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Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay District

Please visit the Seattle Department of Planning and Development's website for additional information. More information about the background of this project can be found on the DPD website.

I sponsored a proposal to establish a Transfer of Development Potential (TDP) program for the Pike/Pine neighborhood.  The goal of the proposal is to provide additional incentives for maintaining the Pike/Pine neighborhood’s existing stock of “character structures” (defined as buildings that are at least 75 years old), and to continue to protect the area’s special character.

This effort is the last phase of a three-part effort to address concerns about the loss of neighborhood character due to redevelopment in the Pike/Pine neighborhood of Capitol Hill. The Pike/Pine neighborhood is located between Interstate 5 and 15th Avenue East. 

The proposed bill would establish a TDP program within the Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay District.  It would give the owner of an older building that contributes to the character of the neighborhood an opportunity to sell the development potential of the site to another property owner in the District.  In return, they would agree to preserve their character structure for at least 50 years.  The buyer could use the development potential to build a larger structure than would otherwise be permitted.  The new structure could be 10 feet taller than the regular height limit (75 feet instead of 65 feet), and include more floor area.  Any floor area gained through the TDP program would have to be used for housing, rather than for offices or other commercial uses.

Phase I of the project was completed in June 2009, with Council adoption of Ordinance 123020. This legislation amended the Pike/Pine Overlay District to expand the overlay area, rename the District to add “Conservation” to its title, and add provisions that limit the scale of new buildings, encourage new projects to retain existing character structures, and provide spaces for arts facilities and for small businesses at street level. 

The Council and the Pike/Pine community completed Phase II of the project in September 2010. Ordinance 123392 adopted revised Neighborhood Design Guidelines for the Pike/Pine Urban Center Village to better implement conservation goals and to update the text and illustrations to clarify community priorities.

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