth to the urban villages in order to strengthen those neighborhood business districts.

Alternative 3 would evaluate more growth in the urban villages that contain existing or planned light rail stations.

The Comprehensive Plan the City ultimately adopts could combine aspects of each of these alternatives.

DPD is taking comments on these alternatives and the topics to be covered in the EIS until April 21.  See more about the alternatives and the EIS topics at http://2035.seattle.gov.

On March 24, we held a public meeting to discuss the three alternatives and to get public feedback on whether we’re looking at the right alternatives. The meeting was well attended. Along with the planning alternatives, staff talked about the history and purpose of the Seattle Comprehensive Plan and the overall environmental impact statement process. Meeting attendees provided good input about the alternatives and the issues the EIS should address. We’ll transcribe and post the comments we heard at that meeting.

Did you miss the meeting? DPD is holding five more meetings about the EIS planning alternatives in April. We’ll be in several communities throughout Seattle. If you couldn’t make the March 24 meeting, join us at one of the following meetings:

April 7
5:30 – 7:15 p.m.
Loyal Heights Community Center
2101 NW 77th St

April 8
6:00 – 7:45 p.m.
Northgate Branch Library
10548 Fifth Ave. N.E.

April 9
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center
4408 Delridge Way SW

April 14
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Miller Community Center
330 19th Ave E

April 15
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Rainier Community Center, Multi-Purpose Room
4600 38th Ave S