South Lake Union Rezone Materials
- Director's Report: Zoning Changes to the South Lake Union Urban Center, July 19, 2012
- Preliminary Draft South Lake Union Legislation
- Open House Presentation: South Lake Union Zoning Changes
- South Lake Union Zoning Changes Summary, June 25, 2012
- South Lake Union Open House Meeting Boards, June 25, 2012 (36 MB)
- South Lake Union Zoning Recommendation Boards, June 25, 2012 (42 MB)
In September of 2008, DPD proposed three alternative approaches to increasing height and density in the South Lake Union Neighborhood to be studied in an Environmental Impact Study (EIS). These alternatives had been developed with broad community participation over the course of 2008 and the City presented these alternatives for public comment in November of 2008. A summary of scoping comments can be found in the left hand column. In December of 2009, DPD released revised alternatives (a link to these alternatives is in the right hand column). Revisions to the original alternatives respond both to scoping comments and recommendations coming out of the design framework process that occurred over much of 2009. In February of 2011, DPD released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for public review.
- Summary of Scoping Comments on Height and Density EIS Alternatives
- Height and Density EIS Scope
- Revised South Lake Union Height and Density EIS Alternatives
Why is the City proposing to study South Lake Union’s urban form, including height and density limits?
- State’s Growth Management Act: By directing the greatest growth (jobs & housing units) within Seattle’s 6 Urban Centers (including South Lake Union), single-family neighborhoods, critical areas and natural resource lands will be protected.
- South Lake Union Urban Center: This neighborhood was designated an Urban Center in 2004 and targeted for significant employment and housing growth. The neighborhood should provide a diverse mix of uses, housing and employment opportunities.
- Integrated & Planned Growth: Smart growth within mixed-use, transit friendly neighborhoods is a key priority of the Mayor and the City. The neighborhood should include effective transportation systems, parks & open space, quality pedestrian environments and services to support residents and employees. Under current zoning, the Comprehensive Plan has targeted 16,000 new jobs and 8,000 new households to be added to South Lake Union between 2004 and 2024.
- Quality & Character of the SLU Neighborhood: The neighborhood wants to maintain its unique character as it grows. It believes that sustainable, walkable, livable communities with a diversity of uses, buildings and people are key ingredients of a successful urban center. Current development standards will not result in the diversity of building types that the community wants to see.
What else is the study intended to achieve?
- Promote development that maintains South Lake Union as a vibrant, sustainable place to live, work and play.
- Provide for a more diverse and attractive neighborhood character by providing a mix of housing types, uses, building types and heights.
- Use zoning incentives to achieve public benefits.
- Enhance the pedestrian quality at street level by providing amenities, taking into consideration light and air as well as public view corridors and providing for retail activity at key locations
What is the current zoning in the neighborhood?
Most of South Lake Union is zoned with the Seattle Mixed zone. In the middle of the neighborhood is an Industrial Commercial zone which prohibits most housing. Near Lake Union, the area is zoned Commercial. Height limits in the neighborhood range from 40 feet next to Lake Union to 125 feet along Denny Way, next to Downtown Seattle (see zoning map here).
What factors are considered when proposing changes to zoning height and density limits?
The Mayor will determine whether a proposal to change heights should be recommended to the City Council. The City Council makes the final decision about any changes to the zoning in the neighborhood. The Mayor and City Council will consider many things in making their decisions:
- Community input & recommendations.
- Neighborhood Plan – Policy & strategy priorities set forth by the community.
- Zoning code evaluation criteria.
- SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) policies and SEPA review (an Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared).
- Recommendations from community members and other stakeholders.
What is the schedule for this process?
The Final EIS will be issued in the fall of 2011. A rezone recommendation will be sent to the City Council in the spring of 2012.
If you are interested in learning more and want to be kept informed, please sign up for the South Lake Union mailing list by sending an e-mail with your contact information to email@example.com
For more information on the South Lake Union neighborhood plan and other planning work in South Lake Union please see: www.seattle.gov/dpd/planning/slu. To find out more about SLUFAN see www.slufan.org .
July 19, 2012