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Building Communities Around Transit

An example of how we can build communities around transit.
Creating transit-oriented communities within walking distance of quality public transportation.

Previous Work on Transit-Oriented Development

Early Station Area Plans developed in anticipation of light rail coming to the Rainier Valley.

In coordination with the Department of Neighborhoods, Seattle Department of Transportation, Office of Housing, and Office of Economic Development, we facilitated the update of neighborhood plans for several Southeast Seattle communities along the existing light-rail line; providing visions, goals, and community-preferred strategies.

A $3 million Community Challenge Grant, awarded to the City of Seattle in November 2011 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provided the City the opportunity to work on priorities identified in the recently updated Southeast Seattle neighborhood plans, particularly in light rail station areas. The resulting program, known as Community Cornerstones, brings together multiple City departments, financial institutions, and other partners to implement a new model for equitable development in the Southeast Seattle light rail station areas. More information can be found at the Office of Housing's Community Cornerstones webpage.

We responded to Neighborhood Plan Updates in several neighborhoods with light-rail stations by translating community visions into land use recommendations. We then formalized those recommendations through new zoning designations within the station areas to encourage the type of development envisioned in the neighborhood plans. Our rezoning efforts followed the development of an urban design framework in the Othello neighborhood. We are planning similar rezoning for both Mt. Baker and Rainier Beach.

In the spring of 2013, we contracted with BERK to develop an assessment of how the City of Seattle could facilitate transit-oriented development at both existing and planned light-rail stations. BERK’s final product is a report, Implementing Transit Oriented Development in Seattle: Assessment and Recommendations for Action.

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