Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay District
Since late 2008 I have been working with the Pike/Pine community of Capitol Hill to help ensure conservation of as many character structures as possible from Seattle's original "auto-row" while at the same time allowing for redevelopment with additional multifamily housing and commercial storefronts.
There have been three phases completed so far (which are listed here). The fourth effort is now underway.
In 2012 as development activity has begun again after a long pause due to the recession, the threat to preserving quality character buildings in the Pike/Pine neighborhood is also intensifying.
Because of this development pressure and the community's goal of preserving character buildings whenever possible, I was able to allocate funding to hire a consultant to develop a proposal for a conservation district in the Pike/Pine neighborhood. This model could also be applied citywide in neighborhoods that request the added controls for preservation. In addition to the proposal for a possible conservation district the consultant will also submit a proposal for a downzone as a possible option for the Pike/Pine neighborhood to consider.
In addition to the work the consultant is providing now, the City, since approximately 2006, has been collecting information on conservation districts as a tool to complement the already successful landmark and historic district programs. Seattle staff already identified other cities such as Cambridge, Massachusetts, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Dallas, Texas, and Davis, California that have adopted various forms of conservation districts. In addition, the National Park Service has published an issue paper on conservation districts (dated 1998). This combined information will help inform all of us on the possible next steps that can be taken to achieve the goal of preserving important character structures while at the same time allowing for development and growth within our neighborhoods.
I expect that the initial public outreach will begin in late 2012 to begin taking comments on a set of draft proposals. After the public has had a chance to carefully review the proposals additional refinements are expected to be made by the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) before the City Council considers the legislation over several months with expected final action in mid 2013.
Please visit the website for additional information.
Contact me if you have questions.