The City is conducting a Major Review of its Comprehensive Plan in a phased approach from 2012 to 2015. Each phase will review and update certain topics that are central to how the City plans for the growth that we expect to occur over the next 20 years.
The first phase of the update will focus on four critical topics:
The first public discussion about possible policies to address all of these topics was held on May 3 ,2012. (If you missed this meeting, you can see the City's presentation and community ideas on the Get Involved page.) The City will use other outreach methods for each of these topics to further develop the ideas for inclusion in the Comp Plan.
DPD will submit a package of recommended amendments to the City Council in December 2012, for the Council to consider and vote on in early 2013.
We will follow similar processes in 2013 and 2014, addressing additional topics for the Plan in each of those years, so that by June 2015 the City will have reviewed and updated the entire Comprehensive Plan, in compliance with state law.
The Comprehensive Plan has been a successful tool for encouraging and guiding growth. And its fundamental principle of providing the right kind of zoning in designated Urban Centers and Urban Villages has worked.
However, since the last major update of the Plan in 2004, significant changes in the city suggest the time has come to consider shifting some of the emphasis in the Plan. Those changes include:
In order to achieve a future in which the residents and businesses produce no carbon emissions while still growing, the City will need to define new ways for growth to occur and for significantly reducing use of gasoline-powered vehicles. See the Office of Sustainability and Environment's Seattle Climate Action Plan website for more information.
The arrival of the light rail stations in designated urban centers and urban villages underscores the success of the Comp Plan’s strategy of providing better transit service in areas expected to absorb most new growth. As more light rail stations are built, we can consider more focused guidance about how development and amenities can be complementary additions to the neighborhoods around the stations.
Similarly, urban design policies can help guide the look and feel of growth as it occurs. This is especially important as more housing and businesses arise within the land within designated Urban Centers and Urban Villages. A new Urban Design Element can help assure that growth can be a positive contribution to the urban environment and build on the cherished character of Seattle – a unique and livable city.
September 17, 2012
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