Seattle 2035: Draft Environmental & Equity Analyses Published

Today the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) released for public comment a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan Update. This a major milestone towards an update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan which plots a 20-year vision and roadmap for Seattle’s future growth and livability. The Draft EIS provides detailed information on various growth alternatives, their potential impacts to the environment, and proposed mitigation strategies. The City wants your voice to be heard as we refine strategies for accommodating growth for the benefit of all.

The Draft EIS studied four growth alternatives to determine how future growth will impact Seattle. Each alternative assumes the same amount of future growth – 120,000 people and 115,000 new jobs by 2035. As a companion to the Draft EIS, the City has also released an Equity Analysis, which looks at how future growth will affect diverse populations, including low-income people, people of color, and English-language learners. The Equity Analysis will help inform potential strategies to reduce growth impacts and maximize opportunity so that everyone can succeed and thrive as Seattle grows.

“Seattle’s new Comprehensive Plan will be our blueprint for a more walkable, livable community,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Race and social justice must be a foundational value as we update our plan. In the coming years, we need to encourage healthy growth and prosperity for all our diverse communities.”

By 2035, Seattle will gain thousands of new people and jobs, and become more diverse than ever before. How Seattle grows over the next 20 years will have a lasting effect on the environment, quality of life, and economy. The updated Comprehensive Plan will guide how Seattle grows, and covers things like housing, land use, transportation, environment, utilities, capital facilities, parks, and neighborhoods.

DPD is seeking input and comments from the public on the Draft EIS during the 45-day comment period.

How to provide feedback on the Draft EIS:

  • Visit our online open house to learn about the findings of the Draft EIS and take the online survey
  • Attend the public hearing and open house on May 27, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at City Hall in the Bertha Knight Landes Room (600 4th Avenue).
  • Submit comments on the Draft EIS online, via email to 2035@seattle.gov, or in writing to:

City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development
Attn: Gordon Clowers
700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000
PO Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124

Comments must be postmarked no later than June 18, 2015.

Feedback received on the Draft EIS will help inform future City goals, policies and guide how Seattle grows over the next 20 years.

The Draft EIS can also be viewed on the project website.

Seattle 2035’s New Schedule Gives More Time to Plan Our Future

Our Seattle 2035 project schedule is changing. The new schedule gives us more time to work with you to develop a new Comprehensive Plan for Seattle. However, we’ll need to make some changes this year to keep our current plan compliant with the State’s Growth Management Act.  Over the next two years, Council will take two actions to update the Comprehensive Plan:

  • Adopt the new, Seattle 2035 Plan in 2016. Throughout 2015, we’ll work through some tough challenges with you. We’ll team up with major policy initiatives such as the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda, Move Seattle, Equitable Development Initiative, and the new Metro Park District to make sure the plan is headed in the right direction. These changes will include a preferred pattern of future growth and new policies. Other changes will make the plan easier to understand and use. The Mayor will finalize his recommendations at the end of 2015, and Council will deliberate and adopt a new plan in 2016.
  • Adopt limited changes to the current plan in 2015. We’ll make some changes to the current plan as part of the annual amendment process. These changes include new citywide growth estimates for 2035, updated inventories, and estimates of future demand for housing, transportation, and capital facilities.

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Seattle 2035 Recap: Neighborhood Summit and Community Open Houses

At the Neighborhood Summit and in our series of Open Houses, DPD was on hand to talk about Seattle 2035, the update to the city’s Comprehensive Plan currently underway. We heard great questions about growth, planning, and development in the city and asked attendees for input about how we can plan for a better, more equitable, and more sustainable Seattle.

We also asked for comments on the three planning alternatives we’ve developed, which explore different ways to accommodate the 70,000 households and 115,000 jobs expected to come to Seattle between now and 2035. One scenario would allocate new growth in urban centers, another would direct more of the growth to urban villages, and a third would concentrate growth around existing and planned light rail stations. We will study these alternatives in an environmental impact statement (EIS) to evaluate possible impacts under the three growth scenarios.

We received good feedback about the Comprehensive Plan. Many people asked about the purpose of the Plan, why it’s important to plan for growth, and how the Plan guides important city decisions around transportation, housing, land use, environment, and more. It was a great chance to introduce new folks to the update process and engage them in thinking about the city’s future. Below are just a few of the comments we received:

  • “How can we provide more amenities, parks, and transit to accompany new development?”
  • “More growth in all urban villages and downtown. Alternatives 1, 2, and 3!”
  • “Require infrastructure improvements to be distributed evenly, by each neighborhood, per capita.”
  • “We want to be a green and livable city.”
  • “How has Seattle’s population changed (race, age, homeownership, commute mode)?”
  • “Congestion is a challenge, especially in West Seattle”

To learn more about our Seattle 2035 update to the Seattle Comprehensive Plan, visit our website at 2035.seattle.gov.