New Pedestrian Zones are Mapped

On May 15, 2015, the City Council adopted Ordinance 124770:

  • Amending the Land Use Code
  • Rezoning to add or expand a Pedestrian designation in 42 neighborhoods
  • Modifying the development standards that apply in Pedestrian zones to meet the changing needs of these neighborhood business districts

The legislation will be effective on June 15, 2015.

The pedestrian designation, also referred to as Pedestrian Retail Areas, is intended to “preserve or encourage intensely retail and pedestrian-oriented shopping districts where non-auto modes of transportation to and within the district are strongly favored.” Pedestrian designations are typically applied in areas already zoned Neighborhood Commercial (NC). The designation does not impact the development capacity of the area (it does not increase or decrease the permitted height or density for new development).

For more information see the DPD Pedestrian Retail Areas website.

Pedestrian Zone Legislation

On January 13, 2015, Mayor Murray sent proposed changes to the City Council to encourage new and protect existing compact, walkable neighborhood business districts. The proposal includes 39 new or expanded areas to protect and promote pedestrian retail areas. The proposal also include modifications to current regulations that would apply to existing and new pedestrian zones to better meet the changing needs of our neighborhood business districts.

DPD will brief the City Council’s Planning, Land Use and Sustainability (PLUS) Committee on March 3. A public hearing will be scheduled in late March. For a complete and official list of the items before the PLUS committee, please see the committee agendas that are posted online 48 hours before scheduled meetings (www.seattle.gov/council/com_assign.htm#planning).

The Mayor’s proposal includes the following:

  • Rezone 39 neighborhood commercial areas around the city to add or expand a pedestrian zone designation
  • Expand the list of allowed active street-level uses
  • Modify design review departures available in pedestrian zones for ceiling height, transparency requirements, and residential uses at street level
  • Clarify the transparency requirements to specify that transparent areas must allow views into and out of the structure at eye level
  • Add a standard to require overhead weather protection along 60 percent of the building facade for new development along a principal pedestrian street
  • Eliminate waivers to minimum parking standards specific to pedestrian zones
  • Add standards for live-work units

For more information, visit DPD’s website at www.seattle.gov/dpd/cityplanning/
completeprojectslist/mainstreetmapping/whatwhy/
, or contact:

Aly Pennucci
(206) 386-9132
aly.pennucci@seattle.gov

Pedestrian Retail Areas – Project Update

DPD has been studying a variety of areas around the city to encourage new, and protect existing, walkable neighborhood business districts.

We met and talked with community groups about our preliminary recommendations, and conducted an online survey that closed April 30th. We have reviewed the feedback we received and prepared updated analysis and recommendations. A draft of our proposal is available for public review along with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) environmental review on the project webpage.

The proposal includes the following:

  • Rezoning to add or expand pedestrian zone designations in 39 business districts
  • Modifying Design Review departures available in pedestrian zones for ceiling height, transparency requirements, and residential uses at street level
  • Expanding the list of allowed, active street-level uses
  • Clarifying the transparency requirements to specify that transparent areas must allow views into and out of the structure at eye level, and that the width of a driveway at street level is not included when calculating the transparency requirement
  • Adding a standard to require overhead weather protection for new development along a principal pedestrian street
  • Eliminating waivers (reductions) to minimum parking standards specific to pedestrian zones
  • Adding standards for live-work units

We continue to welcome your comments on the proposal. If you have comments or questions about this topic, please contact:

Aly Pennucci, AICP, Senior Planner
(206) 386-9132
aly.pennucci@seattle.gov

Pedestrian Retail Areas Comment Period and Project Update

SEPA Comment Period

We have updated our preliminary staff recommendations for proposed pedestrian retail areas. We have also published notice of a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) on the proposed changes, as a part of the required State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review. A DNS means that we don’t think there will be any negative environmental impacts caused by our proposal. See our Project Documents page for more information and a list of documents.

The official SEPA comment period runs from September 18 through October 2 of 2014. Send comments about the DNS or potential environmental impacts to:

City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development
Attn: Bruce Philip Rips
PO Box 24019
Seattle, WA 98124-4019

You can also email him at bruce.rips@seattle.gov.

About Our Pedestrian Retail Areas Project

DPD has been studying a variety of areas around the city to encourage new, and protect existing, walkable neighborhood business districts. These pedestrian retail areas will:

  • Preserve areas that offer a mix of street level pedestrian-oriented destinations accessible by foot, bike, and transit
  • Identify and encourage areas that have potential to transition to a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood business district
  • Encourage more walking, biking, and transit use to and within neighborhood business districts by preserving and promoting active destinations

We met and talked with community groups about our preliminary recommendations, and conducted an online survey that closed April 30th. We have reviewed the feedback we received and prepared updated analysis and recommendations.

A draft of our proposal is available for public review along with the SEPA environmental review on our Project Documents webpage.

For questions regarding the proposed amendments, contact:
Aly Pennucci
(206) 386-9132
aly.pennucci@seattle.gov