DPD has proposed a new landscaping requirement for Seattle’s commercial areas in response to a City Council review of open landscaping and open space requirements. The Seattle Green Factor provides a new menu of landscaping strategies that will be required for all new development in neighborhood business districts. It is intended to increase the amount and quality of urban landscaping in these dense urban areas, while allowing increased flexibility for developers and designers.
The green factor will encourage the planting of layers of vegetation and larger trees in areas visible to the public and in the public rights-of-way directly adjacent to the property. There are additional bonuses for using rainwater harvesting and/or low-water use plantings. Use of larger trees, tree preservation, green roofs and even green walls is encouraged by this proposal.
A worksheet has been developed that will assist applicants in calculating their "score," allowing them to try different combinations of features to reach the requirement.
The green factor proposal is being considered as part of the City Council’s review of the Mayor’s Neighborhood Business District Strategy (NBDS). The NBDS proposal, the first substantial revision and update of commercial zoning requirements in many years, is intended to advance the City’s growth management strategy as embodied in Seattle ’s Comprehensive Plan and neighborhood plans for vibrant, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood centers.
The current schedule for review of the NBDS proposal, subject to change, will include an additional public hearing and full Council action in the fall. Visit the NBDS website for more information about the Mayor’s NBDS proposal, including all related documents.