Othello

Project Outcomes

From 2008 to 2010 we worked with the culturally and ethnically diverse Othello community to update their neighborhood plan and make zoning changes to create a vibrant town center around the light rail station.

  • Engaged hundreds of community members at 53 workshops, meetings, and discussions
  • Planning outreach and engagement liaisons held 43 workshops to get input and feedback from historically underrepresented community members
  • Created community-driven vision and goals for living, working, and enjoying life in the Othello neighborhood
  • Updated the Othello Neighborhood Plan
  • Developed neighborhood (urban) design concepts and zoning based on the community's vision
  • HUD Community Challenge Planning Grant to stabilize Othello business district as a center for multi-cultural goods and services
  • HUD Community Challenge Planning Grant for a shared multi-cultural community center to serve Rainier Valley neighborhoods
  • Judges Merit Award for innovative civic engagement efforts in Neighborhood Planning Updates including use of Planning Outreach and Engagement Liaisons. Part of the Governor's 2010 Smart Communities Awards for creating livable communities in Washington State.

Key Milestones

Community Engagement

  • March 2009
    Othello Baseline and Issues Identification workshop
  • March – April 2009
    POELs engage their respective communities in conversations on issues and priorities
  • May 2009
    Town hall meeting to address themes from the March – April conversations
  • September 2009
    Open house to review draft goals and recommendations

Neighborhood Plan Update

  • September 2008
    Council resolution requesting an update of the Othello neighborhood plan
  • March 2009
    Neighborhood Plan Status Report published
  • May – October 2010
    Town Center Action Team develops recommendations
  • September 2010
    Final Neighborhood Action Plan published
  • October 2011
    Final Urban Design Framework published

Land Use Recommendations

  • March 2011
    Council passes Ordinance 123575 adopting Comprehensive Plan amendments for Othello
  • October 2011
    Final Executive Recommendations on Land Use Code Rezone
  • April 2012
    Council passed Ordinance 123853 for the Land Use Code Rezone

Project Purpose

We partnered with the community to develop the Othello Neighborhood Plan (formerly called MLK Jr. @ Holly) in 1998. That collaboration was part of a citywide effort to preserve the qualities of Seattle's distinct neighborhoods while allowing them to grow. In Othello, growth has been lower than anticipated, but, with a new light rail station, there is potential to attract more residents and business growth. In addition, the City of Seattle is committed to engaging historically underrepresented communities in neighborhood planning. Based on this background, the Mayor and City Council mandated a review and update of the Othello neighborhood plan. Between 2008 and 2010 we worked with the area's diverse community to create goals, policies, and strategies to guide the future of the neighborhood. We used that shared vision to update the neighborhood plan and to develop design concepts and zoning changes for the neighborhood core.

The neighborhood plan update was developed with extensive outreach and community engagement to reach a broad cross-section of neighborhood stakeholders. Participation strategies included innovative and traditional tools — hands-on workshops, smaller interactive meetings, and online communication and surveys. Planning Outreach and Engagement Liaisons (POELs) helped us engage historically underrepresented communities (immigrants, refugees, youth, seniors, communities of color, people living with disabilities, etc.).

Documents

Othello Neighborhood Plan Update and Comprehensive Plan Amendments

Urban Design Framework and Rezone

Community Meeting, March - April 2009

Community Meeting, May - September 2009