About The Planning Commission

The Planning Commission advises 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. 

There are 16 seats on the Commission:

  • 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


  Mark Braseth
 
Land Use & Transportation Committee

  Joined Commission: 2021  
  

       



Mark is a principle at Braseth Construction building multifamily housing in Seattle and the surrounding area. Previously Mark worked at Puget Sound Regional Council in land use and transportation planning. At PSRC he worked on the HUD grant Growing Transit Communities (GTC) tasked with transportation and community planning around future light rail stations. Later he worked on PSRC's short range transportation planning team helping to manage federal funding for the region's transportation projects. While his career has transitioned from land use and transportation planning to construction and development his goal of creating amazing livable and affordable communities has remained the same.  Mark received a Master's in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon. Born and raised in West Seattle, Mark currently lives in Maple Leaf with his wife and three young children.     


  McCaela Daffern

 
Housing & Neighborhoods Committee 

  Joined Commission: 2021              






McCaela is an urban planner whose career has spanned the public, private, and nonprofit sectors with an ever-increasing focus on building thriving and equitable communities through partnership and collaboration. She joined the Commission to work alongside other Commissioners to ensure that Seattle remains a vibrant,resilient, and welcoming place for all for years to come. McCaela has held positions with organizations that finance, build, or support affordable housing for over a decade. She works for King County's Department of Community and HumanServices as lead staff for the King County Affordable Housing Committee, a new effort to advance regional solutions to address the housing affordability crisis.  She previously worked for Capitol Hill Housing where she staffed the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, a community-driven effort to promote equity,environmental resilience, and cultural space in the neighborhood.  Raised in Tacoma,McCaela is a long-time resident of Capitol Hill. When she's not working, she can be found cooking, enjoying the great outdoors, and exploring the city on foot.    

 

  Roque Deherrera
 
Land Use & Transportation Committee

  Joined Commission: 2021          





Roque is Manager of Real Estate and Development Services for Legacy Group Capital, an infill housing development and lending company based in Bellevue, WA. Prior to that, during a 20-year career with the City of Seattle, he worked for the Department of Construction and Inspections as an Urban Planner and for the Office of Economic Development (OED) as a Business Advocate. During his time at OED, Roque supported Seattle's maritime and manufacturing industries, which are critical to Seattle's family-wage job growth and economic diversity. In 2018, the Seattle Propeller Club awarded him their Public Official of the Year (POOTY) Award.  Roque is passionate about racial equity, sound policy and decision-making, and improving our already-enviable local and regional economies. He lives in Phinney Ridge, in a personal development project that includes a single family residence, an attached accessory dwelling unit, and a detached accessory dwelling unit. Roque is an avid backpacker and traveler, and he makes his own hot sauce. 

David Goldberg

  David Goldberg
 
Chair, Land Use & Transportation Committee

  Joined Commission: 2017
 




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.

  Matt Hutchins
 
Housing & Neighborhoods Committee

  Joined Commission: 2021

           




As a founding Principal of CAST architecture, Matt Hutchins has spent more than twenty years working to increase the vitality of the city and protect the environment. Through his award winning design and policy work, Matt is an advocate for better abundant housing options, vibrant urban places, open space, and sustainable building. In his practice, he is centered on infill housing such as small apartment buildings and backyard cottages. He is involved in co-housing, affordable and rural workforce housing for community land trusts and urban agriculture. As an advocate, he has given numerous seminars about zoning and climate change and works with policy makers to illustrate the impacts and benefits of proposed land use code.  He has worked with BuiltGreen, Living Building Challenge, LEED and Passivhaus sustainable building standards and is a proponent of mass timber building systems. 
He serves on AIA Seattle's Housing Task Force and the Public Policy Board. He served on the board of Groundswell NW to create new urban parks, on the Southwest Design Review Board from 2018-2021. In 2017, he co-founded the community group, MOAR (More Options for Accessory Residences) to support zoning reform for accessory dwellings in Seattle.  Matt is a proud West Seattleite, and loves to explore the big, wide world with his wife and daughter.



  Rose Lew Tsai-Le Whitson 
  Land Use & Transportation Committee 

  Joined Commission: 2021

         



A relatively new Seattle resident of about 7 years, Rose is excited to give back to our community and to collaborate on our collective vision for an equitable, inclusive, and eco-conscious Seattle. She nurtures a wellspring of passion for doing right by both people and the environment, shaped by her heritage as the mixed Chinese-Caucasian child of an immigrant; lived experience as a "third culture kid" and environmentalist activist blossoming into an equity-focused and intersectional environmentalist; and learned knowledge of Seattle and the contemporary and historical land use issues affecting our Indigenous, Black, and other minority communities. She also brings professional knowledge of land use policy as a biologist at Jacobs Engineering, with 9 years of environmental investigation and permitting experience for projects ranging from small residential improvements to public transit expansions, and most recently, large bridge replacement and fish passage barrier correction projects. Always learning, always growing, and not afraid to admit when she's wrong, her approach is to listen first, digest by contemplating and asking clarifying questions, and then collaborate on solutions.  A personal note: District 5 residents, please do not hesitate to reach out! I will do my best to bring the North Seattle perspective to our reviews and to support inclusive policies for Seattle as a whole.



  Patience Malaba
  Chair, Housing & Neighborhoods Committee

  Joined Commission: 2020 
  




Patience Malaba serves as the Director of Government Relations and Policy, at the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County. She puts her values into action, leading the process of setting HDC's annual policy priorities and strategy to advance the annual priorities that help meet King County's housing affordability needs, support sustainable and equitable neighborhoods of opportunity for those with the greatest needs. Prior to joining HDC, Patience managed Seattle for Everyone, a broad coalition of affordable housing developers and advocates, for-profit developers and businesses, labor organizations, environmentalists, and urbanists to advance the first-ever comprehensive package of affordable housing policies in Seattle, known as the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA).  Early in her role with Seattle for Everyone, she worked with Futurewise, a statewide growth management, and civic planning organization, on promoting equitable, environmentally sound housing and land-use policies. She is currently completing her Master's Degree in Public Administration (M.P.A) at Seattle University.


Patience lives in South Lake Union and enjoys the outdoors, and volunteering for environmental justice and urbanist issues. She has previously served on the Sierra Club Seattle Executive Committee and currently seats on the Transportation Choices Coalition Board of Directors. On behalf of HDC, she seats on the Puget Sound Regional Council Growth Management Policy Board and the Washington Low Income Housing Public Policy Committee.



Rick Mohler

  Rick Mohler
  Commission Co-Chair

  Joined Commission: 2018
  



Rick Mohler, an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Washington's College of Built Environments, has over thirty years of experience in professional architectural practice at multiple scales. His teaching, research, practice and advocacy is focused on the nexus of urban housing, transportation and the public realm and he leverages his teaching to address these issues while strengthening connections between the profession, academy, government and community. He joined the commission as he is passionate about the daunting challenges facing Seattle and confident in our collective capacity to solve them.

Rick is the founding co-chair of the AIA Seattle Public Policy Board, an Affiliate Fellow of the UW Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies, an Urban@UW Fellow and a founding member of Sound Communities, a volunteer group of civic leaders focused on leveraging the region's $60B transit investment to build complete neighborhoods with an abundance of market rate and affordable housing at light rail and bus rapid transit hubs.

Rick lives in the northern part of Wallingford known as Tangletown in a house and ADU of his own design with his 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.


  Radhika Nair
  Housing & Neighborhoods Committee

  Joined Commission: 2021
  




Radhika Nair is an urban planner with more than 10 years of experience in the Puget Sound region. She has a multidisciplinary background in land use planning, policy research and analysis, and community engagement. In her job at BERK Consulting, Radhika manages a variety of projects including community and subarea plans, housing studies, economic development plans, and park system plans; she also implements culturally relevant engagement and collaborative community partnerships with diverse communities. Radhika's focus, and what she enjoys most about her job, has been her work to integrate equity and social justice into decision- and policymaking to effect change that benefits communities of color, impoverished communities, immigrant or minority communities, and other groups. She is currently working with the Washington State Department of Commerce on a statewide assessment of the housing needs of farmworkers. With the Puyallup Tribe she is updating a community plan, and she is creating housing action plans with the cities of Yakima, Lynnwood, and Puyallup. Prior to joining BERK, Radhika worked for the long-range planning departments of Seattle and Bellevue. Radhika holds a Master of Urban Planning from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kerala. A 2017 graduate of Leadership Tomorrow, Radhika has lived in Seattle since 2007. She currently lives in the Wedgwood neighborhood with her family. 



  Alanna Peterson
  Land Use & Transportation Committee 

  Joined Commission: 2021

         



Alanna Peterson is an attorney with Pacifica Law Group LLP, where she helps public, private, and nonprofit clients navigate complex statutory, regulatory, and constitutional issues impacting their work in our communities. Her work often involves municipal law, public policy and planning, environmental and land use law, and the political process. Alanna is actively involved in land conservation and outdoor recreation efforts in this region, with a particular focus on promoting equitable, inclusive, and meaningful access to parks and open space. She has served on the state advisory committee for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the advisory group for King County's Land Conservation and Preservation Plan, the Regional Leadership Council for Forterra, the steering committee for the 2021-2026 Washington State Historic Preservation Plan, and the board of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, among other civic commitments. Alanna grew up in and around the Seattle area and now lives in Seward Park with her husband, Brian, and their rescue dog, Greta.



  Dhyana Quintanar Solares
  Land Use & Transportation Committee

  Joined Commission: 2021

       




Dhyana Quintanar Solares is WSP's Seattle Office Leader. She brings 15 years of experience to the Seattle Planning Commission in infrastructure, public space, land use and environmental planning and project management in the public, non-profit and private sectors. Dhyana relocated to Seattle in 2019 to join WSP, where she brings social impact ideas to deliver complex urban projects that can maximize public benefit. She is passionate about social justice and believes systemic challenges can only be met through collective efforts and cross-collaboration of leaders working to elevate and co-power communities.

Prior to joining WSP she led the Authority of Public Space of Mexico City, where she was responsible for the transformation of 125 acres into more livable, equitable, safe and iconic places. Other previous roles in Mexico City included leading the City's Transportation Planning and Roads office and serving as Mexico City's first bicycle coordinator where she implemented ECOBICI, the first automated public bikeshare system in the Americas. She holds a Master of Environmental Management degree with a focus in transportation and urban development from the Yale School of the Environment.



Julio Sánchez  Julio Sánchez
  Housing & Neighborhoods Committee

  Joined Commission: 2015
  




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.....


 
Lauren Squires  Lauren Squires
  Housing & Neighborhooods Committee

  Joined Commission: 2016
  


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

  Jamie Stroble
  Commission Co-Chair

  Joined Commission: 2015 
  



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.


Photo of Rian Watt  Kelabe Tewolde

  Joined Commission: 2020  
  Get Engaged term ends: 2021





Kelabe Tewolde was born and raised in Seattle. He attended Colgate University in upstate New York where he earned a B.A. in Political Science. Currently he is an Academic Counselor at Rainier Scholars, where he works with 6th-12th grade students. The mission of Rainier Scholars is to cultivate the academic potential and leadership skills of hardworking, underrepresented students of color. By creating access to transformative educational and career opportunities and providing comprehensive support to scholars and families, they increase college graduation rates and empower new generations of leaders. His job is to focus on providing that comprehensive support to scholars and families during their middle school and high school years. Ensuring they are on a path towards college acceptance and eventually graduation.

Kelabe lives in Wedgewood with his two roommates. Recently he has gotten into film photography and explores the city with his camera. He loves to play soccer and go on road trips. On weekends he enjoys eating take out from his favorite local restaurants when he isn't frying up doughnuts or cooking for friends and family.