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Lake City Urban Design

Lake City's Public Outreach and Engagement Liaisons pose together at a Community Conversations meeting.
Community members working with the City together to create a clear vision that will guide future investments and development in Lake City.

What’s Happening Now?

We are gathering feedback on the draft Lake City Urban Design Framework (UDF). Our UDF focuses on the hub urban village (the area around the Lake City Way and 125th Avenue NE intersection that will get the most population and job growth) and key areas to the north and south along Lake City Way. It describes the future design, location, and features of public spaces, streets, and buildings.

We will be joining community groups including the North District Council and the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance (LCNA) to talk about the draft UDF. Please contact Katie Sheehy if you would like her to attend your group’s meeting.

 The UDF builds on previous planning efforts, including the Lake City Way Visioning Project. One of the main outcomes of the UDF will be zoning legislation that will be submitted to City Council later this year. The rezones will primarily encourage new buildings that are more pedestrian-oriented, meaning parking would have to be located away from the sidewalk. The project also involves coordination with various City agencies and community groups – including Lake City Future First and the Seattle Department of Transportation's Traffic Safety Corridor Project.

Project Goals

  • Strong sense of Place: Preserve and enhance the main street character and vitality of the commercial area, establish a civic core as a destination resource, preserve and restore the natural environment, and encourage cultural diversity.
  • Economic Vitality: Promote development that includes a balanced diversity of retail, commercial, office, institutional, and service related activities. Support locally owned businesses while proactively attracting new ones, technical and academic educational institutions, and healthcare and biomedical companies which can utilize the cultural and physical resources of our community.
  • Transportation Excellence: Improve existing transit service and facilities, strongly support light rail access to the Lake City community, create safe and enjoyable bicycle routes and promote easier connection between neighborhoods. Enable Lake City Way/SR522 to become an amenity in and for the community.
  • Pedestrian Orientation: Build sidewalks and pedestrian connections across and along Lake City Way, within the Civic Core, and to public schools and parks. Prioritize connections between residential uses, schools, parks, and other civic places, especially across Lake City Way.
  • Diversity and Housing: Provide housing opportunities that respond to the diversity of cultures, economic levels, and age groups that make up the demographics of our growing populations. Encourage housing that respectfully integrates community groups.
  • Sustainable Development: Provide incentives for development that responds to the community vision, adheres to contextual development guidelines, and is committed to using sustainable practices such as meeting Green Factor requirements, Built Green standards, and LEED guidelines.
  • Environmental Stewardship: Restore and protect existing natural systems such as the Thornton Creek watershed and its connection to Lake Washington, steep slopes, wetlands, and contiguous areas of native vegetation. Rejuvenate and expand tree lined boulevards, parks and open spaces. Uphold the preservation of trees in both public and private areas.

The End Result

  • The Lake City Urban Design project will provide a clear, cohesive vision that builds on previous community work that will guide development and public investment within the hub urban village and along Lake City Way
  • Stronger partnerships among Lake City’s diverse stakeholders including between public/private partners in order to plan for change now and to work together for a better Lake City in the future
  • Policy changes including Comprehensive Plan updates, zoning changes, and a festival street design concept for 28th Avenue NE


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