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.
DPD is considering zoning changes to the neighborhood business districts along 35th Ave NE (at 65th, 75th, 85th, and 95th Streets) to provide more opportunities for retail goods and services. This rezone could involve changing some areas currently zoned for low rise development to neighborhood commercial, increasing the height allowed in existing neighborhood commercial zones from 30 feet to 40 feet, and designating the business districts at 65th and 95th Streets as pedestrian zones. The pedestrian zone designation has recently been applied to the 75th and 85th business districts. The pedestrian zone provides for minimum ceiling heights on the ground floor (13 feet), prevents live/work units, and requires that ground-floor retail spaces have tenants that attract and encourage pedestrian activity, such as restaurants, shops, and gyms. The pedestrian zone also requires ground-floor retail to have amenities such as overhead weather protection.
We are holding a community-wide meeting, on June 24 at Congregation Beth Shalom, that will allow DPD to hear from the community. This meeting will help the City evaluate whether the community is supportive of the proposed zoning changes and their effect on the way 35th Ave functions. Come and share your thoughts about how to make 35th a more vibrant commercial experience.
Congregation Beth Shalom
6800 35th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
5:30 – 6:00 p.m. — Open house
6:00 – 6:20 p.m. — Presentation and general questions
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. — Open house, recommendation-specific questions, and comments
Your input will be shared with the Mayor and City Council. We will report back to the community on what we heard.
For more information, contact:
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:
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
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 email@example.com.
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: