2016 promises to be a very busy year for urban planning issues in Seattle. In the first meeting of the new Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee (PLUZ), Councilmembers heard central legislative staff recite the litany of projects and proposals to cross their desk over the next 11 months. Topics that the Committee will tackle run the gamut from off-street parking regulatory changes and local rezone proposals to adoption of Seattle 2035 and revisions to the design review process. Staff laid out what the likely path for each major planning issue will be for the year on a quarterly-basis:
- Density-neutral rezones in Lake City
- Amendments to preserve residential areas of Georgetown
- Living Building Pilot program update recommendations
- New design guidelines for South Lake Union, Pike/Pine, and Mount Baker
- A framework for mandatory inclusionary zoning, now known as Multifamily Housing Affordability for Residential (MHA-R)
- Density-neutral rezones in Ballard and Bitter Lake
- An Incentive Zoning update
- Adoption of the new Comprehensive Plan, known as Seattle 2035
- Backyard cottages regulatory changes
- Parking regulation reform
Third and Fourth Quarter
- Rezone proposals in Downtown Seattle, South Lake Union, University District, 23rd Avenue (Central District), and Rainier Beach
- Design review update
While these are some of the biggest issues that the Council will tackle in 2016, the Office of Planning and Community Development and the Department of Construction and Inspections will almost certainly add to the overall work plan as the year gets rolling.
Stephen is a professional urban planner in Puget Sound with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. With stints in great cities like Bellingham and Cork, Stephen currently lives in Seattle. He primarily covers land use and transportation issues and has been with The Urbanist since 2014.