Commissioners

Amalia Leighton

Amalia Leighton

Chair
Term: Expires 2016

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Amalia currently serves on the Housing and Neighborhoods Committee.

Amalia is a Civil Engineer, SvR Design Company; and brings experience in infrastructure, transportation, environmental planning and design and environmental permitting. Interested in affordable, livable communities that include housing variety, open space, green infrastructure, and transportation options.

Amalia lives with her husband and child in the Wallingford neighborhood.

Marj Press

Marj Press

Vice Chair
Term: Expires 2016

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Marj currently serves the Commission as Co-Chair of the Land Use and Transportation Committee.

Marj serves on the Planning Commission because it is an exceptional opportunity to give back to her community.  She has a strong commitment to make Seattle a great place to live as demonstrated by her long career in urban planning.

Marj is a small business owner in the Capital Hill neighborhood.  Marj is also an advisor to the Board of the American Planning Association (APA) in her capacity as Divisions Council Chair, a nationally elected position representing the Divisions Council (a component group of APA comprised of planners focused on practice areas, population diversity and equity).

Marj has over twenty-plus years as a planner analyzing the feasibility and environmental effects of transportation infrastructure projects in the Puget Sound Region and across the United States, with a particular focus in transportation and environmental planning; community outreach and consensus building; bringing together multi-disciplinary interests and ideas; and project management.

Marj lives in the Wallingford neighborhood but enjoys all the wonderful neighborhoods with their nuances and distinct features and to experience the diversity (food, activities, and physical features) available in and around Seattle.

Michael Austin

Michael Austin

Housing and Neighborhoods Committee
Term: Expires 2017

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An active member of the local design community, Michael became interested in joining the Planning Commission after serving as the Get Engaged representative for the East Design Review Board. He brings a passion for seeking equitable planning solutions to both short and long-range efforts that will shape the various neighborhoods of Seattle, and the City as a whole.

Michael is an Urban Designer with MAKERS Architecture and Urban Design, LLP, where he is involved in planning and design projects throughout the Pacific Northwest. He brings experience in community outreach, neighborhood-scale planning, and data visualization. He received his Masters in Architecture from Pratt Institute in New York and his Bachelors in City and Regional Planning from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, during which he studied abroad in the Czech Republic.

Michael lives in First Hill with his fiancé and dog, and enjoys traveling on weekends, participating in design competitions, and eating as much food as possible.

Catherine Benotto

Catherine Benotto

Housing and Neighborhoods Committee
Term: Expires 2015

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Catherine serves on the Commission because she is passionate about creating sustainable communities in the fullest sense - and setting policy in place to attain that.  She brings to the Commission an interest in family-friendly multifamily housing that arose from her passion for community sustainability.

Catherine is a Principal at Weber Thompson, Seattle. She is an architect and landscape architect leading the firm's master planning/urban design and landscape architecture services. She also oversees the firms' sustainability efforts.  She lectures on issues relating to multifamily development, community planning, sustainability and the benefits of more compact living.

Catherine's favorite place in Seattle is the shoreline.  She lives in the Belltown neighborhood with her husband and spends her free time wind surfing and learning to kite surf.

Luis Borrero

Luis Borrero

Co-Chair of Land Use and Transportation Committee
Term: Expires 2015

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Luis currently serves on the Land Use and Transportation Committee.

Luis joined the Commission because it is a great place to think about and make impact on the long-term development of the city and region. He has a commitment to understanding and analyzing city-scale solutions to some of our biggest challenges.  He has a background in researching and documenting global best practices in urban sustainability.

Luis is the founder of DRiVE, a service to accelerate better decisions for how one might develop the built environment using a virtual environment for alternate scenario analysis. It recently launched at seattle.drivedecisions.com, a subscription product for professionals working with real property -public or private- in the City of Seattle.

Luis' favorite place in Seattle is the Space Needle.  It is an iconic building and where he got married.

Luis lives in West Seattle with his wife and their two kids and they travel often to Spain and Colombia to see their extended families.

David Cutler

David Cutler

Land Use and Transportation Committee
Term: Expires 2015

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David serves on the Commission because he has lived, studied, and worked as an architect and planner in many other cities - Rome, Boston, South Bend, Manhattan, and Los Angeles - discovering first-hand the impact that sound planning and design can have on the quality of everyday life.  Serving on the SPC is one way that he can bring some of those discoveries back home to Seattle.

David works at GGLO, where he is a Principal and the firm's Director of Planning and Urban Design.  He also lead the firm's Research Initiative, which explores and publishes on the relationship between people and place.  Locally based research topics have included "Embodied Carbon at the District Scale" and the 2009 regional transit policy primer "Transit Oriented Communities: A Blueprint for Washington State."  Generally, my project work ranges in scale from buildings to districts, including local projects such as the Redevelopment Plan for Yesler Terrace, the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, the Seattle Climate Action Plan, and several mixed-use multifamily buildings.

David's favorite place in Seattle is the Pike Place Market.  It is a wonderful example of urbanism at its best - functional, active, and for everyone.  He and his wife life on Capitol Hill with their three children and he can be found most weekends coaching one of the many teams his kids are on.

Bradley Khouri

Bradley Khouri

Housing and Neighborhoods Committee
Term: Expires 2015

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Bradley currently serves on the Housing and Neighborhoods Committee.

He is Founder and Principal, b9 architects inc; and brings experience in architecture and development, creating innovative housing and commercial projects. Teaches Architectural Design studios at the University of Washington in Seattle. Active in the Seattle chapter of the American Institute of Architects advocating for sustainable, transit oriented, walkable communities, and Seattle's Central Waterfront.

He lives with his wife and child in the Central Area.

Grace Kim

Grace Kim

Housing and Neighborhoods Committee
Term: Expires 2014

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Grace currently serves on the Housing and Neighborhoods Committee.

Grace joined the Commission because she is passionate about the planning policies that they weigh in on - family-sized housing, transit communities, affordability, vibrant streets.  She brings to the Commission her professional experience in affordable housing, transit oriented communities, and mobility/transportation as well as her personal experience of raising a young child in downtown Seattle.

Grace is a founding partner of Schemata Workshop, an architecture and urban design practice based in Seattle. They work with a variety of public, private, and non-profit clients to create community focused projects.  Their current projects include work on Seattle's Central Waterfront, a modular construction project for the Renton Housing Authority, a dense urban cohousing project in Seattle, another cohousing project in Portland on a former land-fill for a Zen Buddhist community, and the new urban Seattle stores for CVS Pharmacy.

Grace's favorite place in Seattle is Capitol Hill, where her office is located, as well as her future home.  She is a founding member and lives at the Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing project.  She chose the location because of its ability to support the full spectrum of life without reliance of the automobile.

Grace lives on Capitol Hill with her husband and daughter.  When she isn't designing for her clients she can be found skiing, enjoying food with friends and experiencing traditional Korean dancing and drumming.

Jeanne Krikawa

Jeanne Krikawa

Land Use and Transportation Committee
Term: Expires 2016

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Jeanne currently serves the Commission as Co-Chair of the Land Use and Transportation Committee.

Jeanne served as chair of the Pedestrian Advisory Board and during that time realized that by being involved in her City she could have a voice and make a difference.  Since then, she has continued to serve on boards and commissions and stay active in local organizations.  She hopes to share her passion and commitment for making Seattle a great place for all people, and encouraging involvement of fellow commissions and citizens alike.

Jeanne is a partner at Underhill Company, a transportation and community planning firm.  The firm's focus is on transit planning, because it affects so many aspects of city life - health, social equity, sustainability, and building great communities.  She is most proud of her work on community-based playgrounds where neighbors were involved in a very collaborative design process and provided hours of sweat equity and labor.

Jeanne just could not decide one place to call her favorite in Seattle; instead she enjoys the fun of exploring new places on foot.  Finding your way around the City without a car adds a new and exciting twist!  Whether exploring neighborhoods, parks and off-the beaten track places, one gains a different appreciation for place depending on time of year, day of week
and time of day.

Jeanne lives in West Seattle with her husband and spends her free time hanging out with friends and family.

Kara Martin

Kara Martin

Housing and Neighborhoods Committee
Term: Expires 2017

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Kara joined the Planning Commission because she is passionate aboutensuring residents can live healthy, active lives in all Seattle neighborhoods. Kara is committed to seeing that community health and equity are addressed and integrated with other critical planning issues such as affordable housing, job creation, and transportation access.

Kara is a partner and land use planner at Urban Food Link, a consulting firm that works with communities to create fair access to healthy food and grow a thriving local food economy.

Kara lives in West Seattle with her husband, son and dogs. Her favorite place in Seattle is Schmitz Park.

Tim Parham

Tim Parham

Co-Chair Housing and Neighborhoods Committee
Term: Expires 2016

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Tim currently serves the Commission as Housing & Neighborhoods Committee Co-Chair.

Tim is a Real Estate Development Associate, Plymouth Housing Group; a non-profit that works to prevent homelessness and address its root causes.  He has experience in transit-oriented development, low impact development, economic development, and affordable housing policy, and developing and maintaining urban supportive housing. Interested in creating affordable communities near our cities transit investments. Involved with Othello Station Community Advisory Team and Othello Park Alliance.

Tim lives with his wife in the Othello neighborhoood.

Matt Roewe

Matt Roewe

Land Use and Transportation Committee
Term: Expires 2015

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Matt Roewe serves on the Land Use and Transportation Committee:

Matt is the Director of Development Planning at VIA Architecture  where he leads a range of architectural, urban design and planning projects for both private sector clients, municipalities and transportation agencies.

Matt is also board member for Capitol Hill Housing, is actively involved in the Land Use Review Committee for the Uptown/Queen Anne neighborhoods and is the former chair of the West Design Review Board.

Commissioner David Shelton

David Shelton

Land Use and Transportation Committee
Term: Expires 2017

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David joined the Planning Commission to apply his experience as a professional planner and his personal commitment to sustainable transportation and development to help make Seattle a great place to live and work.

David is a transportation planner with Parsons Brinckerhoff, where he leads planning studies on multiple transportation modes, including light rail, streetcar, bus, ferries, pedestrians, bikes, and autos. David previously served on the board of Transportation Choices Coalition and is passionate about providing abundant, convenient, and safe travel choices for residents of Seattle. He regularly bikes or walks from his home to his office in downtown Seattle, and he loves that his kids would rather walk, bike, or take transit than ride in a car. His favorite parts of Seattle alternate between the verdant natural places (such as Volunteer Park, Interlaken Park, and Lake Washington beaches) and the vibrant urban places (such as Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, and the Pike/Pine corridor).

David lives on Capitol Hill with his wife and two kids.

Commissioner Patti Wilma

Patti Wilma

Land Use and Transportation Committee
Term: Expires 2017

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Patti's commitment to a livable Seattle spans a 40 year career in land use planning and architecture.  Her interests include how residential communities must accommodate higher densities and a population that desires “in-city” services and amenities while maintaining the neighborhood character as well as open space, how the public realm can enhance the livability and health of a city, and quality transit oriented/mixed use development.  

As a life-long resident of Seattle, Patti is a past member of both Queen Anne and Wedgwood Community Councils and the Queen Anne/Magnolia Design Review Board.  She currently works for the City of Bellevue Planning and Community Development Department with a focus on urban design and land use. 

Patti lives with her husband in the Wedgwood neighborhood. 

Lauren Squire

Lauren Squires

Land Use and Transportation Committee
Appointed by: Get Engaged
Term: Expires 2017

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Lauren is an urban planner at SvR Design Company. She is enthusiastic about bicycle and pedestrian planning and sustainable community development. She is the Get Engaged commissioner for 2014-2015. Lauren is eager to use her background in planning and sustainable design and her interests in social equity and active transportation to shape Seattle’s growth as a livable city for all. She is active in the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways movement for safe and healthy streets in the Rainier Valley. A recent transplant from Bellingham, WA, Lauren has worked on a variety of projects from WWU campus sustainability initiatives to envisioning Bellingham’s industrial waterfront as an EcoDistrict.

Lauren lives in the Mt. Baker neighborhood. She enjoys neighborhood coffee shops, bluegrass music, living a car-free lifestyle and being on the water or in the mountains.