Seattle 2035: Draft Plan Published

SEATTLE – Today, the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) released a Draft City of Seattle Comprehensive Plan.  Entitled Seattle 2035, the Draft Plan is now available for public comment.  This important milestone brings the City one step closer to completing an updated Comprehensive Plan – our roadmap for Seattle’s next 20 years.

The Draft Plan is informed by the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that was released in May 2015.  The Draft Plan identifies proposed goals and policies to help achieve our vision for Seattle’s future.  Seattle is expected to grow by 120,000 residents and 115,000 jobs in the coming twenty years.  The Draft Plan also includes a new Future Land Use Map, showing a pattern of growth that supports the City’s vision.

The City of Seattle is seeking public feedback on proposed goals and policies as we continue to evaluate strategies to build a safe, vibrant, affordable, interconnected, and innovative city for all.  City staff has already received hundreds of public comments on the DEIS and on the overall direction of the Plan document.

“The Comprehensive Plan is to be a plan for everyone,” said Diane Sugimura, Director of DPD.  “Seattle 2035 anticipates how Seattle may grow, and acknowledges that Seattle demographics, lifestyles, interests and needs are also changing.  The Plan seeks to balance our economic, social and environmental needs well into the future.  How can we address tomorrow’s issues, today – maintaining our rich cultural diversity in residents and businesses; ensuring our youth have jobs and a place to live; becoming a resilient city prepared for the future?  We want to hear from everyone about the directions identified in the Plan.” 

DPD is seeking public comments on the Draft Plan during a three-month public comment period, from July 8 through the end of September.

Here’s how to join the discussion about Seattle’s future and provide comments:

  1. Check out seattle.gov to learn more about what’s in the Draft Plan and to read the executive summary
  1. Join the Seattle 2035 Online Community Conversation at seattle2035.consider.it and discuss the potential pros and cons of proposed policies with other Seattleites
  1. Attend our Draft Plan Public Event on September 15 – Stay tuned for more details
  1. Follow Seattle 2035 on Facebook and Twitter
  1. Send comments by the end of September:
    • Email: Send comments to 2035@seattle.gov
    • Mail: Send comments to the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development, Attn: Seattle 2035, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000, PO Box 34019, Seattle WA 98124-4019.
    • In Person: Attend our Draft Plan Public Event on September 15. Stay tuned for more details!

Feedback received on the Draft Comprehensive Plan will help inform the Mayor’s Recommended Plan which will be released in late 2015.

Can Seattle Add More Housing Units and Jobs?

State and regional agencies estimate that Seattle will add 70,000 housing units (120,000 people) and 115,000 jobs between now and 2035 – an increase of 20% population and 23% in jobs. In response, the City is updating Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan to shape that growth in a way that builds on our strengths and character as a city. The City uses a variety of data to study trends and evaluate policies to plan for future growth as part of the update process. Development capacity is one such analysis.

Development capacity, also referred to as zoned development capacity or zoned capacity, is an estimate of how much new development could occur theoretically over an unlimited time period. DPD, using a computer model and a variety of assumptions, estimates that 223,700 new housing units and 232,000 new jobs could be added under existing zoning. DPD has prepared a Development Capacity report that illustrates the results by urban village and zoning category, and explains how the City estimates development capacity.  The conclusion of the report is that the City can accommodate the next 20 years of expected growth and do so primarily in the urban centers and urban villages, where the Comprehensive Plan wants most growth to occur.

For more information about our update to Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan, visit 2035.seattle.gov.

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.