Rainier Beach

What's Happening Now?

OPCD's Equitable Development Initiative is supporting the implementation of the Rainier Beach Food Innovation District (FID). The FID will include local food innovation and production enterprises to help increase access to employment, education and entrepreneurial opportunities for residents of Rainier Beach. The proposal builds on recommendations of the 2012 Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan Update and community-led efforts to establish the Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands and the Rainier Beach Farm and Food Hub.

In 2016, the American Communities Trust completed a Case Study for a Food Innovation District in Rainier Beach, which provides a national context and case studies for evaluating next steps in establishing food innovation and production enterprises in Rainier Beach. In February 2016, Rainier Beach Action Coalition steering committee members wrote a plea to City Council to approve the neighborhood plan by summer 2016. In response, Resolution No. 31710 recognizing the community's completion of the Neighborhood Plan Update was adopted by the City Council on September 26, 2016 and signed by the Mayor on September 29, 2016.

In 2017-2018, with funding from the Kresge Foundation, Communities of Opportunity and the Equitable Development Initiative, the Rainier Beach Action Coalition is pursuing the following projects:

  • Food Innovation Center predevelopment
  • Neighborhood healthy food campaign
  • Community farm stands

A Rainier Beach Open Space Steering Committee was formed in 2017 to develop design improvements for Beer Sheva Park. In 2018, The Open Space Steering Committee will focus on developing the Rainier Beach Link2Lake Open Space Framework for the S Henderson Street corridor. This work is being done in partnership with the Seattle Parks Foundation.

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)
  • Rainier Beach Action Coalition — A community partnership to implement recommendations and monitor progress of the plan (meets monthly)
  • Resolution No. 31710 adopted by City Council on September 26, 2016 and signed by Mayor on September 29, 2016

 

Get Involved

Rainier Beach Action Coalition (formerly Rainier Beach Moving Forward) is a community partnership committed to implementing neighborhood plan goals and strategies and monitoring its progress.

Help make the neighborhood plan a reality. You can get involved with Rainier Beach Action Coalition by contacting Patrice Thomas at patrice@rbactioncoalition.org.

Project Documents

Rainier Beach Food Innovation District Documents

Neighborhood Plan Update Documents

Rainier Valley South: Fulfilling the Promise

Comprehensive Plan Amendments

Neighborhood Capacity Project Reports

The following reports identify ways to implement the updated Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan. The reports take into consideration the Rainier Beach organizations, how they can work together implementing the updated plan, what skills and resources are needed, and what funding could be sought to support the work.

Lessons learned:

Moving forward:

Resource building:

Background

In 2010, the Mayor and City Council decided it was time to update the 1999 Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan. Their decision was based on the changes in Rainier Beach since 1999. Rainier Beach has a new light rail station, library, and school. But some community members think that in other ways the area hasn’t changed enough.

For the 2012 Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan Update, the City and community reviewed the strengths of the original plan. We used that assessment to confirm goals that are still relevant and added new goals where they were needed. That work set the stage for us to create a shared work plan to accomplish the community’s vision for Rainier Beach.

Throughout the neighborhood plan update, a diverse range of people were engaged in community-wide events. We held over a dozen meetings to get input and feedback from the area’s historically underrepresented community members, including immigrants, refugees, youth, seniors, communities of color, and people living with disabilities.

Accomplishments

  • Neighborhood Plan update and Action Plan completed in 2012
  • Rainier Beach Moving Forward was awarded a $5,000 Seattle Foundation Neighbor to Neighbor grant
  • Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetland was awarded a $5,000 Seattle Foundation Neighbor to Neighbor grant
  • Rainier Beach was awarded a $978,000 Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Grant to design and implement crime reductions based on the Neighborhood Plan recommendations (2012)
  • Seattle Healthy Living Assessment Tool was awarded the American Planning Association National Planning Achievement Award for a Best Practice (2013)
  • In March 2015, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Rose Center for Public Leadership conducted a study visit in Rainier Beach and provided findings in a public presentation. In addition, the ULI Center for Sustainable Leadership conducted a study visit in May 2015 in collaboration with the ULI Rose Center.
  • Rainier Beach Action Coalition awarded a $75,000 "Fresh, Local & Equitable" grant by the Kresge Foundation (2016)
  • Rainier Beach: A Safe Beautiful Place for Youth (ABSPY) core team awarded a $3.8 million grant from the National Institute of Justice to advance restorative justice in schools (2016)
  • Rainier Beach Action Coalition is part of a Rainier Valley Coalition, along with On Board Othello, the Multi-Cultural Center, South Communities Organizing for Racial Regional Equity, and the Regional Equity Network, awarded a Communities of Opportunity grant of $150,000 each year for 3-5 years (2016)
  • Rainier Beach Action Coalition awarded a $200,000 Fresh, Local & Equitable implementation grant from the Kresge Foundation (2017) that will support work on community farm stands, a healthy food campaign and the Food Innovation Center.
  • Rainier Beach Open Space Steering Committee awarded a $50,000 Neighborhood Matching Fund with a $50,000 match from the Seattle Parks Foundation to propose design improvements for Beer Sheva Park (2017)

Related Resources

 

Project Timeline

  • March 2011
    Community Issues Identification workshop
  • June 2011
    Priorities and Preliminary Strategies workshop
  • January – August 2011
    Meetings with ethnic, cultural and age-specific groups
  • October 2011
    Community Open House — Draft Goals and Recommendations
  • March 2012
    Neighborhood Plan Update completed
    Community develops its action plan
    Making Rainier Beach Great! — A Call to Action workshop
  • April 2012
    Rainier Beach Moving Forward formed
  • November 2012
    Rainier Beach Station Area Urban Design Open House
  • January 2013
    City Council Public Hearing on Comprehensive Plan Amendment for Rainier Beach
  • May 2013
    City Council approved Comprehensive Plan Amendments for Rainier Beach
  • March 2015
    Urban Land Institute Rose Center for Public Leadership study visit
  • May 2015
    Urban Land Institute Center for Sustainable Leadership study visit