About The Planning Commission

We advise the Mayor, City Council and City departments on broad planning goals, policies and plans for the physical development of the City. Each Commissioner serves a three year term and can only serve two consecutive terms. 

We have 16 members total:

  • 7 members appointed by the Mayor
  • 7 members appointed by the City Council
  • 1 member appointed by the Commission
  • 1 Get Engaged Program member, click here to learn more

Commissioners

  Tim Parham 
  Chair   

  Joined the Commission: 2013

  2nd term ends: 2019



Tim is Director of Real Estate at Plymouth Housing; 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, affordable housing policy, and developing and maintaining urban supportive housing. He is interested in creating affordable communities in Seattle neighborhoods that would otherwise not be accessible to those with modest incomes.

Tim lives with his wife and 3 young children in the Othello neighborhood. 


  Michael Austin
 
Vice-Chair

  Joined the Commission: 2014

  2nd term ends: 2020



Michael Austin is an associate urban designer and campus planner with Perkins+Will-a global design practice centered around research-informed design. As a member of the urban design and higher education practices, he has worked on many urban design and higher education efforts across the country.

In addition to practice, Michael coordinates of the development of Perkins+Will's Equity Change Team, where he leads an initiative to integrate equity-informed principles of access and inclusion into the built environment. He is additionally focused on the physical impact of emerging technologies centered around mobility as a member of Perkins+Will's Mobility Research Lab, where he has conducted multiple grant-based studies around autonomous vehicles, ground-level robotics, and freight drones. Michael enjoys volunteering in the community, and has previously served as a youth education volunteer with the Seattle Architecture Foundation and on the Seattle Design Review East Board as a Get Engaged member. He holds an undergraduate degree in city and regional planning from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and a graduate degree in architecture from Pratt Institute in New York.

Michael lives in Pioneer Square with his partner and dog, and enjoys traveling on weekends, participating in design competitions, and eating as much food as possible.


  Eileen Canola
  
Land Use & Transportation Committee

  Joined Commission: 2016

  1st term ends: 2019



Eileen is honored to serve on the Planning Commission and brings a passion for resilient, vibrant communities that can be enjoyed by all residents.

As a Senior Planner with Snohomish County Planning and Development Services, Eileen works on a variety of long range planning policies and development regulations. Eileen is a native of San Francisco and has lived in Seattle for over 15 years. She lives in the Victory Heights neighborhood. She enjoys long walks, hiking, and fishing.


  Sandra Fried
 
Housing and Neighborhoods Committee

  Joined Commission: 2015

  1st term ends:  2018



Sandra holds a degree in Public Policy. She works at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation managing relationships with public health multilateral organizations. Previously at the Gates Foundation she was a grantmaker working internationally to improve access to information through public libraries. In her first job in Seattle, she led homelessness grantmaking and programming at United Way of King Country.

She is happy to serve on the Planning Commission and to sit on the Housing and Neighborhoods Committee. She has a special interest in considering policy and programming through the lens of the lowest income earners and those experiencing homelessness in our community.

Sandra is a native of Quito, Ecuador, and has lived in Seattle for fourteen years. She lives in Columbia City with her husband and children.


  David Goldberg
 
Co-Chair, Land Use & Transportation Committee

  Joined Commission: 2017

  1st term ends: 2018



David joined the planning commission to be part of the discussion about how our rapidly growing city can balance the difficult choices in front of us as we try to build on what we love about Seattle while giving people of all incomes a chance to live and thrive here.

From the late 1990s on, David played a key role in developing the national movements for smart growth and transportation reform. He helped launch both Smart Growth America - as communications lead and then vice president for external affairs and strategy - and Transportation for America, where he led communications strategy. David, who coined the term "complete streets", has a passion for walkable neighborhoods and safe streets that work everyone who uses them, whether on foot, bike, bus or in cars. He has worked extensively on issues related to innovation in transportation, urban design and planning since the early 1990's, when he was a reporter and editorial writer focused on those topics.

In 2002-03 he was honored as a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. He has served on the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory board, advisory board of WalkScore.com and the Planning Commission of the City of Decatur, GA.


  Veronica Guenther
 
Land Use & Transportation Committee

  Joined Commission: 2018 

  Get Engaged term ends: 2019



Veronica is an Urban Planner at the City of Bellevue. She grew up across the lake in Woodinville, but has lived in Seattle since attending the University of Washington for a double degree in urban planning and economics. Prior to working at the City of Bellevue, Veronica ran a campus sustainability program within UW's Planning and Management Department. She is excited to spend her time on the Commission supporting policy work that enhances the inclusivity and environmental sustainability of our built environment in the face of rising growth pressures.

Veronica lives car-free in Capitol Hill. She is an avid cyclist and used her bike commute to Downtown Bellevue to train for the Seattle to Portland ride. She also enjoys running, practicing yoga, playing guitar and exploring Seattle's many parks.


  Grace Kim
 
Housing & Neighborhoods Committee

  Joined Commission: 2013

  2nd term ends: 2020 



Grace is a founding partner of Schemata Workshop, an architecture and urban design practice based in Seattle. She works with public, private, and non-profit clients to create community oriented projects with a focus on social equity.  Current projects include two mixed-use buildings in the Transit Oriented Development at the Capitol Hill light rail station, affordable housing for Peninsula Housing Authority, station area analysis and planning for Sound Transit and the City of Seattle, and two new cohousing projects.

Grace lives and works on Capitol Hill. She is a founding member Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing project, where she lives with her husband and daughter.  They chose the location because of its ability to support the full spectrum of life without reliance of the automobile.

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.

When she's not working hard, she can be found playing hard - skiing, recreating outdoors, traveling, and enjoying food with friends.


  Rick Mohler
  Land Use & Transportation Committee

  Joined Commission: 2018

  Partial term ends: 2018



Rick Mohler is an architect, educator and activist interested in the nexus between urban housing, transportation and the public realm who pursues this interest through practice, teaching, research and advocacy.  He joined the commission as he is passionate about the daunting challenges facing Seattle and confident in our collective capacity to solve them.

Rick teaches graduate level design studios and serves as the graduate program coordinator as an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Washington where he strives to leverage his design studio teaching as a vehicle for urban research and social advocacy.  He is a principal of Mohler + Ghillino Architects, a 2016 Affiliate Fellow of the UW Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies and co-chair of the AIA Seattle Public Policy Board and member of its Board of Directors. He has been actively engaged in Seattle's housing affordability discussion through grass roots and institutional activism, public presentations, panel discussions and editorial writing. Rick lives in the northern part of Wallingford known as Tangletown in a house and ADU of his own design with his wonderful wife, son and tenants.  He has lived largely car-free since 2007 when his 1991 Honda Civic wagon was stolen in front of his house and it took him four days to notice it was missing.


  Marj Press
  Land Use & Transportation Committee

  Joined Commission: 2013

  2nd term ends: 2019



Marj currently serves on the Land Use and Transportation Committee and represents the Planning Commission on the Light Rail Review Panel.

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 immediate Past Chair of the American Planning Association (APA) Divisions Council.

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 our wonderful neighborhoods with their nuances and distinct features and to experience the diversity (food, activities, and physical features) available in and around Seattle.


  Kelly Rider
  Housing & Neighborhoods Committee

  Joined Commission: 2018

  Partial term ends: 2020



Kelly joined the Planning Commission because she wants to create and preserve an inclusive, livable Seattle for current and future generations. Kelly is also a member of the Housing Levy Oversight Board and currently serves as the Housing Policy Manager for King County's Department of Community Human Services. Before joining King County, she worked for a non-profit organization promoting affordable housing policy and equitable transit-oriented development throughout the region. Kelly has a Masters degree in public administration from the University of Washington Evans School.

Kelly lives with her husband and two young children in Whittier Heights.



  Julio Sánchez
  Housing & Neighborhoods Committee

  Joined Commission: 2016

  Partial term ends: 2018




Since moving to Seattle 20 years ago, Julio has developed a strong and varied volunteer life focused on community centered organizations and environmental justice issues. His professional life has included media, communications, fundraising, training and facilitation work.

At present Julio is able to combine two of his strengths, community engagement and environmental justice work on his position with Puget Sound Clean Air as a Community Engagement Associate. In addition to his volunteer work with the commission he belongs to Environmental People of Color (E.P.O.C), is a Got Green Board Member, and enjoys vintage shopping, Seattle's multiple parks and open natural spaces, locally made ice-cream and the Seattle International Film Festival. He lives on the Central District and has done so for a total of 15 yrs. and counting.....


  Amy Shumann
  Land Use & Transportation Committee

  Joined Commissioner: 2018

  Partial term ends: 2019



Amy is an environmental health planner with Public Health-Seattle and King County where she focuses on health and equity in transportation and land use policies. As a planning commissioner, she wants to help integrate this commitment to racial justice into local planning processes and policies. She has a MSW with a focus on public policy and administration from the University of Washington.  

Seattle's been home for Amy and her husband for 31 years and they've lived in the Hillman City neighborhood for the last 24. Their two grown children attended Seattle Public Schools.

Reading, birding, gardening, cooking and traveling keep her relaxed, busy and connected.



 
  Lauren Squires
  Co-Chair, Housing & Neighborhoods Committee

  Joined Commission: 2016

  1st term ends: 2019




Prior to her current term, Lauren served the Commission as a Get Engaged member from 2014 - 2015. Lauren is a multimodal transportation planner at Nelson\Nygaard, with an emphasis on active transportation, health, and social equity. She works alongside engineers and designers bringing concepts to reality. Lauren works on projects ranging from citywide policy to complete streetscape concepts to community planning projects and facilitation. A Rainier Valley resident and safe streets advocate, Lauren actively supports safe and healthy transportation in communities experiencing historic disinvestment.



  Jamie Stroble
  Co-Chair, Housing & Neighborhoods Committee

  Joined Commission: 2015

  Partial term ends: 2018



A passionate community development professional, Jamie joined the Planning Commission to support equity and resilience in Seattle, ensuring livability and increasing community accessibility to city planning and policymaking, particularly for immigrants, refugees, communities of color and low-income communities. She has been active in environmental justice and equitable development, and brings a strong knowledge of environmental health, air quality, sustainability issues and social justice, and background in culturally-relevant community outreach and engagement, particularly with youth and limited English speaking populations.

Jamie Stroble works for King County's Climate Action Team as the lead on climate community engagement and collaborative partnership efforts, and the integration of equity and social justice into regional climate resiliency decision and policy-making. Previously, Jamie worked for a non-profit in the Chinatown/International District of Seattle, empowering Asian Pacific Islander (API) youth and elders around environmental justice and community development. She is actively involved in community work, serving on the boards of the non-profits Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation (ACLF) and APICAT for Healthy Communities, on the Climate Justice Committee of Got Green, was a former Community Partner Steering Committee member of the City of Seattle's Environment & Equity Initiative. Originally from Hawai'i, Jamie is a University of Washington graduate and has been a Seattle resident for over fourteen years. She currently lives in the 130th station area.



  Patti Wilma
  Co-Chair, Land Use & Transportation Committee

  Joined Commission: 2014

  2nd term ends: 2020




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.

Patti lives with her husband in the Wedgwood neighborhood.