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U District Urban Design

People dance in the street at the University District street fair.
A four-year strategic partnership between the community, city, and the University of Washington to plan for a vibrant transit-oriented University District neighborhood.
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Green Streets

Click Here for Draft U District Green Streets Plan

In the 1998 University District Neighborhood Plan, the community designated three “green streets”: Brooklyn Ave NE, NE 43rd St., and NE 42nd St. This means that these streets should emphasize open space, landscaping, and a high-quality pedestrian experience. Green streets are improved piece by piece over time with concept plans establishing a vision to improve quality and consistency.

The draft U District Green Streets plan includes recommendations for sidewalks, street trees, bike lanes, and landscaping on three important streets in the U District. It’s based on a year of community input through the U District Partnership and broader public meetings.

The deadline for public comments on our draft U District Green Streets plan is 5:00 p.m. on November 10. Please submit comments to Aditi Kambuj, aditi.kambuj@seattle.gov, (206) 615-1739. After the public comment period closes, we will make final changes and adopt the plan as part of the City’s Right-of-Way Improvement Manual.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

Click Here for Draft EIS Documents

Our U District Urban Design Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) evaluates impacts of several possible Comp Plan and Land Use Code amendments, including changes that would allow increased height and density in the core of the U District.

Objectives of the proposal include:

  • Better integration of land uses with the neighborhood’s future light rail station
  • Development standards to accommodate a greater variety of building types
  • Support for equitable communities with a diversity of housing choices

The public comment period for this Draft EIS began on April 24 and closed on June 23, 2014. For questions or comments, contact project manager Dave LaClergue at (206) 733-9668, dave.laclergue@seattle.gov, or

City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development
Attn: Dave LaClergue
700 5th Ave., Suite 2000
Seattle WA98124-4019

Draft EIS Documents

Hard copies of our Draft EIS are available for public review at the Central Branch and the University Branch of the Seattle Public Library, University of Washington’s Suzzallo Library and Built Environments Library, and the University Neighborhood Service Center. You may get copies of our Draft EIS free of charge (while supplies last) at DPD, 20th floor Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Avenue.

EIS Scoping process (2013)

In September-October 2013, we held a public scoping process to get initial feedback and direction on our Draft EIS alternatives:

Studies and Guiding Documents

University District Existing Conditions Report: Provides historical data, demographics, and urban form analysis of today’s U District.

U District Urban Design Framework: Summarizes a year of public outreach, including the planning process to date, guiding principles for future changes in the neighborhood, and specific recommendations for our work going forward. Key topics include public spaces, street improvements, zoning and building height, and how to expand housing choices in the U District.

U District Strategic Plan: This plan is produced by U District Livability Partnership. It establishes goals and strategies for neighborhood organization and leadership, economic revitalization, marketing, making the neighborhood clean and safe, and broad urban design principles.

U District Residential Market Analysis: Real estate economists Heartland prepared this report to analyze trends for market-rate housing in the U District. They focused on the question of whether highrise residential buildings will be feasible in the future. We’ll study other important housing issues through the Environmental Impact Statement and our policy development, including: affordable housing, amenities and services, and the balance between preservation of existing housing vs. creation of new housing.

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