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Rainier Beach

Kubota Gardens in Rainier Beach.
The Rainier Beach neighborhood is home to people from around the world, with over 60 languages spoken.

What's Happening Now?

We are preparing a draft Urban Design and Development Framework (UDDF), Rainier Beach Innovation Zone: Creating Jobs and Pathways for Economic Mobility. Our UDDF will describe an approach to urban design, zoning, and redevelopment to support the long-term transformation of the Rainier Beach light rail station area into an innovation zone. The new innovation zone will bring employment, education, and entrepreneurship to Rainier Beach. Our UDDF builds upon the community’s vision, goals, and strategies in the 2012 Neighborhood Plan Update.

The UDDF will be part of the Rainier Beach Innovation Zone (station area) rezone legislation we are preparing to submit to the Mayor and City Council in Spring 2015. You can find more information about the rezone and other Rainier Beach neighborhood projects on our Project Document's page.

Project Goals & Benefits

In 2012, the culturally and ethnically diverse Rainier Beach community created a vision to guide the future of their neighborhood:

Rainier Beach is rich with cultural and physical resources. It has a thriving and interconnected community that contains a rich mix of households including minority and immigrant residents. The community is supported by strong social and cultural institutions and services that provide stability during changing times. The neighborhood provides access to resources necessary for people to live a healthful life. The neighborhood’s parks, opens spaces, roads, and other physical assets are in good condition and provide for a healthy community.

The Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan Update will help make the community’s vision a reality. Rainier Beach will become:

  • A place for everyone
  • A place for lifelong learning
  • A place for growing food to develop healthy industry
  • A beautiful, safe place

The community envisions a future where Rainier Beach mixes education into community life at all levels, and for all residents. As a result, the residents will be empowered to make sustainable and beneficial changes in their community.

The End Result

  • Neighborhood Plan Update — A plan to document the community’s vision for an enjoyable, affordable, and prosperous community, and the strategies for achieving it (completed March 2012)
  • Comprehensive Plan Amendments — Goals and policies, future land use map for Rainier Beach amended via Council Bill no. 117697 / Ordinance No. 124177 (passed May 2013)
  • Station Area Urban Design and Development Framework — A planning tool that guides the design and development of future buildings, streets, and public spaces in the light rail station area (under development)
  • Zoning and Land Use Amendments — Changes to the rules and regulations that control the land uses and shape the form of new development (under development)
  • Rainier Beach Moving Forward — A community partnership to implement recommendations and monitor progress of the plan (meets monthly)


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