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Seattle's Comprehensive Plan

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Since 1994, Seattle's Comprehensive Plan: Toward a Sustainable Seattle has guided growth in Seattle with the goal of fostering a healthy and vibrant city for years to come.

What’s Happening Now?

We are taking comments on three Planning Alternatives and the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for our Comprehensive Plan Update, Seattle 2035. You can learn more by reading the Planning Alternatives post on our Seattle 2035 website. All comments are due by April 21, 2014 and can be submitted by commenting on the blog post, by emailing Gordon Clowers, or by mail at the following address (you can print this optional, self-addressed form here, but don't forget the stamp):

City of Seattle
Department of Planning & Development
Attn: Gordon Clowers
700 5th Ave, Suite 1900
Seattle, WA 98124

The City Council held a public hearing on April 1 to go over the proposed 2013-2014 annual comprehensive plan amendments. The City Council's PLUS Committee will meet again on April 18th to vote on these amendments. These amendments were submitted by the public last year and were chosen by City Council for further analysis through Council Resolution 31458.

What is the Seattle Comprehensive Plan?

Our Comprehensive Plan, Toward a Sustainable Seattle, is a 20-year vision and roadmap for Seattle’s future. Our plan guides City decisions on where to build new jobs and houses, how to improve our transportation system, and where to make capital investments such as utilities, sidewalks, and libraries. Our Comprehensive Plan is the framework for most of Seattle’s big-picture decisions on how to grow while preserving and improving our neighborhoods.

Our Comprehensive Plan meets the requirements of the Washington State Growth Management Act by helping protect our environment, quality of life, and economic development. Our plan is consistent with Vision 2040 and King County’s Countywide Planning Policies.

The four core values of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan are:

  • Community - developing strong connections between a diverse range of people and places
  • Environmental Stewardship - protect and improve the quality of our global and local natural environment
  • Economic Opportunity and Security - a strong economy and a pathway to employment is fundamental to maintaining our quality of life
  • Social Equity - limited resources and opportunities must be shared; and the inclusion of under-represented communities in decision-making processes is necessary

Our plan’s urban village strategy supports the core values by:

  • Directing growth to existing urban centers and villages
  • Contributing to the vibrancy of our neighborhood centers
  • Reinforcing the benefits of City investments in transit, parks, utilities, community centers, and other infrastructures

Annual Amendment Process
State law allows amendments to the Seattle Comprehensive Plan only once a year. The 10-month amendment process has several steps:

  • You can propose an amendment by submitting an application to City Council by mid-May
  • City Council then selects the topics it wants us to look at in more detail
  • We analyze the proposals
  • Mayor recommends amendments to City Council
  • City Council considers the recommendations and adopts an ordinance to amend the plan in the spring of the following year


Seattle 2035: Your City Your Future

Seattle 2035 - Comprehensive Plan Update
We are required by state law to do a periodic update of our Comprehensive Plan. We have begun this process and we will complete it by June 2015. The update will include:

  • New estimates of population and job growth
  • More information about how our Comprehensive Plan relates to other City and regional plans
  • Clear language and a more accessible document

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