2008 Major Accomplishments
The Planning Commission advises city decision-makers on broad planning policies and goals, and on major planning projects and issues. Recommendations are framed by Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan, as well as a commitment to promote planning decisions that support the health and vitality of the community. Highlights of the Commission’s 2008 activities include:
- Seattle Transit Communities Initiative
The Planning Commission launched a new effort comprehensive look at how the City’s policies, practices, and infrastructure investments can complement and enhance transit facilities to create thriving, walkable transit communities. In 2009, the Commission will release a report that explores how appropriate land uses in the vicinity of transit stations in combination with amenities and infrastructure can maximize our regional transit investments.
- Backyard Cottage User Guide
The Commission, along with DPD, published a beautiful Backyard Cottage housing user guide, A Guide to Building a Backyard Cottage in Southeast Seattle. The guide addresses the full range of issues associated with building a Backyard Cottage, from land use regulations to site planning to good design features. The guide also offers some examples of good Backyard Cottages, tips for working with building professionals, and ideas on estimating costs and finding financing. The Planning Commission strongly supports this type of housing as one of Seattle’s housing choices.
- Affordable Housing Action Agenda
The Planning Commission maintained its focus on affordable housing by developing and successfully sheparding new comprehensive plan amendment language that strengthens the city of Seattle commitment to housing affordability. The SPC pushed for implementation of new policies for Seattle Homes Within Reach program and provided preliminary advice to the Office of Housing and the City Council on the Housing Levy. We provided significant demographic resources to the update of the Consolidated Plan for Housing and other housing affordability efforts by the city. We tracked the redevelopment plans at Yesler Terrace with a representatives to the Citizen Advisory Committee
- Industrial Lands
The SPC continued its strong support for protection of industrial lands and jobs via comp plan review work and initiatives stemming from the 2007 Industrial Lands Study.
- Provided Independent and Objective Advise to Policy Makers on Key Planning Initiatives
In 2008 the Commission actively weighed in on planning initiatives such as the annual amendments to Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan; the Multifamily Code update, updating the neighborhood plans, Dravus (Interbay) rezone, the replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and design review for Central Link Light Rail stations.