About Cultural Overlay Districts
- A cultural overlay district is a type of geographic zoning that offers incentives and imposes regulation intended to support and encourage the retention of existing and the development of new places for arts and culture activities in neighborhoods throughout Seattle.
- The rationale is two-fold: first, it benefits us all when arts and cultural activities are strengthened because they serve as a major economic engine for Seattle. Second, arts and culture provide an invaluable quality of life to our city that other activities cannot duplicate.
- Presently, the City is contemplating legislation that would define a cultural district. It is also strategizing on how to establish a cultural districts manager position within City Government.
About the Cultural Overlay District Advisory Committee
- CODAC was a volunteer advisory committee that developed recommendations to the Seattle City Council and Executive in 2009. They met from July 21st, 2008 through April 2nd, 2009.
- Preliminary recommendations were heard September 24th, 2008, by a joint meeting at City Hall of the Council's Planning, Land Use, and Neighborhoods (PLUNC) and Culture, Civil Rights, Health, and Personnel (CCRHP) committees. On June 16th, 2009, their final recommendations were presented during a similar joint committee meeting held at Odd Fellows Hall in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.
- On August 4th, 2009, the Seattle City Council passed resolution #31155 formally accepting CODAC's final recommendations and endorsing cultural overlay districts.
- CODAC's goal was to devise creative ideas for long-term promotion and preservation of cultural, arts, and entertainment activities and spaces in Seattle neighborhoods, then transform those ideas into recommendations the Council can consider implementing through ordinance and budget authority, beginning with Capitol Hill.
- Members included neighborhood residents, business owners, property owners, developers, legal and finance experts, and arts administrators.
- Lund Consulting managed & facilitated CODAC meetings, served as CODAC liaison to City and Council staff, provided background information, documented meetings & actions, and formatted final recommendations.
- City department staff (Dept. of Planning and Development & Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs) attended meetings and responded to consultantís requests for information on behalf of CODAC.
- CODAC collaborated with Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce Sub-committee on Cultural Overlay District (SCOD), which provided CODAC input and recommendations from neighborhood residents, artists and arts administrators, business owners, community organizers, and developers.
- CODAC coordinated with City on recent zoning changes in Pike-Pine Overlay District.
- CODAC members from the Central District and the Chinatown/International District shared with their constituents merits gleaned from their work on CODAC in considering a Cultural Overlay District for their communities.