DPD planners help shape the long-range vision for the physical development of the city. They have worked with citizens to develop plans for neighborhoods that are expected to experience significant change as the city grows. The plans are intended as blueprints for neighborhood improvement and enhancements that will accompany anticipated growth and development.
The Land Use Code is the City’s zoning ordinance. DPD develops and amends the zoning that governs uses and development standards (regulations such as height, density, landscaping and the like) in zones throughout the city.
The Sound Transit University Link light rail line is currently under construction and will include a new station on Capitol Hill. In order to build the underground light rail station Sound Transit acquired several properties near the intersection of E. Denny Way and Broadway Ave (see Capitol Hill Station Area Site Plan below). Construction of the light rail line is expected to be complete in 2016, at which time the properties around the station will be reused for transit oriented development, adding to the vitality and livability of Capitol Hill.
Center City Seattle
The "Center City Seattle" strategy focuses on encouraging economic growth, transportation, new housing and great urban neighborhoods in Seattle's downtown core and the nine centrally located neighborhoods immediately around it.
The City’s design guidelines, entitled Design Review: Guidelines for Multifamily and Commercial Buildings, have been the cornerstone of the Design Review Program since 1994. These original guidelines formed the basis for 19 sets of neighborhood-specific guidelines (as of July 2009) and a set of Downtown guidelines. In 2008 DPD initiated a process to update the 15-year-old citywide guidelines and began drafting revisions with the assistance of architecture and urban design consultant Weinstein Architects and Urban Planners.
Community members worked with the City to update the North Beacon Hill, North Rainier, and MLK @ Holly Street (Othello) Neighborhood Plans (2009 / 2010), and Rainier Beach and Broadview-Bitter Lake-Haller Lake Neighborhood Plans (2010-2011). All five areas have high capacity transit investments and have experienced or is expecting significant growth.
Northgate Station Area Development
The City of Seattle and King County are working jointly with PSRC and Sound Transit, to explore ways to create a well-rounded, active community in the planned Northgate light rail station area.
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen recently sponsored a project in the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) to address concerns about the loss of neighborhood character in Pike/Pine due to redevelopment. The study is based on the recommendations in the Pike/Pine Neighborhood Plan.
The Planning Exhibit conveys the physical transformation of the city as it happens and profile some of the most compelling developments now in the planning stages.
DPD is recommending approval of a package of rezones based on a proposal by the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association (RNA) from 2006 when it undertook an effort to update its neighborhood plan to accommodate a planned light rail station. The rezones are intended to allow future development that respects the context of the neighborhood’s commercial core, achieves appropriate transitions to less intensive zones, and supports the neighborhood’s pedestrian and transit orientation around a planned light rail station.
South Lake Union Neighborhood Plan Update
DPD planners are working with the South Lake Union neighborhood to update the South Lake Union neighborhood plan.
The University District Urban Design Framework is looking at how the community, City and the UW may partner together plan for a transit community.
Unreinforced Masonry Buidlings (URMs)
The City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) briefed City Council, in May 2008, on possible new requirements for the city’s unreinforced masonry buildings (URM’s). The briefing included information from a recently completed study by the Reid-Middleton engineering firm, commissioned by the city, which estimates there are up to 1000 URM’s in the city, most of which have not been seismically retrofitted.
A once-in-a-century opportunity to create a new front porch for the city.
The recent closure of a large auto sales business in the Triangle has left several large parcels vacant. This has prompted members of the community to assess changing conditions in the Triangle and contemplate a vision for the future of the area.
Yesler Terrace offers a unique opportunity to make progress toward many of the City’s goals while supporting the core mission of Seattle Housing Authority (SHA). Consistent with Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan, redevelopment would increase affordable housing and growth potential within an urban center, building a mixed-use, mixed income community within walking distance of downtown and First Hill medical campuses. The City’s proposal includes requirements for green building, tree preservation, dedicated bike facilities, improved sidewalks, district heat infrastructure, and better stormwater management.