Fort Lawton Redevelopment

History and past planning

In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) decided to close the 70th Regional Support Command headquarters located at Fort Lawton. The Army named the City of Seattle the Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA), responsible for preparing and implementing a redevelopment plan. The City conducted an extensive public process that resulted in a detailed plan to create a diverse, mixed-income community with housing for homeless individuals and families and market rate housing, while also preserving existing wildlife habitat and creating a new neighborhood park. The plan was put on hold following a lawsuit that concluded the City's proposed plan should undergo SEPA review. Changing market conditions created further causes for re-considering the plan, and now the City is moving forward to make this vision a reality.

What Is the vision for Fort Lawton today?

The City's vision for Fort Lawton is an affordable, livable community that creates opportunities for those with low or no incomes to live in the Magnolia neighborhood, and takes advantage of the opportunity to expand one of the region's premier public parks. This vision builds off past planning efforts, while recognizing the city's present needs and priorities. To accomplish this vision, the City is working on a redevelopment plan that includes:

  • Supportive housing with on-site services for homeless seniors, including veterans;
  • Affordable rental housing for low-wage households, including families with children;
  • Affordable homeownership opportunities for low to moderate income families;
  • Partnerships with community organizations and public agencies to best support the integration of low-income households into the neighborhood;
  • Preservation of existing natural areas that support wildlife habitat; and
  • Development of new park spaces that support active recreation and relieve existing maintenance needs at Discovery Park.

What is the City's decision-making process, and how can I engage?

Currently, the City is entering into a 5-year lease agreement that will help relieve the Army of the ongoing costs of maintaining the property, while ensuring adequate time for the City to conduct SEPA review and create an updated redevelopment plan for consideration by City Council. The City has hired a consultant to ensure the full range of environmental impacts are considered through an Environmental Impact Statement, and will engage the public and solicit input throughout this process. A timeline and list of ways to participate are described in greater detail below.  

  • SEPA Scoping Notice: The City will provide written notices about the redevelopment process and the SEPA scoping to the community. Community notices will provide information on what is being proposed, and describe process/timeline going forward, including opportunities for input. The scoping notice will describe the proposal and draft alternatives, and identify preliminary environmental elements to be studied in the EIS. The notice will invite comments for 28 days from publication, and advertise a public scoping meeting to be held 2-3 weeks following the mailing. [May 2017]
  • Public Scoping Meeting and Open House: A Public Scoping Meeting and Open House will provide an opportunity for the community to learn about the proposed changes to Fort Lawton, hear from City planners the rationale behind the plan, and provide public comment. [June 2017]  
  • Draft EIS Hearing: Following publication of Draft EIS, we will hold another public hearing to collect comments. The format will be similar to the draft scoping meeting. The comment period will last 30 or 45 days. All comments will be documented in the Final EIS. [Fall 2017]  
  • City Council Review: The City Council may seek additional public review once the plan is submitted as part of the review process. [Summer 2018]