|Ordinance 122615 became effective January 20, 2008
Under this new ordinance, additional development projects may be required to provide full street improvements. Properties most affected are those in the urban villages and centers, in pedestrian zones and along arterials.
Seattle’s neighborhoods are characterized by a mix of housing, dining, retail and/or employment opportunities. The pedestrian environment is a critical connection between these opportunities and a key component to neighborhood livability. While the majority of city streets include sidewalks, many do not. Current thresholds and exceptions exempt developments of a certain size or type from providing sidewalks. This often results in an incomplete network of sidewalks within and outside of urban villages and centers.
The City’s goal is to expand and improve the current inventory of sidewalks into a safe, contiguous and geographically-appropriate pedestrian network throughout the city. To achieve this goal, DPD is proposing that new development contribute to appropriate pedestrian infrastructure. This is proposed to be accomplished in two phases of work.
In the first phase, sidewalks, curbs and gutters would be required for all development within urban centers and urban villages, and adjacent to arterials, regardless of size or type. The exception for additions and remodels would remain. The threshold for pedestrian-related improvements in other parts of the city would be reduced to three units of housing or greater. The proposal emphasizes pedestrian improvements where the greatest amount of new development is anticipated and supported by City policy, rather than basing requirements on the size or type of development. Phase I will be completed in early 2007.
Future efforts will further address pedestrian improvements in areas outside of urban centers and urban villages, and adjacent to non-arterial streets. DPD anticipates developing a range of allowable pedestrian improvements tailored to geographic conditions, planning objectives, and site constraints and opportunities, in conjunction with the City’s development of a comprehensive Pedestrian Master Plan.
It is believed that these reforms will result in a safer pedestrian environment, and are necessary to successfully achieving the Comprehensive Plan’s vision of lively, pedestrian-oriented urban villages and centers, key to the City’s efforts to accommodate future growth.