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Council News Release

8/7/2009  1:18:00 PM
Lisa Herbold, Licata Office, (206) 684-8803 Dana Robinson Slote, (206) 615-0061

Councilmember Nick Licata

Hidden Spaces, Public Places event and tour shines spotlight on Seattles urban amenities Councilmember Licata will discuss public benefits of downtown planning and building designs

SEATTLE - Join Councilmember Nick Licata at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12, along with representatives of the Seattle Architecture Foundation (SAF) to learn more about Seattles landscaping, much of which is privately owned but specifically developed for public use.

Under Seattle city zoning laws, building developers can engage in zoning tradeoffs that may allow them to build bigger or higher, as long as they provide a specified amount of space for public use. These spaces, formally called Privately Owned Public Open Spaces (POPOS) exist throughout downtown Seattle and require signage to inform citizens that they are for public use and enjoyment.

Councilmember Licata will provide a history of POPUS as well as a current update on spaces, the new Public Spaces logo, signage implementation and future actions. Following that, Licata will join landscape architect Guy Michaelson who will lead a walking tour highlighting POPOS buildings, historic landmarks, public art and other public amenities.

While regulations require developers to identify privately owned public open spaces, a number of areas are still without signage. Councilmember Licata hopes to bring greater attention to the need for developers to comply with their signage obligations. The Department of Planning and Development is committed to enforcing the requirements and say they have begun to see evidence in 2009.

    What: Hidden Spaces, Public Places press event and tour
    Who: Councilmember Nick Licata; Guillermo Romano, City Design Director, Department of Planning and Development; Roberta Miner, Tour Director, SAF ; Guy Michaelson, Landscape Architect, Berger Partnership and SAF board member
    When: Wednesday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m. First walking tour follows press event. Second tour starts at noon. Tours are free. Space is limited to 30 per tour, with tickets available at
    Where: Public open space at 1111 3rd Avenue (in front of Starbucks).

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