|This project is on indefinate hold.|
At the beginning of 2007, new changes to the City’s Commercial Land Use Code became effective. The purpose was to stimulate and enliven Seattle's neighborhood business districts by focusing retail and commercial activities into the core of the urban villages. One of the main changes to the Code was to allow the development of solely residential uses in neighborhood commercial areas. Planners recognized that the requirement to put commercial uses on the ground floor in every mixed use building was not necessarily in keeping with commercial space demand, and thus was creating an over-supply in certain areas. Many mixed use developments had empty store fronts, which made some business districts appear run down.
To address this issue, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) was asked by City Council to look at neighborhood business districts across Seattle and determine in which areas it might be appropriate to continue requiring ground floor commercial uses. These areas will receive a P Zone designation. P Zones require pedestrian-oriented uses on the ground floor and reduce some parking requirements to help encourage alternative means of accessing the district - by foot, bike or transit. This effort is called the Neighborhood Main Street Mapping Project.
The P Zone designation:
- requires specific pedestrian-oriented commercial or institutional uses to be located on the ground floor – uses that cater to pedestrians and are not residential uses
- reduces some parking requirements in order to encourage businesses to locate in the area, recognizing that many customers will use means other than driving to get to the business
P Zone designations currently exist in many of Seattle’s neighborhood business areas, such as Market Street in downtown Ballard and California Avenue in the West Seattle Junction.
July 1, 2010